2090 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, PA 17602
Times are a crazin! Prices of everything going through the roof. Fast food is getting boring, same chicken sandwiches, medium size restaurants charging ridiculous prices for basic foods and through it all, we are mildly satisfied just based on the fact that we went out to eat just to be out trying to be served like a king or queen.
Well, on Father's Day, although I am not a fan of buffets, my friend told me about a good buffet in Lancaster, PA. I'm in Bel Air, MD and within close proximity, there are no buffets around. Covid forced the last buffet to go out of business.
Now, think about this, you pay one price and get a variety of different foods. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what they had to offer. Now, in comparison, going to a regular restaurant, with an appetizer, and entree, the minimum per person would be like $ 50/per person. A family of 3 with a daughter's appetite, the bill would be about $ 150.00. The buffet at $ 18.95 per person would be about
It was a nice drive to Lancaster, Pa, and in 1 hour, we saw the sign of Manor Buffet. It was semi busy towards the tail end of the holiday at around 6:30 pm.
The place was very clean and well organized. The interior reminded me of being in a casino buffet. Grabbed a plate and looked around, mostly the standard foods but I particularly noticed a couple of traditional dishes. Fresh roast duck, salt and pepper prawns with shell on, steamed fish, mayo shrimp,
Since I know you can load up on carbs, I tried very hard to avoid carbs but it was so difficult, fried rice, lo mein noodles, sushi rolls but I was able to focus on an assortment of goodies. Yes, I was stuffed but what did I expect. In a buffet, it tough to control your appetite, you want to try everything.
In the final analysis, during these tough times, this buffet is well worth it, at $ 18.95 per person and senior $ 2.00 heaper, having an assortment of food was a delight. Now, once in awhile is ok and won't be returning any time soon.
The atmosphere was very clean, staff was very professional and service was top notch.
I highly recommend this place if your looking for a budgeted dinner meal.
On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I give Manor Buffet 10 rating. It was that good.
Chef Woo Can
Naughty Dogs Restaurant
2306 E. Churchville Rd, Bel Air, MD 21015
I haven't given up on going out to eat. For me, it's the last bation of freedom and relaxation.
Well, on Memorial Day 2022, my family and my daughter's friend joined us at Put Put Golf. It was freakin hot out, we wee thirsty and I guess the heat made us a little hungry.
On the way home, we decided to go to the Naughtys Dog Resturant off of Rte 22 in Bel Air, MD. Although it was about 4 pm and the dining room was empty, I was impressed by how clean the dining room was. Our waitress was very friendly and accomodating.
Now, one of my all time favorites is Fish & Chips and noted that they use white fish. It doesn't matter what type of fish is used only concern is the batter must be crispy and fresh. It was being served with fresh cut french fries. Not frozen but fresh and they were truly refreshly cut.
I was very impressed with my fish & chips. It was 4 medium size pieces of fish on a plate of french fries. Even the tartar sauce was or appeared fresh, not the packets most places give out. My daughter had the same fish & chips.
I also ordered the apple pear Candied Walnut Bleu cheese mixed salad and it was just fabulous. The fusion of the saltiness of the bleu cheese and the sweetness of the candied walnuts blended well together.
It was relaxing, everything was right and at the end of the meal, I felt relaxed and really enjoyed my meal.
On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I have to give the Naughtys Dog a 100 score. It was that good and I'd go back again and try another dish. Any recommendations?
Chef Woo Can
418 Constant Friendship Blvd
Abingdon, MD 21009
Ok, Let's look at things right now. Covid is suddenly disappeared, the world is unstable, gas prices are going crazy, food prices are insane, children are being killed for no reason at all and inflation is uncontrollable. We're bailing out a country that has been unrightly invaded with millions of dollars of equipment, Russia is destablizing the world, our own administratio doesn't know what they're doing. They're bailing out or cancelling student loans which when u consider all this, its impacting higher prices everywhere!
So, on a nice weekend I wanted to take my family out to eat, something different and I heard this place was supposely good.
Now, considering I know how to cook and have high expectation of what I expect for dinner, I really wanted this dinner to go well. Well, when I say go well, I expect whatever is on the menu, they should be fully stocked especially on a Saturday evening. I expect my appetizer and salad to be brought out before the entree. and finally when they show the ingredients on the menu, I expect it to be an uncut ingredient.
I know that restaurants are struggling right now. They have so many other expenses to deal with during Covid, prices of goods is expensive, labor is hard to get good help, overhead is showing no mercy but considering this, either downsize your menu, cut the square ft of dining area and implement training on the basics of what the customer wants and expects.
Well, we started with fried Calamari, it was ok, I would say it was a serving for 1. We were a serving of 3 which included a 13 year old who's always hungry. I also order a cream of crab soup, None "Ran out", and a caesar salad which never came only after I asked after my meal where is it. I order pasta with a lemon butter sauce with sea scallops. I'll tell you this much, the pasta was al dente but the sea scallops? where cut up in quarters and the sauce was pre made ahead of time, somewhat starchy!
My daughter had a steak, she knows next time not to order that. My wife ordered a salad and it was ok. and although the waitress was friendly, she didn't know what her customer ordered.
The meal appeared to me like no sense of pride was involved in the prep. The waitress actually didn't realize she forgot to give me my Caesar salad and when I got it, it was the blandness salad I ever had with a side of dressing and no grated parmesan cheese.
I work damn hard for my money and didn't get what I expected from Abingdon Grill. It was like everything was mechanical. Dip into the salad bag adn grab a handful of salad, or get the ready made pasta and pre-made sauce and refrigerated scallops and to look like I;m getting value, slice up the scallops.
As to running out of cream of crab soup? no excuse, a mark of a poorly run restaurant.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, I give the Abingdon Grill a -1,000, yes a -1,000.
Chef Woo Can
Thinking of going on vacation to an exotic location for good exotic food?
Let's see, the pandamic is at bay right now. Mask mandates are temporarily shelved. Restrictions have been lifted for the most part and everything says that travelling will be the most robust this year.
Well, its about time except for the uncontrollable factors like the price of gas is sky rocketing if you want to drive someplace close, inflation has exploded and food prices have gone through the ceiling.
Where the positive signs have been highlighted, everyone owning a business is taking the opportunity to make up for the last 2 years of Covid.
Prices have literally gone through the roof from lodging to airfare to renting a car to eating.
Right when money is the tightest with the damn inflation, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to make up for lost revenue.
So, my question, yes it would be great to take my family to Asia where my wife can kill 2 birds with 1 stone, see her family and finally have some vacation time. with our daughter and her relatives.
Unless, your a bargain shopper, there are specials out there but most likely they are taken.
I did my travelling around the world when I was younger. Don't get me wrong I still love to travel but I try to put things in perspective as I get older.
They say the United States is the melting pot of the world. Practically every nationality is represented. To be quite honest I'm a true food and my rationale and experience has been that when I travel, most of the time the food is prefrozen and seldom freshly caught when it comes to seafood, so why spend the overinflated peice of food when it was premade somewhere else which was cheaper then the extablishment making it themselves.
So why spend $ 5,000 on airfare, spend a couple of hours on the flight, the hssles of the TSA screening and lines, finally settling down at your destnation, hungry as can be and go to a native resturant for native food and find out it doesn't taste fresh, more like frozen with a fancy sweet and salty sauce.. Ok you can't beat the whie sand beaches with the natual blue waves crashing on you or feeling the trade winds outside your balcony. To avoid tourist traps you literally have to go into the city that is bustling with the regular people for truly authentic food, so what's the difference i going to Little Italy, or Chinatown, or small mom and pop establishments that serve authentic. These places may nto be on the radar with Trip Advisor or Zagat's path but the serve delicious authentic food sometimes cheaper that the tourist trap food.
Yes, the sights and sounds of seeing Italy, France and Europe is fascinating but where do you got to eat?
Go to Las Vegas, every single nationality at one time went there. I bet there's a restaurant that represents practically every nation whether on th strip or not.
So, in the final analysis while our country and us ae going through a tough time right now, you can save thousands of dollars by just travelling to one of our cities for the best cuisines being offered and with a little research get tremendous bargain prices at local food establishments.
By Chef Woo can
With more people thinking of exploring different restaurants, there are a number of review apps that you can get. But remember that these review boards are review by regular customers and they may not know what they are enjoying is authentic or truly traditional foods or if it taste correctly.
I had an experience when I moved to Maryland. Mind you I'm coming from NYC and so I've been exposed to authentic Chinese food all my life. I know the difference between Chinese American food, Traditional Chinese food, food that has been frozen and mass produced versus fresh.
I had every type of Chinese American dish my whole life and I know that each dish has a unique taste based on the ingredients used to make it and of course I'm Chinese too.
Well, my new friends in Maryland said I had to try this Chinese takeout place in my area. They raved about how delicious the food was and they said the YELP reviews were fantastic and highly recommended.
Not knowing that Maryland is a couple of years behind the Northeast regarding Chinese American food I thought I'd give it a shot.
One night I asked my wife let's order take out delivery. I ordered 3 dishes that were made with 3 distinctly different sauces and was pretty anxious when the delivery guy came. We had our paper plates, serving spoons and started to open the boxes. What I found was all 3 dishes had the same brown sauce. I shook my head and questioned, "This is Highly Recommended" from my friends? This is what the customers review on Yelp was.
Well, alot of companies are now diversifying their products to tap into areas slightly related to their business brand, Trip Advisor, Yelp and many other review apps are out there. If its reviewed by customers, you might think twice while other review apps reviewed by seasoned chefs might be out of the price range your looking for.
So, where do you go or do? It's a trial, let's see approach. Sometimes, the hidden places off the beaten path are the best. Sometimes rund down places are the best and go to the places where you see a majority of ethnic people there.
The style of food is important to. In the beginning, Cantonese dominated Chinese food in the 50's to early 70's, the spicy came into place with Northern and Western Chinese immigrants came to American, then the Cantonese cooks had to adapt to spicy with some success but versus the Northern Chinese, they couldn't get it exactly right.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, food is highly subjective. What one place may taste great to others t might be terrible.
Even when I review a place, its my view but I like to write about my experiences.
By Chef Woo Can
2108 Emmorton Rd, Bel Air, MD
I've enjoyed Indian food for the use of many varieties of spices not found in most American food. That's why I think Indian food is so unique.
Even the vegetarian food is spiced correctly different from the American spices used to flavor a dish.
I've been to Sizzling Bombay on numerous occasions because I'm just in the mood for something different and I found this place has what it takes.
I started off with an appetizer. They offer a fried dumpling filled with curry mash potatoes and peas and deep fried. So crunchy and so tasty. A change from Asian pan fried dumplings or Asian egg rolls.
They brought out this very thin crispy cracker with 3 dipping condiments, one is a tamarind sauce (sweet & sour), a onion type chutney (slightly spicy, sweet and oniony) and a mint sauce. Perfect together.
I had to order Naan, its a bread like no other, made fresh with fresh garlic permeating the entire naan. Goes well in dipping into your entree sauce or just eating it plain.
The I ordered a Palek Paneer which is an interesting dish made of ground spinach. and cubes of cottage cheese. Slightly spicy but definitely creamy in texture.
and finally Lamb Korma, nice pieces of tender lamb in a creamy nut sauce with a slight hint of raisins, Oh so delicious and the meal came with Basmatic rice.
There was nothing wrong with the meal. The atmosphere was relaxed and comforting. I really enjoyed myself for a delicious Indian meal.
I do encourage you to try the place. The servers were plesant and friendly and definitely accomodating.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, I give Sizzling Bombay a 100.. It's that good thru and thru.
Note, you might have to develop an acquired taste to the curry. It takes awhile but if you like a taste challenge then this is a place for you and your family.
By Chef Woo Can
China Delight Restaurant/Hunan Boneless Crispy Duck
Last night in Bel Air I was in the mood for some Chinese American food for dinner. In Bel Air, there is a limited # of Chinese food establishments but I decided to go to this family Take out restaurant in Forest Hills, by Enotria Italian restaurant called China Delight. They offer in dining but only served by the container ordered from.
Now, I'm sure after awhile, the take out restauant's menu seem the same. I love duck items and I noticed that they make a Hunan Boneless Crispy Duck with mixed Chinese vegetable with a slightly spicy sauce.
I'm sorry but the other Chinese places don't really include duck items.
To me Chinese American food must be satisfying.
The dish came out in a regular plastic container and the crispy boneless duck was sitting on top of the stir fry vegetables in spicy sauce. The batter was indeed very crispy and the duck was so tender and meaty. That crispness and sauce made that combination of flavor just fabulous!
The portion was perfect, the price was great, it was a delightful experience.
I'd go back again.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being excellent, I give China Delight in Forest Hills, MD a 100! Absolutely perfect. I have to believe that their other dishes will be just as good.
A family restaurant that takes pride in the workmanship of creating delicious food.
Looking for something different or changing to another place, go here China Delight, you'll be glad you did!
Chf Woo Can
I've been writing about various restaurants and food establishments, new ingredients and sauces for quite awhile. Check out my archives.
Chef Woo Can
Secrets Of Asian Cooking
Besides the sauces, there are some other things to consider when completing your pantry.
White Pepper is not very popular in American restaurants. The black pepper is king but white pepper is more aromatic than black pepper and is much stronger.
When you go to your local Chinese restaurant, on the side of the table will be a salt and pepper shaker. 99% of the times the pepper will be white pepper.
It's aromatic and strong flavor but doesn't overwhelm the dish, it just as a bit of spicy that is pronounced in the dish.
Where can you find it? Since a lot of markets have expanded their Asian condiments, finding white pepper may actually be very easy to find.
How is it used? If you love Hot & Sour soup, the white pepper adds a slight flavor dimension. But anywhere you like a little peppery spicy, add a dash of white pepper. It comes already ground but you can purchase the actual peppercorns and place it in your grinder for more texture.
Chef Woo Can
Secrets Of Asian Cooking (6-6)
Some sauces are autonomous for specific regions and Fish sauce is one sauce that is predominantly popular in Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Burma.
Fish sauce in these countries is used instead of regular soy sauce, so it's very salty but what makes it unique is the pungent flavor and aroma. It's a very strong and aromatic sauce.
How is it made? Good question, it's made from various types of fish from the ocean. Then they are placed in bins to allow fermentation resulting in a very strong but salty sauce.
It may seem no appealing on how it's produced and the aroma itself can be somewhat revolting but combined with other sauces and ingredients creates a distinct flavor.
Just remember this using a salty sauce compliments a sweet sauce and that combination of salty and sweet makes any dish perfect. Whether it be Asian, European or American. They compliment themselves.
Now, there are obviously different grades of soy sauce, just like when you buy a bottle of vodka. There's the cheap inexpensive kind but the favor is hard versus a more expensive brand that's considered very smooth and desirable. I choose this brand it's called "Viet Huong" with 3 crabs on the label under 3 crabs brand. It's in a long glass bottle 24 fl ounces made with anchovy, salt, water fructose and hydrolysed vegetable protein. This brand is made in China, the color is a nice tea color and perfect.
They have fish sauce made in the Philippines but it's so dark and very strong flavor
The uses are infinite for Southeast Asian cuisine, one of the most popular is Pad Thai, most Thai dishes use it along with Vietnamese dishes.
Note: It's so strong, you might want to buy a smaller bottle because its that pungent.
By Chef Woo Can