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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Las Teresitas Review

Cravings for Mexican food?

Well as long as you are more about the taste of food over service, Las Teresitas in South Minneapolis is definitely worth a visit and be sure to come on a Tuesday. The tacos are only a $1 each which includes unlimited access to their chips and salsa bar. I'm still a little disappointed that I didn't get to try all of their salsa options.  There at least over 5 different options.

Being an over indulgent eater, I ordered 5 tacos. I couldn't really tell the difference, and the server didn't tell me.

-BBQ Mexican Style
-Lengua (Tongue)
-Carnitas (Roast Pork)
-Asada (Steak)
-Chorizo (Mexican Sausage)

Top 3: Lengua, Steak, Carintas Bottom 2: Chorizo, BBQ Pork

Given that I have had chorizo before, I'm assuming they actually gave us ground beef thinking we wouldn't know or maybe I'm ignorant and presumptuous, because it was basically like ground beef. 

I thought the lengua was the best taco meat. I'd go back again and try this place for sure. What are your favorite restaurants for your Mexican food cravings?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Copper Pot Indian Grill Review

Finally got to check out this place called Copper Pot Indian Grill in Downtown Minneapolis. I thought it was a cute place and enjoyed the quality of the food. My Indian boyfriend, however, was not impressed. He did seem to inhale his food with no leftovers, but he claimed it was because he had been craving Indian food for a while now. He thought the food took too long and was overpriced.

They brought us two thin flatbread with two different sauces. I have no clue what it was and neither did the boyfriend. I thought it was delicious like an Indian version of chips and salsa.

We started with the appetizer of Hyderabadi Chicken 65. It was a bit spicy but not "oh my god, my mouth is on fire spicy." It gave me a bit of a runny nose though.

For the main entrees, we ordered the dum puck with a side of naan and chicken briyani.

Dum Puck

Chicken Briyani
No clue how the dum puck is different from any other Indian dishes like chicken marsala, but the dum puck was made with lamb. In regards to the rice that came with my entree, I thought it was decent but it had a few hard pieces of rice in there. Being Asian and growing up on rice, I'm a total rice snob and biased to the Hmong rice I grew up with.

The chicken briyani was decent. It was basically a chicken pot pie with no broth but a ton of ice wrapped in a thin, hard and flavorless breading. The quality of the chicken in it was good though, except the meat was bone which makes it more difficult to eat.

I would probably try Copper Pot again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there. It is probably the second best place I've had Indian food in the Twin Cities though.

Let me know what you think if you've been there before or what other Indian places in the Twin Cities you've enjoyed.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Maiv's Eggroll Basket Review

Are you an eggroll fanatic?  I think this place is for you! Although I thought the service was sketchy and the food was inconsistent; (but I think that pretty typical for the smaller Asian places) the variety of this place is worth it.

 The ones I have tried are chicken, pork, and broccoli and cheese eggroll. I was not amazed by the traditional eggrolls like the pork and chicken. I wasn't fan of the eggroll meat quality. I think they had larger chunks of meat instead of the ground meat. It wasn't too flavorful, and the other ingredients mixed in wasn't ideal for me. I didn't like how chunky the onion or cabbage was and wasn't a big fan of the mushroom they put in.  I am obviously biased as I'm used to my mom's eggrolls at the Asian Cafe in Eau Claire though. Also our chicken eggroll came out a little burnt. In regards to the cheese and broccoli, I was pleasantly surprised. It falls a part easily but I thought it was delicious. It left me wanting more compared to the other two eggrolls.

First time I went in I wanted something healthier and got the steak springrolls. It was perfect the first time. Exactly what I wanted and hoped for fresh and light. You can tell that these springrolls are made fresh. The steak springrolls I got again the second time around, the meat wasn't the greatest quality and had a bit of smell to it.
Dessert eggrolls: Banana coconut and strawberry shortcake. The strawberry shortcake was delicious. It's definitely something I would get again and it's a eggroll I want all my friends and family to try. That's something worth getting. The banana coconut was just not for me. It was oily and the coconut seemed to be just throw in there.

If you go in, I suggest getting the half sandwich and two eggrolls/springrolls with your choice of chips, apple or orange. I enjoyed their bahn mi sandwiches.

What's my issues with their service? First time, I went in my friend and I had a movie to catch at 7 pm. We got in there about 5:50 or 6 pm. Our food didn't come out until 6:50. They had forgotten about our order. Second time, we asked for the banana and coconut eggroll and got a bubble tea or smoothie. Not a big deal, we also didn't get any silverware or napkins. Even though the services isn't the best, it's a place worth visiting especially if you are killing time before hitting up the Marcus theaters. I wouldn't suggest getting it for take-out though since the eggrolls could get soggy on your trip home.

Have you been to this place? What have you tried?

Monday, May 5, 2014

How to Make Simple Chicken Laabh (Larb/Laab)

This is possibly one of my most favorite dishes to make during the summer. It's a nice and healthy meal option which is rich in protein.

Ingredients (serves 2 -4): 
-2 chicken breast (can be made with beef or pork or fish)
- Fish Sauce
I'm actually not partial to any type of fish sauce brand, but this is the kind I used

- 2 Limes
- 1 teaspoon laab seasoning mix (found at Asian grocery stores)

- 1 stalk green onion
-5 stems of cilantro

This is a pretty simple and basic way to make it. Other people probably get fancy with it by adding chopped lemon grass, mint, celery, green leaf, bitter bile, tripe, crushed browned rice (uncooked), and thai chili pepper. All of that is optional and unnecessary if you want something simple and fast.

Step 1: Obviously or not so obviously wash and cut the fat from the meat.

Step 2: Cook the chicken, you can either bake the chicken or boil it in hot water. I personally like to boil the chicken because I think it tastes less dry. Make sure there is enough water to cover all of the chicken in the pot. I cooked my chicken on medium heat for about 20 minutes. If you are unsure if it's ready just take one piece and cut it in the middle to see if it's still pink. If it is, throw it back in the boiling water.

Step 3: Drain the water from the chicken and let it dry.
Step 4: Cut up the chicken into smaller bite size pieces. I think the smaller the better. Smaller pieces absorb the sauce better to make it more savory.
Step 5: Mix the sauce. Add about two table spoons of fish sauce and about squeeze one lime into the mix. When the meat is cooled add the meat.
Step 6: Mix the meat well. If you feel it's not salty enough or needs more lime add more. I added another lime since the first one didn't seem to have enough juice.
Step 7: Add the laab seasoning. I added about 1 teaspoon. It's already a bit spicy so that's something to keep in mind when adding the seasoning. Feel free to mix it in well with the other ingredients and try it to see if you'd like to add more.
Step 8: Chop up the green onions and cilantro and mix it in with the meat and seasoning. I just used one green onion and about 5 cilantro steams.

It's ready to eat! Pretty simple. You can eat it with any kind of rice. If you are really going for high protein and a healthy diet. It tastes good without the rice too.

Enjoy! Let me know if you add anything special in your laab, and please share in the comment section.

Also, just wanted to show off the Hmong cute apron my friend got me (her mom sells these at the Hmong Marketplace in St. Paul). No I usually don't look that cute when I cook and definitely not with my hair down.