So, the last 10 days have been a really good for the foodie in me. (also, dov and my frisbee team has been on a roll in the playoffs.. 3-1 so far). So, here's the restaurants I've been to this week:
Szechuan Tasty House (902 Arch St)
We were going to go to The Lakeside Deli for (IMO) the best dim sum in the city, but we got there, and sadly they were on vacation. So instead we went to the Tasty House, which is a whole in the wall next to a tatoo parlor. Surprisingly nice decor on the inside, it feels clean and comfy and not at all shady. Most of the people there are asian (which is always a good sign). They have a reputation for being the best authentic szechuan food in philadelphia.
We ordered three things... Golden Coins, Seafood Hotpot and Buddha's Delight. The Coins, are slices of eggplant, with a dollop of ground pork mixture on top, perfectly breaded and fried, served with a sauce similar to what's served with dumplings. Absolutely amazing. They were light and flavorful, fried to perfection, but not at all oily. If you go there, definitely order them. The buddha's delight was pretty disappointing... the tofu was crap, and the veggies were well cooked, but desperately needed salt. The Sauce was very salty, but since it served on the side, rather than cooked onto the veggies, it just didn't work. Bad. The Seafood Hotpot was quite good though. It came out in a scaldingly hot stoneware bowl that kept everything bubbling for a solid 5 minutes. Lots of scallops and shrimp, good veggies, and a nice spicy fishy sauce. There could have been more octopus and I really coudl have done without the mock crab legs that they put in. Still, quite good. All in all, a good meal, on the cheap. I'll be going back, but it's still only 5th or so on my favorite chinatown restaurant list.
Bridget Foy's (200 South St)
Sunday brunch.... Is there anything better? So, I went here because I saw a blog post boasting that this was the best stuffed french toast in the city. I was skeptical that anything can top the farmers cheese and banana stuffed french toast with vanilla bean maple syrup at Sabrina's Cafe. So we went... We split a Pear and Goat cheese salad with pecans, which was lovely. The pecans were candied, and the goat cheese was plentiful. Then I had their French Toast, stuffed with apples, banana, and dried cherries, and topped with an orange butter. It also had some sort of crisp coffee cake type topping on the top side of the toast. It was quite good, but I found it too busy. Definitely delicious, but I prefer the simplicity of Sabrina's version. Alli had the blueberry pancakes, which were golden, light, and fluffy. The Sausage that came with the pancakes were amazing too. I think overall, I'd put Bridget Foy's brunch as better than Rx (whose brunch I also love) but still not up to the level of Sabrina's.
Hill Country (30 W 26th St, Manhattan, NY)
We went here with my family for my older brother's birthday. It's an experience... They have two counters where you order your food and bus it on tray's. A main dish counter, and a side dish/dessert counter. The Meats are sold by the pound, and you can order as much or as little of whatever you want. The side dishes came in 3 sizes, and were varied. All in all, it was a mixed bag. The brisket was good, but not exceptional, and was almost cold by the time I got to sit down and eat it. The sausage was quite good, but a little tough. The Beef ribs were good, but oddly, not as good as the beef short ribs, which were decidedly smokier and more flavorful. The pork ribs were tasty, but I've made better ribs on my own. The sides were quite good though. The cornbread was sweet and crumbly, with a solid crunchy crust, the corn pudding was amazing, as was the red cabbage slaw which had pears and dried cherries in it. Honestly, not sure if I would go back, but it was definitely a fun time.