Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thai Original BBQ

I’ve never been to Thailand, so I wouldn’t know what authentic Thai food is like, but it seems like most Thai restaurants are rather “Americanized”. I’m sure you can find an authentic dish or two at any restaurant, but most menus seem to hold back on the spice and punch of flavor that could send it on another plane.

The Tom Yum Kai, is the quintessential hot and sour soup. Both spicy from chili and sour from lime juice, this soup is laden with tender cuts of chicken, straw mushrooms, carrots and cilantro. The heat and pungency will clear your sinuses in a heartbeat.

The Beef & Broccoli seems out of place in a Thai restaurant since most people expect this dish to be in a Chinese restaurant. The beef is tender and flavorful, the broccoli crunchy and the oyster sauce gives it a delicate sweetness. While I don’t really consider this a Thai dish, I’ve seen it served in just about every Thai restaurant I’ve been to.

The Thai BBQ Chicken is a half chicken that is moist on the inside and a delicate yet crunchy skin on the outside. The charred skin adds a smoky nuance to the chicken. The dish is served with a sweet and spicy sauce that adds another dimension of flavor. Served with some rice and this dish is a winner.

Certainly not up to par with Thai Nakorn, but Thai Original BBQ certainly fits the bill when you have a craving for Thai food. And it isn’t too bad for a chain.

Original Thai BBQ
2911 Chino Avenue
Chino, CA 91709
(909) 590-1009

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Badbobs BBQ

Badbobs BBQ is a fairly new restaurant in the area. It is a franchise of Bobby Grooms, who has had some impressive showings at the BBQ Championship in Memphis in May, and other state competitions. Their specialty is whole hog, but they also make some very good pork shoulder and brisket. This is Memphis style BBQ. It is dry rubbed and smoked. You then have the option of having it sauced when you order, or you can always add your own.

The Beef Brisket is fall apart tender, and is very juicy. Although it does have a somewhat smoky taste, there is no hint of a smoke ring. I have a feeling that the meat is smoked then “rests” in its own juices until ready to serve. That serves two purposes: It keeps the brisket very moist, almost to the point where it almost “too juicy”; and it helps to add some extra added flavor. The brisket is so tender that it almost melts in your mouth. The BBQ sauce is not overly sweet and has a little tang to it. It could use some more heat for my taste, but is one of the better sauces I’ve had.

The BBQ at Badbobs is pretty good, and I’d like to explore their menu a little bit more since they specialize in pork, and I’ve yet to have the pork shoulder or baby back ribs.

Badbobs BBQ
3210 Chino Avenue, Suite A
Chino, CA 91709
(909) 591-8470

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chicken Box

The Chicken Box has been around for as long as I can remember. I have passed it on numerous occasions without even giving it a second glance. Recently, I started paying closer attention to the sign, and lo and behold, I see that they serve broasted chicken. What is broasted chicken and what makes it so special? It’s a method that sort of like deep frying in a pressure cooker. That results in a method that uses less fat to fry chicken with comparable results.

The end product at the Chicken Box gives a nice, crunchy exterior and a very moist and juicy interior. The chicken is nicely seasoned, and although it lacks that real heavy coating found on most fried chicken, it still produces a resounding crunch that reverberates through your teeth. The chicken is not greasy in the slightest bit.

The broasted potatoes are cooked in the same fashion, although the end result is sadly not the same as the chicken. The potatoes are rather limp in comparison and really lack any seasoning.

There are a couple of caveats about the Chicken Box. It is take out only, so unless you live really close or plan on eating in your car it is likely to get cold and lose some of that valuable crispiness. They also cook the chicken once you order it, so be prepared to wait at least 25 minutes unless you call in your order. They are also closed on Wednesdays.

Chicken Box
330 E. Whittier Blvd.
La Habra, CA 90631
(714) 525-1345