Explore Eat & Enjoy
Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
Father's Day is coming!
What can I say being a Dad myself. Running out of ideas to get Dad when he almost everything you bought him. Ties, shirts, sweaters, watches, power tools etc. Did you ever think of cooking a spectacular meal for him. Yes, it involves delicious beef, or lobster. How about cubes of steak stir fry with mixed vegetables with a nice brown sauce or fresh 2 lb lobster stir fry with ginger and scallion and oyster sauce over Chinese egg noodles. There's one thing that Dad loves is a great meal. Very simple, delicious and great value.
This will be a meal he won't forget.
Check out my "Chef Woo Can Store" and under simple recipes, you find the recipe and the ingredients needed to make the meal.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#chefwoocanfathersdayrecipe, #chefwoocanlobsterstirfry, #chefwoocansteakkew
Iron Age Korean Grill
Well, Mother's Day was a real special occasion for my dear wife and mother. She always loves a bargain and Iron Age Korean Grill is a perfect place to bring her. She loves a place that provides value and at
$ 23/person, it the ideal place to celebrate Mother's Day. Yes, it took an hour to get there on Sunday and yes, we know how busy it gets so we left at 3 PM to arrive at 4 PM and waited an hour to be seated at 5 PM. You say to go to this place better be worth it. Chef Woo Can can say "YEP" its worth it. The beauty of this place is that at your table there is an in-table gas grill.
The table is already set up nicely. You have a prepared salad for your eating pleasure. Sauce dishes with various type of dipping sauces, let's see, sesame oil with salt, sweet chili sauce, soybean sauce and a soy sauce.
The waiter was very professional, he provided the menu and wine list with their famous "Soju" with flavored Soju. Yum, but I have to drive, so next time with the guys.
One of the most famous Korean beef dishes is Beef Bulgogi. It's thin slices of beef marinated with just the right amount of fat. Believe it or not the fat does add flavor. The beef bulgogi comes in a bowl and they plop a huge mound of beef on the grill and you as the customer have the opportunity to turn the beef over. You do it a couple of times until its done. Ask for a plate of lettuce to wrap the beef bulgogi. Then you can order soy beef. It's steak like and you have the opportunity to cut the steak over the grill, they have shrimp, and cuttle fish (giant squid), sweet potato noodles as a side dish, with marinated crunchy turnip, maybe an egg custard..
The beauty of this place is you can eat and eat and eat, so go when your so hungry you can eat a cow. Guaranteed satisfaction.
So, let's just the wife was happy. I was stuffed, my daughter was ready to go to bed. So, a fabulous Mother's Day. I hope everyone had a good one. Don't wait till next Mother's Day to go to Iron Age Korean Grill.
On a scale of 1-5 and 5 being excellent, I give this place a 10+.
by Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#ChefwoocanlovesIronagekoreangrill, #ironagekoreangrill, #fabulousironagegrill, #trykoreanironagekoreangrill
Buffalo Wild Wings "Beware"
Today is Saturday and my daughter and I wanted to go to the YMCA to work out. Beautiful day, sunny outside, what more could we ask for but to have a nice lunch. Chinese? Too heavy, burger? if I see another burger I'll go crazy, Chicken wings? Hmmm, simple, crunchy and saucy. Haven't been to Buffalo Wild Wings in awhile.
We were greeted and seated immediately. We arrived about 12:30 PM and waited on professionally but the first thing that jumped out was the order took pretty long to get. All we ordered was a side order of onion wings and a snack size chicken wings with an Asian Zing sauce for my daughter and I had the regular size with a saucy garlic sauce. I have to say, "were they killing the chicken? I never waited so long for a simple order. One strike.
Got the order, where's the celery and carrot sticks. How can you eat wings without the carrot and celery sticks? My daughter loved her Asian Zing sauce but quite honestly my Garlic sauce wasn't garlicky. It taste like regular hot wing sauce, no garlic distinction.
Now Chef Woo Can has for quite sometime an iron stomach. I can eat anything, but with this batch of chicken wings, I was sick as a dog. My daughter got back home and she was sick too. This brings up the issue of convenience of eating out versus eating healthy at home. The bill was kind of crazy $ 38.00. With the Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, the fast and family style restaurants will have their inventory sitting in their refrigerators for more than the average time and turnover will b slow. Remember, these guys are in business to make a profit. They will not throw any food away even if its been sitting for a long time.
I gotta tell you, there was no value in our lunch. I can name a place that for $ 23/person, you can have as much beef, chicken or seafood all night long. Never got sick and always a pleasure.
I have to say Buffalo Wild Wings, you can no longer disguise your food with heavy hot wing sauce to mask any sour tasting wings. It's going to haunt you later. Bad boys Buffalo Wild Wings!
Rating on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent. I give this establishment a (-5).
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#Badbuffalowildwings, #chefwoocansinksbuffalowildwings, #chefwoocanbadreviewofbuffalowildwings
Asian Food Through The Years
Asian food has been an integral part of America. It was first introduced when Chinese immigrants landed in California to find a new life. They formed communities to feel comfortable in the new land. Food was a common community interest. They tried to use the local produce to duplicate a lot of their favorite meals, Names like Chop Suey, Chow Mein. These dishes were made of a lot of vegetables with lots of sauce indicative of Southern Chinese cuisine from Canton, China.
As more and more immigrants came to the United Staes, Chinatown expanded to the point that the younger generation moved out for better job opportunities and to live the American Dream of owning a home with some property. Where could they get this dream, well it was the suburbs. But what was missing? Something definitely missing, their favorite meals improvised. But like most Asians, they took pride in preparing fresh meals. You couldn't help but appreciate that delicious aroma travelling all around. Our noises followed the scent. Hey, when it comes to food, if it smells good then it must taste good. The Asian population eventually blended into American society. The reverse happened to the younger Asian population. They loved pizza, hot dogs and fried chicken with a nice ice cream gone to boot. Good Humor ice cream was popular with his white uniform and white truck going up and down the neighborhood streets. Everyone got to know good Southern Chinese food from Canton because most of the immigrants were from Canton, China, the rice bowl of China. Everyone was familiar with an egg roll, wonton and egg drop soup. Soy sauce was the American salt alternative but tastier than salt made from fermented soy beans, recipe brought over from China. The Southern food was light, lots of gravy to help the rice go down smoothly, not spicy but rather bland, but it was the mainstay of Asian food for a long time.
Japanese food came into the picture by the early 80's with the introduction of teriyaki and California rolls but the idea of eating raw fish, not so fast. It took quite sometime for total acceptance of eating raw fish. The only place was going to Japanese restaurants to try them. Back in the day, Japanese sushi chef were popular, but today because of a huge profit margin, the Chinese have taken over. Today everyone knows how to make sushi.
Southern Chinese food and Japanese food was the mainstay for quite sometime, then Northern Chinese became popular, hot and spicy, more friend food versus braised, stir fry Cantonese food, now Northern cuisine had no gravy so to speak, more meat, why. Well, in Northern China it would get pretty cold and meat would be the hot fuel to warm your body. Southern cuisine was hot and humid, so bland food was cooler.
Then the Americanization of Chinese food. More meats, like chicken, beef, pork and seafood made up the majority of the dish. Sweetness made every dish delicious. and fry it and the American public would go crazy. How the dishes were prepared created good value for the money and everyone swarmed to their local Chinese restaurants. For 100 bucks you can feed a family and more back then. BUT as we be ame more of a melting pot, more immigrants from Asian came over, Thais brought their cuisine, Korea immigrants brought their delicious barbeque and now Vietnamese immigrants who made it to the United Sates in the 70's to 80's from the war made their home here. Younger generation wanted new flavors and curiosity was the driving force to try certain cuisines.
If you want authentic traditional food, go where the immigrants or younger generation go and order what they order.
Here's a story that is truly funny highlighting the Americanization of Chinese food. One ollege student studying in the U.S made friends with a college student from China. They were pen pals and developed a close friendship to the point that the girl in China was invited by her friend to come to the U.S. They finally met and what a way to have a celebration but to bring her to a Chinese restaurant. Her friend was pretty interested in what type of Chinese food was going to be served. Well, her friend ordered her favorite dish and that was General Tso's Chicken. Her fiend from China said, who is General TSO? Her friend from American was stunned she didn't know the general was. Her friend from China said, China never heard bout a General named Tso's? They looked at each other and began to laugh together. The American girl said, who the heck invented that name? Whoever did, it became famous and stuck. Fried morsels of chicken with a spicy sweet sticky sauce. It's so popular, that 100% of all Chinese restaurants and take out places offer some form of General Tso's chicken. Now we have General So' beef, shrimp and probably pork too.
Her Chinese friend said the traditional Chinese meal consist of 80% vegetables and only 20% meat. It seems to her that in America, its 80% meats and 20% vegetable 1and of the 20% vegetables, 10% used for decorations.
Her American friend said to her Chinese friend, Welcome to American Chinese Food!
When I taught Chinese cooking at the local community college, I had to tell my students I was making Traditional Chinese dishes nd they had lots of questions about what they thought was traditional. I definitely burst their bubble!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#Asainfoodthru theyears, #Asianfoodhistoryinamerica
Mother's Day Plans?
Families all over the country will be taking their Mom's out to celebrate dear Mom. They gave birth to us, they took care of us, they nurtured us and always supported us during our life. They were the practical, common sense thinkers and they were the anchor that kept the family together.
So, where are you going to be taking mom out? Take her to a fancy restaurant? or offer a home cooked meal or plan on a nice barbeque with family.
Today, business is struggling and Mother's Day is the busiest day for restaurants. A meal could range from $ 150 dollars and more?. It will be a memorable moment but I say, you might get better value eating at your favorite Asian American restaurant. BUT if mom is daring, introduce her to some traditional Asian food. Lots of places in Silver Spring, Rockville, MD. Or closer to home Chopstix in Rosedale, MD. Or try a Vietnamese restaurant on Joppa Road, Perry Hall, called Pho Rich. Tantalize Mom with something different only if she's willing to try.
She'll love new flavors, and new ingredients that will tantalize her palate.
So, treat Mom to a feast and watch her beautiful smile glow when she's thought of by her children.
Nothing can replace her smile and the memories we have of her through the years.
Happy Mother's Day to All!
Mom, Miss Ya!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
#Chefwoocanmothersday, #mothersday, #celebratemomsdaychefwoocan
The response has been fabulous to my new on line store! THANK YOU!!!!!
Well, I listened and took action by offering a on-line store to my website www.chefwoocan.com.
My loyal customers have purchased my new products in preparation for the hot Summer just around the corner. Everyone wants to try Vietnamese food. It's the current trend right now. So to tantalize your palate I have introduced the Vietnamese Summer Spring Roll. The response buying the ingredients necessary to construct this appetizer has been phenomenal. Of course everything that is prepared like the fresh roast pork can be vacuum sealed and the rice noodles can be used to make a Summer noodle salad with grilled lemon grass chicken. Refreshing to the palate, light and new flavor combinations. That will be my second Vietnamese introduction dish.
In the following days, I will advise you what else needs to be bought from your local grocery store and I will give step by step easy instructions.
so Chef Woo Can says THANK YOU for using the on-line ordering. You'll be glad you did.
I've had to restock and very happy.
IKEA Furnishing Success!
I always wondered why IKEA was so successful in America. Other retail store chains have been a mainstay in American for hundreds of years. They did well in the beginning offered dining to their customers but by the early 70's the dining experience was over? Management has to ask themselves some hard questions why?
Going shopping can be a great experience and when customers are greeted with a great meal, they tend to shop longer and not concerned they are hungry which may stand in the way of shopping.
Then in the decades later, sales decline, technology came into place with on line shopping, a new generation of customers wanting different things than the previous generations, so stores closed, people were laid off. That was the best way for management to take corrective action, claim bankruptcy.
Well, it seems that IKEA realized the resource of feeding potential customers delicious meals. My family enjoyed a great lunch, our shopping experience was energetic, harmonious, my daughter was actually happy and pleasant. Having a full stomach with delicious appetizing foods at a great price is key.
Why when you enter IKEA, the dining area is the first thing you see and enjoy the food aroma? The dining area was packed. People talk, everyone wants to try a retail establishment that has delicious food. The goal is to increase customer traffic into IKEA and I can say that IKEA accomplished that objective. Not only does the great dining experience greet you when you come in, they have the same items for sale when your checking out along with other goodies. Maybe they calculated the time it would take to browse around their store and just maybe at checkout you have a small appetite, The overall result is increased sales revenue, increase customer traffic into the store and offer a satisfied customer experience.
Maybe the long standing retail stores can do the same. Maybe they might see a reversal of showing profit, increased traffic and delicious food for potential shoppers who might just stay around browsing their stores longer.
IKEA DID IT. Congratulations to them. The formula works, the strategic planning not only surveys what customers want in furnishing styles but I bet they did some studies about the human reaction to stimulus.
In addition, the dining area is simple and basic in design, stress free, non cluttered. Colors are neutral and most important, instead of written menu display, big photos of each dish offered in bright colors with a beautiful white background with their reasonable prices shown.
Most importantly, clean, staff wears hair nets and beard nets, hygiene is priority 1.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
I'm on Twitter under @chefwoocan
Just wanted to let you know I'm on Twitter under @chefwoocan.
You'll get all my blogs, restaurants and food critic analysis from www.chefwoocan.com
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com and on Twitter at @chefwoocan