A few months ago, my coworker asked for a Chinese restaurant recommendation. She’s relatively new to the area, so I directed her to our go-to Chinese place, Lam’s Garden. A few other coworkers echoed my recommendation. The next day I learned that she and her boyfriend hated it.
I started second guessing myself. It had been a little while since I had been there. Maybe it wasn’t as good as I remember. To put my internal debate at rest, Kevin and I headed to Lam’s tonight for dinner.
Lam’s Garden has two menus: one with typical Chinese-American favorites and one with more authentic items. Kevin ordered sweet and sour chicken, and I ordered walnut shrimp. We also split chicken lo mein.
I really like Lam’s Garden because their food isn’t as salty as most Chinese restaurants.
The walnut shrimp was something different but very good. The toasted walnuts added a smoky flavor. The large shrimp had a light and flaky crust then was tossed in a creamy, citrusy sauce.
Even though I like that Lam’s is less salty than most places, I did find the lo mein to be slightly under seasoned. It was just a tad bland for my taste.
We ordered way too much food and have plenty of leftovers. The trip was a success, and I will continue to recommend Lam’s (with the caveat that other’s may feel differently about their food). Be warned that most of their menu items are very traditional.
Yesterday, I received the best news. My friend is out of his induced coma and mostly breathing on his own! He is still in ICU and has a long road to go, but he’s awake and seems to recognize his friends and family, although he currently can’t speak or communicate. I can’t believe so much progress has happened in just nine days. Even the neurosurgeon was surprised by how well he has been doing. It just goes to show the power of prayer and positivity. What an amazing way to start off my week.
Is there any restaurant that you love that others seem to dislike? Honestly…I love Taco Bell! I just stay away from it because I know how unhealthy it is.
Tako Cheena is a tiny eclectic restaurant off Mills in the heart of the Mills50 district that melds together Asian and Latin American cuisines in unusual ways. This is another restaurant that everyone seems to rave about. We headed over on Saturday evening for dinner, and the place was packed. There aren’t many tables in the restaurant so it fills up quickly. We had to wait a little while, but the wait staff was incredibly friendly and brought us drinks while we waited for a table.
They serve bottled sodas, which is fun.
They always have empanadas on the menu, but the filling changes daily. Their special that day was an Italian (cuisine type #3) empanada with sweet roasted red peppers.
The crust around the empanada was nice and flakey, however the red pepper sauce was a little too overpowering for the ground beef.
Kevin ordered two braised beef tacos. He wasn’t a huge fan of the flavoring on the beef. It was very sweet, and I found the meat to be a little dry.
I ordered the panang curry burrito with tofu.
The burrito was huge, and I really liked that it was pressed. The browned areas of the tortilla had a lot of flavor. Although I liked the flavor of the filling, it didn’t taste like the Panang curry I was used to. It almost tasted more like a peanut sauce. I found it to be overpoweringly sweet. Most of the burrito contained rice. I would have enjoyed more tofu throughout the burrito, since the tofu bits I did get were delicious. I ate half of the burrito then unrolled the rest and picked out the tofu.
Everyone seems to love Tako Cheena, but I only found my experience to be mediocre. I think I need to give it one more shot based on all the rave reviews and try a few other menu items.
I love the concept, the atmosphere and the location. Hopefully next time I’ll love the food as well.
If you could mash up two of your favorite cuisines, what types would you choose?
I’ve been on a roll with Vietnamese food lately. I had been wanting to try Boston Bakery in the Mills50 area since they got voted the best banh mi sandwich in Orlando by multiple polls and publications. I’ve also been wanting to try a banh mi since I heard of them. So naturally, my first banh mi had to come from Boston Bakery.
A banh mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich served on a French baguette with some sort of steamed meat and vegetables. Boston Bakery is located in a strip mall on Colonial Drive. I have no clue where the name comes from because it’s very Vietnamese (not Bostonian) and it’s not really a bakery. It’s a really small shop with only a couple of tables for eating, so I recommend taking your order to go.
I wanted to try as traditional of a banh mi as possible so ordered a sandwich with all the typical fixings: pork, liver pate, pickled vegetables, cilantro and jalapenos.
First of all, the bread is amazing. It’s a typical French bread, so nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Upon my first bite, I learned that raw jalapenos are definitely too spicy for me. I promptly picked the rest out and continued enjoying the sandwich.
The pickled vegetables added a ton of flavor. If you think liver pate weirds you out, I challenge you to try this sandwich. The pate doesn’t stand out at all. It melts in with the bread and meat and just tastes like butter. It’s incredibly rich and delicious.
In general, I’m actually not a huge fan of sandwiches, but I may have found a favorite. The best part? This massive sub was only $3! I’m so happy I finally saw what all the hype was surrounding Boston Bakery and banh mis.
What is your favorite type of sandwich?
I can’t believe how quickly time flies. Tomorrow marks exactly one year since my very first blog post (back when just my parents and Kevin were reading). This blog started as a way to chronicle my love of food and has sort of evolved into sharing my attempt at balancing the food with fitness with some random musings about my life, grad school decisions, and my upcoming wedding. I am so thankful for every visit and comment. Thank you for reading and making the past year of blogging become more than just a hobby. I truly love feeling a part of this community. Here’s to another year!
Last night I grabbed dinner with my friends Sarah and Megan at Little Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant, in Mills50. I’ve only had Vietnamese food once before, so I was excited to try it again. I started out with an order of shrimp summer rolls because if a restaurant offers summer rolls, I simply can’t help but to order them.
The summer rolls arrived at our table almost immediately after our order was taken, which leads me to believe that they were rolled earlier. The rolls were good, and I would definitely order them again, but they weren’t as flavorful as the summer rolls at Thai Singha. The peanut sauce was very good. It was sweeter than most peanut sauces I’ve had.
Vietnamese cuisine is known for pho, noodles with some sort of meat or seafood in broth. I ordered my pho with thin slices of rare beef.
The pho comes with a separate plate of fresh basil leaves, bean sprouts and lime so you can dress your pho however you’d like. I squeezed some of the lime over the broth and tore up some basil leaves to add to the broth, which added a lot of flavor. The pho was was very good. There’s something so comforting about a big bowl of soup and noodles.
Also ordered at the table were fried rice and chicken and vegetables over rice.
I bet pho would be great in the middle of winter. I really enjoyed our dinner at Little Saigon and my second time trying Vietnamese food.
If you’re a blogger, how long have you been blogging?
Have you ever tried Vietnamese cuisine?
Gotta love dinner and a show.
Last night, my best friends Sarah and Megan and I went to Bananas in the Mills50 district. It’s actually owned by the same company as Funky Monkey, where I went last weekend.
Bananas calls itself a “modern” diner, and all the waitresses are drag queens. On Tuesdays, it hosts its weekly drag show, which is what we came for. The food was mediocre, but the entertainment was great. It serves typical diner food.
No more GMAT means mid-week margaritas.
Sarah and I both ordered the Funky Monkey burger. I got mine with a turkey patty. The burger was topped with panko crusted goat cheese and tomato jam.
The turkey burger was pretty bland and dry, but goat cheese is always delicious. I also ordered a salad as my side, but it came with fries, which I ignored since I hate sending food back.
Megan ordered the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo.
The show was really fun, and some of those girls can really move! They lip synced to show tunes and pop songs and danced all around the restaurant. Their outfits were amazing. It was a great girls night out.
Have you ever been to a drag show?
Filed under Diner, Mills50