Lunch At Yen’s

I’ll admit, one of my favorite takeouts of all time is Chinese food. And I don’t really get down with eating a raw octopus just to say I ate something authentic, that’s a bit pretentious I think. I’m talking that Won Ton soup and egg plant chicken, sucka.

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One of the longest standing Chinese restaurants in Charlotte is Yen’s Chinese Restaurant off of Monroe Rd at Crown Point. Yen cooks, and his wife is the server. It’s a small restaurant with a mini kitchen bar. The quality of food here is well above the average Chinese dive, while the menu features food that most would be familiar with.

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It’s really hard to believe the portion sizes for only $5.25. My uncle, who joined me for lunch, asked for his Ginger chicken to be made extra spicy. The perfect way to say goodbye to the last of our cold weather for sure. We watched as Yen shaved down tiny shavings of ginger which of course could be seen in the end sauce. There’s nothing like knowing the ingredients are fresh, and your meal hand made. I meant to ask my uncle how he liked his lunch, but he was almost finished with it by the time I was done taking pictures of mine… Which of course, can only mean one thing.

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As for me, I ordered the Eggplant Chicken which was also spicy. I liked my uncle’s style so I asked Yen to kick it up a notch and watched as he went straight to the cutting board. As my uncle got steamed rice, I decided to test Yen on his fried rice, which was fantastic by the way. No extra soy needed, it was the perfect amount tossed with fried egg and diced onion and celery. The eggplant was sooo good! The sauce he created for this was spicy and coated all of that chicken and eggplant so there was no escaping the heat! I was thoroughly pleased for $5.50.

I will be back for the scallops on the dinner menu sometime soon. And while the menu may be fit to match American taste, Yen will certainly make you truly authentic Chinese food if you ask him to. That of course, is all off the menu and under the radar!

Just A Tip

Hello everyone! Not a whole lot going on today so I’m going talk a little about the social definition of the word tip, particularly with its relationship to having a hidden meaning derived from an acronym.

T.I.P.S.: To Insure Prompt Service or by itself, T.I.P.: To Insure Promptness. To put it plainly, I think this is made up. A tip quite simply is a gratuity.

No matter what it is related to, insurance is prevention. A payment of insurance, whether it be a contract to prevent losses in the event that property gets damaged, or it be applied to gratuity, would still need to be paid in advance as per prevention.

In North America, gratuity is applied after the transaction. The transaction is made after the products and services have been delivered to the customer. There is no insurance involved, therefore leading me to believe the correct word would be ensure.

While I do not believe a tip has a hidden meaning, it does of course still have application in its relationship to prompt and attentive service. ;) What do you think?

 

Thomas Street Tavern: Round Three

Good afternoon everyone! Naturally after all that beautiful weather over the holiday weekend we start things off with a rainy Monday. That’s okay though, because we’re going to do it right today with a hot lunch from Thomas Street Tavern.

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  • $6.75 – Hot Tuna Melt - Tuna salad with bacon and cheddar cheese served on toasted rye bread.

This lunch brought me back to a bygone era. Growing up we had nothing… Nothing but hot summers, woods, creeks, fields, and ponds to go fishing in. Bringing frogs, crayfish, and lizards into the house by the bucket full. My skin was permanently clay colored, and I never wore shoes or a shirt. We were some crazy kids back then. Tuna sandwiches for lunch were just as simple as the lives we all had.

As for my lunch at Thomas Street Tavern, the cheddar cheese melted right down into the tuna salad, which had been mixed with crispy bacon. Side of mac, why not?

And there you have it, round three. You know, the cure for a rainy Monday is to have a good lunch. More T-street to come, till then have a great day everyone!

A Little St. Paddy’s Day Drink

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Today’s post will be short and sweet, featuring a simple drink that’s festive for the holiday.

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  • 1 Part Green Creme de Menthe.
  • 2 Parts White Creme de Cacao.
  • Whip Cream.
  • Mint and green sprinkles for garnish.

Combine liquors, shake, pour and garnish.

Although the Grasshopper is not a traditional St. Patrick’s Day drink, it can be made to look fun for the holiday. In order to make a Grasshopper look right the green Creme de Menthe does the trick, and of course you won’t be able to use the chocolate Creme de Cacao it has to be white, otherwise your martini will look like sludge.

I leave you now with a few fun facts about this widely celebrated holiday. It’s St. Paddy’s Day for short not St. Patty’s Day (Patty is short for Patricia – female, not for the Irish suffix of Patrick) and four leaf clovers have never been used as an icon for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s the shamrock. More specifically, a three leaf clover which St. Patrick used as a symbol when teaching the Trinity to congregation.

Drink responsibly and have a great holiday!

Thomas Street Tavern: Round Two

“Round two… Fight!”

Good afternoon Charlotte, and readers from around the globe! Today I woke up with a slight hangover, which of course has everything to do with last night… which of course is likely how the rest of my weekend will go!

And about last night, I just so happened to pay Thomas Street Tavern another visit.

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  • $5.25 – Grilled Cheese: Your choice of cheese and bread.

Allow me to introduce you to a life long friend of mine, Cheese. You see we go back a long way, Cheese and I… Short story is, I sometimes find that the simplest of things are the easiest to appreciate. Ooey and gooey, who could resist? And the full story…

This simple Grilled Cheese also gets my professional recommendation. You may recall in previous publications I have talked about the importance of fatty and fried foods while drinking, as they slow down absorption of nutrients into the blood as opposed to carbohydrates and sugars. This is important to remember while drinking. During my Serve Safe Alcohol Certification and training I learned that through the liver, alcohol leaves the blood stream at an average rate of about one hour per one shot of 80 proof Vodka. If you eat foods that slow down alcohol absorption, such as this tasty grilled cheese with cheesy tater tots, it is possible to give your liver the time it needs to rid your blood of excessive alcohol. In the case of my late night drinking snack last night at Thomas Street Tavern, well let’s just say it did the trick! Of course the best advice that anyone can take while drinking, especially knowing that it takes your body one hour to rid your blood of one shot of Vodka, would be to pace yourself.

Anyway I had a great time last night, Thomas Street was packed. There’s still more to come from this legendary bar in the days ahead, until then have a great weekend!

Thomas Street Tavern: Part One

Good afternoon Charlotte! And happy Friday. In the upcoming days I will be writing several segments on the popular Plaza Midwood hangout, Thomas Street Tavern.

I had lunch there earlier this week, on Monday I believe it was. Not sure why I stopped in for lunch I have never been during the day. I had a good feeling about it though. I felt even better when I grabbed the only patio booth still open! It seemed like fate… My waitress had a nice butt and I had an ice cold Stella. There was only one thing missing.

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  • $7.50 – Whitman’s Country Club: 3 decker sandwich with ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, swiss, american cheese and mayo on your favorite bread.

Ah yeah! Toasted sourdough and asparagus for my side. Sandwiches!

I left stuffed, pleased, and feeling good about myself. Thomas Street has been one of my hangouts for the longest time. In fact last summer’s Sunday Funday posts would sometimes end at “t-street” as if it were tradition. You may also remember this photo from Monday’s teaser, Pic Of The Day #8. I’ll be back for more, and sooner than you may think! Review coming up perhaps? Have a great Friday everyone.

Brunch @ The Peculiar Rabbit

Hump day! I hope all of you are ready for a perfect spring this year. Well, minus the allergies of course… I know I’m looking forward to perfect Carolina blue skies on warm Sunday mornings! Such a tease, I know.

Speaking of teases, today I’ll be giving you a small taste of Sunday brunch from Plaza Midwood’s new kid on the block. I believe introductions are in order, aren’t they?

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The Peculiar Rabbit is a new three story gastropub, one that likely has the best roof top patio in Charlotte. Located within walking distance from Soul Gastrolounge and The Common Market, as well as Volume Lounge and Thomas Street Tavern to name a few, The Peculiar Rabbit is nestled in a cluster of both eateries as well as night life.

While I have been to “p-rabs” several times already for drinks, this was my first experience with their cuisine. In fact, my Sunday brunch venture here was a back-to-back visit with the night before’s drinking!

I ended up having brunch here with my uncle and cousin, who both had no second guessing about the sausage gravy biscuits, both with scrambled eggs and hash browns. As for me, our waitress Caroline pointed me toward a few of the new additions to the menu, one of which was their Popper Omelette.

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You may remember this from the Foodie Pic Of The Week… Jalapeno peppers and cream cheese are folded into the omelette before being garnished with a tomato relish.

This omelette is heavily influenced by Western culture. Being an american style of the  farmer’s omelette, that is having the ingredients folded into the egg while cooking as opposed to being added to the raw egg before cooking. This omelette is also inspired by the mid-western american Denver omelette, where the egg is garnished with relish, chutney, or more traditionally a shredded cheese.

Growing up in a rural small town outside of Charlotte, the only rule we had was that there had to be peppers. Well, as far as omelettes go that is. The omelette I had at p-rabs covered that angle, and the cream cheese really helped round off some of the heat from the Jalapenos. As for the Jalapenos by the way, they were cut into long strips as opposed to being sliced. I enjoyed brunch, as well as chasing it with a Bloody Mary!

The food was prepared from fresh ingredients, the price point is very fair, and the coolest staff in town. If you haven’t been to The Peculiar Rabbit for brunch yet, I give it my recommendation. More to come! Have a great hump day everyone.