Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts

Monday, September 17, 2012

Supreme Buffet & Hibachi Grill ... why me?

Supreme Buffet & Hibachi Grill

After seeing so many posts on Instagram of the good looking food from this buffet I was so excited to visit it with my family. My husband is not a fan of buffets but for the kids sake we visit so they can eat immediately. This place is located in Hillard Ohio which is a good 20 min or so drive for us. T

I've seen excellent pictures of a good selection of seafood and sushi so I figure for a price of $11 a person I can eat all the good specialty sushi I want. We went on a Sunday so they were serving dinner all day.

Boy was I disappointed.

We had a party of 7 and was placed in the back on the left of the buffet area. My husband asked to be seated in a less crowded area just in the next room but was told they were unable to seat more than 6 because they were not allowed to push tables together. Of course as I walked by 5 minutes later, they were pushing together tables for other people.

SERVICE: The service is good for a buffet. Our plates were not there for too long before the waitress would clear them from the end of our table. She did refill our cups once or twice before we left. The only thing is when the host sat us and took our drink order he was short one glass which after I told the waitress she brought over right away. We did not get offered any chopsticks which I just grabbed from the waitress station.

mixed sushi
FOOD: I can't do food portions because of course its an all you can eat. But the food quality is not very good. After seeing pictures on Instagram, I was enticed by how good the food look. After tasting the Octopus salad, BBQ ribs, green beans, lo mien, egg drop soup, baked crab meat, fried jalapeno shrimp and sushi. It was average if not below average. The only thing I really enjoyed was the crawfish, which was frozen precooked crawfish but they cooked it good. Not overcooked, which is very easy to do, but good let alone they were big and meaty. Not spicy at all, but fulfilling.They had blue crab but nothing to crack it with. I thought it would be flavorful but just tasted like it was stirred around in oil and decorated with green onion. If you were going to do that, they should have just steamed it. The soups needed salt, very plain and the lo mien noodles were just cooked spaghetti noodles, not even lo mien. The sushi was my biggest disappointment. This was well below grade but I should have known being a buffet. It seemed like they just grabbed what was left from the buffet and rolled it up in rice and seaweed, added some sauce and served it as is. It was the first time where it almost came out of my mouth before I finished chewing on it. I had to hold my gag reflex since I was in public. The rice was hard and the fish did not look fresh. There are plenty of options but also missing options you expect at Chinese buffets like certain noodle dishes. Seemed like they were on the thin line of American / Chinese. They did have 2 different steaks and plenty of ribs which weren't bad. They kept running out of the fried shrimp but this is the first buffet where no one was fighting over the crab. My husband said the hibachi was good but fresh cooked food is always better than food sitting out.

LOCATION: You could spot the sign right off the highway on 70 westbound toward the Hillard Rome Rd exit. But if your not familiar it may be easy to miss. You have to turn right at the light immediately off the exit then a small sign leads you onto a side road to the buffet. They are a stand alone location surrounded by motels & hotels.

ATMOSPHERE: Typical buffet with rooms of tables for guests and buffet area right in front when you walk in so you see it as you enter. There's an outdoor patio to eat at. Very awkward with people walking around to get food mixing with the guests walking it. Usually the buffets are set up out of the way of people walking in to be seated so this was a little crowded.

PRICE: 60+ guest get 10% off, 3-10 yrs old are at a reduced price, 2 and under are free. Adults are about $11 but I don't remember if that included the drinks but knowing buffets it probably doesn't. They have coupons on their website.

OVERALL: My family did not enjoy this place at all and I doubt I would give it a second chance. It felt like everything was fried and was extremely greasy. It was not clean and no one was trying to even keep it decently clean. The first thing out of my husband's mouth was it was dirty. The sushi was horrible and the place was messy even for a buffet. I read some of the reviews from Urbanspoon which a majority of the people seem to agree with me how bad it is there. I regret the visit and should have taken my kids to Asian Gourmet for good sushi and food.

Sad Sushi Eater - Bay Nan

Supreme Buffet & Hibachi Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bangkok Restaurant - never changes...

Bangkok Restaurant - Columbus OH

phad kanar moo karb

Yesterday, after a busy early morning with my husband and son, we decided to go to a local favorite for authentic Thai food along with Chinese food made to order. Bangkok has been a favorite in our family even with the kids. That's a plus for us since our children are such picky eaters. They have such a variety and unlike other Asian restaurants, the taste of the food doesn't change. If you've had their food, you grow to love the taste of the food and if you return, it will stimulate your brain as if it's the first time you're having it again.

baby spring rolls / fried chicken
SERVICE:  It may be favoritism since I know the workers there but as busy as it may get, they are very friendly and as fast as they can be with service. Always walking offering water and checking in with us if we need anything for our meal. They are happy to help and provide. At time when visiting restaurants I get a feel that we are overstaying but not here. In addition we never feel like we are unwanted customers. Always good service and attention the same as other customers at lunch or at dinner.

shrimp chips
FOOD: The food taste consistent so you get what you expect and if you are trying new food they can adjust the heat (spiciness) according to your own preference. The food is delicious and authentic, very close to home. I have never tried the Chinese dishes because I tend to only order according to the specialties in which restaurants are categorized. (steak from steakhouse, seafood from seafood restaurants, sushi from sushi restaurants, etc.) They have specialty drinks from my favorite Thai ice coffee and Thai tea along with a selection of bubble teas. I don't prefer the bubble tea here for its a little on the sweet side. This is in addition to the sodas and water.

PRICES/PORTIONS: The prices depend on which time of day you visit. I believe they have lunch specials for smaller portions. They are usual prices for the food and the portions do feed the family. We tend to order multiple dishes to share and we always pack home for later. We split some of the dishes among the kids to share and the older kids get their own so we always go home happy and full.The drinks are a little pricy but then you are at a restaurant. You can get a dish for about $5 - $9 depending on what it is. 

ATMOSPHERE: There are plenty of Thai decorations around and they always have Thai karaoke music videos playing in the background on a flat screen TV for your viewing pleasure. It is not a big restaurant with about 10 booths and tables in the middle. 

yum seafood
OVERALL EXPERIENCE:  We continue to go back for the food and the nice "home" feeling. I have a rule I use with eating at international cuisine restaurants, if the people of that culture eats there, it must be authentic and good. There are always a crowd of Thai and Lao people eating there with my family included. It's a treat and being there at lunch is just as good as dinner with less of a crowd, but still a crowd all the same. Good service and good food is always a plus with us. It will keep you craving! For safe picks, the Phad Thai and Lad Na is always a choice. Phad Ke Mao is spicy good, but rice dishes are my favorite from ordering soups, Phad Ka Na Moo Korp (fried pork with Chinese brocolli), and Red Curries. Try one then try them all.

Bangkok on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunflower Chinese Restaurant ... "Dim Sum funny ninjas!"

Sunflower Chinese Restaurant - Dim Sum

Recently I received an email from Tasty Tree. Once in a while I will get an email  with the local deal of the "moment" since its so inconsistent. Well recently  I received the following deal: Which was buy a $50 gift card for $20 (but they add a 16% tip automatically).

My husband was never a big dim sum fan being a fan of the big "I want to get full" meal usually consisting of noodles. But since I went ahead and bought this coupon / gift card we decided to give the kids a treat and take them out to eat. This would be the first time for the kids to try something new.

Now I have had dim sum before so I enjoy it because I'm the type of eater who likes to pick at different foods and taste different things. So you can tell I'm a big fan of cooking too many sides to the one main meal. I like the selection and the option of choosing many different tastes within one sitting. Dim sum means point of the heart meant as a snack or quick meal that lightly "touches the heart". But when it comes to my family, we eat until we were half way to food comas. If you've never had dim sum, they are like little bite size dumplings that are either steamed or fried served in wooden baskets, steam tins or on small plates.

The restaurant opens at 11 am and fills up quick. We were there half an hour early, but no one was there yet except the workers. Once we walked in 10 min early we were seated and our waitress promptly arrived to take our drink orders. Soon after the serving cart and rolled around. Basically the waitress will ask what you would like. If you know your dim sum you can ask for it by name. If not, like us we just look and point at what we like. You can ask for more than one basket and what they do it they stamp or mark it according to size on a piece of paper that is for our table.

We tried several different ones, our favorites being the pork siu mai and the steam shrimp dumplings (ha gow). My youngest loved the chicken feet and I really enjoyed the fried tofu. They have several carts rolling around consisting of soups and congee (rice porridge), fried dumplings, clams, veggies, and desserts. They also had bubble tea which the kids tasted. Not the best bubble tea but an option non the less.

Our bill was a total of $106 ($136 - $50 gift card +$20 tip) for about 20 little tins/plates,  4 sodas, 2 hot tea, & 3 bubble teas. Not bad for a family of seven. It took them a while to validate the coupon and ring up the bill but end the end well worth the savings of $30. Overall we had a good time, full bellies, and hopefully will come again. The kids enjoyed it and being picky eaters did get full from tasting every little dumpling.

Happy Ninja - Bay Nan

Sunflower Chinese Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Buckeye Pho - Northern Columbus

Buckeye Pho - Asian Kitchen

My family used to frequent this restaurant often when it first opened even though it was well over a 30 minute drive. If you Columbus, it's hard to find a decent Pho restaurant that is consistent in the flavor of the soup with decent service. We don't expect the best service since it is a casual spot. It has been a few months since visiting this restaurant, but only because of the drive. 

bun mi (Cold cut)
The family used to work at the owner's sister in law's cafe (MiLi's Cafe off 161) - but took a risk to open a Pho shop on their own. They are Vietnamese so you can consider this authentic.

They greet you as soon as you walk in and let you choose where you want to sit. You can choose from either the bar or the tables. There are several tables and the waitress was happy to push together tables to accommodate (today) our family of 5.

There is a wall filled with buckeye nuts attached and 3 huge flat screen TVs always with the spots channel on and Vietnamese karaoke. It's not very big but is big enough to fit everyone comfortably.

Summer Rolls
Our waitress was prompt. She took our drink orders and was quick once they were ready. This included the food. There was a short wait for the food and she checked on us to make sure food was good and refills were given. As we just made it before the rush of people coming in, our food didn't take very long but every time we come we hardly noticed the wait.

My children ordered large specialty Pho, my husband spring rolls and the seafood crispy fried egg noodle and I ordered a small Pho, cold cut bun mi and ice coffee. My youngest also ordered fried egg rolls, a strawberry boba tea and my husband a honeydew boba tea.

The specialty drinks are in same size glass cups as the other drinks. Just enough for one person. The Vietnamese ice coffee is strong and just enough. I very rarely order a second. The children once in a while get refills on their sodas and they always provide water in addition to our drinks.

The large Pho bowls are pretty big but more of a regular size to me when eating Pho. Perfect for one person. The smalls are a good size for children  or people wanting Pho in addition to another dish. The Xl size is pretty good to hold off my husband who has a big appetite for Pho. The crispy noodle was a large dish, half way to a serving dish.

The Pho is always good. Slightly sweet and seemed like a hint of soy sauce that day but very good. 

Crispy Noodle
This was the first time we tried the seafood crispy fried egg noodle which was good but not great. The noodles were crispy and crunchy but had a taste of eating noodles straight out of the bag (mi mama) which is good but only in small portions. The noodles soften once sitting in the gravy. Not very filling but enjoyable if you like picking at all the good seafood and veggies. The gravy was good and flavorful. Good selection of seafood including octopus, imitation crab, and shrimp. The veggies included baby bok choy, green onions and shitake mushrooms. 

The bun mi is one of my favorites because the fresh french bread is so crispy good on the outside and soft on the inside with a good amount of filling. I like to order the cold cut but they also offer other types. All good in my opinion but then  I am a bread girl so to me it comes down to the fresh french bread and amount of filling. 

The ice coffee was great, strong and not too sweet. The boba teas were a good amount, more like fruit ice cream than smoothies but very refreshing and good.

 The summer rolls are also good, proportioned the noodles with the veggies and meat are good. Sometimes you run into restaurants with too much of one or the other. The summer rolls can also lose taste if the sauce is not good which is not the case at Buckeye Pho. My youngest always loves the fried egg rolls so no complaints there. They always come out hot and fresh as egg rolls should be.

 Prices are not bad for the amount of food. They are not the same as in other larger states of course but is worth it for the good food. Small specialty pho is $ 7.59 as the large is $8.59 and jumbo $10.99. Spring rolls are $3.59 for two rolls, and $3.69 for two fried egg rolls. The bun mi sandwich was $5.59 but more depending on which one you order. I'm still upset that restaurants like this charge $1.99 for sodas out of the dispenser but at least here we received refills. 

Overall Experience:
Pho Dac Biet (Specialty Pho)
 We like this cafe / restaurant. We don't often get to visit but make it out when we can. The food is good and service is good. The pho is good also but sometimes the prices could match the cheaper prices in Texas and California but they have a lot more pho restaurants. The restaurant also offers a lot of selection to choose from including Bun Cuon (crepes) and rice dishes. I've had their rice dishes which are also good, both in amount and taste. They also have one of my favorite desserts, Crème Brulee both in regular and coffee flavor that I have yet to try. In retrospective we will return to have lunch or dinner here with the family if we're ever in the area again. 

Very Full Belly - Bay Nan

Buckeye Pho on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pho Chef - Northern Columbus

According to my brother, since I am a Virgo, I loved to be serviced. Well, to me it makes perfect sense. It not always the meal but the experience! I always take in account service, how fast I get my food (or if I notice the wait), the atmosphere, the wait staff, the amount of food and finally, the taste. This is my first restaurant review.

Pho Chef
Asian Noodles & Grill

 I look at this picture and think, "Man, this looked way better than it tasted that day."

Last week my boss's friend opened a new restaurant called Pho Chef. With the limited options of places to eat Pho in Columbus I was excited to see a new restaurant to try. Now keep in mind, since cooking it almost every Sunday for the past 10 yrs for my husband, I have grown to dislike Pho in general. Sick of it, if you will.

Back to my boss, who somehow has two birthdays because for some reason, when they came to America they felt an urge to give them a different birth date than their actual birthday. Um.. OK.  In celebration of his second birthday (the real one) he wanted to treat the office to lunch. GREAT! Free lunch and a new restaurant at that!

A friend of my brother posted how disappointed he was at this restaurant since it was not authentic Vietnamese. Eh, I'm not Viet but can pull off an awesome bowl of Pho. Boss let's me know some of the history. This is a successful franchise branching from Texas where they had so much success they decided to come to Ohio. The husband is Cambodian but the wife is of Vietnamese descent so it must be good if its authentic!Right?

It is a cafe style restaurant so no need for fancy shoes or ties. As we walk in we are greeted by the owner or should I say our boss is because I don't think anyone that was not Cambodian was greeted at all within our group of seven. We order our drinks and food.

Food Ordered:
I ordered the above (N7 Basil Beef Flat Noodles) thinking it will be as close to a Phad Kee Mao (drunken noodles) without the spice. I also ordered an ice coffee with condensed milk (Vietnamese style).

Its a good wait before the food comes out and is service by someone who is unaware of which customer ordered what so you must know what you ordered and what it looks like.  We were never offered any refills nor additional drinks once our specialty drinks were finished. Once the waitress took our order, we never saw her again.

The customer at the next table never received his food and they proceeded twice to bring him two different soups of which neither he ordered. He was not upset, he just waited patiently while his family finished their food. He was better than I would have been.

Food Portions:
Usually when ordered from a new restaurant they are very generous with their food portions but this restaurant was not. Several co-workers ordered the noodle soups and I notice the size of the bowl were much smaller that what is usually served in Columbus. The drinks came out in thick glass cups that held a lot less liquid then it looked. The amount of noodle compared to the amount of bean spouts I had underneath the noodles was very disappointing. The menu did not look like a lunch menu and neither were the prices so I'm sure this was not the lunch portion.

My co-worker ordered Lemon Grass chicken with rice and side of soup. By the look of her plate, either her plate was too big or the food was too small. I tend to believe the latter. My boss also ordered us the Bun Mi to try. The bread was fresh and crispy but the amount of meat and veggies they put in the actual sandwich was beyond disappointing.

After reviewing the menu what had me disappointed beside the portion sizes were the prices. Soda, which came from the soda dispenser was priced at $1.99 and I don't believe there are free refills. The soups were $6.99, a $1 more for XL. The meals were all about $7.99.

The food overall was not good. It was not bad, just not good. The food was plain with little to no flavoring. There are sauces like Sriracha and such but not meant for my dish. The Pho soup had good flavor. The sandwich Bun Mi was OK but not worth the drive. The ice coffee was good but a small amount than what I am used to being served.

Overall Experience:

My husband loves Pho. The soup was actually not bad but not the best. I would not bring my husband here to eat because I don't believe it is worth the drive. I am very disappointed in the portions, being a newly opened restaurant. I am disappointed I left thirsty and disappointed in their service. At one point I asked the waitress for a spoon to stir my coffee and never received it. I left unsatisfied and disappointed at my experience. You know it's bad when you leave a restaurant after eating thinking about where you should stop by to grab something else to eat.

Hungry Hippo - Bay Nan

Pho Chef on Urbanspoon