Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Banh Mi Cho Cu Bakery

I'm not out in the Westminster area very often, so I had to find a quality Banh Mi. Cho Cu Bakery was the place.

We ordered the #9, #3 and there most popular #1. The #9 was the egg banh mi, I loved this one. The egg was rich and well seasoned, in combination with the fresh vegetables and crusty bread, it was perfect. The #3 was the bbq pork, which is a classic, was also delicious. The pork had a nice char siu flavor. The most popular banh mi was #1 which is a combination of pork and ham. Not sure why this was the favorite, it was good, but I just didn't like the meat as much as the other choices.

The best things about this place, is the bread. It is amazingly light and crusty. Another highlight is the friendly staff, I never got her name, but the girl that helped me was so nice and informative. If I'm ever back in Westminster and I'm looking for banh mi, I'll be here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Five Guys Burgers

Heard about them and read about them, but never had a chance to try out Five Guys. I heard they were the number one contender to the fast food burger crown out here on the left coast, that crown owned by In n Out.

Their main menu consists of hamburgers and "little" hamburgers. The hamburgers have two four ounce patties and the "little" hamburgers have just one. The key difference is at Five Guys is they have BACON! That is a great option that In n Out doesn't offer.

There are also burger topping options and they are all free. So if you're feeling simple, you can have just ketchup. Or you can be creative and get grilled mushrooms, bbq sauce and jalapenos.

I went with the classic combination of lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and mayo. All of that on a "little" bacon cheeseburger. The fries are fresh and fried in peanut oil, salted or cajun style. I went with salted and a side of cajun seasoning.

I like the fries much better than In n Out, thicker and fluffy on the inside. I also liked them salted versus cajun. The burger was good, but not better then In n Out, something about the flavors of the beef from In n Out just make it better. To compare apples to apples, next time I'll need to get my burger without bacon. The Five Guys beef lacked flavor and the cheese was pretty bland. The bun was soft with sesame seeds and nicely toasted. The grilled onions were nothing like In n Out, there was no carmelization.

As Jelp mentioned in his review, it is a bit noisy. But I didn't find it to be that big of a deal. The topping options are nice and the prices are comparable, but the burgers just aren't as good as In n Out, IMO. Looking forward to another visit to try out other combinations.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

J&J Jin Jian Restaurant

With Mei Long Village being next door, I've never thought about going to J&J. But my last few visits to MLV, I noticed lines at J&J, so I decided to try it out.

The place seats about 35 people and specializes in Shanghainese food like it's neighbor MLV. The Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings), have been getting a lot of fanfare recently, as well as other steamed dumplings. They have a pretty lengthy menu, with Chef specialties, noodles, dumplings and rice.

We ordered a lot of dishes, our meal started with the following:

Sauteed Spinach
Marinated Smoked Fish (Cold Plate)
Chinese Mustard Greens with Bean Curd (Cold Plate)

The spinach was not the freshest, but it was sauteed nicely with a hint of garlic. Both cold plates were good, but the fish was really delicious. It had a similar flavor to Chinese red braised beef, a little sweetness and some saltiness. The next set of dishes were:

Scallion Pancakes
Shanghai Noodles
Steamed Vegetable Dumplings
Shengjian mantou

I thought the XLB was good, but not better than MLV next door. The dumpling skins were too thin and broke on contact, letting all of the delicious broth leak out. The Shanghai Noodles looked promising, but lacked seasoning. The Scallion pancakes, were crispy but also lacked salt. I did enjoy the vegetable dumplings and shengjian mantou.

Typical service for a Chinese restaurant in SGV and he prices a comparable. This is another decent Shanghainese restaurant, but there are so many, each with strengths. At the end it just comes down to your preference.