Wednesday, June 9, 2010

F19. Crispy Chicken (or Beef)

This trip was a double trip since I clearly have a long way to go before I make it through this menu. Katie and I decided to get chinese so I had some of hers to get through 2 dishes. So dish number 2 was Crispy Beef. I may go ahead and do Crispy Chicken later but I think, for the purposes of this blog/challenge I will be considering each menu number to be one dish, therefore, by getting Crispy Beef I have also fulfilled Crispy Chicken.


-green pepper
-sweet chili sauce


Consisting of primarily crunchy, slightly chewy beef, this dish is served with rice. The sauce is a thin sticky, slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce that just barely coats the thin slices of crispy beef. the beef is very crunchy and has a nice bit of chewiness to it as well.


I find that there are 2 kinds of crispy beef people in this world, as well as 2 kinds of crispy beef restaurants. Some like it seriously crispy and chewy, while others prefer it to be more like a general tso's chicken consistency. Personally I like the kind that is actually crispy and I've only had this at 2 locations. Happy Uncle in Germantown, and Spring Garden. Despite consisting of almost nothing but these thin slices of spicy crunchy beef, this dish is really a great one. Personally I can't eat it for dinner without something else, but this usually works out because Katie and I will usually split it. They actually almost find a way to turn beef into a desert because sweet is definitely a strong element here. The crunchiness combined with the chewiness of the beef is incredibly addicting, as is the chili taste mixed with so much caramelized sugar that coats the beef strips.

B11. Beef with Black Bean Sauce

This one was sort of a request from my sister. She asked that I get something with black bean sauce and so I did. I had never had the black bean sauce before, it was interesting. Almost a slight taco seasoning flavor to it, along with the beans. Another stir fried dish served over rice, BWBBS didn't disappoint.


-snow peas
- water chestnut
-black bean sauce
-bamboo shoots


Similar to most stir fries, the sauce is medium thickness with a slight bite to it. The bean element isn't really all that present but there is definitely something slightly different between this and a standard brown sauce.


Not great, not bad. Basically this dish is inoffensive but not terribly exciting either. I really do wonder about the origin of the black bean sauce, perhaps I should look into this for the next time I get a black bean sauce dish. But it almost just seems like they add a slight cayenne seasoning and a few black beans to the regular sauce and call it a day. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn't add much. Regardless, it still tasted good. I am certainly starting to feel as though there are really only a few dishes on this menu but with tons and tons of variation. I'll have to really start trying to pick the ones that seem very different.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Menu

Please feel free to offer a suggestion or request of what you'd like me to eat next either via comment or email/twitter. I can't guarantee that I'll always get the requested items first thing, but most likely I will. We'll see how many requests I get. As you can see, it's a unique and large menu so I have a long way to go. For the record, the sushi here is surprisingly good, but I'm leaving that out of this blog just for the time being as it's the only delivery sushi place, and the closest sushi place to my house. Therefore I can't stick with the, buy it once and never again, policy of the rest of this blog. For now, I'll only review the sushi by request and don't guarantee that I'll get right to it.



F2. Imperial Twin

Well, this time I decided to jump right into the chef's specials portion of the menu with a regally named, Imperial Twin. I had a pretty good idea of what I had in store despite never having ordered this. Once again, I should really pick up a few chinese menus from various restaurants so I can see if things like Chef's Specials are more or less the same menu across the board. Anyway from the description I figured this would be some sort of stir fry and I was right.


-bamboo shoots
-snow peas
-button mushrooms
-baby corn
-water chestnut
-bok choy


Standard stir fry of all above ingredients. In a slightly sweet, savory beef broth or brown sauce. Served over rice. Shrimp and beef are both non-breaded and most likely pan fried.


Well, if you refer to my previous post, the ingredients in this dish are almost identical to that of the last, however I enjoy this one much more. While it is pretty standard, the brown sauce is less overwhelming than the sweet, tangy, sticky sauce from the Tai Chan Chicken. Obviously the meats are different and this might lead to why I feel less heavy after eating this one. No breading, which I tend to prefer. Nothing deep fried in this dish. I also really like the addition of bok choy. It's light, watery flavor kind of takes away from the heaviness as well. This is my first beef dish of the journey and I look forward to more. While the beef is your standard typical beef, it's very good for what it is, tender and quite lean. Sometimes this is just luck of the draw and you end up getting the end pieces of the cut that have more gristle but I guess I lucked out on this one. Overall, nothing to write home about on this one, but for what it is, it's pretty good.


As promised, I will post the full menu right after posting this one so I will be accepting requests or suggestions soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

C23. Tai Chan Chicken

Of course, getting carryout every week is harder than it should be. I just forget for a few days and before I know it, it's been almost two weeks and I've fallen behind. Well, I decided to make it a Chinese Thursday night. I was having trouble picking tonight. So far, for whatever reason, it' been easy to just open up the menu and just pick. Tonight I thought too much and looked at the menu for a solid 10 minutes. then I saw Tai Chan Chicken. It had a pepper next to it, and I had already decided I wanted something spicier. I have never heard of it so I decided, it's time to find out. This is one of the items that really embodies this journey.


- broccoli
- bamboo shoots
- snow peas
- button mushrooms
- carrot
- mini corn
- water chestnut
- breaded chicken
- red chilis


This is the first time I've seen this dish. It contains a fair amount of standard ingredients but puts them together in a different way. The sauce is a sweet, tangy sauce, reminiscent of a sweet and sour sauce. There is a slight bite to it due to the red chilis. The chicken is a breaded, deep fried chicken, basically the same that you would find in a General Tso's Chicken.


When I was driving this home I was getting a little nervous. For some reason it just smelled weird, I think it was the broccoli mixing with the scent of the sweet, tangy sauce. Regardless, when I opened the bag upon arriving at home I was greeted to a visually appealing container of food. I really had no idea what to expect for this one but it turns out that it contains a lot of my favorite things in it. I've always been a fan of button mushrooms (probably because of their similarity in shape to the super mario bros. mushroom). Bamboo shoots, well, you know how I feel about those. And I love baby corn, if nothing else, for the sheer novelty of it that never seems to wear off. All in all, I have to admit that it's kind of a strange mix, almost like they just were bored one night and decided to throw a bunch of things together, it turned out to not be too bad, so they gave it a name and stuck it on the menu. Regardless, I am not complaining, the chicken is crispy and tastes great soaked in this sauce. It is packed with vegetables (which is always nice) and it has mushrooms, and I always like mushrooms.

So I consider this to be a more successful addition to this blog seeing as this was a brand new dish I had never heard of. I'll have to keep an eye out and see if this exists on other menus. If any of you have had this before please feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, May 3, 2010

S 13. Sizzling Shrimp

S. 13 Sizzlin Shrimp

It's been over a week since my last entry. I guess I've not been eating out enough. Well, I decided that I had to go again tonight and get in the habit of at least about once a week or I'll never get through this menu. So here it is, Sizzlin Shrimp


- Broccoli
- Shrimp
- Yellow Onion
- Green Peppers
- Brown Sauce


Although I don't recall seeing a Sizzlin Shrimp on too many menu's the dish is fairly standard. I can't currently think of what dish this is similar to but I know I've had something like it. Anyway, It's pretty simple, good sized shrimps, large chunks of green pepper, semi-thinly sliced sauteed onions, and good sized broccili florets. The brown sauce is a bit rich, semi sweet with a tiny bit of tang, although not spicy. It's not listed as a spicy dish so this is to be expected.


Not the world's most exciting dish, but for what it is, it's very good. This order makes me very happy that I chose Spring Garden for this venture. while the ingredient list and overall outcome of this dish is simple, it's very delicious. The sauce is rich, not soupy, and not greasy. The shrimp are very good sized. Everything tastes fresh for carry out. The broccoli is good sized, maybe a little bit softer than usual for this place, the green peppers aren't soft though, they have a nice crunch. I tend to really like broccoli dishes because one of my favorite things is eating a good sized piece of broccoli that has retained a lot of the sauce. Something very pleasant about that first bite. I guess I don't have a lot to say about it except that I'm enjoying it

Sunday, April 18, 2010

R 9. Singapore Thin Rice Noodles

This is actually the second item since I first came up with this idea, however I didn't have the blog idea in mind when starting the first dish so I have no photos. Therefore, I am starting over. So here goes. I'm going to start with a tentative layout that I will try to keep so each post is easy to read and reference. I'll list the obvious ingredients, unbiased dish description, and my opinion of the dish. As I go along I may add elements.

Singapore Thin Rice Noodles


- Thin Rice Noodles
- Yellow Curry
- Shrimp
- Chicken
- Pork
- Carrot
- Yellow Onion
- Bamboo Shoots
- Peas
- Scallions
- Bean Sprouts
- Scrambled Egg


This is one of those, everything, dishes. There are a lot of ingredients. A few presumably stir-fried vegetables, and 3 meats. This particular version isn't very spicy. In general this dish has just a tiny bit of a bite but is never overwhelming in it's heat. It's a good dish if you want a variety of flavors and textures in one dish.


I've always known this dish as Singapore Mei Fun. It's always been a favorite of mine, there is a little bit of everything. What's new to me here are the bamboo shoots. It's a pleasant addition though as I love the texture of bamboo shoots. I'm used to this dish being slightly spicy, and it is listed with a chili next to it on the menu, however there really isn't much spice here. I'm not complaining though, this dish isn't supposed to be all that hot. The flavor of curry is what matters and it is present. It's a simple yellow curry. The thing I like about this dish is that, despite the long list of ingredients, it isn't heavy. The noodles are light and soak in most of the curry, so it doesn't come off as greasy. The chicken and pork are sliced into very thin pieces, and the shrimps used are the smaller ones so the combination of all three meats works just fine together. Like a good lo mein, this dish is great fresh (hot) and the next day nice and cold. All in all, I think the place on rt. 40 in Catonsville, MD has my vote as being slightly better, but the Spring Garden version is near identical and a great option for those not living near Catonsville.

The Journey Begins

Everyone eats Chinese food. Most people have a few things that they just can't live without, be it Kung Pao, Lo Mein, Orange Chicken, or Curry Shrimp. Most people also seem to only eat about 4 or 5 things from a Chinese Takeout menu. I like to think that I'm not one of those people because my list is more like 10 or 15. Regardless, I can never help but notice that I'm leaving about 95% of any given carryout menu out of the equation. Well, I have decided that the mysterious 95% of that menu has started to really intrigue me. I don't even know what half of the items are despite the fact that I eat Chinese relatively often. Well, I'm tired of this elusive part of the Chinese menu being such a mystery and I decided it was time to do something about it.

I hope that I'm not the only one who shares this immense curiosity as to what all these items are. This is why I've decided to create a blog, I imagine there are a fair bit of people who would love to know what all these items are, and if they are worth trying. Chances are a lot of them are pretty similar, a few vegetables stir fried with some breaded, deep fried, or sauteed meats. Regardless, I need to know. So this is where I begin. I have picked a favorite local Chinese Restaurant, Spring Garden, in Silver Spring, MD to be my location, and I will go through the entire menu. The rules are simple, I can never get the same item twice from here on out. I will photograph each dish in either a bowl or on a plate, and I will write a brief description about my thoughts as well as just a simple, unbiased description of what the dish is. I can go in any order I want, I just can't get a dish more than once, otherwise I'll never make it through. The menu has over 60 items, and currently I probably don't do carryout more than twice a month. I intend to start ordering at least once a week so I can keep adding content to the blog.

I imagine this alone won't create the world's most exciting blog, but I hope as I go along I will develop some ideas to make it a more exciting read. I hope you'll enjoy the ride and please feel free to comment with any suggestions or ideas.

Let the journey begin.