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Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
Chop Stix/ Rosedale, MD
I went to this restaurant because I was craving for some dinner dishes I haven't had for a very long time. Chops Stix was close to me for authentic Chinese food. If you follow my post, I highly recommended this place for Dim Sum and lunch. I haven't been at Chop Stix for dinner. Boy, am I glad because when I arrived I was hungry. One of my favorite dishes was the salt and pepper squid. The batter was light and crisp and the seasoning was well balanced with equal salt and pepper. I also ordered the pork chop with Peking sauce. In this dish the pork chop is cut thinly us dish is slightly coated with cornstarch and then deep fried to a crispy crunchy crust and a thin Peking sweet sauce stir fry quickly. What I got was chunks of thick pork chop, lightly coated with cornstarch, barely deep fried, resulting in a soggy crust with heavy Peking sauce on it. It was terrible. Now I always revisit restaurant that I give a good rating and I believe restaurants get one shot when they serve a customer. I complained to the waitress and all she said was she would tell the cook. She was fully aware the dish was terrible and yet she still served it. Did she under estimate me just because I was Chinese American?
I'll be sure not to have dinner here at Chop Stix/Rosedale. I'll stick to the Dim Sum and lunches.
On a scale of 1-5 and 1 being the worst and 5 being the best I give my dinner a 1 Poor! Never ever for dinner. It was terrible and they should be ashamed!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
WE ARE A COUNTRY OF PLENTY! BUT AT WHOSE COST!
We are the richest country in the world. We've perfected our agriculture to maximize the greatest yield of fruit and vegetables to help feed $300,000,000 plus of us. Thank God for the United States of America.
Yes, capitalism at its best, lobbyist for the multinationals like Monsanto and ADM use their influence to persuade Congressional representatives that have the power to change policy of what is allowed to be used in terms of additives and preservatives along with using GMO alterations that affect our food chain. Any changes accepted by the Agriculture Department can result in billions of dollars in profits. Farmers must comply with these multinationals to use special seeds that are hardier and pest resistant to give us larger yields of crops. From the outside looking in, it seems sensible and logical. But what effect is it having on us. Everything that we consume has preservatives and additives to provide longer shelf life. Makes sense but if they monitored how much yield they created, why worry about shelf life. You provide just enough to the consumer, fresh hardy products. But I guess in the grand scheme of things, doesn't look good when shelves are empty but would we be healthier without all those additives and preservatives? You betcha we would. We're bombarded with 24/7 marketing blasts on the TV and radio to buy ready made products, fast food, drink milk, eat more meat and chicken because its good for us. Never in my lifetime have I seen sooo much cheese used in every menu dish that is offered. Eventually all these so called healthy foods have been processed for easy handling and long shelf life. It's going to and already has taken a toll on us. We've incorporated drinking coffee with giving us some pep to get our mornings going. But did you know coffee dehydrates our bodies? Did you figure that drinking water not only hydrates you but gives you a boost of energy also. Imagine that "water."
After years and years of eating hormone induced chicken and beef, drinking milk, eating cheese and eating all those carbohydrates along with the cold cuts containing nitrites and nitrates. that we make sandwiches for lunch. Our skin has aged depriving the body of nutrients and polluting our system. But what do we do, we buy moisturizers and creams to soften our aging skins, use botox for those that can afford to do it, have face lift but you need money. The creams available to us cost so much but we do it to stay young.
It's a multibillion dollar beauty industry. Monsanto and ADM are making billions on any altercation of the food chain. Then we find out our bodies are resistant to strains of viruses because of the overwhelming use of antibiotics used in animal feed.
It had to take the new generation, yes the Millennials to change things. They are now the new baby boom generation. Data shows, they will be the generation that will influence our buying. I mentioned the Millennial generation before and once again I am bold enough to say THANK YOU! for using your influence to change what goes into our foods. Just continue full steam ahead. We've seen changes, however small but it takes a lot of small changes to create major changes.
To go a little further, do you realize the shock your putting your bodies through going on these diets that promise to help you lose a pound a week. These diets are never lasting, can get quite expensive and never emphasis maintenance. That seems like the most likely step is the maintenance process. So, our body adjust to the new food, techniques, you lose the weight, feel pretty good, then you slowly edge back to old habits because you were depriving your body of the things that were actually tasty and good. In the final analysis, you gain the weight back. Then you try another diet.
Chef Woo Can says to try this: drink water, have a protein, vegetable and a carb. Eat heavy at lunch and light on dinner. No canned food, no prepackaged food, just fresh food with little to no gravy and eat before 8 PM. If you cheat, then go to the gym that day but go MODERATION IS KEY HERE! No chips no dip but have some fatty foods, your joints need the lubrication. Stay away from milk or dairy products and pop a turmeric pill or sprinkle turmeric on any dish or drink.
Let me know how it goes!
Bt Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Valentines Day Special
Yes, guys, its that time of the year to show your partner how much you love them.
I've been there, wait last minute to buy something special like roses or Godiva chocolate but somehow some not all of our mates feel we didn't give much thought. Yes, when I was commuting into New York City, Penn Station, there were the flowers for sale. Picked a bunch up and then a box of chocolate every year.
The thought of going out to eat, sounds great and very romantic but when you get the bill, you just shake your head.
Well, here's a new idea. Make a simple romantic dinner for her. All you need is some romantic scented candles and a e course meal from Chef Woo Can. I'll give you a simple and easy recipe that won't get you stressed out.
She'll know you took the time to plan a romantic evening. Now if you have kids, they can help too.
by Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
It's Friday Night!
It's been a tough week, especially for those Federal employees not knowing what to do this weekend like the last couple of weekends. Pondering what to eat the best way possible.
It's really a shame that our President is such a selfish man that he would allow good families suffer because he's not getting what he wants. Hello Mr. President, the government is not the private sector. You can't do what you did in the private sector and apply it to our government. Our government is to serve the people's our interest, not yours. You are our leader that serves the interest of us not the other way around. Your Wall as part of your campaign promise is ridiculous. At the cost of symbolism, you will allow hard working government workers to suffer? As a Nation we are hurting, what needs to happen before you see it? I'll tell you this, that $ 5,000,000,000 dollar price tag can help a lot of families during this rough patch that they are going trough right now and you'll probably have extra.
Now we have to be careful what we buy since food inspectors although have been brought back cannot handle the backlog of inspections. We're told to stay away from ground beef, fresh veggies may have salmonella and a whole bunch of people may contract flu like symptoms because our food chain has been compromised.
Mr. President, what more do you want us to go through? all for that damn wall and what happen in your promise that Mexico will pay?
I would suggest you go easy on those fast food hamburgers and fish fillets!
So as we wait patiently, high blood pressure is going up for many of us, blood sugar is going through the roof, diabetes symptoms are showing, aches and pains are more pronounced, our bodies are being deprived of important nutrients because all we can buy ae canned good and carbohydrate products or fast food.
I know the truth hurts but come on Mr. President, grow up, your actions are affecting the lives of good Americans!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
5201A Campbell Blvd
I was driving to White Marsh Mall to go check out a couple of things during the afternoon. My stomach was hungry and asking for food. I didn't want a hamburger from 5 Guys, although delicious, I didn't want it to weigh on me all day. Subway, well, the same ole subway on not so fresh bun... ummm NO! Pizza, not really but I did see a place that seemed interesting, Zoes Kitchen (Fresh Made Mediteranean), interesting. It was a fast food joint, I went in not knowing what to expect. The menu was clean and not overly populated with tons of meals to choose from. They had a Falafel bowl. For all those that don't know what a Fallafel is, its fried chick peas with parsley, onion, garlic and a whole bunch of other herbs combined into a mesh that is scooped out and fried. It's simply delicious for a non meat item. The bowl came with baked Falafel, Greek tzatziki, Israeli skhug, Mediterranean relish and fresh dill. It was wonderful but I have to say that fried Falafel is not the same when its baked. They could have pre fried them beforehand and refry according to the demand. And there was no parsley in the Falafel. Parsley is an integral part of the flavor of Falafel. I know they want to offer healthy but not frying the Falafel and offering it baked is a mistake.
I will visit Zoes again. But right now because the Fallaffel was fried and had no parsley on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best I give it a 3. What's a Falafel without parsley and deep fried? It's the star attraction. If the intent was that people may not like the flavor, then you are doing a disservice to those that know and love Falafel.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Midici "The Neopolitan Pizza Company
8138C Honeygo Blvd
First of all I had trouble understanding what "Midici" when a co-worker said, let's go for pizza. I said another ordinary pizza, Oh Gosh, stop the torture. He said, no this place is different and I said, that what they all say. Let me tell you when Sysco finishes their deliveries, every single pizza joint or Italian restaurant will make their pizza using the Sysco tomato sauce. They all taste the same. The only difference may be the cheese they use or the crust is crunchy or soggy. You need to know that Mozzarella cheese is very expensive now, so every merchant takes a spin of their take of pizza cheese.
BUT, I was pleasantly surprised to review the menu selection regarding the pizzas. The brick (not exactly) ovens were being used. Quick review of the selections were interesting and I saw a pie selection that stood out "Shrimp Scampi pizza" I had to try it. Consisted of cheese, shrimp scampi sauce, cheese and arugula on top. I didn't know what to expect. Was it going to be the same ole tomato sauce with the same flavor of all other pies.
Waited a couple of minutes and the waiter brought the pizza. It was definitely brick oven made. about 5 inch diameter, looked delicious and pleasing. No tomato sauce, and the crust was so fresh, airy, crunchy and definitely a unique flavor. Didn't need any additional condiments, it was perfect. The scampi sauce was light, garlicky , shrimp was small but didn't over power the pie and a nice dosage of fresh arugula on top. It was perfect.
My buddy ordered 2- 1/4 slices of cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, with a scoop of fresh mozzarella, it was really fresh, soft and creamy with toasted Italian bread slices drizzled a balsamic reduction.
My overall experience was "Wow". The restaurant is located at the Avenue at White Marsh right behind the ice rink. I want to go back and try more new innovative creations.
On a scale of 1-5, and 5 being the best, this restaurant gets a "5" from me. You gotta go and try it.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Double T Diner
Bel Air, MD
Not sure if it was my pleasure to visit the Double T Diner. I was hungry but there is a time when you have to say this "supersize" portions are freakin crazy. Now going back sometime my most pleasurable experience living in New York, Long Island was going to the local diner for a regular cheeseburger for lunch or a Western Omelette for breakfast. The size was perfect. Not enormously gigantic portions. The portions was just enough. Then the supersize craze came into being and appears the Double T Diner hasn't changed. Now I know there are viewers that disagree, they like the portions and whatever leftover, they take a doggie bag home.
Now, times are a changing. People are more aware of portion control and those that have limited their portions find Double T's portion as way too much. They rather not go then think of wasting a meal.
Weight gain is very much on the minds of diners for the most part but when you look at the menu, its like a book. My question that comes to mind is how often are those meals served and how much of those ingredients go bad or how do they cover the spoilage flavor?
I love Greek food and my favorite is the Gyro platter with seasoned beef. I get sliced tomatoes and onions with Tzarziki sauce, and French fries. The little Greek salad with feta cheese and olives and lettuce with a nice dressing. Never had a bad experience. But the other day taking my daughter ice skating, she was hungry. Thought the Double T would be a good idea. Ordered chocolate chip pancakes for her and I had a Western Omelette. The omelette was huge and honestly no flavor. My daughter's 3 pancakes were also huge but smushy, literally not fluffy. So, bad I complained and the waitress took it off the bill.
I expect the dish to be made right even if its a smaller portion and have flavor. Am I asking for too much, I don't think so!
My advice to the Double T Diner, get with the program and change.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, the breakfast I had with my daughter I give them a "1". Poor.
Bt Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com or www.chefwoocanmaryland.com
Iron Age Grill Korean Restaurant
My wife had heard from co-workers that there was a Korean restaurant that offered a Korean Buffet, all you can eat. Now my wife is always looking for a bargain and most times, the places she recommended bombed with my daughter and I giving her the chop! BUT tonight after a disappoint loss being a Ravens fan against the Chargers came down to the wire with just 1 touchdown could do it. But to no avail, they lost. Meanwhile my wife and daughter are waiting to go to this bargain place. Needless to say I wasn't expecting too much. Located in Cantonsville, right off of Baltimore National Pike, I dropped off the young ladies to put our name on.
I parked the truck and met them inside. At first impression, the place is huge. Loud music designed for the Millennial generation and young adults. If you are looking to socialize, there is plenty of booths designed for about 6 people. There on the table is complimentary house salad and small dishes of a mixture of pickled turnips, shredded and sweet potato noodles. Even smaller dishes for dipping sauces.
The table is designed for the traditional Korean Barbeque. The staff was very professional and basically to indulge in the all you can eat, we must order "3 meat dishes" first. As I read the menu, customers could be penalized if there is leftovers? I can understand that the leftovers is wasted profit down the drain for an all you can eat.
We tried the Beef Bulgogi which is marinated beef and grilled at the center of the table. Very tender and tasty but a little too much sweetness. Then we order a garlic pork chop, whole shrimp, spicy cuttle fish (large squid), the condiment is sweet potato noodles with a touch of sesame oil, soy sauce, spicy rice cakes, steamed egg and kimchi and spicy turnip.
Overall, if you are interested in having fun eating and have lots of time, and enjoy the videos on large screen, then this is the place for you. Taking turns turning the meat or assisting cutting them into small pieces.
It's a lot of fun and you are actually watching your food cook in front of you!
On a scale from 1-5 for a "all you can eat" I have to give a 5 out of 5.
Try it out and have fun!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocanmaryland,com
Food Corporations Listen Up!
It's the new year. Things are definitely changing. Food manufacturers are taking the position of changing the ingredients that they've used for quite awhile by eliminating fructose, preservatives, additives, artificial coloring to natural colors, offering sparkling water with the essence of fruit rather than soda. Hormones are being taken out of chicken and beef. It's a start, however our seafood supply is diminishing fast from over fishing, poor management control but there are signs a slight improvements.
Profit is what makes corporation rich and shareholder's wealthy. From what I have seen, small business is the wave of the future. The concept that an entrepreneur manages his food business believing that his customers appreciate the fact that he or she is using natural and fresh ingredients without compromise and willing to pay top color and wait for their meal is in.
It's working and these corporations that follow this routine are growing in leaps and bounds.
Case in point 5 Guys Hamburgers, they serve tasty hamburgers, charge accordingly and customers wait.
Customers are tired of their dishe having cheese, cheese and more cheese. Cheese provides flavor to ingredients that are tasteless. Microwaving dishes just accelerates the cooking process but messes up the texture of the food. All these special sweet or salty sauces used just disguise the true flavor of natural foods that truly do have a unique taste.
Consumers expect more, so standardization of processes and food production for fast eating is now a wave of the past. So, get your act together and listen to the customers, you might just learn something from them and you'll be amazed at their reaction will be!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
Red Brick Station Restaurant
8149 Honeygo Blvd
Did you ever wonder when a brick and mortar family restaurant would offer new dishes that were not microwaveable? Well, the Red Brick Station in White Marsh is exactly what your looking for. Their menu was innovative and different. I was there the other day for lunch and I was pleasantly surprised by the various array of menu items.
What caught my interest was the "Bangers and Mash", a traditional Irish cuisine. It was very good. The dish had 3 nice size sausages, a nice helping on mash potato and a onion brown gravy. The flavor was good but I do miss the slightly grilled sausage.
I give the Red Brick Station a 4 out of 5. What's even more interesting when you walk into the entrance area, a big sign showing what the restaurant is doing to recycling and using environmental biodegradable hardware. They are a part of the solution and its a start. For that I give them a 5 out of 5.
The place is very clean and well taken care of from a management standpoint.
I will visit this place again and try another interesting dish.
What is missing is that these restaurant corporations are concerned with only one thing. Sales! How to make a dish using the cheapest ingredients with a nice profit margin. What is missing is the "passion" of preparing the meal itself. Getting involved in the actual preparation but I know that labor cost money and its a shame because if customers got food that was made with passion, they would taste all the difference in the world. and just maybe see their sales skyrocket!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com