Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Update to Blog

Update! Hey all, I'll be posting my next review probably this week. It'll be the 2013 Fall Festival!! YEA! Well hey, enjoy the time off before my next post, as it'll be a long one!

Thanks again Subscribers!

~Stocky~

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jimmy Jeng's Restaurant Review : Evansville, Indiana

I'm stepping a bit out of my normal zone here... and doing a restaurant review!

I'd prefer to give this a 2.5 star if i could... given the below mentioned 50/50 split. (This will make sense as you read)

Before people go on hating me for not raving about the wonderful food. Realize that my reviews are based both on equal parts service and equal parts food quality/taste etc. Bottom line is this, maybe we caught them on a bad time, or maybe just the fact we didn't order drinks. I was however, heavily recommended this place, by my manager at work.

That said let me start at the top. I went out with my mother and father in-law. This alone is a risk in and of itself, as they are really nice to me and I really like them. That aside, he was apprehensive in trying a new place. So we were seated by Jimmy Jeng himself, which is a treat. However his wife asked us for our drinks, and we declined and choose to go all water. My tendencies around my in-laws is to err on the side of being frugal. We also chose to not enjoy some of their wine. Upon that, I guess the wife did not seem to like the fact that we needed extra attention because she left us for a good 10-15 minutes before checking on an order. Again maybe i'm assuming something, but I've had several experiences similar, where wait staff don't want to take time with you. I guess this is because they perceive that you don't tip well.  My in laws and I, being new to the restaurant, didn't know what to order. She asked if we were ready, and we weren't. Then another 15 minutes go by, and no waitress. Jimmy came over maybe 10 minutes later, to take our order, we had questions, and took our order. All in maybe 30 or so minutes. At this point we ordered an appetizer to settle us in. The crab rangoons were INCREDIBLE and tasted pretty fresh!

Here is, however where the story turns bad... it was a table of 4 people, with 2 orders of their signature dish, string bean pancakes, and an order of sweet and sour chicken, finally an order of non spicy general tso's chicken. I'd say the order wasn't all that unconventional. However the orders took about an hour and a half to get out to us, maybe longer. As much as I love my wife and her parents, being stuck in a restaurant for nearly 2 hours without food, and being pumped full of expectations from my manager and this  Community... didn't make me feel any better. Not to mention they came over maybe 4-5 times with water, which at this point was downright offensive.We had to ask maybe 4  times, once to Jimmy himself, where our orders were. No, it wasn't busy, no there weren't any huge parties, no excuse. There were plenty of same size tables being served two-fold before we saw ours.

Anyway after about 2 hours or so, we finally got down to our food. I personally got the string bean w/ pancakes, of which you get 4 of them. A good size and I struggled to get through them. That said, the food looked great, and tasted really unique. I'd definitely recommend this dish 'if' you do go.

I hate not to concentrate on my food, as this SHOULD be where it is focused but as I said I've had such a poor experience, I could not, and probably will not, recommend this establishment. I think they were trying, but it wasn't good enough.

Final words, if I was being penalized, or treated poorly for not ordering any drinks or supplemental items, then that's just bad business. If however the service is just that slow for people who are NOT regulars (newbies), then I think it'll be hard for them to acquire some new business. It's a shame that i've had this poor experience, 3 hours ... and a headache, full stomach and some angry in-laws. That is what I got from my one, and likely only experience. Sorry JJ, I tried.

Overall ... 2.5 stars... not terrible food, just ... terrible service

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vinh Long *Shrimp and Mushroom Rice Plate*

As most of you may already know, I'm a huge fan of Vinh Long's restaurant here in Nashville. What you may NOT know is that I was born and raised Catholic. What that means is that I observe Lent. If you'd like more information on this religious practice, click here. Basically for those who want to know, Fridays during this period we are prohibited from consuming red meat, along with a couple other things, however this is the big one. That said I strayed from my normal beef and carrot stew... and suffice to say, I wasn't disappointed.

Semi-Touched plate... couldn't resist! ;-)
That aside, this will likely be one of my shorter reviews, but hey it DID take me a while to settle on this menu item. I tell you, squid particularly, which was pretty prevalent on this menu, was not going to be an option.I tell you what, I may in the future try it, but hell ... I can't justify it. As I mentioned a bunch of times before, I won't eat anything that will potentially get me sick, or otherwise nauseate me. Thankfully this dish did not disappoint  and was at a reasonable price point $8.75. I would say that's a bit high for Shrimp and Mushroom Teriyaki. However the sauce, doesn't taste like all the other Teriyaki sauces I've had before, more salty than tangy. It's a great contrast on two or three foods that go good with salt (Rice, Shrimp, and Mushrooms). 
A bit closer in, DIG IN!

That said, if you're looking for a solid alternative, or in my case, disallowed to eat meat on a Friday during Lent, this is a SOLID option. Bottom line, not as good as the beef and carrot stew, but a good change of pace and a solid second place plate. I could see that some people might not be a fan of a more savory dish, but I've never shied away from a good savory dish! Thanks for reading and supporting Bloggers, and my food habit -

Stocky!





Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vinh Long *Beef & Carrot Stew* Nashville, TN

Vinh Long Vietnamese / Japanese

Tell you what, this SHOULD be one of the easier reviews I've ever done because this is hands-down the best eastern food experience I've had since a chance encounter on a NYC vacation. This place is much closer to home for me, and you know what... I love it!

When it comes to charm, this place is chock full of it. This is a typical hole-in-the-wall place, that people probably wouldn't go out of the way to get to, but is RARELY not standing room waiting for a seat during lunch. I cannot recall a time when I've not seen someone I know, and we're all probably at this point, considered regulars. I'd say this place seats 30 people TOPS, it's a crowded, yet clean place to sit and eat. Full of charm, trinkets, and a HUGE fish tank (proportionate to the rest of the place). They also only take CASH payment, no ATM/Debit/Credit cards here... so bring cash. There's not a lot to be said, but hey, enjoy my review on one of my most favorite dishes of alllllllllll time!

Now on to the first picture. Mind you, they have a much larger menu than just this one item... speaking of which, my friend always orders the teriaki that comes out sizzling hot! Without further ado, here we go!
Best STEW ever!!!
So anyway what is this 'Stew' of sort? I normally order it as it comes, a nice and full hearty beef dish with noodles mixed in the bowl ... similar to Ramen in a traditional sense. However this is way heartier with HUGE cuts of beef, carrots, onions, and various greens. For garnishing and a bit of a taste, they add crumbled peanuts. The broth is definitely on the 'spicy' side but is a relative term and is ALWAYS different every time I come in. This isn't a bad  thing, and you can ALWAYS tell how hot it'll be due to the amount of red hue. I assume most of this is some sort of chili oil or something similar. Again if someone knows more about the actual 'making' of this please comment below. Honestly I can't put my finger on it, but there is just SOMETHING in this dish that makes it appeal to me, and to a lot of other people too. Again, I'm no culinary genius but, this stew just has it all going on, and it's filling. I always leave really full. This is probably at least partially due to the side of bread they give you, which really rounds off the dish! I don't know if it's fresh baked, but it's certainly yummy!

Anyway I can't say too much more about  this dish without getting incredibly hungry, I may have to even go and eat there today! Bottom line, thank you to my loyal readers and you are a BIG part of why I do these blogs, but please comment and let me know if you want to see more content.
Dig in!

Thanks again,
Stocky!



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Post to my Followers (and a mystery review)

Hey guys! As you're probably reading this you're either one of a couple things. Either you're reading this blog for  the first time, and if that's you... welcome! However I am willing to admit, I've been less than thorough with this blog. I will say that it DID start off as a hobby and that's exactly what it is. When it comes to hobbies, as a married man... there just isn't room for as many I had before.

That said... PLEASE guys, who are my readers, let me know if and what you want to see from me. I'm here to entertain you guys. I do have a suggestion and here goes! I'd LOVE it if you guys and gals (my followers) ask me what I should review next? I know it sounds crazy, but let me know of something you either enjoy or think I would? Please don't suggest something that's incredibly dangerous, spicy or otherwise unsavory. Bottom line, I want to know what you guys and gals like... that might just kick-start me!

Thanks again!

Here's a random picture for ya! From my vacation!


Thanks again to my loyal readers,
Stocky

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jammie Dodgers (REVIEW)

Well hey it's been some time. I'm real sorry any of those who have been following my page. Again I'm REALLY sorry... I've been busy but it's no excuse. I owe it to you guys to do better... anyway!

Bright and Inviting Packaging
For my first review back, I went a little 'safe' and went with a relatively familiar snack food, Jammie Dodgers. My expectations were actually pretty high, believe it or not... unfortunately as you'll read ... that's not always a good thing.

Anyway Jammie Dodgers are a treat for children living in the UK, and that part of the world. Personally I had only heard about this by word of mouth. Honestly they said they don't have GREAT memories of them, however I still thought i'd at least try.
Looks cute... :-)
Like I mentioned before, my expectations were pretty high... well wow... Was I really disappointed. I was expecting something real sweet with a shortbread butter taste. I don't think they were expired, but they tasted like it. It was almost like bitter and 'sour' I guess. I mean, the filling was O-K at best, but wow was it not good. Also the aftertaste was horrible. 

Overall I would say PASS on these, I personally will not be buying these... ever again. I'd give these maybe a 3 out of 10. However, I could go for some other UK Treats!

Thanks again! STOCKY

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

*Evansville, IN, USA Fall Festival!* ~Stocky's Largest Review~


My Largest Review ... Evansville Fall Festival, Evansville, INDIANA, USA
Hey there What's Stocky Eating fans!! It's tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime! Finally I unveil the beast that I can only describe as AWESOME! For a bit of history and some quick facts about the Fall Festival, here we go! Supposedly started back in 1921 this festival has meant great food and great prices, with a cause. Another lesser, but still known fact about the festival is that it is a fundraiser for most organizations and vendors. You'll have schools, zoos, charities, boy scout troops, churches, colleges, fraternities, fire departments and many others I'm leaving out. Some food carts/trailers you see have contracted out their food to local restaurants, like the local boy scouts usually use a local Asian restaurant.

Now on to the FUN PART !!! You'll see everything from Fried catfish and alligator to a brain sandwich ... Also even things like fried kool-aid to fried Oreos. Anyway, this festival is supposedly the 2nd largest street festival in the USA, second only to Mardi Gras. Making this the third time that I've attended this festival, I can truly appreciate the atmosphere, as there are food trailers as far as the eye can see. If you'd like to see more coverage and or learn more about the festival as a whole, visit http://www.nutclub.org. There you can find a bunch of relevant information as well as a "munchie map" to give you a taste of what I could have tried. There is just so much to see, do, eat, and drink!
Yes, Piggy Toes...
So my first topic I'll get out of the way is the odd, strange, and to most people, unappetizing foods. First up is pictured above, pigs feet... I've never had, and have no intention in eating them. Yes I've seen them many many times on deli counters, but never have actually had a desire to want even a taste. Luckily there are other odd foods I have actually tried. Last year I had a chance to try a deep fried Oreo, not super strange, but probably among the BEST fried concoctions anyone has ever thought up.

Yeah, never going to get me on this one

2 years ago, I had a chance to try a donut sandwich, which was just 'odd.' Mainly due to the sweetness of the donut bun. Again, not that it was bad, it's just that they were all pre-made and wrapped in foil, so they were soggy AND sweet... 2 not so good things, when combined. Also, I still had a nibble of a brain sandwich, pig brain. I will never, ever ever order this again, it's not that it's bad tasting... I'd say it was actually pretty good. However it's more like 'mind over matter'... yes pun intended. Lastly, the brain sandwiches are among the most expensive options, consistently, around $6 per sandwich. Enough about past experiences, let's get down to the foods I ate this year.
Sorry for the dark picture, but these are CHURRO CHIPS
Well, whilst wading through a caravan full of food options, what did I pick first? Yeah dessert first!!! Churro Chips was my first order. I believe I paid around $3 maybe $3.50 for these chips. However, I really think they were a small bit over-priced. As these are just deep fried tortillas coated with cinnamon, sugar, and icing. They were served warm, and cooked up to order. My first bite was good, and admittedly, they tasted a bit 'stale', however, upon further investigation, they weren't. If you've ever deep fried soft tortilla's, they get a sort of 'stale' taste to them, but its crunchy still. Overall, I think they had a bit too much of the icing, and not enough of the dry spices. Again i'd say this is more preference based. As far as a 1-10 point scale, 8 out of 10, i'd recommend these, but not to everyone, since they were really sweet. However I balanced this sweetness with a nice thing of Apple Cider, which was excellent in it's own right.
Menu for My FAVORITE FRIED FOOD ... What is it?? Keep Reading!
For my second item that I tried, I had full intentions of eating another. However, my second item, was subsequently my last of the festival. This isn't such a bad thing, because it's probably one of the, if not THE best confection I've ever had! Ok without further ado, I chose.............. The Fried Klondike Bar! Yep, one of the more infamously sweet, and fattening foods at the whole festival. Let me tell you, on both those points, it did not disappoint. However, I will say in full disclosure my intention was to get the Fried Kool-Aid, but it would have taken 20 minutes to change and heat up the oil, and then cook the balls. Being in the middle of hundreds or thousands of people, I didn't want to wait even that long. So as a second option I went with a much larger, much more fattening food. Well anyway, I waited about 1-2 minutes for this item I paid $4 for... which was a great deal. On to the food, I'll include a picture below, but now many if anybody could tell you what the food was just from the picture. The actual item was served to me in a basket, with a spoon, topped with powdered sugar. Let me tell you, it was not only big looking, it just FELT dense. Hesitant on what is proper protocol in eating one of these, the first 'cut' into the dessert I was sold. Immediately upon sinking my spoon in, the luscious Klondike Ice cream mixed with melted chocolate from the shell poured out. Well let me tell you, it was an explosion of flavor. After the first bite, I was HOOKED, seriously hooked, I found myself eating faster and faster, since you'd get a rush of cool from the melted ice cream, then a warm burst from the crunchy batter. Somewhere around my 6th or 7th bite, I discovered 2 little intricacies about eating something like this. Brace yourself, this is a bit sick, but followed immediately by something yummy. The first thing that happened was I noticed mixed in with all this ice cream and chocolate was a nice ring of oil, at first I just dismissed it, but then I decided to maybe pour some of it out. Turns out, I estimate, there was maybe 4-5 ounces OR more oil I drained into the can. That said, I also noticed near the center, the ice cream was still solid or at least semi-solid. Now the heat was on as I wanted to get to all the little solid pieces before they melted. The semi solid ice cream was a welcome relief to something that was primarily mush, or syrup. Anyway, I would guess I finished this in a matter of minutes, and a few people were spectating even commented, asking if they knew I had eaten it too fast. The caveat to this, or maybe the trade off, is that after I discarded the dish it came in, immediately I felt myself sloooooowwwwwwww down. Literally I immediately became sluggish and I was just ... blah ! Anyway, I knew I was on my way out so I said, that should work I guess, as my last dish of this year. That said, I still give this item a 9.9 out of 10, a near perfect score. So there you have it, my wild card item of the festival. 
Here it is ... the mighty Fried Klondike Bar!
In conclusion, this festival spans over several days, includes music, and a bunch of other little entertainment bits... But you know the real reason why Stocky likes to go? The FOOD! Yeah, I tell you what, I doubt you or anyone could feasibly do or eat everything in one year. Thankfully some of the more popular items come back year over year, but now I think that the 'fried food mold' has been completely broken, if not shattered! If you're anywhere near the Evansville Indiana area, and are a fan of unique and ultimately unhealthy fatty foods, why haven't you been to the festival? Again, you're supporting local charities, schools and the like, so you know it goes to a great place, and you get a bunch of food options! Anyway, my writing hands are a bit sore, and I hope you enjoy all that I put into this one, it's been fun to write! Please COMMENT and let me know how I'm doing. Plus I have a facebook page, search for a group - What's Stocky Eating? -
A typical menu, I liked this one because of the BBQ Pork Parfait ... Next year maybe???



Thanks and happy eats,
Stocky