Review: Savor Saigon (Fairless Hills, PA)

In the heart of Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, is a mecca that Bobby and have trekked to twice. It’s Savor Saigon, and it is the best Vietnamese food that I have found on the east coast.

You all know that I have an obsession with Vietnamese food – papaya and/or lotus root salads in particular. Here are some of my past papaya and lotus enjoyments:

This time my sister and I decided to split two (vegetarian) dishes so that we could sample more things. We also got some appetizers for the entire table…

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First up: fresh vegetarian summer rolls (served cold). These are fried tofu, vermicelli noodles, mint, lettuce, and carrot wrapped in rice paper. They come with a peanutty dipping sauce. We each had half of a roll. They were good…

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But not as good as the fried spring rolls! These were not vegetarian – they had pork and other random things inside. I dipped them in the standard Vietnamese dipping sauce (fish sauce, sugar,water, vinegar I think). They were awesome. My vegan sister passed on them.

Julia and I split a lotus root salad with fried tofu (vegetarian/vegan). It had lotus root, carrots, and fried tofu. Very yummy.

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We also split the very yummy Vietnamese Pad Thai (vegetarian):

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This had noodles, tofu, egg, broccoli, mushrooms, and other veggies I am forgetting. It was a little bit different from regular pad thai – less peanutty, but still very good. It was topped with peanuts though!

My picks of the night – the lotus root salad and the fried spring rolls.

What’s your favorite cuisine? Mine is most definitely Vietnamese! I’m looking for a good (cheap) place in New York now… ideas/tips? I can’t find anything as good as the California Vietnamese places.

Review: Menchanko Tei (Ramen)

Let’s talk ramen. What is it? Basically – noodles and broth. It’s traditionally a Japanese dish, but it did originate in China. The broth is usually a meat or fish stock, and it will have soy or miso (or both) in it. Popular toppings – pork, shrimp, fish balls, fish cakes, scallions, cabbage, spinach, dried seaweed, fish flakes (forget what these are called), and even corn (yum). It’s kind of an art form in Japan; every town has their own special dish, and there is always competition for who can make the best ramen.

Back at Cornell I watched a movie called Tampopo about Japanese food. It’s a “noodle western” (a play on Speaghetti Western). Until I watched this movie I didn’t realize the cultural importance of ramen in Japan. It was a good film, so put it on your list!

A few weeks ago Bobby sent me this picture in the middle of the day:

He had gone to Menchanko Tei, a ramen place in Manhattan. I think he went to the one on East 45th Street between Lex and 3rd Aves.

He got the signature Menchanko bowl ($9) – their original noodle recipe, individually cooked in a cast iron bowl (see picture). It starts with traditional thick ramen noodles and a rich soy broth, then it’s topped with chicken, shrimp, fish balls, tofu, ricecakes, and vegetables.

He says: “Really good. They make their own noodles there. The broth was salty and savory (in a good way) and it was perfectly hot. Ramen is best hot. And this was awesome. I’m pretty sure they did not use MSG, but don’t quote me on that.” (Whoops!)

Wish I could have joined you, sweetie! I was hard at work, and I don’t remember what I had for lunch that day (it was December 1st, a Tuesday).

Luckily, we are getting ramen a week from tomorrow (Sunday the 20th) before Bobby heads down to Miami (I’m joining him a few days later for Christmas with his family). We’re going with our friends (we went to Josie’s West with them). I have never really been a ramen person, but I’m hoping that my tastes have changed. Bobby is always raving about ramen and I want to rave about it too.

Do you like ramen? Do you like noodles? I’m not much of a soup person, but this week I have been going crazy for these macrobiotic vegan noodle dishes. They’re awesome.

P.S. Happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate it! Enjoy 🙂

Review: Macro Vegetarian (Macrobiotic Vegan Food – New York)

You guys might have noticed that I’m eating a lot more meat and being a lot more adventurous in general. But don’t think that I’ve forgotten my veggie roots! Being in NYC has been an amazing foodie experience so far and I’m excited to try new things… but I haven’t lost my love for yummy healthy foods – I’ve just been experimenting a little.

This weekend (Saturday I think?) I went back to my macrobiotic roots. Last week I found a cool natural foods store on the upper east side just a few blocks from my apartment. It’s called The Health Nuts, and it’s on 2nd Ave between 63rd and 64th streets. It’s awesome.

I picked up a bunch of prepared foods made by a company called Macro Vegetarian. I’ve uploaded pictures of the Sesame Noodles and Chicken Lo Mein (fake chicken) but I have actually tried a bunch more since I last uploaded pictures. Both of these were amazing, and Bobby agreed. This is my kind of vegan macro food! Of course I doused them liberally with nooch (nutritional yeast, for new readers).

My favorite (out of all the ones I’ve tried; more reviews to come) is definitely the Chicken Lo Mein. It’s awesome. I actually picked up more today. These are perfect for lunches at work and dinner at home when I’m too tired/busy to cook… which is every night. I am so thankful for these products.

A note on nooch – it’s an awesome source of vegan protein and vitamin B12 (which sometimes vegans or vegetarians are lacking). In 1.5 tablespoons (16 grams) there are: 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 6 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein. 8 grams in 1.5 tablespoons! Want to hear the vitamins? In 1.5 tablespoons of nooch you get 670% Thiamin, 290% Niacin, 250% folate, 20% zinc, 4% iron, 590% riboflavin, 480% B6, and 130% B12. It’s so healthy and so delicious. I put it on everything.

Can’t forget dessert… Newman’s Own Newman-O’s (Oreo knockoffs).

Yum.

Any new food finds recently? I ask this question every few months, because I’m always looking for new buys, especially now that I’m embracing prepared foods.

Mee’s Noodles For Me!

I haven’t really been able to cook since I moved to New York. The only things that my kitchen has been used for are grits/oatmeal and grilled sandwiches (thanks, George!).

Last night Bobby and I got take out Chinese from Mee’s Noodles. He had actually gone there for lunch yesterday, and had some leftover beef lo mein. We also got chicken and broccoli over rice and “mee fun” noodles with chicken. The “mee fun” noodles were actually just rice noodles (vermicelli).

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The beef lo mein – awesome. I love lo mein. The chicken and broccoli over rice – pretty good. I wish there had been a little more sauce. The “mee fun” – not that good. But that is only because I don’t like this kind of rice noodle. The chicken (marinated in soy sauce) was really tender though.

This place was (relatively) healthy compared to a lot of Chinese places that I’ve been to. There wasn’t much oil; I’d even call the “mee fun” dish a “diet” dish because it was steamed chicken and very little sauce over plain noodles… it even came with steamed spinach (which was not very good). I didn’t like the mee fun because it was boring.

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Mee’s Noodles is on 2nd Ave and 49th Street and they have free delivery (not sure how far they’ll go). Definitely check it out if you’re in the area – it’s cheap and yummy. The beef lo mein was around $6 (lunch special), the chicken and broccoli was $6, and the mee fun was $5.50 (I think). Bobby also got an egg roll for $1 but I tried it and it wasn’t nearly as good as the egg rolls from Edo Sushi in Pennington. Apparently you can get a small lo mein for about $4.50, but we didn’t see that on the menu until afterwards.

I also had the last of our leftover turkey with this meal (we still have a little bit of tofurkey left). And then I had a million pounds of some Tasti D-Lite.

What’s your guilty pleasure or secret? Mine is… I would be perfectly happy eating Chinese takeout every night, and I don’t actually like cooking all that much. I cannot believe I just typed that.

P.S. I’m meeting up with a blogger tonight! Guess who?

P.P.S. I’d love to do a big New York blogger meetup now that I’m settled in. Who’s interested? Who else can we invite? Where should we go?