Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

A Single Pebble – Dan Dan Noodles

October 22, 2008
A Single Pebble - Burlington Vermont

A Single Pebble - Burlington Vermont

Craving some Asian, I ventured over to popular Chinese dinner spot A Single Pebble on Bank Street in Burlington Vermont. A Single Pebble aspires to be more authentic than your average Chinese restaurant. Chef / Owner Steve Bogart spent years actually cooking in China.

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan Noodles (with Tofu)

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan Noodles (with Tofu)

I recently had ordered a shrimp dish at A Single Pebble; the shrimp were not cleaned which really turned me off. Despite the fact that preparation omission is perhaps in-line with being “traditional” as I’ve see uncleaned shrimp in one other Chinese restaurant, I was not pleased. But despite this small incident, I wasn’t going to give up on A Single Pebble as I’ve had good food there in the past. I just don’t think I’ll be ordering anything with shrimp in it there.

Dan Dan noodles unbeknown to me are a popular Chinese comfort food. I already love the combination of peanut butter and spice, so this dish is immediately accessible and delicious to me. I don’t usually order tofu, but I had chicken last night so I mixed it up. I don’t consider myself a “tofu eater” (I don’t think I’ve ever purchased it at the store) however this tofu was not slimy or rubbery. It has a nice density that made it manageable with the chop sticks, and nice texture.

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan noodle

A Single Pebble - Dan Dan noodle

The included chopsticks (the only utensil included!)  were narrow at the tips, surprisingly you can even pick up the half-skinned peanuts. The peanuts have a wonderful roasted rich flavor, the sauce is served over large rice noodles. There is a side of rice included sometimes, which I thought was superfluous but I guess If you order this dish “hot” you would need the rice to cool you mouth down. This 5 spice dish be default has a decent amount of heat due to the sichuan pepper however I may try order my Dan Dan “hot” next time.

At $8.88 with tax, I have added this dish into my lunch quiver.

Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Church Street Cart

May 15, 2008

Hong\'s Chinese Dumplings - Burlington Vermont
Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Burlington Vermont

Street eats need a side of pavement to taste better. New to me is Hong’s Chinese Dumplings, these award winning dumplings, are yummy street fair. Note the line of people in the picture, even after 1pm, it’s common to find a line waiting for the dumplings. Hong’s is located, on the top half of Church Street in Burlington Vermont.

Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Dumplings and Peanut Sesame Noodle Special

The multicolored sesame seeds are visually awesome (cart grub with presentation!). The noodles are light on the peanut flavor, but work well with the fried egg, and sliced cucumber and carrots.

Hong’s Chinese Dumplings – Dumplings and Fried Rice Special

The fried rice is surprisingly good, it doesn’t have the hot smoke oil flavor as you would straight out of a wok, but there are corn kernels, carrots and other veggies. You could eat this for lunch by itself.

Both specials are $7; the noodle special include choice of three dumplings, and the rice special choice of six dumplings.

Dumpling options are: veggie (carrot and cabbage?), chicken and pork, and finally crab and cream cheese. The crab is likely “crab stick“. I personally prefer the chicken and pork, with a couple veggie dumplings.

I love when these pan fried dumplings are crispy, some dumplings come out a little too soft for my taste. I may try to ask for crispy dumplings next time. In addition to the yummy dumplings, there are an array of sauces to be had at the counter, which are needed to get the full effect. Beyond the soy-sauce, there is nice oil pepper concoction than can be spooned on, which besides heat adds crispness due to the pepper corns. There is a also a great sweet and sour sauce that has a little heat.

Hong is constantly rolling the dough and cooking while she prepares you order, she’s an impressive multi-tasker.

Peking Duck House – “General Gao’s Chicken”

January 13, 2008

I decided to do Chinese again, so I went to the Peking Duck House in Winooski Vermont.

 Peking Duck House - Winooski Vermont
Peking Duck House – Winooski Vermont

The Peking Duck House, has a great interior, like many buildings in Winookski it may be a former mill. The table service is also good at the Peking Duck House, it’s nice “sit down” Chinese.

Hoping to do a little compare and contrast with China Express I ordered the “General Gao’s Chicken” (lunch special).

Peking Duck House - Lunch Wanton Soup
Peking Duck House – Lunch Wanton Soup

Peking Duck House lunch specials come with a choice of soup, so I chose wanton for my cup of soup. I like that the soup has both green onions and cabbage in it, also the broth is a little thicker and flavorful. I wanton are a little better than China Express, the noodle texture is good, and the wanton filling is tasty.

Peking Duck House - General Gau’s Chicken
Peking Duck House – General Gau’s Chicken

As pictured, this lunch plate comes with an egg roll and the obligatory rice. The egg roll was good, the wrapping was a little looser than your standard egg roll, I wonder if these egg rolls are made in house? The egg roll, has the classic pork, cabbage and 5 spice mix and was very fresh. The I ordered the General Gao’s “spicy” as Chinese food in this area tends to be very bland. The General Gao was a little spicy, and the sauce is terrific: not overly sweet, nice depth of flavor and the previously mentioned kick of heat. The chicken itself was a little underwhelming, the General’s Chicken wasn’t crisp  despite being fresh. I would definitely recommend going to Peking Duck House, but I would try something else other than the General Gao’s if you like it crispy.

Peking Duck House - Fortune Cookie and Good Taste Tea Bag
Peking Duck House – Fortune Cookie and Good Taste Tea Bag

Peking Duck House does get points for including a tea bag inside the fortune cookie bag, I like having tea with my Chinese so this was a nice touch.

This all inclusive lunch special was a very reasonable $7.90 with tax.

China Express, “General Tso’s Chicken & Wanton Soup”

January 4, 2008

I was feeling a little under the weather, so wanting some soup I went to China Express on Shelburne road in Burlington Vermont.

China Express
China Express’s hard to miss sign.

China Express - Small Wanton Soup
China Express – Small Wanton Soup

I love wanton soup, I did something differently this time when eating it… I used chopsticks. This is a fun way to eat the wantons, I will probably do this again in the future. I like the addition of green onions in the soup, both on the flavor and visual level. The broth was a little bland, and the wantons had a flour-like texture, which isn’t great. That being said, I would probably order it again as I love wanton soup, but I’ve had better.

China Express - Small Wanton Soup (detail)
China Express – Small Wanton Soup (detail). Also of note a couple strips of pork in the soup.

China Express - fried chow mein soup noodles
China Express – fried chow mein soup noodles.

One of the few things included in the take-out bag were these soup noodles, these were indeed a good salty, crunchy addition in the soup, but not very good on their own. In addition to the soup I also ordered a Chinese food standby General Tso Chicken.

China Express - General Tso’s Chicken

China Express – General Tso’s Chicken

China Express does a good General Tso’s chicken, the battered chicken is slightly crisp, there isn’t too much batter, the sauce is not overly sweet and it has some acid, spice notes. General Tso’s is supposed to have some heat, and the heat was missing in this dish, I would recommend when ordering asking for the General Tso’s “spicy”. I also like the steamed broccoli edible garnishes. Also on the healthy note, you can order brown rice instead of white, which adds a little whole grain to this otherwise sinful dish.

Other things that I like about China Express, easy to get to from Exit 13 on the Interstate 89, awesome (recyclable?) lunch containers, complimentary tea while you wait (I grabbed a tea bag to go). I also like the fact that they don’t cram a bunch of the cheap condiments and plastic ustentials into the bag, letting you select your own.

The small wanton soup was $1.75 and the General Tso’s (lunch Size) was $4.75 before tax.