Saturday, August 6, 2011

Good? Yes. The best? No.

Let's keep it short and sweet here:

 The St. Matthews

 The White Pizza

 Our pizza- The Brownsboro
The Clifton

  • Crust- chewy on the edges and very thin, but soggy in the middle.  I expected a charcoal flavor since they boast about the 600 degree coal fired oven....but there was none.  
  • Sauce- didn't miss it!  This was a pleasant surprise. 
  • Toppings- tasty caramelized onions made the pizza memorable
  • Value- decent.  After all, this is in St. Matthews. 
  • Best pizza in Louisville?  No.  Would I try something else here?  Yes.
Coals Artisan Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 3, 2011

German fusion? Oh yes please.

We, along with two dear friends, decided to check out Eiderdown tonight.  I have been very curious about this place, mainly due to advertising at Sunergos Coffee and good word-of-mouth.  We looked at the menu beforehand and decided this wasn't true German food; it seemed like German influences mixed with American gourmet with local and seasonal ingredients to boot.

The atmosphere is nice--not too dark, but not too bright either.  Lots of happy people at the bar and at the tables.
We started with the 3 Pretzels appetizer (left) and the Bier Kase (right), which was gouda today.  The pretzels tasted very good, although they were a little greasy.  You can pick 2 house mustards with the pretzels, and our friend chose the Sweet-Hot and the Porter.  The Sweet-Hot was nothing but the latter!  It was worse than wasabi.  :-O  The Porter was mainly just sweet.  The gouda was delicious (but I am a sucker for gouda).
This is my Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier---1/2 a liter!  This was great, nice and smooth.  (Sorry....not a beer connoisseur.) 
My entree was the Gnadinger Pork sandwich with red cabbage slaw.  The sandwich was moist and tasted like pulled pork---it had the right, pull-apart consistency. The currants and pistachios didn't add much to the flavor, other than a slight background sweetness.  The red cabbage slaw was okay; not as tender as I've had before, but more raw.  It was sweet as well, but not as tart as I expected.  I still enjoyed it though.
Mr. S. had the Mood Indigo, a calf tongue, smoked blue cheese, & sauerkraut sandwich, along with braised collard greens.  The flavors of the sauerkraut and blue cheese shone through, and the bread was nicely toasted.  I typically detest collard greens, but I liked these more than my own side.
This was our friend's Saison Spaetzle, which included squash, zucchini, pearl onions, basil, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts.  She said that it was good, especially the goat cheese. 
This was our other friend's Homer's Daydream, pork ribs in sauerkraut with potatoes and apples.  He seemed to enjoy it immensely as well.

Verdict:  Our bill was $36 for 2 beers, 2 sandwiches, and an appetizer---not bad.  Would I return?  Yes.  I like that the menu changes, portions are reasonable, the atmosphere is cozy, and the food is comfort food at its fundamentals...but with a German twist.  

Eiderdown on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 30, 2011

The new DIY project

Anyone want to make tempeh?

This meat substitute can actually be quite tasty.  Mr. S. and I had some in a chili in Asheville, and it was surprisingly delicious.  We researched more about it and discovered that making your own requires a starter...and also involves growing mold in your own house.  Deliberately.  :-O

We hope to get some starter from this website:

And I will document this process soon!

-Pie was horrible.  Not due to the crust (yay tenderness!), but due to the fact that I can't make filling worth a damn.  Too much cornstarch.  :(
-Lobster Fest 2011 pics soon...although they're on Facebook as well.
-Chocolate bourbon scones are really good.
-I tried the last food truck in Louisville, Lil' Cheezers.  :)  Review for that coming soon too.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Who knew that vegan food could taste good?

I'm kidding...I think.  The only vegan food I've had prior to tonight was a ginger cookie from Amazing Grace, which is now gone.

The presence of food trucks is not new at all to places like LA and Portland.  I'm pretty excited about this trend here in Louisville, though, and hope that it lasts.  There are three trucks now that I know of: El Rumbon (see my past review here) , Lil' Cheezers (grilled cheese sandwiches) and Louisville's Morels Food Truck, which is in its second week of business.

Mr. S. and I decided to go today due in part to being depressed about Owensboro's International BBQ Festival, which is apparently not international whatsoever.  :(
Entertainment while you wait for your food.  :D
Mr. S. and I bought the teriyaki slider burgers and the banh mi hot dog.  Both were excellent.  The burgers were moist and had a great savory teriyaki flavor.  The hot dog tasted like a regular one (no lips/lymph nodes, yay!) with pickled carrot & daikon, topped with a generous amount of spicy mayo.  

Bottom line: very reasonably priced and extremely tasty.  This gives vegan food a good name to omnivores such as myself.  I <3 food trucks!

Morels Vegan (food truck) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Long overdue

Mr. S., our friend H. the bread chef, and I journeyed to Asheville, NC a couple of weeks ago for the Asheville Bread Festival.
(Not the best picture in the world, but it was the most beautiful drive I've done in a long time.)

The festival was delightful.  There were 10-15 vendors selling their wares, from all sorts of bread (of course) to flaky, buttery croissants, pastries, and the softest pretzels I have ever sampled.  Unfortunately, I left my camera battery at the hotel so no pics from the festival.  Peter Reinhart also posed for a picture with all of us.  :)

We returned to the hotel to admire and consume our loot.

I wish I could do this.  But I'm always so afraid of my bread burning, and furthermore, I do not have a hearth oven.
After resting, we attempted to attend a seminar on French ovens, but were stymied by poor directions and Mapquest.  (*shakes fist*)  Instead, we came early to Chef Reinhart's seminar.  He is very nice.  We tasted the sprouted wheat bread before the demonstration even started.  :D

 100% hydrated dough!  Can you imagine?
Sprouted wheat foccacia

Afterwards, I bought Chef Reinhart's American Pie and got to gush to him like a silly fangirl about how much I love his recipe for pane siciliano.  
And....I'm now a tester for his upcoming gluten-free, diabetic cookbook that will be published in April 2012.  I have tried two recipes so far.  That, of course, is another post.  :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy first anniversary to The Hungry Panda!

I had to look back at the archives to realize it's been a year since I've started this blog.  So...what can you expect from me in the future, besides themed dinner parties, restaurant reviews, and silliness?  I'm very excited about some new cookbooks I've purchased, Rick Bayless' One Plate at a Time and Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.  With those, I hope to expand my repertoire of dishes beyond quick sandwiches and salads (which is sadly all I eat when I don't have time/energy for anything else).  The latter's blog is amazing, and of course I will explain why I think I need a Vietnamese cookbook.

Here's what I'm working on:
-pane siciliano (I've made this bread more times than any other in the past few months, so it deserves an entry.)
-Asheville Bread Festival (Yes, I went...where were you??)
-pie crust (Will I ever top my m-i-l?  A tall order, considering I did not grow up eating pie.)
-Wiltshire on Market review

Anyway, I made graham crackers on Monday night, just to say that I could.  (I doubt I'll be doing this again.)

- I used a total of 10.25 oz of graham flour; no all-purpose flour.
-Following other reviews, I substituted the molasses with 2 oz of honey.
-I used liberal dashes of cinnamon, but it really didn't make a difference in flavor.
-No whole milk in this house; just skim.

-I couldn't roll my first batch very thinly, so it became a delectable crunchy cookie.  Mr. S. had better luck with rolling the dough out to the correct thickness with the second batch, but the crackers became slightly burnt.  Still edible though.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eating my way through Denver, Part 2

Day 3:

Oddly enough, I'd never had pho for breakfast before.  This was decent.  Of course, my mom and grandma's pho is far superior.  ;)  But there was a generous amount of meat and I could tell that there was no MSG in the broth. 
A tasty coconut boba drink.  I still don't like tapioca pearls though due to their texture.

Lunch at Noodles & Company (top to bottom: Japanese udon, tomato & basil soup, beef stroganoff, side salad)  If you have to eat fast food, this is up there with Panera in the "makes you feel like you're eating something healthy" department.  I enjoyed my udon very much.  There were too few noodles and too much meat and vegetables, which is not a bad thing.  :D  The tomato soup was creamy and not as tasty as Panera's but it was cold outside and it is one of my comfort foods.  
Eithiopian dinner at Queen of Sheba.  My friend and her sister had never had Eithiopian before.  It was so much fun to introduce them to it!  The beef in the forefront was the best.  I also enjoyed the collard green and potato/lentil dishes.  This was the meat combo for two (with an additional order of lamb tibs in the middle) and it easily fed the three of us.  The service was wonderful and we even got to chat with the chef/owner after our meal.  
Day 4:
Baked goods at Wholly Cannoli
I wasn't blown away by my cannoli ($3.50 + tax).  It was almost too sweet, very heavy, and definitely too big.  Their other offerings looked good though, and my friends enjoyed the raspberry twist and eclair.

We had lunch at Star of India.  Their lunch buffet only costs $8!  The chicken curry was moist and had a great flavor, while all the vegetarian dishes were savory.   However, I didn't relish the chicken tikka masala because the chicken was tough and the sauce was bland.  I don't remember being impressed by the tandoori chicken either.  The naan was soft but soggy with oil.  

Arash Grocery features foods from the Middle East, most of which I had never seen before.  It was so much fun!  I loved the rows and rows of pita, lavash, and barbari bread, as well as yogurt soda, bulk bags of nuts and spices, pistachio candies (which weren't good), poppy seed pastries (which are!) and lots of fresh vegetables.  My friend bought the chickpea cookies above.  They were very dense and chalky, but had a good flavor.
Continuing our international food tour, we visited Dah Won Rice Cake.  The owner was nice, although a bit difficult to understand   The rice cakes were very chewy and filled with red beans.  Not my favorite thing, but I'm glad that I tried it.
Next door to the rice cake shop is Paris Baguette, which I assumed to be French on first glance.  But I was very pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a Korean bakery.  I LOVE Korean bakeries, and have not been to one since I went to Dallas 3.5 years ago.  I wanted to buy one of everything in the store.  (And at $1 apiece, I guess I could've, but I'd spent too much money by this point...)

Last but not least, we visited a Mexican bakery, Panaderia Tlaquepaque.  I purchased an elephant ear, which was dry and tasteless, and a cinnamon pastry that needed to be reheated before being good.  I guess the latter was due to us visiting later in the afternoon.
Our loot---I actually didn't try the barbari bread until I returned home.  (It was dry, flat, and tasted like white bread.  Not a fan.)  The poppy seed pastry tasted like "a gigantic Fig Newton" in Mr. S.'s words.  I bought a red bean pastry and a cross between a cinnamon roll and a red bean roll at the Korean bakery.  Both were delicious.  My friend bought tahini and halva, but we didn't try either.  Her dulce le leche empanada was marvelous though- sweet, tender, and flaky- and enough to redeem the bakery in my eyes.