Monday, March 31, 2014

Pho Nam--Sunnyvale, CA

Last night we ate at Pho Nam, which I panned in a review I wrote four years ago. Back then, I commented that the meat was tough and their "Large" actually wasn't. That much hasn't changed.

What  I should have said back then, though, is that Pho Nam offers a good value and the food comes out quickly.

Tyler had his usual chicken soup and I went with a "Number 6" pho, which included steak brisket and flank. The broth wasn't as hot as I would have liked, but it came with a lot of meat. Jenny had bun with pork and a fried egg roll and Dylan had the grilled chicken with rice and egg roll. He loved it.

So, we got four entrees plus an order of spring rolls all for just a shade over $32 after tax but before tip. Pho Nam is cash only.

Pho Nam
844 W El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 737-1086

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bertolli Chicken Margherita and Penne

Today I picked up a bag of Bertiolli Chicken Margherita and Penne, which is on sale at Costco in Mountain View, CA till next Sunday ($4 off a bag normally at $14.99).

A "bag" of the pasta is actually two 30-ounce pouches each enough to serve a family of four. They certainly don't cheat on the chicken (a claimed 1 lb per bag) and the sauce is more than enough for the pasta. We made additional penne to soak up the excess.

The sauce has a slight creaminess about it and while it's obviously tomato based, it's slightly sweet, which I liked. It doesn't have the acidic bite to it that, say, Trader Joe's marinara sauce has.

I'd especially recommend Bertolli for a family in a pinch, when you get home late and still need to help the kids with homework. The bag from Bertolli's will more than suffice. And, at a regular Costco price of $15 for two dinners for four, what's not to like?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Himalayan Kitchen--Mountain View, CA

Taking advantage of a birthday party to occupy the boys, Jenny and I went to Himalayan Kitchen for dinner. The dumplings, "Momo", were ordinary and I couldn't quite differentiate them from potstickers one would find in a Chinese restaurant.

The Chicken Chilly (below) was a basic chicken dish--lightly breaded cubes cooked with tomato chilly and assorted vegetables--but they pulled it off well. It was just a notch above mild in spiciness.

The best dish of the night (and one I'll come back for) was the Vijayawada Biryani. I ordered it "hot" and they made it so. They photo at the top of this post is a little misleading, as it actually came loaded with tender, delicious chicken and it arrived at the table covered with rice. At $11.99 this could probably feed two adults. We ended up taking most of it home.

The service was prompt and very friendly/ The experience met all expectations!

Himalayan Kitchen
820 E El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA
(650) 967-4240

Friday, March 7, 2014

Columbia Harbour House--Disney's Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL

During our trip to the Magic Kingdom two weeks ago, we dropped by Columbia Harbour House for lunch. It was a pleasant surprise! With their high prices and low quantities, my expectations of amusement park restaurants are never very high. However, CHH managed to fill us up and the food was good.

We ordered the Battered Fish Basket, Grilled Salmon and the Lobster Roll and got out of there for just a shade over $31. We all pecked at the salmon and the broccoli was our serving of vegetables for the day. :)

The fish "basket" (the sticks were actually served on a paper plate) was good, but more of a kids meal. It came with apple slices, which the kids gobbled up quickly.

The best value, though, was the lobster roll. No, it didn't pack as much lobster as the Old Port Lobster Shack and the lobster wasn't quite as sweet. But, given this sandwich was little more than $10, it was a relative steal. And, if you weren't spoiled by a lobster roll in Boston, say, you'd walk away quite happy with the quality of this sandwich.

I appreciated that the employees at CHH tried hard to make the line go efficiently, assigning you to a register as you get to the front. Disney uses the same procedure to assign you seats on a roller coaster, why should this be any different? Perhaps Costco can take a cue here.

When we ate at 2:00, there was plenty of space, especially upstairs.