Earlier this week I received a call from a friend inviting me to lunch. Seems he had a few bucks left on his monthly expense account, usually when I meet up with someone for lunch I'm the one paying so this was refreshing. He suggested Oishi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi, having never dined there, I was looking forward. When I arrived the parking lot was absolutely packed.
The decor of Oishi was nicer than I had expected with a large sushi bar, nice sized dining areas with hibachi grills and lots of seating. He had decided on a booth which was fine with me, not being in the mood for a hibachi show.
He had ordered fresh steamed edamame. I must say they were quite good - fresh, flavorful and very crisp.
Browsing the lunch menu, I decided on the Teriyaki Chicken lunch, in addition to the chicken and fried rice the lunch also had two nigirl-zushi (one shirmp and one crab) rolls and a four piece maki-zushi California roll. Fresh oranges, ginger and wasabi garnished the lunch.
This lunch was good, it wasn't spectacular, but I don't have a single negative to say about the plate. The texture of the fried rice was good, the sushi was fresh and the chicken was good.
We also decided to order some of their specialty rolls. We ordered a crawfish roll, a super crunch roll and and spicy tuna roll.
These rolls were good, better than average, they were good enough that I'll take Mrs. Food Blogger back sometimes soon.
They were fresh, the ingredients we quality. They were served at appropriate temperature, meaning that the hot rolls were just that hot and the cold rolls were that cold.
I honestly didn't come in with high expectations, but even if I had I don't think I would have come away disappointed. I would recommend Oishi for lunch and look forward to going back to try their dinner menu.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Today a business associate suggested that we meet for a late lunch at the Plaid Rhino. Despite having heard some good things about this establishment I had not been before and honestly had some reservations. I kept having flashes of a traumatic experience with a Chucky Cheese's a few years ago...But, I reluctantly agreed.
I'll be honest the decor and dining area was much nicer than I thought that it would be. They do have a gaming area with arcade games, but it's pretty well separated from the main dining area. Nothing like a Chucky Cheese experience, that's a big positive!
We started with an order of chips and salsa, nothing special about the chips, but the salsa was good. It was a chunky house made salsa with fresh tomatoes, onions, chilies, cilantro and lime juice.
This place is known for their burgers, so there's no way I was getting anything else. They have a number of specialty burgers, but one thing I like is that they offer a standard hamburger bun, a wheat bun or a sourdough roll.
The Plaid Rhino is one of the few places in town that grinds their own hamburger meat daily. I decided on one of the signature burgers the Savannah Sunset Burger on a the sourdough roll. It's a half pound patty cooked to order (med-well), with lettuce, tomato, pickles, pepper jack cheese and the kicker - a sunny side up fried egg tops everything off. I asked them to hold the tomato and put a couple of slices of bacon on my burger. I had skipped breakfast so it was lunch and breakfast all rolled into one artery clogging goodness.
This burger isn't all for show, it's a really good burger... It's just as messy as it looks and isn't that pretty much how a good burger should be?
It was served with a side of seasoned fries, nothing special, but they were crispy.
Over all I was really impressed with the Plaid Rhino, it may be partly because I didn't have any expectations before arriving.
I think we may have a new contender for the 'Burg's Best Burger.
Monday, October 19, 2009
With apologies to my blogging friends at the Cynical Cook and Eat Twin Forks. I am far to messy in the kitchen to photo document my culinary misadventures. But, every once in a while I get something right and that's what happen with this evenings experiment.
Low and Slow Pork Tenderloin in Herbs:
3/4c - red wine vinegar
1/4 - stick of butter
2 - teaspoons of seasoned salt
1 1/2 - teaspoons of dried thyme
1 1/2 - teaspoons of dried oregano
1 1/2 - teaspoons of garlic powder
1/4 - teaspoon of black or white pepper
2 - boneless pork tenderloins
1 - In a medium sauce pan combine the red wine vinegar, butter, and herbs. Bring to a rolling boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
2 - Light brush the bottom of a slow cooker (Crock Pot) with olive oil. Place tenderloins in crock pot on high. Pour simmering herb mixture over the tenderloins and allow to cook for two hours or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
3 - Remove pork loins from crock pot wrapping in alumium foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
4 - Unwrap and lightly seer on a grill for about 5 min per side.
This produces a tender, flavorful pork loin that is far from the run of the mill. Slow cooking in the vinegar and herbs infuse the loins with the flavor of the herbs and naturally lock in moisture. Despite what you may think, the loin will not have a strong vinegar flavor, but will take on the flavor of the herbs.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
There's something comforting about the familiar sizzle of a flat-top grill. At Pockets Diner in Lucedale that put the old flat-top to good use.
My "real" job takes me all across the state and on Monday I was in Lucedale for business. After my appointments it was getting pretty late so I stopped in at this little road-side eatery. Pretty simple looking from the road, no fancy signs just a cedar and white siding building with a with sign that said - Pockets Diner.
It was about 2:00 PM and and I was the only customer in the place, I was instructed to "sit anywhere" when I walked in. I picked out a table pretty close to the door, you never know when you'll need to make a fast exit in unfamiliar surroundings.
The server was very nice. After scanning the menu, which included breakfast served all day, I settled on a diner favorite. I ordered the chili cheese burger and a side order of hash browns. I asked that some of the chili be served over my order of hash browns.
There wasn't really much deconstructing of this burger, because it was a messy one. The entire meal was cooked on the flat top from the slight browner than I would have liked hash browns to the hand pressed hamburger patty to warming of the bun itself which has soaked up a little of the clarified butter that keeps the flat top sizzling.
The burger was a diner classic - hot, juicy and full of flavor. From the butter soaked into the bun to the fresh beef to the meaty chili. I can't be sure that the chili was house made, it was good chili not great chili.
The has browns were good with the chili as well.
When I got up from the table I was feeling pretty good about my meal and Pockets and was considering putting them on my list of semi-regular stops.
When I got the register things went down hill. The waitress gave me the total and I gave her my debit card to swipe.
When I got the key pad to enter my PIN, I noticed that the total was $2 higher than what I had been told. That was when I was shown a very small sign by the register that can easily be over looked that there is a $2 per transaction sur-charger on using a credit/debit card. I seldom carry any cash so I was pretty much out of luck at this point. I was assertive but not rude when I expressed my disbelief and displeasure on having to pay the fee.
The food is pretty good at Pockets and the people are nice enough but I can't advise anyone to go there unless you have cash.