Posts Tagged ‘cilantro’

Penny Cluse Cafe -“Sleepy Nate’s Biscuits, Fruit Cup, and Beef Quesadilla Special”

February 5, 2008

This Sunday I went back to one of my favorite spots Penny Cluse. One of the institutions at Penny Cluse is Sleepy Nate’s Biscuits:

Penny Cluse Cafe - Sleepy Nate’s Biscuits
Penny Cluse Cafe – Sleepy Nate’s Biscuits

The biscuits were perfect this time, slightly crunchy but not over cooked. The gravy is an herb gravy with green onions, very light and tasty, good hangover remedy. Sleepy Nate’s are fun to share, but get the “two biscuit” option as everyone seems to like this dish.

Penny Cluse Cafe - Fruit Cup
Penny Cluse Cafe – Fruit Cup

Have I reviewed this before? Yes, I’m reviewing the fruit cup again because the fruit changes (the blood orange was awesome), and I’m reiterating the point that you should get it when you go.

Penny Cluse knows Tex-Mex, and the special quesadilla is evidence of this:

Penny Cluse Cafe - Beef Quesadilla Special
Penny Cluse Cafe – Beef Quesadilla Special

Two layers of tangy beef, cheese, and fresh jalapenos on crispy fresh flour tortillas make this a winner. I had fun dunking my quesadilla into the nicely seasoned beans, but there is also a side of salsa ranchero (not pictured) that is included. In addition to beans, in the center of the plate is a yummy edible cabbage, cilantro salad / garnish.

The small fruit cup was $2.75, Sleepy Nate’s $3, and I believe the special quesadilla was $7.50, all before tax. 

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Big Chile Republic – “Fish Tacos”

January 25, 2008

Big Chile Republic has taken over the old Juniors location in Colchester Vermont. The menu is something I’m going to call foodie Mexican fusion.

Big Chile Republic
Big Chile Republic – Colchester Vermont

BCR did a nice job on the interior and the menu / website are nice, almost like they have a designer working for them or are trying to match their hip food.

Big Chile Republic - Fish Tacos
Big Chile Republic – Fish Tacos

There are two generous tacos in this order, the fish was some of most perfectly fried fish I’ve had since I was in England. The red rice was nice and moist and had good flavor, the onions and cabbage provided a nice crunch which matched the crunch of the fish. The fresh cilantro was nice visually and taste bud wise. The surprise was the “smoked lemon mayo” it was very light and tasted like the lightest sour cream with a kick of citrus and an indefinable flavor (which must be the smoked). 

Oh yeah, I’ll be back to try some of their other menu items. The tacos were $8.67 with tax, a touch pricey but well worth it for the quality of the food and flavors.

Pho Dang – “Pho Ga” & “Egg Rolls”

January 13, 2008

I don’t really know anything about Vietnamese food, I imagine(d) it being some similar to Thai food, and heavy on fish sauce like Thai food. I also remember that Anthony Bourdain once ate porcupine in Vietnam. I was happy to have my preconceptions adjusted. I’ve passed by Pho Dang Vietnamese Cafe in Winooksi Vermont a few times, and for lunch on Friday I decided to see what this popular place was all about.

Pho Dang Vietnamese Cafe - Winooski Vermont
Pho Dang Vietnamese Cafe – Winooski Vermont

This small noodle cafe is the former site of Souza’s Burittos. Not knowing what to order, I ordered the “egg rolls” and the first “Pho” on the menu “Pho Ga”.

 Pho Dang - Egg Rolls
Pho Dang – Egg Rolls

These egg rolls, appear to be more of a “spring roll”. I believe they are filled with seasoned ground pork (although not listed on the menu). The 4 rolls come garnished carrot juliennes and cilantro. The sauce is a yummy sweet, slightly spicy, tangy mix of flavors.

Pho Dang - Pho Ga
Pho Dang – Pho Ga

Pho Ga is the boiled chicken noodle dish. I was confused at first when I opened my take out bag to see a small tub of noodles (not pictured), a quart tub of broth, and a bag of sprouts, limes, hot sauce, and some mint? First I dumped the noodles into the broth, and the formerly packed noodles seemed to cook a little in the hot broth. After being consumed with the delicious broth, and fun of eating noodles with chopsticks, I remembered the bag of accompaniments and to take a picture (above).  I tossed in some sprouts into the soup, and a couple of the mint leaves, and swirled in a little of the hot sauce. The soup then takes on a new character, I made a discovery: Pho is fun to eat!

I discovered that dipping the chicken into the hot sauce once it’s out of the broth is the way to go. I will be back to get a little more acquainted with Vietnamese food, and get my noodle slurp on.

The Pho was under $7 and the Egg Rolls were $3.50 (both came to under $10 with tax).

Roque’s “Pollo Suiza Enchiladas”

December 14, 2007

With the cold weather encompassing Vermont, it’s nice to eat something reminiscent of warmer climes. There is something about the juxtaposition of hot food, and cold weather that is transportational. So on a particularly cold Thursday I made my first trip to Roque’s Restauranta and Mexican Cantina on the on the bottom of Main St in Burlington Vermont.

I heart enchiladas, so I decided to try one of Roque’s offering:

Roque’s Pollo Suiza Enchilada
Roque’s “Pollo Suiza Enchilada” – Shredded chicken enchilada in tomatillo “verde” salsa, Mexican rice, black beans, side of fresh tortilla chips and fresh salsa.

Good choice on the shredded chicken, the texture added this entree. The corn tortilla in the enchilada appears to be homemade and is excellent. The tomatillo sauce is decently spiced, and the cilantro is not over done. The rice was a little bland, but dumping some of the side of salsa on the rice, made a huge improvement. The salsa also improved the beans, which were nicely salted, and slightly “cheesed”.

The tortilla chips came in a brown paper bag, usually when I gets tortilla chips with my meal I think the restaurant is trying to bribe me with quantities of cheap low-quality food. However these tortilla chips were a surprise, fresh, made from scratch on site, light, not greasy, and lightly salted… awesome! The paper bag serves to absorb what little grease there is, and not keep steam in the bag to they stay crisp; you can tell Roque’s cares about their tortilla chips.

Another interesting item of note was the salsa. I don’t know if it is the spices or peppers, but it had a very interesting layered flavor that made me keep trying the salsa again to try to figure out the ingredients.