Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chef Ma

Pork with hot garlic sauce
Our friend suggested to have lunch at this restaurant. The Szechuan restaurant is inside a building that used to be a grocery market on De Anza Blvd. Half of the building was rented out to different tenants selling food, clothing, insurance, jewelry, etc. Quite an interesting arrangement.

We selected house special tofu, stir fry string bean, Yang Chow fried rice, pork with hot garlic sauce, siao long bao (broth filled dumpling), spicy sausage. The spicy sausage was suggested by the waitress/owner's daughter. She said her mom's sausage was homemade and loved by a lot of their clients. They sell the raw one as well.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cute cookie

It's always nice to receive gift especially if it's cute or tasty, or both. Recently we had a coworker that came back from a trip to Japan. He brought us gift. A cute package of cookies that sat for a few days because nobody wanted to be the one to ripped off the packaging.
This is how it looked like.

Inside packaging looked similar to outside but just white color
Individually wrapped little cookies

Monday, September 16, 2013

In Search Of Northern Style Pho

Beef noodle soup from Pho Hanoi
Years ago we didn't know there was  such thing as Northern style pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) until we found out about Pho Hanoi in San Jose. The northern style pho uses fresh wider rice noodle and served with no bean sprout.  After we tried beef pho at Pho Hanoi it's really hard to like beef pho at other pho joints. So when we found out that Pho Hanoi closed their door down about a month ago we were broken hearted.

Last weekend I googled northern style pho and found out Pho Y #1. We have been to this establishment years ago. They only serve beef noodle soup so we never step our feet back there. But I was curious about their beef noodle soup. Can we really found a replacement for Pho Hanoi ?

When we got there the place was busy. It took us a few minutes before we got our table. The place was bigger than it looked from outside and bigger from what I remembered it last time. Anyhow. I ordered noodle soup with rare steak and well done flank. I asked the guy whether I could have it with the wide noodle. He took my order down. I was excited about it. Hubby ordered a chicken pho. He was curious whether they serve decent chicken pho.

After quite a wait finally our orders arrrive. My soup broth was on the clearer side and not much of smell of star anise. I took a sip of the broth. It's okay but certainly not close to the Pho Hanoi's broth that was a bit darker with hint of ginger and smell of star anise.The wide noodle tasted soft and not sticky to each other. It was quite decent bowl of beef pho but not exactly what I was looking for.

The chicken pho was okay. The white meat was not completely dry but it wasn't exactly moist either.

The search continues.

Pho Y #1
1660 E Capitol Expy
San Jose, CA 95121
(408) 274-1769

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kashi Hummus Crisps

I got this product by joining BzzAgent. This is my first product review as a member of BzzAgent so I was pretty excited waiting for the bag of chips to arrive.

I love hummus and chips so I thought this would be an interesting combo. I was imagining chips that tasted like hummus. So when I took my first crunch of the chips I was a bit disappointed. The chips was crunchy but the flavor was very subtle. I think it would go better with some sort of sour cream dip.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Finally open : House of Pho - San Jose

Unique spring roll - combination of sweet, savory and crunch. Yum
Not too sure if this location is affiliated to the one on El Camino in Sunnyvale. But this location had the sign up for ages. And at one point me and hubby lost all our hope to ever see this one open. But finally last Friday as we were in Costco Almaden which shares parking lot with them (and all other stores) we saw people outside the premise. Only then I noticed that the restaurant was finally open for business. Yay !!

We went there that weekend. There were people waiting but we were all seated pretty quick. We ordered grilled pork springroll, chicken pho and seafood pho. The service was prompt and efficient. I didn't expect that at a newly established restaurant. I do think they are not new in this business. All the employees were very efficient. No confusion or mistaken or missing order. Thumbs up for that.

Quality wise we were not completely satisfied. The springroll was the highlight of our meal. It was unique in flavor and freshly made. It has the chewiness of the rice wrap and also crunchiness of fried wonton skin (?) wrapped in the roll. We would be back for more of those.

I think it's not fair to say that the quality was mediocre based on chicken pho and seafood pho alone. Those were not very common dishes people order from a pho restaurant. Some restaurants do them better than others. We would go back and try other dishes just to give a better rating of this place. So far we like them because it is close to our house. That's always a plus, right ?

House of Pho
5353 Almaden Expressway, Suite 50
San Jose, CA 95118
(408) 266-6683

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Stupid Accident and Stupid Insurance

well, it's not exactly like this..
I am expecting a UPS delivery that requires signature. I missed the first attempt because even though it said on the website "delivery at end of day" - they showed up at 1:30pm ! I don't know whose end of day they refer to. Maybe the driver ?

So the following day  I stayed home until 12:30 and hubby said he'd try to be home to cover the rest of the day so we won't miss the UPS guy again. But then he called me before I left and said his car was hit at his workplace parking lot while backing out. What ??  He said it was pretty bad but the other driver admitted fault and said she wanted settlement without involving insurance.

That afternoon and the day after hubby went and looked for a few quotes before he called the other driver back. When he called the other driver back, the story changed. The other driver suggested to go through the insurance instead and asked for hubby's insurance information.

Long story short. Even though the other driver admitted fault and to give her credit she stuck to her story, her insurance managed to put my hubby at fault. In the end her insurance put 10% fault on her and 90% fault on hubby. And our insurance pretty much agreed to it.

Apparently on most cases of accident involving car backing out, the driver of the backing out car is always at fault. The argument was the driver has to make sure that it is safe for him to back out. That makes sense but he was already partially out of his spot when his car was hit. But neither of the insurance wanted to hear that part.

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