Monday, November 21, 2011

El Tapatio Dos 808 Sampson Street Westlake, LA 70669-5309 (337) 721-7685

Sorry I overwrote the review but you can at least see the pics

Sakura and Mongolian Grill

Since my amputation buffets have been difficult to assess since I need another person to be my legs. Recently I developed a stratagem that allows me to do it by myself. There have been two venues I would not go to before this. Here they are. Buffet like places are still hard to review because they have so much. Instead of presenting a long list of food I will instead try to give an overview and why I like or dislike them



3035 Gerstner Memorial Drive

Lake Charles LA


Seven days a week 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Lunch till 4 PM about $12 Dinner about $20

I had my doubts about this place. However once I tried it they disappeared. They have a giant square for serving purposes. On the side facing the entrance is the nigari and super rolls. Nigari is the style with the piece of protein on top of a small mound of rice. I think most people know what a sushi roll is. The nigari consists of some pretty ordinary seafood with a few unusual items. The large or super rolls are big and contain several items in them sometimes with items draped over them. They had a fried roll. At night part of this area has sashimi (raw seafood) featured. The corner has bowls of gari (pickled ginger), wasabi, eel sauce and spicy mayo. Turn the corner and there are smaller rolls. Most are inside out and have spicy tuna in them. The middle holds salads. Both regular ones and stuff like seaweed salad. A few I would not even hazard a guess. Signage is not good in this area. At night this also holds raw clams and mussels. The rest of the side is individual desserts.

The back side is desserts also with a lot of fruit and jello. At the very back of the restaurant is a hibachi station. You pick your protein and vegetables and they cook it for you. I did not try that. The other long side contains some Chinese dishes, American dishes and Japanese dishes such as stir fries and tempura. The corner has two soups.

In general I found the sushi and sashimi good and a bargain, nothing real fancy but tasty. The desserts were OK. The cooked side was not very good unless you caught them bringing out a fresh batch. In general they cook too much and leave it out too long. I will return for the cheap but good sushi, a great deal for me.

Great Kahn Mongolian Grill

1740 West Prien lake Road

Lake Charles LA


Seven days a week 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM Lunch till 3 PM about $9 Dinner about $11

Another I had doubts about but have grown to love. When you sit down you are given two things. A laminated card with starch options (several types of rice and noodles) and a stainless steel bowl. Mark your starch preference with the dry erase pens found on the table. Then you take that with the bowl to the “buffet” line. This consists of raw protein, vegetables, seasoning, and sauces. Proteins offered include chicken, beef, sausage, fish, and shell fish. They upgrade a bit at dinner. They have a variety of salts, peppers, and other things to season your protein. Then the vegetables come next. This part I like because I do not care for broccoli or celery so I load up with cabbage and onions. I cherry pick a few more to add interest. Fill your bowl with as much as it will hold. The sauces come next. They have small cups to put those in along with tasting spoons to sample them. There are well over a dozen ranging from mild to screaming hot. I like a mixture of Thai sweet chile and garlic in soy sauce. The choice is yours.

Now you put the card, bowl and cup on the counter and return to your seat. They bring out the cooked food in a red bowl to your table. In general if you restrain yourself and try not to get a taste of everything it will turn out to be a good meal. Go hog wild and you run the chance of ruining good food. I would return to this place for a quick meal of my own choosing.

Five Guys


Five Guys

2950 Ryan St

Lake Charles LA


Seven days a week 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM $2 to $7

They converted half of a movie rental place to put this venue in. It has the same philosophy of Raisin Cane. Do one or two things and do them right. The menu here is burgers, dogs, grilled cheese, veggie burger and fries. As usual just after opening they were swamped. Because of that and my physical limitations at counter service I held back. However recently I have a new stratagem for such occasions and I used it here.

My first time in my thought was that they should put up a warning sign for people with peanut allergies. Between of boxes of peanuts in the shell and using peanut oil in an open kitchen (if you can smell the fries there is vaporized oil in the air), people with peanut allergy could experience some serious effects. After the process was explained to me I went with a Little Bacon Cheese Burger with mayo, grilled onions, tomato, mustard and hot sauce. I also got fries and a drink. Like some people I experienced sticker shock. It was the size of a McDonald’s plain burger. When it arrived I broke it open. I found a lovely hand formed patty cooked to perfection with melted cheese on the top bun. Four half strips of crisp bacon and grilled onions on the bottom bun. I could not wait to take a bite. Then came the let down. I took that bite and then another. The bread squished down and did not spring back. It had no integrity and wound up tasting like wads of dough in my mouth. Both texture and the taste were a no go for me. The bread is an integral part of the burger experience for me and this was just plain terrible for me. Also their practice of overloading the fries into the bag did not sit well with me. I am a single and do not need a double portion of fries. It pained me to leave most of them as I hate to waste food. Don’t get me wrong they were good just too much. Also dumping them loose into the bag makes it virtually inpossible to get to your burger without burning yourself.

I returned to get a Grilled Cheeese and a Kosher Dog. I ordered the grilled cheese plain. I admired the way they utilized the hamburger bun for it. They flip it so the cap and bottom become the inside with the cheese while griddling the interior sides. Good move but still the bun still showed the flaws of the first time. I was hopeing my first experience was an anomaly. The dog was more sausage like than we are use to here. I got mayo, mustard, relish, and grilled onions. I think I would have liked it better without the bread. It still had that texture of balls of dough when compressed by eating the dog.

I admire this concepy but I hate the bread. I am unlikely to return there. However you need to try it yourself. I know from passing by at lunch with its parking lot full that a lot of people like it. If you do love don’t listen to me. I am as peculiar about bread as I am about rice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bartrella 214 East 4th St Dequincy, LA 70633 (337) 786-8600

This is a bargain bee deal.  I do not mind going out of town if fact I enjoy it but I like to have a menu to look at before hand.  This had one and an interesting item.  Bartrella Triple Delight.  It was three different chicken salads on a plate with spring mix and crackers.  Starting at the bottom and going counter clockwise.  Nanny's Chicken Salad made with roasted chicken, celery, onion, eggs and pickles.  Next Candied Jalapeno Chicken Salad with roasted chicken salad with a sweet and spicy surprise.  Finally Fruit Stand Chicken salad with grapes, strawberries, and apples in the chicken salad.  It made for a nice progression.  The standard followed by the spicy followed by the sweet and cooling
They also had a interesting dessert.  A Creme Brulee Muffin.  Using cinnamon roll dough they created a wall in a muffin tin.  The well was filled with a custard then cooked. To finish they bruleed the custard.  It was just the right size and satisfying without being too much

I took a leisurely afternoon trip up Hwy 27.  It was quite nice.  Some of the trees showing some color.  I wound up in a lovely place and ate good food.  You cannot ask for anything more.

Burgers in Houston

Back in July Groupon had a number of inexpensive burger offers.  I took them up on three of them in Houston.  I did a one day run and did all three.  
Cliff's Grill

I do not have photos of the burger here.  It is situated on the bottom floor of one of the medical towers in the medical center on Main.  By the time I figured out where to park in the garage I was so frustrated that I forgot the camera and did not feel like returning to get it.  What I got was the Murphy Burger beef patty, grilled onions, bacon, cheddar cheese and hickory sauce 
The bun was pretty standard and the burger satisfied.  Just the right amount of sauce.  Recommend it if you can get to it

Bernie's Burger Bus
I went with The Principal.   Traditional approach to the classic American burger with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, pickle, thin sliced onions, shredded lettuce, and slow roasted garlic tomatoes
Electives: Texas Cheddar • Bacon • Bernie’s Caramelized “Tipsy” Onions.  I cut the pickle, onions, lettuce and added all the electives.  As you see below pretty messy but a treat.  The garlic tomatoes really added to the overall flavor and the electives made for a type of burger I love.  I highly recommend but you have to find it.  Consult the web site

Chelsea Grill
The Ginger Carrot Soup here was delicious.  I love both and they delivered.  Sweetness from the carrots and snap from the ginger kept it interesting all the way through.
The Texas Bacon Cheese Burger contained Hickory Smoked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Fried Red Onion Rings & Hickory BBQ Sauce.  I could have done with a little less sauce.  The side of shoestring potatoes in white and sweet were a nice touch and delicious.  The bun was a sweet sourdough and stood up to the messy burger.  I like this place so much I just purchase another groupon for it and I am looking forward to a return visit

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