Tag Archives: cheap

Kyoto Asian Grille

1 Oct

Rating: GO

outside kyoto

I’m pretty sure we arrived before the staff themselves. We walked in to Kyoto and not shockingly to me, no one else seemed to be there. We were told to seat ourselves and promptly did at the nearest booth. As we looked over the menu it struck us that the $4 lunch bowl we had come to sample weren’t mentioned anywhere. After asking our server were were shown the items that feel into that category of special. I got the Thom Yum soup to start with and the honey chicken after my companion ordered the sesame chicken before I could.

Thom YumThe Thom Yum soup was the shit! I was told by the server to be careful of the peppers which of course meant that I had to eat them. They were spicy and flavorful and the soup was fantastically acidic thanks to the lime. I finished the whole bowl and for $3.95 the portion size wasn’t bad.

Chicken shitThe two chicken dishes were also delicious and the chicken itself was perfectly cooked. Not just crispy on the outside but also moist on the inside. The sesame chicken had a hint of smokiness that really took it to another level and my honey chicken which may have been overly sweet on it’s own was the perfect accompaniment to my soup. A squirt of sriracha would have been amazing but that’s probably like asking for ketchup at a steak house in Thai places.

The price on these bowls are a steal and there was at least a second meal from the leftovers. I am obsessed with the soup and can’t wait to go back. Rating this place a cheap GO!

Kyoto Asian Grille on Urbanspoon

L.A.Grille

14 Aug

 Rating: 42 Bertangos

2013-08-09_11-25-51_878

I heard about L.A. Grille a while back and really wanted to give it a go. The problem is that I’m rarely in the area and when I am nearby it’s probably because I’m visiting my brother and if that’s the case why not just steal his food? However, I recently felt compelled to head that way in order to detail my girlfriend’s car so that I no longer had to hear the incessant “Ahmagahd my car’s like so dirty, I just spent, like, money on like tires or whateverrr.” Detailing a car in 9000 degree heat sucks balls in a bad, bad way so I demanded she at least buy us a  couple burritos from L.A. Grille.

Any time I’ve had a burrito at a Mexican joint my reaction is something along the lines of “get outta town.” They’re just kind of boring. Why would I want a boring dumbfucking burrito when I could eat at Flaming Amy’s? Flaming Amy’s is known to cause spontaneous bonerwaves continents away. It is quite often a religious experience. I guess we see where this little review is headed: Flaming Amy’s versus L.A. Grille.

2013-08-09_11-52-50_177There he is, Miss America. This, my friends, is a substantial burrito. I would wager these things are at least as big as a normal Amy’s burrito. They’re probably bigger and they seem more substantial in that the filling is less shitty rice and lettuce and more meat and veg and stuff. Also, the tortilla these things come wrapped in was very thin; I was kind of scared it would bust a hole or fall apart but it never did. In fact I far prefer these tortillas to the thick ones Flaming Amy’s uses to ridiculously over-wrap their burritos 18 times with.

I got to try two of their burrito offerings, their chicken burrito and their carnitas burrito, both clocking in at $5.50. With this comes a very small number of homemade tortilla chips and a tiny little thing of salsa. I was asked if I wanted spicy salsa and I said yes. Holy fuck was this salsa spicy. My asshole was terribly put upon following my rampant, thoughtless ingestion of this stuff. It tasted great though. Extremely fresh. The tortilla chips were okay. They seemed a bit over-cooked and a bit greasy. 2013-08-09_12-03-39_467The burritos  themselves were friggin’ great.

The carnitas meat was so juicy. I thought the chicken would never stand up to the dominant start of the carnitas but it came very close. Probably my favorite chicken burrito ever but I fucking hate chicken. Both burritos were mild in terms of spiciness but they were so full of flavor I think I am in support of the wimpy heat.

Overall, L.A. Grille is a great little hole in the wall place to get some great food at great prices. I think their half-pound burger is also only $5.50. If you are ever nearby I suggest you give them a try. However, a matchup between L.A. Grille and Flaming Amy’s is impossible. They are truly different beasts. But here is a bit of a rundown, it’s the best I can do:

  • Burrito: L.A. Grille – As much as I love Amy’s, I just thought the two burritos I had from L.A. Grille were a bit better. If I could get an L.A. Burrito at Flaming Amy’s next time I went there, no question, I would.
  • Sides: Flaming Amys – L.A. Grille has some spicy salsa but c’mon no one will ever beat Amy’s salsa bar.
  • PriceTied – $5.50 versus $7.00. You want a cheap burrito or you want some wacky salsas? AHH SO MANY DECISIONS.

lagrille

L.A. Grill on Urbanspoon

Okami Japanese Steakhouse

18 Jun

Rating: -1 PETA

Before it was Okami’s, this location was made into some weird barnyard breakfast place. They had painted cows creepily staring at you from every direction like some horror movie version of a Chik-fil-a. Before that it was Pier 20, a gloriously simple seafood palace made of grease and hushpuppies. I’ve heard reports that it was dirty, and I don’t really care. Probably contributed to my superior immune system. Point being, this weirdo location should be slammed with patrons since it’s directly on College Road. As you can see from the above photograph, slammed it is not.

I walked in and was a little worried that despite the lit sign that it might be closed. Guess not, since Pizza Pete and I were quickly seated at a table near the bar. We were given a bunch of menus and left to figure out what in the hell was going on. There was a dinner menu, drinks menu, food specials, and drink specials. Apparently there were half priced drinks AND sushi rolls which is quite an amazing deal. Half-price sushi may scare some, but not me. I eat sushi from grocery stores. I even eat sushi from muthafuckin buffets. I ain’t scared of no fish. We looked over the menus, and after attempting to order some shrimp dumpling thing they were out of, we settled on the pork dumplings. The Gyoza as Okami called them were delicious. They were grilled which gave a nice texture to the chewy dumpling and the “special soy sauce” was so good that it was drinkable. I also loved the presentation with the orchid.

Next up we ordered the agadashi tofu, which basically is a battered and fried slab of tofu presented with the “secret soy sauce”  and…. an orchid. I loved the tofu on first bite, but after finishing a whole one I can say it gets a little overwhelming. There’s just so much tofu and the batter is slightly bland after that first burst of OMGFRIEDGREASE dies down. The tofu was deliciously moist and really if the tofu pieces had been slightly smaller it would have seemed much less overwhelming. I would order it again, so don’t confuse my nitpicking with a burning hatred for the dish. I enjoyed the hell out of it. We finished it and decided to boldly start in on their sushi.

We ordered the sushi appetizer that consisted of 5 pieces of the chef’s choice. When it arrived 2 were shrimp, 1 was crabstick, and 2 were obviously some sort of fish. Shockingly absent was the stalker orchid. Pete proclaimed a love for crab stick, I like shrimp, and we halved the fish. I have to say, this may be the best sushi I’ve ever had. The texture was absolutely amazing. The fish just melted in my mouth and the delicate flavors of the fish were perfect. Even Pete, who claims to hate salmon, was shocked when the waitress told us the fish were whitefish and salmon. It was above and beyond any single piece of fish I have ever had before. Take THAT, Nikki’s.

Next up were some weird steak sticks. The dipping sauce was delicious, there was an orchid, and the meat was slightly tough. Overall it was ok, but I’m probably not likely to order it again. The meat just seemed to be missing something. Probably MSG. Or am I mixing my stereotypes?

For dessert I tried the fried ice cream. The batter on the dish soaked up the melting ice cream to create a spongy-cakey texture that was sugar heaven. It was a really great way to end a scrumptious meal. I was slightly shocked that between the two of us we finished the whole thing. It was really sweet, but if you don’t like sweet desserts then fuck you. Why would you eat a dessert anyways?

Everything about this place makes it worth coming back to. Top sushi, cheap beers, decent appetizers and a classy, cozy atmosphere. With the specials they have, this is worth becoming a weekly eat spot in my book. I mean is it even possible to get sick of sushi?! (Hint: FUCK NOPE) It makes me sad that everytime I drive by the Jap Barn there are fewer than 10 cars in the lot. Come on people, SAVE THE OKAMI. We should do away with PETA, and start Save The Okami, so I’m giving this place a rating of -1 PETA.

Okami Japanese Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Gotta Get Down on Friday (Tokyo Deli)

25 May

GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY #2

Fuck me running. I love the shit out of Tokyo Deli. Living and working nearby this place for years has been awesome. That said, I (shamefully) don’t go here terribly often. I’m kind of a cheapskate, and while this place isn’t exactly super-expensive, more often than not I’d rather drink dollar beers somewhere if I’m being forced to consume calories.

I’ve had most of the dishes at the Deli (except for the sushi because I’m picky about seafood) and this is one of my go-to orders: Zaru soba (~$5.25), seaweed salad (~$1.40) and a soda ($.75). All told after tax it came out to exactly eight bucks which isn’t too shabby.

Zaru Soba

This is an awesome, filling and healthy thing to eat. It’s perfect for hot-as-balls weather, too, and here’s why: it’s cold. I think basically they just boil up some noodles and then flash chill them with ice, but what do I know? What I really do know is that the zaru soba at Tokyo Deli tastes exactly like stuff I ate in Matsushima Bay and Tokyo a few years ago. Directions: put wasabi paste in the dipping sauce and stir; take a bunch o’ noodles and put them in the dipping sauce and stir ‘em around a bit; shove that stuff in your face. Awesome.

Seaweed Salad

I love seaweed salad and this place does it right. It tastes awesome and it’s only $1.40! It is a fairly small portion, however. I could eat this stuff until I was super dead.

Diet Mountain Dew Supernova

What the fuck was I thinking? This stuff was really shitty! The only way to get your money’s worth out of this can is to throw it at some fat kid on the side of the road (trust me, its therapeutic).

Conclusion

Go to this place. I’ve been coming here forever and even though the owners have changed, they still sell excellent food that will surely make you a better person and stuff.
Tokyo-Deli on Urbanspoon

Taqueria La Tapatia

9 May

Rating: -1 Full Bar

I went here for Cinco De Mayo. Before I get all the, “It’s not a real holiday,” bullshit, I just want to say I WILL DRINK FOR ANY REASON. I had been planning on cooking enchiladas for the occasion, but after a 10-hour work day the thought of someone else preparing the feast sounded even better. So I rolled into this place, and was immediately overwhelmed by the menu. It was all in Spanish. I took latin as my foreign language and the only experience I have with Spanish is “kitchen Spanish” and a couple of hours on Rosetta Stone. I knew ‘pollo’ meant chicken so I grabbed a burrito, and my fellow eating-enthusasiast friend with much bigger balls got two tacos surtidos al pastor, and a tostada de ceviche. We ordered a couple beers to accompany it and sat down. While waiting for the food we noticed a bizzaro salad/salsa bar and got a cup of each of the green and reddish salsas. It reminded me very much of C-Street’s similar salsa bar so kudos to C-Street for bringing the real.

After a brief wait, our food was brought out and my first thought was that the burrito was freaking huge. I mean it was half as long as my arm. It was delicious and, once covered with a liberal application of the smokey hot sauce on the table, it was perfection. It was filled with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, refried beans, rice, and covered in a very light cheese and brown sauce. I wish there had been more cilantro because I am one of those people that just can’t get enough, but that’s not even a complaint so much as a preference.

Pictures do not do this bohemoth justice

My friend ordered the Tacos Surtidos Al Pastor (soft pork tacos gyro style) and Tostada de Ceviche and those mouthfuls were well worth taking the time to pronounce. I think he may have ordered the ceviche just to taunt me but jokes on him; anytime you go out to eat with me you agree to allow me sufficient bites to review your grubs. The tacos were the first to be stolen and I have to say the meat was fantastic. It was savory and flavorful and God help me but it brought to mind a cheeseless mexican philly cheesesteak. I have to admit I don’t like corn tortillas which is what this came on but I suppose that can be chalked up to my gringo status. Add that liberal topping of cilantro and I am in Mexican heaven. Which is just around the corner from real people heaven. [this racism was inserted by the editor – Ed.]

I was slightly concerned about trying ceviche from a hole in the wall at a strip mall, but I am nothing if not adventurous. I even eat hamburgers medium-rare and eggs over easy! That was a joke, I actually rip into living cows like a lion onto a gazelle and skip the eggs and just wait until the fetus is partially developed. I call it a chegg. Best of both worlds! Anywho I loved the ceviche. It was fresh tasting with a slightly citrusy tang and I wound up stealing any and all escapees that fell from the tostada.

I can’t say for certain if this is authentic, as I’ve never been to Mexico. I can say it tastes nothing like Taco Bell, Moe’s, or El Cerro Grande. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and surprisingly cheap. With the soft tacos costing $1.75 each or even the ceviche at $2.99, no one has an excuse for buying fast food on South College Road. The menu is filled with options for $3 or less and the more expensive options were large enough to count as double portions. The beer selection is limited to the usual Miller, Modelo, and Dos Equis at around $2.50 each and the lack of a full bar is slightly depressing. I can’t imagine how many hours (and bucks) I would spend at this place if it could support a full night of drinking. Everyone else who came in looked to be hispanic and that’s generally a pretty good sign. The next time you think about stopping by Burger King or McDonalds for a quick fix, do your mouth a favor in flavor and stop in here instead. I’d forgo drinking the hard stuff to eat here, hence a rating of -1 Full Bar.
Taqueria La Tapatia on Urbanspoon

Firebelly

9 Feb

Rating: 9001: A Gut Odyssey

Man, everyone calls this place Firebellies and it really grinds my gear. Now that I have that out of the way, I’m writing this guest review because the real schmuck is in the parking lot sucking dicks or something. I mean how tough is it to write a review every now and then? It’s not very tough, trust me! I just drank 3 PBR and I’m writing a fucking review right now, so I should know.

I hate downtown Wilmington. Okay, maybe you love it, fine, fuck you. Oh there’s like art and music and shit and its pretty and stuff. Blah blah blah, fuck all that noise. As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing about downtown is getting shitlorded and pissing in public.

Recently I had some excess books I wanted to get rid of, so I forced myself to go to that land of abject loathing: downtown. I was gonna try to swap a couple boxes of old books at Old Books on Front Street for some store credit or a quick bathroom blow-jay. No-go on either count: the woman hiding underneath a pile of dusty books told me she had 3,000 books sitting around waiting to be sorted. Half of them were atop her very person at the time, or so it seemed.

I was thinking about going to Subway afterwards, but Firebelly blocked my way and the booze-vortex sucked me in. Thursday’s $2 PBR pint and $5 quesadilla specials were too much – I could not avoid this wonderful fate. Also I used to go to Firebelly constantly so there was the chance of a hookup on what already promised to be a cheap yet boozy lunch.

I don’t know why I got the beef version of this otherwise-excellent quesadilla. I don’t like Firebelly’s beef. It’s dry and it tastes stupid and it’s just kind of fucky all around. Their chicken’s often fucky too, and it costs extra. The steak is usually okay but it also costs extra. I really should’ve went with the veggie quesadilla, which itself is a bit shammy since it’s just sauteed onions and green peppers.

Even with the shoddy beef this quesadilla was pretty good. Everything else in it was good and the price is pretty compelling (on Thursdays). The PBR was your standard 16oz ‘pounder’ can – though I think sometimes it’s a 16oz draft. A fine deal at two bucks, so I had three. The mass of pseudo-Tex-Mexican barfood plus three pints was too much for my insides. Soon after returning to work I rapelorded the bathroom, in a glorious symphony of flatulence and shitulence. There was a line of people waiting outside the bathroom waiting to give me high fives. Or at least that’s what I assumed as I slapped them with my unwashed armfeet, or whatever they’re called.

This was not my favorite Firebelly lunch of all time, but it was still excellent in its own Firebelly sort of way. I love this place and always will. It’s tough to hate the bar where Steve Buscemi and Vince Vaughn got into a fight which resulted in Buscemi getting his neck fucking stabbed. That way outshines all the Kenny Powers scenes shot at Sh’boom Sh’booms, big time.
Firebelly Lounge on Urbanspoon