Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Miya Sushi - Towson, MD - Revisit

Yesterday I dragged my husband to Miya sushi.

It was just as good as the first time.  (Sorry, I didn't take pictures this time!  I should have though!  Bad Vanessa!)

They are super duper nice in there.  And they apparently read all of their reviews, including our blog posts!  So that was fun to talk about at the end of our meal!

The place was empty on a wet, rainy Labor Day afternoon.

I ordered tuna sashimi and a red dragon roll (shrimp tempura with tuna on top).  Mike ordered a Butterfly roll (spicy tuna, salmon, avocado, and it said various roe on top), tuna and shrimp sushi, and a miso soup.  I skipped the miso soup this time since I didn't really like it last time.

While we were waiting, we were brought a nice plate of seaweed salad for free!  We like free!  It was great!

Then we were brought our sushi and sashimi, and the butterfly roll.  My tuna was still a little bit frozen, so they cut it up into thinner slices.  It thawed quickly, so I was fine with that.

Mike said his tuna was good, but he wasn't super fond of the shrimp sushi.  I actually forget why.  My bad.  He also liked his butterfly roll.  BUT!  He would have liked it a lot more if there was more roe on top, and more of the "various types" of roe as well.

The red dragon roll came out.  And it was wonderful.  Seriously, they make fantastic shrimp tempura.  It is freshly made, and frankly, the best shrimp tempura I have had in a while.

Then we were brought a "slow" roll.  I think that is what she called it.  This was FREE also.  I am really loving this place.  This roll was wider with shrimp tempura, crab stick, avocado, and cream cheese in it.  I popped out the avocado (not a fan of avocado) and tried it out.  It was quite yummy!  That was my first roll with cream cheese in it, so I was a little worried, but it was just enough to add flavor without taking over the roll.  Mike really enjoyed it as well.

To finish up, I ordered tempura banana with tempura ice cream.  It hit the spot.  Just enough for the both of us to share, and not feel like we overloaded on sugar.

One more thing before I sign off, Amy and I walked last time.  This time, my husband and I drove there.  Parking is not their best feature.

Food: 5 (still yum!)
Service: 4.5 (it takes a while, but the guys are super nice!)
Ambiance: 4 (it is a little small, but when you have the place to yourself, who cares!)

Take Home: I am very happy with Miya Sushi.  Everything I have selected there was pretty darn good!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mediterranean Delights (food cart) - Towson, MD

There is no website for this cart that I could find, but here's their "location" - https://foursquare.com/v/mediterranean-delights-cart/4f9ec5b9e4b044503c93faaa

It's located at the corner of Washington and Allegheny in Towson, just off the circle and next to the courthouse.  We found it the other day when I was doing a 2-day liquid cleanse diet and Vanessa picked up some take-out sushi from Kyodai and we decided to walk to the little park by the courthouse and sit on the benches in the shade so she could eat.  I made her get sushi so I wouldn't smell any delicious smells and have to tackle her and steal her lunch. 

BUT... she forgot to buy a beverage.  So we stopped at the Mediterranean Delights cart so she could buy a bottle of water, since it was right next to the park.  As we stood there, I got to smell all of these absolutely mouth-watering smells and started to hate her a little bit for torturing me by making me stay there.  I perused the limited but delicious-looking menu and decided that I was definitely coming back here soon to try it out. 

And that is exactly what we did after our farmer's market excursion yesterday.  This time SHE had already eaten and it was ME getting the eats!  Their menu consists of lamb or chicken gyros ($5), lamb or chicken "platters" ($6 - rice, meat, onions, and lettuce/tomato salad with either white or hot sauce), and hot dogs ($2) - and it's Halal.  There was another cart that looked like it carried the same kind of food at the other end of the block that had several people waiting in line, whereas this cart had people come up, get their food, and go. I'm not sure if that other cart is more popular, or if they are just slower. 

I got the lamb gyro and said "yes" to a little white sauce.  I was expecting tzatziki sauce, but turns out this was more of a mayo-based white sauce.  I HATE MAYO!!!!  The sauce wasn't horrible, even for a mayo hater, but I'll get hot sauce next time.  The rest of the gyro was fantastic - tons and tons of meat - I can't believe how much! - (and you can even buy extra meat for $2, but there's just no way it would fit!), grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and sauce.  The meat was perfectly cooked - crispy grilled on the outside and moist inside.  The gyro bread was very, very soft.  Hard/stale bread is a pet peeve of mine and often the gyros I get have that hard edge.  This one was awesome.  I highly, highly recommend this place.  I'm going to try the platter next time!

I'm also going to try the other cart on the to see which one is better.  Put your dukes up, bud!

** Sorry for the lack of pics - I didn't consider reviewing this place until my food was half gone and Vanessa suggested it.  Oops.

Food: 5
Service:  5 (the guy running it was fast and very courteous)
Ambiance:  5 (right next to a cute little park with a bunch of benches and shade!)

Take home:  Grab a nosh, then grab a bench!  Go light on the sauce the first time in case you don't like it. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

RB Kebob - Towson, MD

If you haven't been to RB Kebob - Go.


They are good, and the guys there are extremely nice.

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it is worth it!

If you are looking for reviews on Yelp or other sites, these guys have gone through a couple of name changes, including Krazi Kabob, and I think there is a review under the name RB Kebab.  If I recall correctly, that one was hilarious.  Argh!  I can't find it to link for you!  Ah well, onward....

We found this place a few months ago, and for a while we were obsessed.  Like, once or twice a week obsessed.  We were getting the Chicken Tikka Wrap, which is fantastic.

The wrap is a naan bread that you then choose additions for.  It is like an indian taco, and as such, we started referring to this place as Indican.  I usually get mine with rice, chicken, plain tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce, and nothing else.  What can I say, I like my stuff a little on the midwestern side.  (= bland)

Amy usually gets something a little more spicy.  They have in their selection: salsa tomatoes, corn, spicy chickpeas, cilantro, jalapenos, lettuce, cucumbers, cheese,  and a few other things that I am forgetting.  Everything is made to order, so it takes a few minutes, but even with the wait, we have never used our full lunch hour.

The inside of the place can only seat 6-8 people or so, so sometimes getting a seat is tricky.  Outside, I think they can seat 4-6 people.

Today, we went there with a couple of friends, and Amy and I decided to branch out.  We were quite happy with our results.  Amy got the platter, which took a while to make because they skewer chicken and make it for you while you wait.  The pieces of chicken were huge.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.  Urg.  I blame newbieness at blogging for my transgressions.

I got a bowl this time.  This included a large amount of rice, a scoop of chicken tikka, some sauce, my plain tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese.  I also ordered a side of naan through Amy as an afterthought (I had already paid).

The bowl had the chicken and rice on the bottom, so I tried to mix it up a little bit so you can see the chicken.
We had already broken into the naan before I remembered to take a picture!
It was wonderful, as always!  There isn't a huge selection, but if you like indican, you will love this place!

Food: 5 (yum!)
Service: 4.5 (it takes a while, but the guys are super nice!)
Ambiance: 3 (it is a little small)

Take Home: If you like chicken tikka, you will love this place.  The make the naan fresh each order.

RB Kebob - Towson, MD

This is one of my favorite places to eat lunch in the Towson area. 

9 E Chesapeake Ave, across from the library


We actually call it "Indican" because it's a mix of Indian food and a Mexican delivery of said food.  They offer wraps, kebob platters, biryani bowls, and the "daily special" which I have never asked about.

They freshly make their naan as you order your wrap.  The "wrap" is like an Indian burrito.  They take the freshly made naan and fill it with your choice of fixins, like a Chipotle or Qdoba.  Fillings are basmati rice, spicy chickpeas, masala sauce, your meat (steak or chicken tikka), tomato salad, spicy cucumber salad, corn salad, sliced cucumbers, green peppers, shredded cheese, sliced tomatoes, cilantro, diced jalapenos, red onions, lettuce, and two sauces (cilantro yogurt and tamarind).  They wrap it all up (and they really need to squeeze to close that thing!), cut it in half, and you feast.

I have always gotten a wrap because they are soooo delicious but  today I decided to branch out and get the kebob platter.  It takes a good while to make, so don't order it if you're in a hurry.  They take freshly marinated chicken, put it on a large metal kebob, and stick it in the tandoori oven.  I'd say it was about 6 big chunks of chicken.  That has to cook.  The platter comes with basmati rice, your meat, spicy chickpeas, and a "salad" of lettuce, green peppers and cucumbers.  I then picked out whatever I wanted to add from the toppings above (I chose tomato salad, spicy cucumber salad, jalapenos, masala sauce, and cilantro).  It was huge.  I ate how much I wanted and then took the rest home.  It barely fit into the to-go bowl.  I just ate a second portion 3 hours later.  I still have at least one more portion left if not more.  It will be dinner tonight.
This is after my second helping.  There's STILL that much left!! 
 I forgot to take a pic before I ate my platter.  Figures. 
This was taken on my desk at work.  Sorry.

Deb and Vanessa got the biryani bowls.  It was basically what I got except they got the chicken that was already cooked and sliced/diced up.  Mine had more chicken and it was only like $1 more.  Mine came on a plate and theirs came in a bowl.  They also got side orders of naan ($1.50) and Deb got an iced chai.  That took a while too because they had to cook the tea.  She said it was SUPER SWEET, so be warned about that one. 

I gotta say that normally I wouldn't have ventured in there because it's on a side street, so I wouldn't really have seen it, and it is very, very small.  There are 3 little tables that seat 2 people each inside and then 2 small tables outside.  Most people do take-out.  We found it by searching around on Yelp for a new place to eat and it got excellent reviews from everyone.  It used to be called Krazy Kebob but now has a new owner.  The owner is fantastic - super friendly, remembers your name, and great service.  The guy that makes the wraps is also very nice and he goes as fast as he can.  Getting your food does take a few more minutes than you'd expect but it's because they make the naan right then and you get to pick all of your toppings from a long bar and they put them in the wrap.  It is worth every minute, though.

Food: 5
Service: 5
Ambiance: 2 (wish it was bigger and not so hot - the huge glass storefront faces the blazing sun right around lunchtime and the tandoor is obviously a blast furnace)

Take home:  Don't be scared by the looks of it.  Absolutely go!  Give yourself the time so you don't feel rushed.  Make sure you choose the spicy chickpeas (they aren't THAT spicy) and the masala sauce.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Miya Sushi - Towson, MD

I really, really, really want to love this place.  I really do.  But I can't just yet.  Hang in there with me for a minute, people.

The front of this place makes you think, "I dunno.  Raw fish?  Here?  Maybe not such a good idea...".  However, it was cute inside.  I hear it's new and they are still working on their "decor" but even so, it wasn't bad at all.  The owner and chef greeted us warmly and we sat down.  We were the only people there, but we did get there kind of early - a little before noon, I'd say. 

I ordered the "Double Roll" which is spicy tuna tempura, snow crab, and cucumber in the usual rice and seaweed roll and an order of gyoza.  The gyoza was OK - a little fishy to me, but still, I ate them all.  The roll, though....  that was a mistake.  Meaning MY mistake.  I didn't understand what I was ordering.  I expected the usual raw spicy tuna somehow fried in tempura batter, nestled against some crab and cucumber in a roll.  That's not what it is.  It's COOKED, CANNED tuna (which wasn't spicy at all, by the way) in it's OWN roll, fried in tempura batter, and then inside another roll with the crab meat and rice (no cucumber that I saw).  I guess that's why it's called "Double Roll"  and on the "cooked menu" side.  Wellll....  I assumed the fact that it was in tempura was why it was on that side.  I did not like it.  At all.  I don't really like cooked canned tuna.  It tastes like cat food to me (well, how cat food smells).  I think the owner saw that I was confused and wasn't into eating it because a few minutes later, she brought over what was kind of what I was expecting.  Still no cucumber and not spicy, but it was the raw spicy tuna (maybe it was salmon?) wrapped in seaweed, fried in tempura batter, with big chunks of crab on top.  THAT's more like it.  Of course, I was stuffed to the gills by then so could only eat one bite.  It was pretty good but I was so completely stuffed, I couldn't really taste anything.  She gave it to us for FREE!  That's not a cheap roll to make... 

My original "Double Roll"
The freebie "This is what I meant" roll
Vanessa really, really liked her tuna sashimi and shrimp tempura roll.  A lot.  The miso soup she said was just 'OK'.  "I've had better, I've had worse." 

The owner kept checking on us, which is nice.  She even gave us tempura banana for dessert for free after we asked if they had it (it wasn't on the menu)!  3 other diners came in while we were there, and their food looked great - 2 plates of the shrimp tempura and one plate of some kind of sizzling teriyaki.

So as you can see, I'm not in the best spot to review this restaurant since I mistakenly chose the wrong menu item.  The great thing is that she could tell by my reaction and gave me what she figured I must have wanted FOR FREE! 

I still say too few sushi places know how to make "spicy" anything.  It's never spicy.

Food:  I can't comment on this yet.  I just can't.  I'll let you know after I go next time.
Service:  5+
Ambiance: 3

Take Home:  I am willing to go back again and try my normal foods that I KNOW I am picking properly - spicy tuna and spicy salmon. And I'll tell them to make it extra spicy.  And per Vanessa - get the tempura!

Miya Sushi - Towson, MD

Today we ate at Miya Sushi in Towson.


We were wondering what to eat today and decided to try someplace new.  We went to Yelp and the first thing I saw was Miya Sushi, with good reviews all around.

A sushi place that I didn't know about!  It had to be tried.

We walked down there from work, which wasn't too bad of a walk from the Towson Town Center area, and found the bright yellow sign for Miya Sushi just south of Towsontowne Boulevard.

We walked in the door and we were the only people there.  The two staff, they might be the owners, I am not sure, greeted us warmly at the door and told us to have a seat anywhere.  I felt a little bad, since one of them was eating, and I hate interrupting other people's meals, but they were so friendly that I forgot about it quickly.

We ordered and got our drinks pretty quickly, and Amy needed a minute to finish reviewing the menu.

This is a tiny place, only about 8 tables, give or take, but it is quaint, and clean.  Some reviewers on Yelp mentioned that it was sparsely decorated and stuff, but I don't think it needed it.  Cleanliness and staff can contribute so much more to the ambiance of a place than the decor can ever merit.  I liked it.

I ordered the miso soup, Crispy Ebi Roll (Shrimp Tempura Roll) and Tuna sashimi.  Amy got some dumpling things that have a name I have since forgotten and a Double Roll off the cooked menu.

We got our soup and dumplings in fairly short order.  There was a bit of a wait for the sushi, but not so long that I was getting antsy.  And when it came out, it was fresh enough that I was quite happy with waiting for it!

These pictures were taken with Amy's phone, since mine was still acting up.

I enjoyed everything I ordered.  The miso soup was a touch bland, but not the worst I have ever had.  I cleaned my plate.

Amy did not have as much luck.  She really enjoyed the dumplings, but she ordered her Double roll, consisting of spicy tuna tempura and crabmeat (real lump crab!).  It was cooked.  All the way cooked.  I wasn't too surprised, since she ordered it off the "cooked" portion of the menu, but she wasn't paying that much attention.  So she didn't enjoy the roll too much.  

I think the lady recognized this, so she brought out another roll, on the house, and gave it to Amy.  It had spicy salmon and crab with some tempura around it.  If Amy hadn't been so full, she would have devoured it.  It was exactly what she had wanted.  Well, maybe not as spicy as she could have wanted, but it is not unusual for places to make things not too spicy.

Afterward, we asked for tempura banana, and they brought us out 4 little pieces of banana, which was the perfect amount!  We got that for free as well.  I love this place, and this lady serving us!  I promise next time (and there WILL be a next time!) I will find out more about you, like your name and stuff!

Food: 5
Service: 5
Ambiance: 5

Take Home:  This place, while small and looking a bit like a hole in the wall, was wonderful, with wonderful food, and wonderful people!

El Rodeo - Towson, MD

Monday we wen to El Rodeo in Towson, MD.


They are a fun place.  I really like the atmosphere, and the lunch is always good.  The wait staff is always friendly, and since we have been going there practically since they opened, we have watched the wait staff learn the ropes.

On Monday, I wasn't feeling Mexican, but Amy was.  I figured I would get the Mushroom Quesadilla that I typically get, but I felt like that was too much food for me today.

So, I asked the waiter if I could order off the kids menu.  He said sure.  Amy said "What?!? You are ordering off the kids menu?"  And the waiter tried to take some of the sting (even though there wasn't really any sting) away by giving the token, I like the kids menu response.  Good for you Mr. IAmReallySorryButIDontKnowYourName waiter.  We could tell you were new in the beginning, but you have really grown into it!  Couldn't ask for a nicer waiter!

So.  Despite the continuing face of disbelief being displayed by Amy, I ordered a hot dog off the kids menu.  And Amy roared (literally, I kid you not, roared!), "A HOT DOG!"

I tried, and succeeded, I might add, to hold in a snort of laughter.

This was a good lunch folks.

He brought out our food, and since Amy was ordering an entree for take out as well, I got my kids meal for FREE!  YES!  Apparently they have free kids meals with the purchase of an entree on Mondays.  Awesome!  Gather your kids folks, and head out for some Mexican at El Rodeo!  They have hot dogs, chicken tenders, little tacos, and more that I can't remember!  There were at least six items on the list.

I took some pictures, but my phone is being silly, so I can't post them yet.  But I will!

Food: 5 I love getting what I want when I want it, even if it is off the kids menu!!
Service: 4.5 and getting better
Ambiance: 5 They have some pretty cool decor, it is bright and spacious.

Take Home Message:  We have never gone wrong at El Rodeo, and we love the chips and salsa!