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Lib's Grill Bel Air
1204 Angora Dr., Bel Air, MD 21014
It's been a while since I've dined out. What I've been seeing is food establishments are cutting back on quantity but charging you more. It's getting ridiculous, but I always have my eyes out for new restaurants and Lib's Grill Bel Air reading their reviews. Most curious of their reviews was how delicious and fresh their raw oysters are. I decided to check at lunchtime, a true test to see how fresh their raw oysters were. I went with my friend there, outdoor dining. I choose a dozen Chicoteague Oysters and asked the waitress if they are shucked at time of order and she said absolutely "freshly shucked." I also ordered for my lunch the Grilled Salmon BLT (whole grain ciabatta, bacon, lettuce, tomato, basil aioli and hand cut fries).
First, most restaurants that offer oysters, shuck their oysters in advance, don't know why but I can tell you that Lib's Grill shucks their raw oysters the minute the order comes through. They were so fresh, that the oysters were sitting in their own liquid brine which never happens. Included was horseradish cocktail sauce and Mignonette sauce. It was a pleasure sipping that natural brine oyster juice and adding condiments just highlighted the overall flavor of the raw oysters. It was simply fabulous.
Now, I am not a cooked salmon fan, I usually love salmon sushi style, raw. So having a BLT Salmon sandwich was a true test of how the salmon was prepared. Most times, its over cooked and chalky, I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. The salmon was so tender flaky, on a ciabatta bread with all the fixings, made the sandwich very tasty and great value.
Overall, Chef Woo Can gives Lib's Grill Bel Air a 10, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being excellent. I highly recommend this place. I will visit them again.
Considering everything is going up in price, Lib's Grill Bel Air, doesn't compromise the quality of the food but I feel the price is very fair. The oysters were $ 3.00/piece but well worth it.
Chef Woo Can
Amazon Books: Search "Chef Woo Can" and "The You Can Do It Asian Cookbook"
$4.00 for a soda?
Friday night after and wait for about 30 minutes a tough week, you want to take the family out to dinner. Most of the time is spent making home cooked meals. Tonight, let's go out to eat and enjoy. Get to the restaurant, its packed to the gills and waited for about 30-45 minutes. That in itself is a good sign, good quality and good value. We were seated and the waitress was very friendly and accommodating. The menu was clear cut and not cluttered. We all ordered and ordered ice tea and soda to go with the meal.
The meal came in piping hot, the aroma was wonderful, we were having a great time and would return for another great experience.
Got the bill and I see they charged us $ 4.00 each for our drinks. Ok, I realize how desperate business owners are right now. They are finding way to make more money without scaring away the customers but charging $ 4.00 for each drink or beverage that is always ordered when dining out? I think that's ridiculous. Rather than lose a little bit of money by charging the regular price of a beverage, they are passing the cost of the main ingredients whether it be steak, chicken or seafood to make it look like they are giving good value to the customer. After seeing the bill, it just left a bad taste in my mouth. It as a total downer! It makes me believe that what else did they have to increase to offset the higher price of the chicken, beef or seafood?
Instead of ordering more selection, I'll be more cautious just to order a straightforward meal.
It's a catch 22 scenario, cut back on portions and charge the right price and get complaints that the portions are reduced or give the customer what they want and charge them the right price that might out the customer in sticker shock! I would think the later. The consumer is smarter than you think and pretty reasonable.
If they know they are getting the quality ingredients at the right price, they will pay.
Paying $ 4.00 for a beverage? Not a good move, I'd say.
Chef Woo Can
Water Street Seafood Restaurant
Havre De Grace, MD
Every now and then I come across a family owned restaurant which today is considered an endangered species.
You look around and all you find are big name fast food corporations too many to even mention. But the menu in general is the same, all types of chicken, submarine sandwiches and everything in between that pops in the microwave.
Staff is trained to just serve the food, a body, thats it but when I went to this restaurant today at around 1:30 pm on Friday, wasn't busy but cnsidered after the lunch hour, customers were still coming in. Yes, its seafood and you'd figure it would be expensive but everything on the menu was average priced, except for the crabs which were pretty high.
My waitress was very nice, pleasant and very professional. The menu was simple and easy to read front and back. The porch Gazebo was decorated with painted picnic tables in very nice colors. I felt I was on a tropical island looking into the river (Susquehanna River).
I asked about the crab prices and quickly looked to see what else they had.
They had raw clams, (little neck), I ordered a dozen fr $ 12.00, not bad, they were freshly shucked and a little coktail sauce and fresh horseradish made it so delicious. The only minor concern was they didn't cut the clam from the shell. Otherwise, fresh clams were delicious, briny and very sweet.
Then I saw Angels on Horseback (small to medium size oyster in a panko breadcrumb and deep fried with a slice of bacon. The dipping sauce was a horseradish Aioli. I then ordered a Gator Po Boy, (alligator tail) deep fried in morsels on a fresh submarine bun (Milano roll) with lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a homemade Cajun mayo, perfecto!
This is my first of many trips to small family run businesses to rate them based on what I hear from customers and friends and rate them to help them with free advertising and publicity.
On Cef Woo Can rating scale of 1- 10 with 10 being excellent, I give Water Street Seafood Restuarant a 100. They re that good with truly fresh food, they make sure its right and presentable and along with their friendly staff, I didn't feel like a number being pushed in then pushed out. It was relaxing.
Any recommendations in MD let me know. I''m a NEW York transplant, so I cut to the chase and call it like it is and Water Street Seafood passed with flying colors.
I'll definitely be back and will tell all my friends, viewers on both Facebook and YouTube as well as potential travelers looking to discover some sights and sounds of Maryland.
Chef Woo Can
Amazon E-Book: Search; Chef Woo Can or The You Can Do It Asian Cookbook
119 S. Main Street, Bel Air, MD 21014
Today, my friend and I went to the new German restaurant that replaces Black Eye Susan.
It was packed by 4:30 PM on a Wednesday, I thought doesn't anyone work any more? Anyway, we found a table, the waiters were prompt, cleaning our table, providing menus and a beer list.
Typical German fare with interesting homemade German pretzels with various toppings, all types of sausages.
I had the Jagerschtizel (breaded veal with mushroom demi glaze), cream of spinach and french fries. The Jagerschnitzel was so tender and the mushroom demi-glaze was the perfect flavor profile. The cream of spinach was fresh, real spinach with cream sauce was truly authentic and very fresh.
Of course I had a beer, I tried the blueberry cider beer, 16 ounce and it was delicious.
On a scale of 1-10, Chef Woo can give a rating of 8, highly recommend visiting Das Bierhalle, you'll be glad you did. Og, by the way, we went at 4:30 pm and got in right away, after we left the lines started.
Chef Woo Can
Main Street, MD
I swore I wasn't going to come back to this restaurant because of my bad experience the first time on a delivery. But I thought I'd give these guys a second chance.
My friend and I went there on a Tuesday evening and this is my review. First, the waiter brought the fried noodles that were basically all broken. No matter what, when the restaurant is opened, you should still offer noodles that aren't all broken. Ours were all broken. Then the duck sauce served in the tiniest dish, I never knew that dishes could that be so tiny. Keep in mind that the fried noodles are very big and one dunk, in that tiny dish of duck sauce, it would be all gone. My goodness, so skimpy on the duck sauce? It just gave me the impression that money is tight and they had to trim on the condiments.
So, I asked the waiter for a new batch of fresh noodles and to leave the bottle of duck sauce since we both love the fried noodles. The noodles arrived and they were not broken.
My appetizer of shrimp toast was perfect. It wasn't oily at all, in fact very crispy and crunchy. Two pieces of toast with all shrimp topping.
The Hot & Sour soup was not bad, alot of ingredients, sliced mushrooms, slices of chicken, egg, dried turnips and slivers of bamboo shoots.
The main course was a favorite of mind, Shrimp Mayo with Walnuts. I have to say it was quite good. The shrimp was crispy and the sauce was perfect, not runny and watery and the candied walnuts were perfect and not burnt. The broccoli growns surrounding the dish was colorful and perfect.
Overall, the menu was ok, prices ok a little high, but what is missing is the personalized service. Back when David was the owner, he knew his customers or made them feel at home. The owners never did.
On scale of 1-10 with 10 being excellent, I give the new Orient Restaurant a 7.
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Steak & Main
107 S. Main St, North East, MD 21901
401 287 3512
To kick off the New Year, my friends decided to celebrate the New Year getting together for the old year to bring in the New Year.
One of my buddies recommended this place. I heard of this place before but never went there. It's a steakhouse with many varieties of seafood. My kind of place. Yes, it's moderately expensive but between being a chauffeur to my lovely daughter, it was going to be a well-deserved meal.
The restaurant is located on Main Street, North East, MD. Never would have though such a nice restaurant located there. The entrance leads to a full bar and seats and it was very crowded for a Saturday night. The atmosphere was mild, not too over the top, but what made this restaurant great was the service. Our staff that served us was very polite, accommodating and very friendly.
The menu contained both A La Carte dishes consisting of different types of steaks and seafood and if you wanted to add a side you could.
The regular dishes included a carbohydrate and vegetable with the main entree as a protein.
I wanted to start with a fresh mozzarella with fresh tomatoes and a balsamic reduction and olive oil. It was so delicious, flavorful and fresh. At the same time, I saw an appetizer featuring Escargot (snails), not the traditional way of enjoying escargot in the shell. It was without the shell and mixed with a Spring array of select veggies with a nice combination of a little crunch, but whatever was added it was a great flavor combination with the escargot.
Both of these appetizers were excellent. Then I saw on the menu Grouper. I love grouper. Predominately caught near Florida, the Gulf Strem and all over the Caribbean.
I had to order the Grouper. I was a little hesitant since, fish as expensive as it is, some establishments give a very thin slice. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that when my grouper arrived, it was a huge plump piece of grouper. It wasn't over cooked, cooked to perfection and the sauce didn't overwhelm the mild flavor of the grouper.
Last but not least, dessert. my wife was excited to see Creme Brulee and I loved cheesecake and they were both wonderful. My cheesecake was very smooth creamy and a nice piece was served. The Creme Brulee was according to my wife perfect.
So, I enjoyed this fine meal immensely. On my scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I give Steak & Min a "100." It's not often do we have the opportunity for great meal served professionally with the freshest ingredients. Yes, Your paying for all that but this establishment didn't skimp on anything, so I will be visiting them again.
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Chef Woo Can
Thai Spice Restaurant
Bel Air, MD (Festival Shopping Center
Yesterday my daughter wanted to have lunch together and she wanted to go to this Thai restaurant at Bel Air Festival.
Covid has basically converted the restaurant into 1/2. One side was catering to carry out orders and pickup orders and the other half was for in house dining. At around 3 pm, the restaurant was empty for a Friday afternoon. Now, I remember when this restaurant opened up when the entire restaurant was in house dining.
The waiter brought us to a booth and the immediate area smelled like amonia and bleach used to clean the bathroom. It was disgusting. If your going to do the bathrooms, that a chore that should be done at closing, not during business hours. The booth seat according to the wife was very uncomfortable and requested we change to another booth location.
The waiter provided the menus and utensils and upon my review of the menu, prices were astronomical. There was an item that featured Tilapia fish and vegetables for $ 19 bucks, duck with vegetables for $ 19 bucks, the average price was over $15 bucks. Now, you need to know that I cook Asian at the Harford Community College and Frederick Community College, so I know the unit cost of most ingredients. But my daughter wanted to go here, so we ended up here.
I like duck with vegetables and string beans in a Thai sweet sauce. The duck was going to be fried, so I expected a nice portion of duck. My wife had a rice noodle dish with a special sauce and my darling daughter had a Thai Tom Yum Soup bowl with noodles.
Cosnider the restaurant was empty, maybe the cook was doing the carry out orders and take out but for the size of the restaurant I had to believe that that there is more than one cooking station in the kitchen.
We waited for our food for a good 15 minutes, I was wondering if they were chasing the duck in the kitchen to slaughter for my order!
Finally, the dishes came out. You know when you go to a fancy restaurant like La Cirque in Manhattan, fancy French food, they serve a large serving plate with a handful of the entree and that is all you get. Well, we weren't in a freakin fancy restaurant at the festival, and we didn't expect a fancy dish, all we wanted was a dish that was enough to satisfy my stomach in terms of value for the money. My daughter got the bowl of soup noodles, no complaints but I can tell you they probably opened a jar of the soup base sauce, added chicken broth and noodles and some vegetables. Don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that everything in a restaurant is premade when delivered. I know this because I have a jar of the Tom Yum soup base and its like $ 2 dollars.
My wife ordered a special noodle dish. Get this, the noodle dish came out and the little noodles given was swimming in the gravy sauce. There was barely any rice noodles. We had to search the dish to find some noodles and when we found it, I felt guilty eating one strand. Rice noodles cost barely anything.
and the finale was my duck. I'm not even sure if it was duck that I was ingesting. Imagine a duck breast, take 1/4 of a skinny duck breast slice it thin and dip it in a batter and deep fry it. Then add vegetables and a very sweet sauce over it. The amount of the so call duck didn't even have a duck flavor. It was hidden behind the deep fried batter and the sweet sauce. The amount given was a appetizer amount. I'm sure and convinced I wasn't given duck.
3 people and the final bill was $ 60+ tip. But if you want to enjoy an afternoon with family, its best not to go to Thai Spice.
On Chef Woo Can's scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I give Thai Spice a -1,000,000. It was horrible, terrible, smelly. I don't foresee this place lasting longer than another 6 months. It's very expensive and no value to any of the dishes.
There are plenty of reputable food establishments out there, let me know and I'll review them for you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to pay higher prices but at least give me good value for the amount that I ordered.
This establishment must rely on repeat customers, and the way their going the customers are going one way out. If you guys love Thai food, I have the sites where you can buy the ingredients and instructions on how to make it. Let me know, I can help or enroll in my Asian Cooking class "A Taste of Asia" at Harford Community College for January classes. You can enroll now.
Chef Woo can
Sizzling Bombay Again!
Bel Air, MD
Never let it be known that Chef Woo Can never gave an establishment a second chance for redemption.
I used to love Sizzling Bombay, Bel Air, MD, they gave good value for the money and the food is just delicious.
However, my last visit there I ordered my favorite dish, Lamb Korma. It's chunks, literally chunks of lamb in a cashew creamy sauce but it was served with pieces of lamb, scraps hidden in a thick cashew cream sauce. Let's just say when the dish was served, there was not one piece of lamb that surfaced above the gravy sauce. I swore I wouldn't go back, but a buddy of mind says let's get together and he choose Sizzling Bombay. I said sure and I decided to order another dish. I order curry chicken thinking that I might get a better dish. Well, the curry chicken came out and the sauce was totally diluted, watered down. The waitress had a tough time bringing it to our table without spilling it. Ridiculous!
I have never gone to an Idian restaurant where the sauce was watered down or diluted.
Well, that was the straw on the camels back. Never again. I think I try Indian Garden at the Festival.
On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I give Sizzling Bombay a -100.
Get your act together Sizzling Bombay!
Chef Woo Can
I haven't Frequented Many Eating Establishments!
Why? It's not worth it to me. My feeling is I work very hard to earn some income and there are times I'd like o go out to eat but the value I get today, to me is substandard. I don't mind paying a little more for good value but really what's on the menu of fast foods or family style restaurants is food that is treated with all kinds of chemicals, deep fried laden with sweet sauces and lots of French fries and sweet drinks and lots of high calorie desserts.
This is our western diet.
I rather shop for fresh ingredients that I pick out, use little sauce, steam or stir fry and I avoid jasmine rice. Staying away from rice was like taking heroin away from an attack. Asian cooking always goes with jasmine rice. But I had to do it since I'm a diabetic. I have to watch my blood sugar and that almighty A1C every 3 months. I had to adapt and change my food life style. The Western diet is full of carbohydrates, a buttered bun, pancakes or waffle, pasta, rice, burger buns, hot dog buns, potatoes, is enough to kills us and the sweet desserts, how can we resist, but we have to.
The end result is I've lost 24 pounds and maintained it by eating healthy and using common sense. I the beginning its tough, trial and error but when you finally get the program, its easy but I'm tempted all the time, whether its a food commercial or its the fumes coming out of Burger KIng or the pizza, it tough.
I'd say going for a good meal will cost alot right now and with inflation, prices are going up and up, so take the low road and learn to eat at home. NOT with the redi delivery service, not with the frozen food ection but from scratch. You'll appreciate the true natural favlors that we somehow drowned out of our lives.
Chef Woo Can
Sizzling Bombay, Bel Air, MD
There comes a time when we just want to dine out and enjoy a good meal. The concern is that this Covid 19, inflation has hammered the restaurant industry. They've had to reduce their menus and eliminate dishes that aren't as popular, and purchase items at the cheapest price or substitute alternatives that are just as good or buy cheaper cuts of meats. The prices has skyrocketed. and of course they pass on these increases to us. So what are we suppose to do. We know the meal is going to be expensive, that's a given but reducing the quantity for the price is darn right obscene.
I love Sizzling Bombay, I know there are 2 other Indian restaurants in the area but I enjoy the quality of food. My favorite has always been Lamb Korma. It's made with yogurt and cashews and its so creamy served with chunks of tender lamb along with a serving of Basmatic Rice. I usually order the garlic naan and an oder of samosa.
Well, what I received were sraps of lamb with fat on i. Don't get me wrong, a little fat is ok but the days of a chunk of tender lamb was not there. Literally these scraps were covered with the creamy korma sauce.
I was a little disturbed but when I got the bill, it just wasn't fare. My view is either give the customer what they want and adjust the pricing but don't offer literally scraps of lamb and charge me full price.
I'd rather pay more and have the lamb chunks than for you to save money and offer me scraps and charging the same price.
I think you should be concerned for customers to come back or have them tell others of the great value you offer.
I know you have the lunch buffet, frankly it's not very interesting, so, yes, it's a bargain to eat all you want but really not much of a selection.
On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I give Sizzling Bombay and (-50) and get your act together. You underestimate the customer. They'll pay more for good value. They may not frequent your establishment as often but you'll have a dedicated and loyal customer.
Chef Woo Can