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Northbrook cheap and good lunch options

Northbrook cheap and good lunch options
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  • Post #121 - October 12th, 2007, 12:43 pm
    Post #121 - October 12th, 2007, 12:43 pm Post #121 - October 12th, 2007, 12:43 pm
    Market Square is a very consistent restaurant. I haven't been wowed, but I've never left disappointed.

    My two favorites are the market skillet, which I would say the portion is larger than any of the other breakfast places around, and the open faced prime rib sandwich, which is a real treat and a huge deal. If memory serves, it's 8.95 and you get a huge slab or prime rib roasted to perfection.

    They do make excellent desserts from scratch.

    I do like the atmosphere, the crowd is local, the wait staff has worked there centuries, and everyone seems to know each other. I've just never considered it a lunch spot, since I've never been able to get in and out of there in an hour or less.
  • Post #122 - October 12th, 2007, 1:06 pm
    Post #122 - October 12th, 2007, 1:06 pm Post #122 - October 12th, 2007, 1:06 pm
    I called ahead, and picked it up "to go." All was complete, and well packaged, and they apparently take pride in their carry out service, as they have a sep carry out menu for both breakfast, and lunch/dinner. I'll be investing in one of their breakfast skillets next week, as I have given up on Rise and Dine, and currently do not have a 'go to' bfast joint around here anymore, and I have a longstanding love affair with a good stack of flapjacks.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #123 - October 12th, 2007, 1:35 pm
    Post #123 - October 12th, 2007, 1:35 pm Post #123 - October 12th, 2007, 1:35 pm
    We like Market Square, like a number of those greek-owned coffee shops (Elly's, Continental, Hamilton's) the real roasted turkey is the selling point for me. The service has always been very pleasant and efficient.

    My main complaint has always been the smoking section, which may now be outlawed, not sure, but, like at the original Kappy's in Morton Grove, really soured my dining experience. Not expecting too much, just always hate the lingering smoke smell.
  • Post #124 - October 12th, 2007, 10:03 pm
    Post #124 - October 12th, 2007, 10:03 pm Post #124 - October 12th, 2007, 10:03 pm
    The smoking section at Market Square is still there.
  • Post #125 - March 20th, 2008, 1:24 pm
    Post #125 - March 20th, 2008, 1:24 pm Post #125 - March 20th, 2008, 1:24 pm
    Just a quick revisit.

    I finally made it over to Demitri's on Lake Cook Rd today with 4 co-workers. I truly was not impressed with anything given the prices.

    One order was the cajun fish combo - not bad - 11.00

    3 gyros plates (not too adventurous eaters, what can you do?) at 9.95 a pop - these were a gyros on a plate, and a cup of soup. Um, you could have gotten these gyros from anywhere. No sides included. A standard gyros on a plate, and a cup of soup. 10 bux.

    I ordered the greek combo plate: Sliced lamb, moussaka, one dolmade, rice pilaf, grilled squash. All was the quality of any sub par greek diner around. 11.00.

    I'll give this place one more chance. I tried the fish of the one d/c, and it showed promise. I think I'd go back and order a plain broiled fish creation, and if that wasn't any good, I'd write this place off.

    I have a feeling, however, that for the price and quality, however, that the Market Square on Dundee and Buffalo Grove Rd will beat this place hands down any day of the week IMHO.

    The food was just not worth the price today.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #126 - March 20th, 2008, 2:36 pm
    Post #126 - March 20th, 2008, 2:36 pm Post #126 - March 20th, 2008, 2:36 pm
    I think I've been to a different Market Square restaurant than the one everyone keeps mentioning. I've been twice, and each time has been lousy. The food was mediocre, and the service was terrible. On one occasion, we could have left without paying and no one would have noticed. When I spoke to the manager, he was unconcerned. They were short staffed that night, "So, what can you do?" with a shrug.

    Granted, it's been about a year, so maybe I do need to try it again. I'm just a little wary....
  • Post #127 - March 20th, 2008, 4:46 pm
    Post #127 - March 20th, 2008, 4:46 pm Post #127 - March 20th, 2008, 4:46 pm
    If you like split pea soup, go on a Tuesday. I'd suggest a simple burger, a patty melt, or a turkey rueben, or any sandwich involving turkey. They use cheap, sweet mayo, so be warned if that's not your thing. I'd never say mkt sq is the best diner ever, but they do burgers, and turkey sammiches pretty well. And I found out last week that when they have fried smelt on the menu, they do they right too. One of those 1/2 lb burgers, or sammiches , soup, fries, drink will have you pretty happy, and out the door for about 11.00 total. Tip included. If you order something else, you're on your own. If you have a different soup than split pea, you're on your own. This is not an "everything on the menu is great" type of a place, but the things they do well, they do really well for the price. For the area, the dollar per deliciousness is very much a bargain if you order correctly. I'll take a 6.95 mkt sq 1/2 lb burger, fries, and soup over hackney's or beinlich's 8.00+ plain burger any day of the week.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #128 - March 20th, 2008, 10:50 pm
    Post #128 - March 20th, 2008, 10:50 pm Post #128 - March 20th, 2008, 10:50 pm
    Whoa, you were charged those prices at lunch seebee? If so it appears Demitri's has really jacked their prices, which were the best value in town for a white tablecloth lunch (until now apparently). If they're charging $10 for gyros at lunch, and it's any less than a monstrous pile on the plate, then something is wrong.

    Regarding Market Square, try the Chicken Stir Fry (from the specials card) next time you're there on a Thursday. They actually make some pretty solid fajitas too.

    All in all, I'd be hesitant to compare the two spots, especially after only one visit to Demitri's. Aside from both having Greek owners named Sam, there really isn't much to compare on an apples-to-apples basis (totally different menus and totally different atmospheres).
    Formerly Tony Spilotro
  • Post #129 - March 21st, 2008, 7:12 am
    Post #129 - March 21st, 2008, 7:12 am Post #129 - March 21st, 2008, 7:12 am
    Tony_Spilotro wrote:All in all, I'd be hesitant to compare the two spots, especially after only one visit to Demitri's. Aside from both having Greek owners named Sam, there really isn't much to compare on an apples-to-apples basis (totally different menus and totally different atmospheres).


    Thanks for the tip on the stir fry / fajitas.

    I apologize for my hasty writing. I cannot compare apples to apples, you are definitely correct, but, my assumption is that the food that we got yesterday from Demitri's would probably be the same quality of food we could have gotten at Mkt Sq for about 3 dollars less. If Mkt sq did offer the greek food that we were served, I really bet it would be the same quality. I would assume, that on occasion, the mkt sq offers things such as moussaka, pasticcio, dolmades, etc. All I'm saying is that Demitri's really turned out to be average greek diner food that you could get at any average greek diner. The lunch specials menu generally started at 8.95 or 9.95. The gyros plate size was less than many fast food gyros spots I've seen. All d/c's commented on lack of portion size, and the fact that it was not special in any way.
    If I were to compare value for dollar per deliciousness, Demitri's would fall severely short of Mqt Sq judging by our experience yesterday.

    I WOULD go back, and try one of their 10.00 fish lunches, but my 1st impression of Demitri's was not very favorable at all even if the tablecloths where white. It may have been an off day, of course, which is why I'd give it another try, but they're on a really short leash for me for the prices they were charging.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #130 - May 21st, 2008, 12:03 pm
    Post #130 - May 21st, 2008, 12:03 pm Post #130 - May 21st, 2008, 12:03 pm
    Tried a place called "Pico De Gallo" today. It's basically on Dundee and 83 in a little strip mall JUST west of the Bill Stasek Chevy dealership.
    Ok, I'm willing to give it another shot. I'll just say that right off the bat. There is a buy one get one free lunch / dinner up to 12.00 coupon floating around on the web. I'll go back and try one of their pricier platillos with a d/c. We had planned on doing that today, but as it wound up, I had to go solo. Ylunch has an old menu if anyone cares. New menu is the same, just add about 20cents to all of the a la carte irtems, and 1.00 to each platillo. I went basic and tried the:
    1. "Homemade Pork Tamale" for 2.29.
    This was really, really bad. It was an extra fluffy type dough - pretty much corn muffin consistency, with a few strands of pork inside. Main flavor was salt. I scooped the few pork bits out of the middle, and threw the rest out. WAY too salty. It was also smothered in a ranchero sauce. I'm guessing they do that to conceal the bad quality? Sorry. I'm just not happy with thier tamale effort. 2.29 down the drain. If it was a storebought Pancho brand, I would not be as upset. I could not see being in this family and being proud of those tamales if they were, in fact, homemade. I have never had a worse "home made" tamale. Right across the street at Burrito Bronco, the tamales are several times better for less money. Ok, enough of that -

    2. Steak Burrito for 4.19
    Ok, I would never get this again, BUT, if you are into pan fried steak for burritos and tacos, you could definitely do worse. The stuff I got here was pretty tender, and of good quality. That being said, it's still pointless to me. I do not see the reason to eat pan fried steak when I can get char grilled stuff. If I lived in this area, however, this might be a joint for a taco fix, I guess.
    The red salsa was either canned, and doctored with fresh cilantro, or was made using canned tomatoes. Very little flavor.
    The green was scary looking. I didn't even open it. It was a congealed mass in the center of the to go container, and there was a clear watery liquid surrounding it. The office got a laugh out of it, at least. A few of the ppl I work with commented that I should have asked them about this place before going, and they would have warned me off.

    I will go back and use the bogo coupon to try their 14.00 tampiquena, in hopes that they do "real-ish" food well.

    Pico De Gallo
    784 W. Dundee Road
    Wheeling, Il 60090
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #131 - May 21st, 2008, 12:16 pm
    Post #131 - May 21st, 2008, 12:16 pm Post #131 - May 21st, 2008, 12:16 pm
    seebee wrote:I will go back and use the bogo coupon to try their 14.00 tampiquena, in hopes that they do "real-ish" food well.

    I wouldn't. Dreadful.
  • Post #132 - May 21st, 2008, 1:07 pm
    Post #132 - May 21st, 2008, 1:07 pm Post #132 - May 21st, 2008, 1:07 pm
    Thanx.
    </hope>
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #133 - May 21st, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Post #133 - May 21st, 2008, 10:02 pm Post #133 - May 21st, 2008, 10:02 pm
    I've driven by Pico De Gallo for years, always planning on eventually hitting it for lunch...now I know to stay away. I'm sure they may do a few things well, but I've heard all I need to hear as far as steering clear...thanks for the info.
    Formerly Tony Spilotro
  • Post #134 - May 22nd, 2008, 12:10 am
    Post #134 - May 22nd, 2008, 12:10 am Post #134 - May 22nd, 2008, 12:10 am
    This is one of those places that disproves the adage that an ethnic restaurant patronized by its compatriots must have good food. Which, when you think about it, is ridiculous. After all, look how many Americans go to bad American restaurants.
  • Post #135 - May 22nd, 2008, 7:27 am
    Post #135 - May 22nd, 2008, 7:27 am Post #135 - May 22nd, 2008, 7:27 am
    A note on this subject. I'll prolly be seeking Mexican food therapy today at the Jimenez right there for lunch. It has really been firing on all cylinders (the cylinders it has, that is) lately. I had noticed a decline in quality up until a few months ago. I've been making a weekly trip there ever since. Torta de milanesa or carnitas at $2.85 is one of the bestest bargains around town by a mile. I usually go with a torta, and one of their small specials they run weekly like 1.00 quesadilla with meat, 1.00 tacos, or 2 for 1.00 taquitos etc. I actually got a few carne asada tacos there a few weeks ago that were pretty darn good for griddle fried meat. Also in the taqueria, they have fresh fruit cups for 99c that would cost probably 5.99 at the "bigger" grocery stores (8.99 at Whole Foods.)

    Good deals here, and good food, too. Shhhh! 8)
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #136 - September 17th, 2008, 11:52 am
    Post #136 - September 17th, 2008, 11:52 am Post #136 - September 17th, 2008, 11:52 am
    Quick update.
    Went to the Jimenez up here for lunch today and went for broke. Had a coworker with me who was fluent in Spanish. Now, I'm no slouch when it comes to the ol spanglish, but every time I requested a meal with "a little bit of everything," they graciously refused, but I'm sure I didn't ask correctly. Today, I got it right. My friend asked the counter ppl for a platter with three meats, and they said it will cost a little more, but they would happily do it. SWEEET! I have been wanting to try their guisados for quite some time, but the problem with these for me is usally salt content. SO, if I ordered a meal, and could only get one portion of a guisado, I'd kinda be ticked if it was too salty. Anyway, I got to sample their:

    Bistec a la Mexicana.
    This was one of those salt overload deals here. Didn't finish the portion they gave me. It was pretty much pepper steak with a bump of chile heat. The peppers were limp and lifeless (it's a warming tray, I know, I know.)

    Costillas de Puerco en mole.
    Prefab mole, like Dona Maria, Teloloapan, or Rogelio Bueno brand et al, but still, for a lunch counter, it was decently prepared. Would get another mole offering if they had it.

    Bistec en Salsa De Chile Arbol.
    Um, this was fantastic, and worth the price of admission alone. The sauce in this was one of those things where you could make a meal out of some good warm tortillas, and just the sauce. Seriously. This was just fantastic. Forehead and nose sweat hot, and I couldn't stop eating it, and then sopping up the sauce with tortillas. I've found a new "must do" lunch up here. For real.

    So, my sampler tallied up at 9.50, included three meat portions which by themselves were more food than any human should eat in one sitting, but also included the obligatory rice/beans/ and warm tortillas. (Their warm tortillas were just bad today. I was actually thinking next time I'll ask for flour tortillas instead which I normally would never even think of. The corn tortillas they use are not the best. Must be a preference thing. Not sure what brand they use, but I don't like them at all compared to El Milagro brand)

    Next time, I'll go with a meal with only two items, but if they have the Bistec En Chile Arbol that day, I guarantee that will be one of them.
    Peace!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #137 - September 17th, 2008, 1:53 pm
    Post #137 - September 17th, 2008, 1:53 pm Post #137 - September 17th, 2008, 1:53 pm
    I work in Northbrook and have this very same lunchtime predicament. I'm not too far from you Mario (I work a little closer to Dundee and Landwehr).

    Here are the places I usually go to sorted by closest major intersection:

    Dundee and Landwehr:
    Go Roma
    Elegance in Meats

    Dundee and Pfingsten:
    Once Upon A Grill
    Subway
    Simply Thai (just ok)

    Deerfield and Waukegan (totally doable for pickup):
    Panera
    Potbelly's

    I also like to go to Love Yogurt by Willow and Pfingsten or the Whole Foods by Willow and Waukegan (take a short cut up Techny).

    Hillary
    http://chewonthatblog.com
    Hillary
    http://chewonthatblog.com <--A Chicago Food Blog!
  • Post #138 - September 19th, 2008, 10:16 am
    Post #138 - September 19th, 2008, 10:16 am Post #138 - September 19th, 2008, 10:16 am
    If you're at Dundee and Pfingston, I'd go with a sandwich from Kaboff's Deli before I'd go to Subway. The selection is vastly larger, the lean corned beef is some of the tastiest I've ever had, the soup is hot and yummy, and their potato salad isn't bad, either. Also, you've got Leonard's Bakery right next door for dessert!

    Kaboff's Delicatessen
    2774 Dundee Rd
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    Phone: (847) 272-3390
  • Post #139 - September 19th, 2008, 11:43 am
    Post #139 - September 19th, 2008, 11:43 am Post #139 - September 19th, 2008, 11:43 am
    Anybody have any "Do Not Miss" or "Avoid at all Costs" suggestions for Elegance in Meats? My "do not misses" would be:
    roasted sirloin
    stroganoff when you're in the mood

    Avoid at all costs:
    Meatloaf
    Gyros Plate.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #140 - September 19th, 2008, 12:29 pm
    Post #140 - September 19th, 2008, 12:29 pm Post #140 - September 19th, 2008, 12:29 pm
    seebee wrote:Anybody have any "Do Not Miss" or "Avoid at all Costs" suggestions for Elegance in Meats? My "do not misses" would be:
    roasted sirloin
    stroganoff when you're in the mood

    Avoid at all costs:
    Meatloaf
    Gyros Plate.


    I love this place. My do not misses are:
    Braised Lamb Shanks
    Strip Steak w/blue cheese
    Short Ribs
    Lamb Stew
    Sirloin London Broil
    Steak dishes
    Shrimp dishes
    BBQ Chicken & Ribs

    The portions are very generous for the price ($6-$7,) and come with two sides and a roll and butter.

    Their Menu of daily specials which changes weekly is available here.
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #141 - October 23rd, 2008, 11:56 am
    Post #141 - October 23rd, 2008, 11:56 am Post #141 - October 23rd, 2008, 11:56 am
    seebee wrote:Quick update.
    Went to the Jimenez up here for lunch today and went for broke...
    Blah blah blah - read upthread

    ...Bistec en Salsa De Chile Arbol.
    Um, this was fantastic, and worth the price of admission alone. The sauce in this was one of those things where you could make a meal out of some good warm tortillas, and just the sauce. Seriously. This was just fantastic. Forehead and nose sweat hot, and I couldn't stop eating it, and then sopping up the sauce with tortillas. I've found a new "must do" lunch up here. For real.


    Just another shout out for this place. I went yesterday, and it qwas so damn good, I was jonesin for it again today.
    Yesterday, I had the bistec in chile de arbol again, and it had better flavor than the first time, but it wasn't as spicy. It was plenty WARM mind you, but it wasn't as spicy hot. It had a good kick though. I also had chuletas in salsa verde (little chopped ribs stewed in green sauce with some kind of green leafy vegetable. This was killer as well. Not too salty, and nice and spicy - not HOT, but had a nice mouth/throat warming heat. Today, I went back to check on their new specials for the week. 3 tacos de lomo for 4.00. Got em. Pretty stellar. Warning: If fat on your meat irks you, then these are not for you. Other than that, these were great. Not chopped, but a thinly sliced piece of ribeye griddled to order, and thrown on a couple of warm tortillas. Onion, Cilantro, salsa, done. I'm getting this again in the next few days. No question about it. If in the area, this place is really turning out to be a little gem for me if you know what to get. I know others have sung its praises as well, but I'm really loving this place lately.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #142 - March 19th, 2009, 8:24 am
    Post #142 - March 19th, 2009, 8:24 am Post #142 - March 19th, 2009, 8:24 am
    To steal a line from Jim Anchower from The Onion - "Hola Amigos - Been a while since I rapped at ya."

    Mi Mexico
    220 Milwaukee Ave
    Buffal Grove, Ill
    847-229-3491
    Website is under construction.

    Went for lunch yesterday. Coworker lives in the area, and tried it first. Said it was "good."
    Good is pushing it, but I'd definitely go there again. It's Tex Mex in all its glory. Bland sauces, cheese covering everything, tomato sauce salsa, chimichangas, nachos, "chicken or beef carnitas" (?)

    The food, somehow, someway, kinda hit the spot. Everything was served piping hot, and the beans were amped up with SOMETHING good. Butter or lard, not sure which (I REALLY think it was butter) but they were fattily delicious*. One d/c had the carne asada platter (lunch special half order 8.95) and there was a VERY decent amt of meat, which he claimed to be pretty good. I'll be getting that next time - and there will be a next time pretty soon.
    They have a whole page full of lunch time specials that seem a tad overpriced, but with the delicious beans and decent rice included, will fill you up pretty quickly. I got the 7.95 enchilada/tostada combo (yes, the combination plates are all over the menu here, as you would have guessed.) The chicken in the enchilada was breast meat, not boiled in salty sauce, but boiled nonetheless. The enchilada sauce was basically just red liquid with no flavor. I dumped their house salsa on it, and it turned out to be ok. The picadillo tostada was basically a tostada with pot roast on it. Kinda chewy, stringy, could've been more tender, but it was decent. Had a tangy flavor to it, and not much else. Again, doused in house salsa to perk it up a bit. Their "twist" it seems, is to throw a blob of vinegar cole slaw on the plate. I would highly suggest to either get the slaw on the side, or skip it altogether (my plan for next visit.) The slaw kinda leaked over to other parts of the plate, and it was not good, so I had to scrape slaw off of my tostada, out of my beans, out of my rice. Not good. Next time, "no slaw on my plate, please" for me. Hopefully it will not screw up the kitchen like asking Potbelly for a shake with no cookie :shock:

    All in all, our table of 6 thought it was well worth it. Do NOT be expecting anything other than decent Tex-Mex, and you'll have the right mindset. Good is a stretch. If you want decent Tex Mex, then you'll be ok. We all agreed that we'd happily go back.

    In a sentence, this is what Pepe's would be like if Pepe's was decent. If that makes any sense at all. If we come across anything really good on the menu in our trials, I'll be sure to post.

    *Sorry, I have that old Lucky charms jingle in my mind now. "Frost-ed Luck-y Charms...They're magic-ly de-lish -is"
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #143 - June 25th, 2009, 11:26 am
    Post #143 - June 25th, 2009, 11:26 am Post #143 - June 25th, 2009, 11:26 am
    Just a quick note -

    The Jimenez specials are off the chain this week.
    Ribeye Torta: 2.75

    3 Ribeye Tacos: 3.75

    Platillo de Lomo en chile arbol: 5.75
    Heaping portion of sliced steak in a nicely spicy red sauce with rice / beans and a stack of hot tortillas. Had this today. Had it before on numerous occasions, one of the best things they do IMO. They forgot to add salt to the pot today, BUT, on the plus side, it was all kinds of spicy today. Had beads of sweat on the nose/forehead. Usually it's nicely spicey, but today, it was downright HOT.

    Platillo de flautas: 5.00
    3 Flautas topped with sour cream, lettuce, cheese + a side of rice, beans, and salsa (flautas are either cheese, potato, or meat - usually carnitas, but today was chicken. Oddly enough, the potato ones are fantastic. Seasoned mashed potatoes fried in a rolled up corn tortilla. Not for Atkins dieters.)

    There are a few more specials, but these are the ones I'll be going back for this week while they last (through Tuesday.)

    This is not the greatest Mexican food in the world, but for the price, it's right up there in my book. That's not to say it's crappy but cheap. It's really decent and cheap.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #144 - December 30th, 2009, 12:28 pm
    Post #144 - December 30th, 2009, 12:28 pm Post #144 - December 30th, 2009, 12:28 pm
    Jimenez Specials got me again.
    This week it's a Torta de Carnitas for 2.50 and also 3 tacos de carnitas for 3.50. There are a few other specials, but these are the standouts IMO. 2 tortas de carnitas for 5 bux and change is a nice lunch if you like that kinda stuff and can afford the cholesterol hit. Their flyer is online now:
    http://www.carniceriasjimenez.com/index.html
    The taqueria specials are usually bottom of page 2
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #145 - April 1st, 2010, 1:06 pm
    Post #145 - April 1st, 2010, 1:06 pm Post #145 - April 1st, 2010, 1:06 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    seebee wrote:Took one for the team today.
    Bin Hai. Pfingsten and Dundee. I was on my way to the NB Post Office, and wanted to get a better look at how the construction was going on inside the new Thai place I mentioned upthread. Popped into Bin Hai next door for a lunch special. Never been before. Don't think I'll be back. Not horrible, not good. $6.00 "Governor's Chicken" lunch special: standard chicken nuggets in watered down but cornstarched up bbq sauce the American Chinese joints are notorious for. Fried rice consisted of rice fried up with the ubiquitous frozen peas and carrots concoction the sub-standard chinese joints have now lowered their already poor standards to, and it came with an egg roll the size of my middle finger stuffed with salty cabbage, and possibly some ground chicken.

    Agreed on this place, which we wanted to like, too. But we couldn't. We joked that the food was only edible if one had 'bin hai' lately.
    =R=



    An update on Bin Hai.
    "New Management." I went once last week, and again today after an officemate had brought back the menu and I saw the "New Management" banner on it. It's definitely not the greatest Chinese food ever, but it has improved markedly over what it was when I last posted about it. The beef is stewed meat that is then sliced and thrown into the wok to make the beef dishes - be warned. (An increasing number of Chinese places are doing this nowadays.) The veggies and sauces are much improved - decent eats, imo. Before, I'd say it was inedible, now, it's given me reason to return and try more. Not great, just decent.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #146 - December 5th, 2011, 6:53 pm
    Post #146 - December 5th, 2011, 6:53 pm Post #146 - December 5th, 2011, 6:53 pm
    New phone, kind of an excuse to post this. Checking to see if standard pics using macro come out decent enough. Anyway, I've been very bullish on the Bin Hai Kung Pao Chicken lunch special. Most of the other stuff I've had there has been sub par, but apparently new "management" came in some time ago, and the food is a little different. The place itself got a facelift - a few booths, and a few tables. No frills. One lady working the front, one guy manning the woks in back. The Kung Pao chicken lunch special is where it's at here.
    Image
    It comes with egg roll and one of those "krab" rangoon dealies. Egg rolls are made in house, as salt content differs. Today's version was very good. They are better than I would expect. Seems finding good egg rolls is tough these days. I dig theirs.

    Image
    The Kung Pao chicken here doesn't vary too much. It's got a nice kick, always decently crunchy zuchini and bell peppers (red, green or both.) Once in a while, I'll get an off batch that tastes like the chef added a pinch of sugar or a few drops of hoisin, but mostly, it's been pretty consistent with the key points that I like:
    1. Decent kick
    2. Crisp Veggies
    3. NO GLOP!!!!!! (they seem to have a very judicious hand with the cornstarch in their kung pao. YAAAAY!)
    4. No GLOP!!!
    5. NO GLOP!!!

    The sauce is fairly oily, but generally glop free, and I dig it. Also, it's an ample portion. I should have stopped at this point:
    Image
    but I soldiered on, and finished everything except the weak point which is the water chestnut chunks. I just don't really like those things. Anyway, coming in at about 7 bux, this is a nice addition to the lunch rotatoin in these parts. Most everything else that I've tried from here has been pretty below average, but this kung pao has really sucked me in. Chicken only. Tried the beef version once, and it was stew meat.

    http://www.binhaichinese.com/
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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