Phat Boyz Barbecue: not as good as it smells
Phat Boyz is a small barbecue place on Route 1 next to Green Top. You can smell them slow-cooking barbecue outside. Like most good barbecue restaurants, it is so small that on the inside you have to leave it to change your mind. I bet a lot of people who go to Green Top to buy hunting gear are drawn in by this deceptive aroma.
Favorite Dish: Sadly, the barbecue doesn't taste nearly as good as it smells. How can that be? Well, smoked pork left virtually alone can be heavenly. Phat Boyz adulterates its barbecue to the degree that it is entirely too sweet. I have only been to one place with worse barbecue: Buddy's Place in Amelia where the barbecue comes from a tin. A lesson for Phat Boyz is: leave well enough alone!
- Food and Dining
Curry House: Indian, anyone?
Believe it or not, I hadn't tried Indian food until just after my 38th birthday. My buddy Dustin Gillis and I both wanted to try a different cuisine, so we agreed on Curry House. I was sort of nervous that everything on the menu would light up my life, but that's the price of doing research. I knew it would be different regardless and if it was all hot and spicy I would know where to go next time I have sinus problems. On entering the restaurant, it looked like a high class restaurant with leather couches in the waiting area. Dustin and I didn't have long to wait to be seated. In fact, for a time, we were the only ones there. Indian music played across the loudspeaker. The service was rather slow given the lack of people there. They say to allow time for each dish to be made specially for you, but it took Dustin forever to get his tea. The portions were very generous.
en español, em português
Favorite Dish: They serve fried rice chips with three sauces (red: onion chutney, green: cilantro, brown: tamarind). The rice chips were good alone or with sauce. I tried all 3 sauces, preferring the tamarind. The onion chutney was a bit too spicy (there had to be something more than just onions). The cilantro was pretty good. For an appetiser, we shared the fried coconut shrimp which consist of jumbo shrimp marinated with spices, sauteed with mustard, onion, and finished with coconut. I had the tandoori chicken. For those who might not know, tandoor is a char coiled clay oven shaped like a dome. The skewered meat and breads are cooked at 600°F (320°C). The fully covered oven seals in the meat's juices and gives the tender meats a barbecued taste. The tandoori chicken I had was marinated overnight with yogurt and fresh spices and cooked in the Tandoor. The chicken came to the table sizzling on a hot plate. Dustin went a different route ordering the Hydrabadi Kheema Dosa which is a thin rice crepe (with the look and consistency of the Ethiopian injera bread) stuffed with fresh ground lamb marinated with herbs and traditional spices. All entrees are served with basmati rice of which I am not keen because, in my opinion, it tastes more like popcorn than rice. Everything up to that point was great and we even found room for dessert, something I normally don't do. I had the Malai Kulfi an Indian homemade ice cream served in mango or pistachio flavours. It looked on first appearance like a cheese platter. It tasted sweet, but not like any mango or pistachio I ever tasted. That was the one thing that came short the whole evening. I had a great first go of Indian cuisine and I'm ready to try other restaurants.
- Food and Dining
Great Taste Buffet: All you can eat Chinese
Great Taste Buffet is a Chinese buffet in the West End near Innsbrook. It has more of a selection than Mrs. Wong's in Mechanicsville. You might think with an all-you-can-eat buffet, there need not be any waitresses. However, in Virginia (and I would think most other states) the law says people must use a different plate at each trip to the buffet. So, a waitress must be there to collect used plates. $12 was reasonable for a buffet like this.
Favorite Dish: I had all sorts of things including crab meat and bacon, sweet and sour chicken, teriyaki beef, stuffed mushrooms, beef and mushrooms, octopus, egg rolls, and all kinds of rice. For dessert, I had soft serve chocolate ice cream with chocolate shavings and a cherry.
- Food and Dining
Casa Grande: Casa Grande
Casa Grande is a local chain of 4 Mexican restaurants. Recently gipper84 and I ate at the one across from Virginia Centre Commons. As a tenant of a strip mall, it doesn't look special from the outside. On the inside, they really play up the Mexican theme without overdoing it. The service was as friendly and prompt as it could be, but the food cannot hold a candle to La Casita down Brook Road a piece. At least they didn't garnish our meals with sour cream and guacamole.
Favorite Dish: Like many Mexican restaurants, Casa Grande offers complimentary tortilla chips and salsa. I had the combination 7 which consists of 2 tacos, 1 enchilada, and Mexican style rice. The complimentary salsa was worth every penny because the cilantro absolutely dominated the sauce. The tacos were okay, but the enchilada was dominated by the red sauce, and the rice was dry.
- Food and Dining
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