I was surprised that Calvin, who's missus is from Westminster, like Bun Mam, had never heard of Bun Mang Vit. They had to ask an aunt who knew all of these Vietnamese dishes. So a couple of months back, I was craving Bun Mang Vit again.
It seems that everytime I visit, something has changed at Tu Thanh. Still, it the Bun Mang Vit I'm after.
And while this was good; it wasn't quite as good as what I've had in the past. The duck was haphazardly cut, some slices too thick, others with slivers of bone. The flavor was still the same though. The broth was a bit lighter in flavor and seemed to have a bit more msg.....I still enjoy the rehydrated bamboo shoots.
When it comes down to it; perhaps it's the sauce that makes everything tick; the garlic-ginger-sweet-salty tones just brings things together.
Which is what it did for Calvin, who had never had Bun Mang Vit before.
The menu seems to be ever expanding here now.
Perhaps someday I'll try something different. But not on this day.
Tu Thanh 4804 University Ave. #A San Diego, CA 92105 Hours: Thurs - Tues 9am - 9pm Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Manila Fast Food and Desserts:
So, "FOY" (Friend of Yoso) and periodic commenter "SomTommy" sent me and email after my post on Mama Cinia asking me which Chicken Adobo I prefer; Manila Fast Food versus the rather new Mama Cinia. Hmmmm.....good question. Chicken Adbobo isn't usually the first thing I choose. So I decided to head on back to Manila Fast Food. I hadn't been there in a while. I got the combination with Chicken Adobo and, well, sisig of course.
As you can see, the portion size, typical of these "turo-turo" places was quite generous. That chicken adobo, other than being salty was pretty bland....no nice vinegar, nor black pepper flavors.
The sisig was, unlike previous visits, pretty weak. Too little vinegar, too little spice for my taste. Also, much too waxy in texture.
Kind of a bummer since the sisig, while not traditional, and the kaldereta kambing (which I haven't seen in a while here) were the dishes I enjoyed the most. I actually prefer the sisig at Mama Cinia to this.
Manila Fast Food and Desserts 8979 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92126
I was quite surprised when Christy's Bakery closed, after all they were pretty much a Mira Mesa institution having been in that spot for a quarter century. Then it seems like overnight Mama Cinia opened. I decided to drop by and check them out.
First off, I have to say I really like the folks here, so warm and friendly. They've really freshened up and renovated the interior too.
They've got a variety of typical combos from the steam table, desserts like halo-halo, and also serve Mami from 2pm.
I dropped by between meetings to pick up an early lunch on the way back to the office. A 2 item combo with Garlic Rice.
I was surprised to see Bicol Express, something I just don't see often enough at these turo-turo joints. The very ncie woman was surprised I knew what it was. I also got the sisig (of course).
First off, the rice was on the dry side and the garlic a bit burnt. I liked that the sisig wasn't your typical "San Diego sisig", which is basically lechon kawale. Loved all the nice bits of pork, nice textures, a bit smoky, but for my tastes, in need to more spice and vinegar.
I was pleasantly surprised at how tender the pork in the Bicol Express was; but it was really greasy, and lacking in spice and I would have appreciated more bagoong as it was fairly bland.
A week later, having to attend the same meeting, I decided to return. This time I got the two item combination, chicken adobo and kare kare, with pancit instead of rice; they didn't even charge me the $1 extra...perhaps they forgot. Again, it was a load of food.
The flavor of the pancit was decent; enough soy sauce for a change, but it was a bit mushy in texture. Much like the Bicol Express, I was impressed at how tender all the meat and other bits were in the Kare Kare, but it was really, really bland....even that bagoong wasn't enough. This was also a bit on the greasy side as well.
The pieces of the chicken adobo were quite large and this could have used a bit more vinegar as it was pretty salty and now that I think about it, I like mine with a good amount of black pepper as well. I actually enjoyed the potato the most.
I did enjoy the fact that all the food I got was quite hot; perhaps it was because of the time I got there. The people are ultra friendly, so I'll probably drop by again. Maybe one evening to try the Beef Mami, after all, it's been ages since I've had a decent one. The portions are quite generous, so I don't think you'll be leaving hungry here.
Mama Cinia Rice & Noodles 9178 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92126 Hours: Wed - Sat, Mondays 9am - 8pm Sundays 9am - 4pm
There were so many open parking spaces, and yet..... Go figure. Not even close to Paris Bakery, none of the other businesses open, just decided to park here. Actually saw the guy parked in the Handicap stall struggle a bit to get out.
Doesn't quite make sense, does it? A couple of months back, while grabbing something to go it occurred to me that there's quite a few places that have been around for years that I'd eaten at, but had never done posts on. These places are mainly convenience stops for me, places I don't usually visit. For a few, it had been over a decade......like Karihan for example. Karihan is one of those "old school" turo-turo joints that have been around forever. I hadn't been here since maybe right after we moved to San Diego. First off, the parking at Grove Plaza can be pretty terrible, but that doesn't mean I hadn't tried visiting in the past. I recall huge portions of rather mediocre food, except for the Kare-Kare which I thought was decent.
So made up my mind to do this pseudo-revisit......man, they don't use MSG here....so says the sign dated 11/09! And when did that Japanese looking booth thingy arrive in the dining area?
Good lord, how can anyone polish off all this food? Look at all that lechon.....
I found the pancit to be very bland, though the texture of the noodles wasn't too bad. I should have just gotten rice, though it might have fed us for a week! The skin on the lechon was hard as rock and the meat quite dry. The Kare-Kare had a nice piece of tender oxtail meat on top, no tripe, a few small pieces of pork hock, and the rest of it was mostly bone, the texture a bit on the gluey side, a nice amount of green beans, but one tiny piece of eggplant, and this was on the bland side as well. I was searching for any trace of savory flavor that I enjoy in a good Kare-Kare. No amount of bagoong could revive it. I don't recall things being quite this bad before?
Has the arms race for portion size caused this? I mean, Tita's is a few yards away? Kind of sad; the young ladies working here were a lot friendlier than I recalled. I'd say this place is definitely for the quantity over quality set. MG once told me that "Karihan" meant something like "Cafeteria" in Tagalog. On this occasion it was that all right......but not in a good way.
Karihan Filipino Food 2220 E Plaza Blvd National City, CA 91950
And I was surprised to find that in addition to the simple, rather divey dining area.....
They've added additional seating out on the street, where there once were some 15 minute parking. They call it a Parklet and I rather like it.
I had my usual, the Garlic Chicken Wrap, now $7.25. You can tell I've been doing this blogging thing for a while....at the time of my first post on Mama's, the wrap was $4.99!
And while I had mentioned that the chicken in this wrap had gotten rather scarce back in 2012; there seemed to be even less of it on this day. And while I do enjoy the garlic paste and claim that it would make cardboard tasty, this is still a "chicken wrap". It just seemed to have less of everything, though the flatbread/wrap, made fresh on the "Sajj" was still warm when I opened it up and had a nice stretch to it.
It just didn't have enough filling. And as the saying goes; "Man does not live by bread alone".
I did notice another thing. I'd always thought that the "hot sauce" here tasted a lot like Louisiana style hot sauce. These days they leave the hot sauce dispenser out....it's Trappey's. I do like the way the hot sauce works with the wrap.
Mama's is one of those places that seems to have been around forever. We used to drop by every so often when we first moved to San Diego. A bit before my first post on the place in 2005, the place changed hands, to what seemed to be no detriment to the quality of the food. The folks here have always been pleasant. But it seems, at least in my mind, that the garlic chicken wrap has not aged well.
Mama's Bakery & Lebanese Deli 4237 Alabama St. San Diego, CA 92104
I've been having to work weekends sporadically over the last couple of months. On those days, because I'm able to take my sweet old time going into work, I'll often take the "really long route" to the office. On one of those mornings, I stopped by Pinoy Fiesta. Another place I haven't been to in a while.
I noticed that a pan of kare kare had just come out, so I got that....and in a moment of weakness, even though I didn't care for the sisig during previous visits, I decided to give it another shot.
Man, that kare kare was really bland and the meat super tough, not a fan. And while the flavor of the sisig wasn't bad this time around, denotes, though it could have had a bit more spice, it was ice cold and super waxy...."fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice......"
Still, nice folks, but I'll wait a while before coming back here.
Thanks you for stopping by to see what and where mmm-yoso!!! is writing about today. Kirk is still having difficulty going online, Ed (from Yuma) is busy writing another post and Cathy has this post about some meals.
I'm always wondering if I am cooking Filipino food correctly and will stop at one of many Filipino markets, food stands and restaurants when able. The closest to our home is in Mira Mesa.
The South East corner of the 15 at the Mira Mesa Boulevard; that mall was rebuilt/modernized in 2012. Manila Sunset is in the first part of the mall as you turn in off of Mira Mesa Boulevard (Trader Joe's anchors the second part).
Walk up, order and pay. You'll receive a table marker with simply the name of a colonial town (Vigan) or location ( Intramuros is the original Manila -a walled city- and you get there via a Rotonda - a roundabout): Something you can research on your phone while waiting for your order to be brought to you.
The interior is both beautiful with art and quirky, with shoes hanging off of an overhead electric wire just above a small 'hut' table area.
Many people think of lumpia as only being a fried item. There is such a thing as "Fresh Lumpia"- it's not fried, but a light crepe, wrapping sautéed mixed vegetables, topped with chopped hard boiled eggs and peanuts and covered in a slightly sweet (not crazy sweet) sauce ($3.25). I have had other versions, but like the Manila Sunset version best.
Here is what the 'Shanghai' Lumpia ($2.65 for six pieces) looks like. Each piece, approximately the size of your little finger, is freshly fried, filled with pork and vegetables finely minced. These are a good option if you want some protein (the larger fried lumpia are like the fresh-all vegetable filled). A longaniza and fried egg plate ($6.95). The longaniza here is unique (as are all Filipino longanizas, which vary the spices by region) and nicely garlic-y. Three large pieces, two scoops of rice and a bowl of vegetable soup accompanied the hard fried egg.
The pork inihaw plate ($6.45) also came with rice and soup. Charbroiled pork slices which were marinated in vinegar and garlic are the primary component- good tasting and tender. There is a grill in the back with a glass window where you can watch the char grilling happen; photos came out cloudy.
You can buy individual skewers of BBQ meat (beef, pork or chicken) for $2.05 each, or a plate which includes three skewers, rice and soup for $6.45. I do like the vegetable soup here. Every part of it, from broth to the leafy vegetables is just so flavorful.
A simple, dish, Pancit Malabon ( a rice noodle dish from originating in the City of Malabon) is known for its crab fat/fish sauce sauce ($4.15). This isn't a large dish, doesn't come with soup and those three shrimp you see are only half shrimp, but it is filled with flavor and just enough food. I wrote about Bibingka, a traditional filipino dessert, in a 2013 post (and probably in a few other posts) because I try it whenever I can find this traditional Christmas dessert. The version of Bibingka ($3.25) here is 'Royal' Bibingka- topped with cheese (which accounts for the dark colored top). A bit of savory in addition to the sweetness of the traditional rice flour, eggs, sugar and coconut milk baked in a banana leaf. This was served warm with raw coconut shavings on the side. So good.
CC says almost everything here is a comfort food for her and it is for me, too.
Manila Sunset Grille 9837 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego 92131 (858) 578-6200 open 10 am-8 pm daily Website
Other bloggers have been to Manila Sunset Grille too! Faye had a recent post and Kirbie visited in 2013.
Back to the Poseidon Project and the Haad Sai Thai Food Truck:
The Missus ended up working on a recent Friday evening at the last minute, which left me alone at 630 pm on a Friday. So I headed out looking for a place to eat.....as I figured everyplace was packed. I even tried Pacific Time, but there was no parking. As I rolled up Morena, I noticed a Food Truck in front of The Poseidon Project, I thought "why not"?
Turns out it was a Thai truck called Haad Sai Thai.
The guy running the truck was really friendly and several folks in Poseidon were eating noodles; a couple of folks even doing take-out from the truck, so I ordered some drunken noodles with chicken, bought a bottle of one of my recent favorites....I was surprised at the price, cheaper than what I recently paid for a bottle at Keg and Barrel at $9.53 with tax, and had a seat.
The drunken noodles were nothing to write home about, though it was decently spicy at a heat level 7 and at least the noodles weren't mushy.
The chicken was dry, not enough "wok hay", other than the heat level, missing the sweet and salty of drunken noodles, and a bit over-priced at $9, but the savings on my bottle balanced things out for me. The portion size was quite large though and I got to watch a beer nerd ("bro") get a bottle of Delirium and match it with a California Burrito from Santana's across the street....a first for me.
Plus, the folks working here are great. I'm really warming to the place. Even though they only currently have 8 pulls, the bottles seems nicely priced.
Poseidon Project 4126 Napier St San Diego, CA 92110
Plus I just can't help but keep humming this song.
Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, food blog. Today, Cathy is writing a short post, not about any particular restaurant, but about some particular food items. Ed (from Yuma) has a nice post coming up tomorrow. Kirk is still out of the country and enjoying his international vacationing.
In 2011, Kirk wrote a great post about fried animal skins, quite a few were -ahem- less than common and difficult to find unless traveling internationally. I thought that writing a short post about commonly found chicharron would be nice. Dropping into any Mexican Market, you can probably find a variety of both pork and beef fried skins, some with meat attached (the far left) and some just the skin (second from left). Those are sold by the pound and can simply be eaten while wrapped in a corn tortilla, with or without some hot sauce.
The above is the counter at Northgate Gonzalez, a family owned and run Mexican grocery chain which I haven't posted about yet. Sometimes, in this same Mexican Markets, there is a steam tray area with stews and there is usually a choice of rojo (red) or verde (green) chicharron stews called guisados, which can be served taco style. Because the fried skins have been stewing, they are softened and not crispy, but still flavorful. The above are from Krist Liquor and Market. You can always order fresh made chicharrones by the 1/2 pound at Carnitas Uruapan.Long ago, I had mentioned fried chicken skin, dilis and bulaklak sold by the pound at Kababayan Market, which is now located in Spring Valley (I'll have a post about the new location soon).Fried chicken skins are my weakness and backup snack for just about every situation. I have also mentioned purchasing fried chicken skins at Chic-Boy in National City, because I know where to find fried skins when the craving strikes. Then there was the day we were at TJ Oyster Bar and I noticed the 'Starters' section of the menu while waiting in line at the newest location (again, I have a post forthcoming)...the second item, 'Chicharron Fish'.Hoping it would be a plate of these (above) fried fish tails, I was disappointed to see...this gigantic plate of more or less fish nuggets. But, oh what wonderful, meaty, lightly breaded nicely fried nuggets these were. The dipping sauce- umami- a deep, fishy, tart, lime-vinegar mix which went perfectly with the sliced raw onions. Not really skins, but fried and tasty.
I hope your long weekend is going well. It's not over!
This is mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk needs a break, Ed (from Yuma) is on a break and so Cathy is writing the posts for a few days.
As mentioned in prior posts, The Mister and I choose a different ethnic market each week when it's time to go food shopping. There are severallocations of Seafood City in the county, but the one in Mira Mesa is closest to home. There is a (new) food court inside, but just next door is a storefront location of Chowking, which I've posted about, a couple of times. Chowking is a subsidiary of Jolibee, the largest fast food chain in the Philippines. Straight ahead in this photo is the front door to Chowking; there is another door where you can enter from inside the Seafood City store.The menu is pretty straightforward and contains breakfast and lunch/dinner items as well as snacks and sweets. There's even a small freezer which holds Siopao to take home (Filipino-Chinese buns that can be steamed or heated in the microwave for a few seconds).This is what we ordered for one lunch the other day. That's a coffee milk tea (because I can never decide). I like how the styrofoam packaging is manufactured with steam holes, so the contents, if fried, will remain crispy.The 'Chinese Style Fried Chicken' plate ($4.99) is pretty much my go-to item here, because the fry is always fresh, crispy, not greasy and so very tasty. It's 'Chinese' because of the spices used-and because Chowking is (and initially was only) a fast food Chinese restaurant before it was bought out by the Philippine based company (notice the Chinese lettering on the front of the counter, two photos up). The steamed rice, with egg and vegetable is always fresh.The Garlic Chicken Lauriat ($5.99). A 'Lauriat' is a rice meal, so is essentially the meat (nicely battered and fried dark meat chicken pieces) and rice along with veggie Canton noodles, two small veggie spring rolls and two red bean paste filled sesame balls...not lumpia, not pancit...Chinese food... Remember this hot days we had not too long ago? The mango shaved ice here is only $2.99. Quite large, with lots of ice, mango and condensed milk; it's a refreshing break.
I hope your week has gone well!
Chowking 8955 Mira Mesa Boulevard San Diego 92126 (858) 653-4977
I was in National City recently looking for a specific ingredient...had no luck at Seafood City, but I noticed this new "turo-turo" (point-point) place had opened up.
So I decided to stop and grab some breakfast. Man, this restaurant is huge......
The woman working the counter was very friendly and the food looked decent....so I went with the Longanisa and Chicken Tocino....I had to stop her from piling on the garlic rice and still ended up with a load of carbs.
And the egg of course, which had been sitting in a steam tray. The garlic in the rice was burnt, thus making the whole deal quite bitter. The longanisa was as expected, a meaty-juicy pouch of loveliness. The chicken tocino was really tough, it had been cooked down too long. It was also more salty than sweet.
It was quite obvious, this was one of those quantity over quality places.
No big deal......I made a note to revisit one day...no rush.
Funny thing happened the following week. I saw an old coworker of mine. She dropped off lunch from this "new place" to try.....it was from Manila Resto.
She got me the Bicol Express and the Beef Kaldereta, two dishes I love. She even told me they went easy on the rice....it was still way to much for me.
Bicol Express combines wonderful savory (from the fermented shrimp paste- bagoong alamang), with spicy (from chili peppers). This one kind of weak.
This was really tough, lacked spice....I mean it was really whimpy, and though it was salty, it could have used more bagoong.
The Kaldereta was slightly better; though it was still on the bland side. I enjoy mine a bit tangy from the tomato with a beefy edge. The pieces of beef were huge and had to be cut into pieces before eating. It was also a bit too greasy for my taste.
You won't go hungry after this.....but it's obviously more about quantity than quality here.
Manila Resto 1420 E Plaza Blvd Suite D2 National City, CA 91950