New Kapadokia

29 03 2011
Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 2/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value:3/5
Times Visited: Once  ♦   Will I Return?:  Would like to
___________

New Kapadokia Redwood CityMy friends were going to a Star Trek Convention in Burlingame a few weeks ago (don’t judge) and I asked if they wanted to meet for dinner afterward*. I was feeling like trying something a bit different… I didn’t want your regular steakhouse or Japanese place or taco shop.

A Yelp search found New Kapadokia at 2399 Broadway in Redwood City: Turkish cuisine. Turkish food is sorta like Mediterranean cuisine, and though I wasn’t 100% sure it would be a great experience, I was sure that I wanted to try it. So I dragged the gang out to this cute (and previously unknown) area of Redwood City and out to New Kapadokia.

First impression: super cute. Small but not too small, cozy restaurant on a corner. Tablecloths. Wall hangings. Mute colors. Judging from the website and the Yelp reviews, I honestly expected a pretty serious hole in the wall. This place has class, no holes in these walls.

Inside New Kapadokia, Redwood City

Inside New Kapadokia, Redwood City

And because I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t print out a Restaurant.com coupon for $50 off a $100 purchase since I had no idea how much the food would cost and didn’t want to be stuck with a coupon in case it was cheap and we never went back. As it turns out, we spent over $200 on five people.

The food was really good. Really, really good. We had a vegetarian appetizer sampler of plops of no-meat mush that was fabulous and that the waiter picked out for us (“Let me make you a plate.”). Yum.

Vegetarian Appetizer Sampler

Vegetarian Appetizer Sampler

Some of the main courses at our table were Dolmas, Vegetarian Manti (pasta filled with spinach, poached and served with garlic yogurt and spicy butter), and some sort of meat kebab dish. I ordered three appetizers (which all turned out to be deep fried… I’m not really complaining…): Falafel, Sigara Böregi (fillo dough stuffed with potatoes, feta cheese, parsley and a touch of black pepper), and (I think) Mücver (zucchini, green onions, eggs, dill, and mint, deep-fried and topped with garlic yogurt).

Dolmas

Dolmas

Appetizers

Falafel and Fillo Dough thingies... mmm

Mucver

Mücver: zucchini, green onions, eggs, dill, and mint, then deep-fried and topped with garlic yogurt.

Everything was very good and everyone wholly enjoyed their meal. But the pasta dish (the Vegetarian Manti) was definitely the winner of the evening. We had two orders at our table and they were devoured happily. The pasta was tender and light and the yogurt sauce complimented the pasta filling very well. I was wary about yogurt sauce over pasta, but they know what they’re doing. Trust them. Trust them and eat well.

Pasta

Vegetarian Manti: pasta filled with spinach, poached and served with garlic yogurt and spicy butter -- $17

Our only complaint was the service for the second half of our meal, which somehow dropped off entirely. It was strange. We had great service to start and there were waiters bustling around the packed room all night long. But we were overlooked for easily 30 minutes toward the end of our meal, including a long stretch when we were patiently waiting for our bill to arrive. It was odd. I’d be willing to give them another chance as the service started out being good.

Overall: go there. Try the pasta. Bring friends. Buy a Restaurant.com coupon. Yum!

*I did not attend this year’s convention, though last year I did make an effort as William Shatner and Patrick Stewart were there, yeay! Nerds unite!

New Kapadokia on Urbanspoon





Dark Horse Lounge

26 03 2011

Shameless plug for my baby sis’s new bar Dark Horse Lounge in Hayward, NOW OPEN!!

Formerly the Whiskey River Saloon at Hesperian and Winton, Jenny has transformed this old-west style bar to a more contemporary version of your local watering hole. With a new coat of paint, some new light fixtures and a hell of a lot of scrubbing, the Dark Horse Lounge is ready to serve you a drink starting today!

dark horse lounge

They’re not serving food other than small nibbles at the moment, but come by for a cold beer, a cocktail or just to say hi to the pretty lady behind the counter (unless my dad is bartending… he’s not quite as pretty as Jenny). I’ll be stopping by today and I’ll keep everyone posted about any Grand Opening events or upcoming specials!

Yeay for opening a business, see you at the Dark Horse Lounge!!!

Dark Horse Lounge on Urbanspoon





Lettuce

20 03 2011
Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value:3/5
Times Visited: Once  ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes!
___________

Lettuce RestaurantI wish someone would just make a restaurant with affordable, healthy, delicious salads, soups and sandwiches. Lettuce: you have read my mind (or, my previously typed words). Order at the counter, fresh, made-to-order salads with sandwiches, homemade soups and daily pasta dishes? Sign me up.

I’ve really been looking for Lettuce all my life. Failed attempts include Fresh Choice, Sweet Tomatoes and other salad-based restaurants. Those places aren’t doing it right; Lettuce is.

The Menu

15 salads grace the menu which stands like an enormous road sign providing you the options for your Lettuce journey. The 16th salad is a make-your-own, allowing you the privilege of blazing your own trail if you’re wary (or weary) of the more traveled paths. Six sandwiches and five salads (and a partridge in a pear tree?) fill in the other half of the menu, while daily pasta specials are only displayed in the flesh (so to speak) as you round the corner to place your order.

Lettuce Menu

Lettuce Menu

The Bar

This bar is far more nutritious than the one where you spent St. Patrick’s Day. Containers of veggies, fruits, nuts, beans and cheeses are displayed in sneeze-guarded glory on the opposite side of the counter where you order. Rather than the conventional salad bar which encourages me to drip dressing everywhere and fumble to find a desired combination of foods, the Lettuce employees gracefully create each salad to order while the patrons look on with hungry eyes. Per the chosen salad, the ingredients are plucked from their fresh little buckets, placed into a large bowl with the correct dressing and then mixed thoroughly before being plopped on a plate ready for enjoyment.

Salad Bar

Salad Bar at Lettuce, Pasta Bar bottom right.

The Food

The salads are spot on. Lots of choices, fresh ingredients and interesting combinations. The ones at our table were fab. The soup was delicious. The tomato basil cream soup I had was tangy, flavorful and just really good. The only complaint I had was the awesome-looking garlic bread slice that I ordered was hard as a rock and detracted from my meal a bit. Next time, I’ll skip the garlic bread and try one of the dozens of other mouth-watering options of salads, sandwiches and soups!Soup and Salad

Salad and Sandwich

Soup and Salad

I want them to build a Lettuce next to my house. It’s relatively healthy, it’s fast, it’s delicious and it’s not extreme on the pocketbook. Thanks for having me, Lettuce, I’ll be back like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lettuce on Urbanspoon





broccoliandchocolate.com

15 03 2011

Finally! I bought broccoliandchocolate.com. No more wordpress in my URL, thank you very much. Exciting!

Additionally, I wanted to point out that you can receive an email when I post a review by subscribing to this blog! Type your email address into the field below the big Foodbuzz advertisement on the right and push the “Sign me up!” button. It’s an easy way to never miss a post and it makes me happy to have a tiny list of people who care! Yeay!

Lastly, B&C is now on Twitter!!! I think it’s a great way to network and pretty much just one more way I can type for the whole internet to see… find me at @brocandchoc!





Family House of Fish & Poultry

12 03 2011
Atmosphere: 1/5   ♦   Service: 2/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value:2/5
Times Visited: Once  ♦   Will I Return?:  Boyfriend likes it… so, yes.
___________

Family House ExteriorDude. Family House of Fish & Poultry. Let’s not even begin to think this place has its own website. Or that you’ve ever heard of it, even if you’re a Hayward local. Since we went to FH a few weeks ago, I’ve been asking friends if they’ve ever been there. Not one of them even knew the place existed.

Family House is located centrally and prominently on Mission Boulevard in Hayward just south of Carlos Bee. Anyone who knows the least bit about Hayward could easily find it. Yet no one knows about it. It’s the quintessential example of an Overlooked Establishment.

Nothing stands out about the exterior. Actually, while I had noticed this place before I went (I do have a food blog, after all), the exterior only really discouraged me from ever setting foot in the place. It’s beat up, run down and the main signage consists of a bar of soap scribbled on the windows*.

Not my type of place.

I do, however, have a food blog (as mentioned) and therefore a duty to boldly go where no one has gone before. And so we went.

Because I could type about this forever, let’s quickly get to the main points of Family House:

  • Order over the counter, to-go only.
  • No decor on the walls or counters.
  • Old, crummy, run down interior.
  • Folding chairs in the tiny lobby area are placed for you to wait for your order.

    Inside Family House

    The view of the front counter from the folding chairs waiting area.

They’re clearly not banking on atmosphere in any way, so how about the menu, food and service? Obviously something must appeal to someone since they’ve been in business quite a while.

Family House Menu

Menu on the wall at Family House of Fish & Poultry

The menu is mostly fish and some chicken, and includes lots of combos. The food is surprisingly expensive for the locale, patronage and decor. A 6-piece fish and/or chicken combo runs about $17, though it can feed 2 “normal” eaters. Combos include whatever meat you ordered (they offer fish, shrimp, oyster and chicken combos), 2 slices of bread (like, white Wonder bread), and 2 sides (fries, macaroni salad, potato salad, or cole slaw). It’s not freaking health food, ok?

The service is ok; the lady at the counter was nice enough. And as for the food: we have mixed reviews. I thought it was ok. The fish really tasted like chicken to me, which was sort of strange. The batter they use is totally not the English batter I’m used to (go to Jay’s for that), but was more like the spiced, dense batter on Burger King chicken nuggets.

The boyfriend loved it though.

Fish 'n Chips

Fish over Chips from Family House

The sides are fine: fries are the fat steak kind, salads come in tiny plastic ramekins and are probably from Costco. And I totally do not want Wonder bread with my dinner, that went to the birds.

Bread and Macaroni Salad

Bread and Macaroni Salad with our Family House Combo meal

All in all, Family House seemed like the kind of place that certain people absolutely love and the rest of us really have no reason to go to. Take your pick if you want to try it out.

Oh! Do note that they sell Sugar Mommie cupcakes at Family House, which are fabulous. It’s almost worth stopping in just for that.

*Or whatever they use to write on windows, but FH is all in crappy handwriting and not done nicely like you might see at a Walgreens or whatever.

Family House of Fish & Poultry on Urbanspoon





Buon Appetito — Revisted

7 03 2011
Atmosphere: 5/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited:  A Few* ♦   Will I Return?:  Yes, please
___________

Buon AppetitoHello again, Buon Appetito. My first review of Buon Appetito in Hayward followed my first visit about this time last year. Since then we’ve been back a couple times and I wanted to report on the growth of this place for those who haven’t been in a while.

Last time I commented on the new addition of the bar area to the main restaurant. They have now added a third space as they attempt to take over that entire tiny shopping strip. Sandwiching the bar area is a second seating area that could probably seat another 50 people easily. I didn’t ask who their interior decorator is, but it’s clear that they spared no expense — the place looks fabulous.

Buon Appetito

The newest dining room at Buon Appetito, Hayward

They’re also adding what appears to be a small patio area on the parking lot side of the main dining room, which seems to be almost finished. It’s really impressive how they keep expanding and using their profits to grow their space and, undoubtedly, their business.

A couple more dishes that we tried recently which should be mentioned:

  • Fried Calamari: Crispy and delicious but a bit heavy (as you might imagine from a deep fried dish). A good portion for the price. Comes with two dipping sauces, yum!

    Calamari

    Calamari

  • Chocolate Tart: I actually can’t find this on their online menu, but it’s a little chocolate cake-y thing served hot and filled with liquid chocolate goodness in the middle. It’s amazing. I should have taken a picture with the chocolate pouring out of the center, but I didn’t because I was too busy stuffing my face and pretending to offer a bite to my boyfriend even though I wasn’t going to relinquish any piece of this little blob of heaven. This is worth the trip to BA alone.

    Cake

    Chocolate Tart!

*As this is a “revisited” post subsequent to a previous post about the same restaurant, any changes in my ratings at the top of the post are shown in bold. Otherwise, they remain the same as before.





I Love Food, but…

6 03 2011

…I don’t really love to cook. There, I typed it. I’m a food blogger who doesn’t love to cook. Will you still read my blog?

It’s not that I hate to cook, I just typically find it tedious and I’m really not that great at it. What I really like to do is eat. You may have noticed this. I love food. Love, love, love. I just really want someone else to make it for me. Is that so wrong?

The real problem: Boyfriend is out of town for four days. Between the existence of cereal and restaurants, I have managed not to have to face the stove as yet. But this will surely change before he returns. I exert a small whimper.

If there’s one thing I dislike more than cooking, it’s cooking alone and for myself. I swear, anything I touch tastes worse than if I hadn’t personally supervised its creation. Maybe I should just cook blindfolded. Things would at least turn out more interesting…

You really notice how much tasks are delegated in a relationship when your significant other isn’t around. K is in charge of the cooking, the laundry (generally), and typically anything technical or mechanical. The flash on my camera wasn’t working yesterday and I had to figure it out by myself when I would have normally handed it to him. Another whimper.

I could continue to tell you about how, since he’s been gone, I’ve needed things off the top shelf, how I embarrassed myself struggling with my tripod, and how I laughed out loud at a song that came on the radio that reminded me of an inside joke we have, but instead, I’m going to go eat some cereal. Sigh.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 77 other followers