Sunday, February 1, 2009

two delicious meals and one 'eh' one

While we had every intention of eating home for the majority of the weekend (we have a lot of leftovers), it didn't really happen. We woke up on Friday morning craving Chinese, so we planned to go downtown for some that night. We planned on eating at home for lunch today, but the new vehicle called out to us, wanting us to drive it around some and use the new features, so we took it to Jack in the Box, LoL. We were really planning on eating leftovers for dinner when Kathy asked us to join her for dinner, and I hadn't met Kathy yet, so we did that. But on the plus side, now I have some more things to review for you!

At the suggestion of one of Jonathan's coworkers, Chris, we went to Hangen, a Szechuan restaurant on the outskirts of downtown. It was pretty dead for 8pm on a Friday night, but there were still about six or seven tables occupied. The food there is served family-style, and the menu is very extensive. We went with "family dinner B," (which is denoted as the "spicy" meal) which started us off with fried shrimp (very bready) and vegetarian eggrolls. They were served with a sweet and sour sauce that had a very spicy mustard, almost like a horseradish. The eggrolls were fried to perfection, and were pretty good for having no meat inside. We were then served a pot of Hot & Sour soup, which was ladeled into our bowls. Neither of us had previously tried this type of soup, and found it interesting. The tofu was pretty general (we're not fans), and the egg was tasteless. It was strange to have a sour taste to soup, but we enjoyed it and each had seconds. As for the "hot" part, it wasn't hot in a spicy sense. We then had the Hangen Beef and the Kung Pao Chicken. We chose Chicken Chow Mein instead of white rice. This was a decision I was a little afraid of at first (seeing as the meal was being billed as "spicy"), but it ended up being fabulous. While the chicken was a bit hotter than the beef, neither were that spicy to us (although we are a little "tougher" when it comes to spicy than the average mouth). The beef was flavored with basil and green onions, and was so very tender that it was fabulous. I thought that the chicken was a little "dark sweet" like a molasses, but Jonathan enjoyed it just fine. I fell in love with their chicken chow mein, which was a great combination of noodles, egg, chicken, and vegetables. We had chow mein and chicken left over (we gobbled up the beef), so we have those in the fridge, awaiting our chomping tomorrow. The meal ended with fresh fortune cookies and orange slices. It was very reasonably priced, and the lunch specials seem simply amazing. I can guarantee we'll be back. Oh, and even better: they are one of the few places around that actually deliver!!

Now for a sidebar... we had to take our Ford Escape in today to renew the contract on the rental for another month (which we need to do every month we're out here). Escape 1 needed an oil change, so we needed to get a new vehicle. We had a friendly customer service rep, and he hooked us up with another, still grey. We get out to Escape 2, and it's leather interior with chrome details. It also has Microsoft Sync, so Jonathan got it to recognize his cell and download the phonebook. We promptly gave his mom a call to try it out, and before we knew it we were on Shoreline, so we went to the Jack in the Box near Safeway.

Jack in the Box was our 'eh' meal. This time I ordered the Chicken Fajita Pita, and Jonathan got the Sirloin Sourdough Melt. I was very disappointed with mine, it was a soggy pita with a large leaf of lettuce, a few chunks of tomato, and chicken and cheese. The salsa it was served with was spicy but runny. Jonathan said that his was okay, he wouldn't get it again. When I had a bite of his, I thought it was too fatty.

Kathy took us to BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in Cupertino. It wasn't even fifteen minutes from our place, so it worked out quite well. The place was packed, and Kathy was surprised we were able to find parking and not have to valet. She had also called ahead and put us on the list at least half an hour before we got there, and there was another half hour wait when we arrived. Those who entered the same time were told a wait-time of an hour! We went to scope out the bar, and a table became available, so we grabbed it (very lucky!). Jonathan tried the Piranha Pale Ale, but I forgot to ask how he liked it. Kathy said pretty much everything was good there except the jambalaya (and I'm glad she told us that, since we're big into New Orleans cuisine and have high expectations in that area). She highly recommended the side salads, so Jonathan tried the caesar and I had the house with honey mustard. They were pretty good, and a good value for $2.95 each (salads and raw veggies are expensive out here if you haven't heard me mention that before). Jonathan and Kathy split a deep-dish pizza ("BJ's Favorite") with meatballs, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, olives, onions, and tomatoes. It also had a few bites of buffalo chicken for some reason, LoL. While he noted that it wasn't Uno's, it was still a good pizza. I was overwhelmed by the size of the menu, and although I wanted to try their pizza (it seems to be what they're known for), I decided to have something else since there was already pizza waiting in the fridge from the night before. So, I chose the Blackened Chicken Potato. Think McAlister's, but the potato wasn't as big. Toppings included blackened chicken breast strips, red peppers, green onions, jack and cheddar cheeses, and ALFREDO SAUCE. At first I was a bit skeptical, but the alfredo turned out to be a fantastic topping. As is the usual with a stuffed potato, I was only able to eat half of it (and thus added to the collection of leftovers in the fridge), but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadly, Kathy mentioned that there are very few places around that serve potatoes as a side. We had noticed this, but figured we just must be hitting places that didn't do potatoes. Me and my spud-loving self are kinda sad, and I'm not sure how to overcome the situation just yet. (We ran into a similar dilemma last weekend when there were no boxed mashed potatoes at Costco or Target.) Had we been hungrier, we would have gotten dessert. They have a giant cookie topped with ice cream (a Pizookie) that they're known for, but we'll have to get it another time. And although it was a delicious place to go, I don't know if I'd want to wait an hour. But if I can really just call ahead an hour early and waltz in, that'd be worth it. Oh, and if you were wondering, it was actually a very quiet restaurant when you consider the number of people in there and the set-up of the place.

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