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Evil Penevil

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About Evil Penevil

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  1. Grandma's Home is a small and unpretentious Chinese restaurant on Soi 13/3 near Second Road. It's enclosed and air-conditioned, so I wouldn't call it a hole-in-the-wall eatery, but it sure isn't fancy. It's open between 8.00 a.m. and midnight. It's not expensive, although prices are higher than in similar restaurants centered on Thai food. It serves traditional Chinese dishes like you get in mainland China and Taiwan. If you're looking for U.S.- or U.K.-style Chinese, you won't find it at Grandma's. Some of the dishes appear to be Thai-style Chinese, but most aren't, just straight-up Chinese. It's clear Grandma's Home caters to those who understand and appreciate Chinese cuisine. The printed menu is in Chinese characters only- not even Thai- but there is a wall menu with text in English. I have never seen another farang eat there. Mapo tofu (or doufu) is one of the most widely consumed dishes in the world, eaten by millions and millions of Chinese every day. It began as a Sichuan dish, but has been adapted to other Chinese regional styles. Many of the variations, especially outside China, bear little resemblance to the fiery, mouth-numbing original. Mapo toufu is usually translated as "the pockmarked old lady's bean curd" or "pockmarked granny's bean curd," a reference to the woman who is supposed to have invented it. The waitress at Grandma's asked if I wanted it spicy and I said no. I'm glad I asked for it shao la ("a little bit spicy"), because what I got was close to my tolerance level. I don't think I would have been able to eat the spicy version. Mapo tofu consists of cubes of tofu (bean curd) in sauce, with chopped green onion added for garnish. Sometimes ground pork or other meat is added, but not at Grandma's. It was meatless and cost 120 baht, including a small bowl of rice. A bottle of water was 10 baht. The overall spiciness in mapo tofu comes from two main ingredients: chili oil and Sichuan pepper. At my request, they had held back on the chili oil but left in the Sichuan pepper, which isn't actually a pepper but the hull and seeds of a flowering plant in the citrus family. It produces the tingly and numbing "pins and needles" sensation in the mouth (called mala in Chinese) that is characteristic of Sichuan cuisine. The depth of flavor in the sauce comes from broad bean paste, made from fermented beans and chilies. It carries a fair amount of heat in itself. It was good, albeit a bit too spicy for my plain-vanilla farang taste buds. Kung pao chicken (gong pao jiding) is another mainstay of the Sichuan kitchen. You often see it on menus of Chinese restaurants in the U.S., but the westernized version is very different compared with the original. Outside China, orange juice is added to the sauce and it's sometimes called "Orange Chicken." Grandma's Home sticks close to the traditional version. Raw peanuts that have been deep-fried in the wok before the cubes of chicken, sliced chili and chopped vegetables are added are an important flavor component. In westernized kung pao chicken, roasted peanuts are used as a garnish, but Grandma's Home does it the right way. It has a complex flavor profile, combining sweet, sour, salty, spicy and mouth-numbing elements. It was really good. It cost 180 baht with rice. What's called "mustard pork noodles" on the wall menu is noodle soup with pork and pickled mustard greens, the classic xue cai rou si mian. It's another dish that's widely eaten all over China, but isn't frequently found in Chinese restaurants in the West. It's typical Chinese comfort food, made with just a few ingredients: marinated slivers of pork, pickled (aka preserved) mustard greens and noodles, topped with chopped scallion. Shaoxing rice wine, sesame oil and dried chilies add flavor and kick. A heaping bowl cost 150 baht. Garlic bean paste and dark vinegar were served as condiments. I liked it a lot. Bottom line: The Chinese food at Grandma's Home has been very good and I'll definitely be back for more. I have to stress that it's not a place for westernized Chinese food. Also, the translation of some of some of the Chinese names on the wall menu is peculiar to say the least. What's called "white pheasant" is actually white cut (poached) chicken. "Mei Caikou meat" is braised pork with preserved vegetables. The faulty translations make it difficult for anyone who doesn't speak Chinese or Thai to order. Evil
  2. Evil Penevil

    Thanksgiving

    It's a bit of a trade-off and down to personal preference. Some people don't mind sitting outdoors at Coop's buffet since they can eat all they want and pay 600 baht less than the fixed plate meal at RMPM. Also, if you don't live in Jomtien, it's a long haul to get to RMPM. What I really enjoy at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners is the stuffing. Most of the fixed-plate dinners only give you a small spoonful. That's the reason I tend to gravitate towards the buffet versions. Pilgrim Penevil
  3. Evil Penevil

    Thanksgiving

    Here's this year's ad: ... and for Tigglebitties, another that does a good one every year ..... Coop has the best value-for-money option at Chik 'n Coop Bar, but his all-you-can-eat buffet is probably sold out by now. The menu looks good at the Sportsman: There are several others as well: Smokin' Joes, Hemingway's, Dicey Riley, Tequila Reef, etc. With any of them, you're best off getting there as soon as they start serving. Thanksgiving dinner doesn't do well in chafing dishes or under warming lamps. Pilgrim Penevil
  4. Evil Penevil

    Thanksgiving

    Jokes about breast meat aside, Hooters Pattaya is offering Thanksgiving dinner. I wouldn't recommend it, though. The prices are deceptive, as they don't include 7% VAT and 10% service. At about 820 baht net for the two course menu and about 950 for the three course, it is very expensive. Plus I had a horrible Christmas meal there a couple of years ago. It wasn't expensive, but it was barely edible. If anyone needs suggestions for a U.S. Thanksgiving dinner in Pattaya, I'm happy to post them. Evil
  5. Evil Penevil

    Dining at Terminal21

    Terminal21 has Sizzler for steak and it's salad bar and Pan Pan for Italian. Arno's is good for Western food beyond hamburgers. I don't know much about the other farang restaurants that offer menus beyond fast food or desserts. It's true that only about 5% of the dining options at Terminal21 fall into that category. It's the dim sum, dumpling and udon noodle places that draw me to T21. I wouldn't go there to have Thai or farang food; plenty of other options in Pattaya for them. That said, the 149-baht specials at Sizzler are still one of the best deals in town. The price includes the all-you-can-eat salad buffet, which has pasta, soup, fruit and desserts as well as a huge variety of ingredients and toppings. I've seen Russians eat three or four heaping plates from the buffet, then ask for a doggie bag for the main part of the special. I'm sure plenty of plain-vanilla farang do the same. They are getting two meals for the price of 149 baht. Evil Sent from my Sunny2 Plus using Tapatalk
  6. Evil Penevil

    Dining at Terminal21

    Before I continue with the reviews, here's a note of explanation on the set-up at Terminal21. It has six levels, five named after cities (Paris, London, Tokyo, San Francisco and Hollywood) and one named Italy. All but Hollywood (the cinema level) have food or beverage outlets. The Pier21 Food Court and many restaurants are concentrated on the 3rd Floor San Franciso level. There is also a "food hall" on the M(ezzanie) London level, which includes the 24-hour Foodland supermarket. It's ironic, but I don't think you'll find fish and chips on the menu of any outlet on the London level, except maybe Foodland's Took Lae Dee. I wonder if Hawker Chan will succeed in attracting more customers than it did on Beach Road? The Hawker Chan branch at Terminal21 is said to be very popular, even crowded at times. More reminders of London: The restaurants aren't always tied to the level's national cuisine, but are spread hodge-podge throughout Terminal21. The girl below asked me to take her photo and therein lies the start of a story, but not one for a food thread on this level. This is Pattaya and anything can happen any time, anywhere. I do think, though, that a lot of women in Pattaya are burdened with excess baggage. The reviews and comments will continue. Evil
  7. Evil Penevil

    Dining at Terminal21

    No problems whatsoever. That sign might have applied to the pre-opening period before everything was ready. Just about everyone who visits Terminal21 takes photos with cell phones in front of the "landmarks" and statues. That would seem to be one of the big attractions of Terminal21: the opportunity to take selfies. Evil
  8. Evil Penevil

    Dining at Terminal21

    Love it or hate it, Terminal21 has bolstered the Pattaya food scene with new dining options, some which didn't exist before or had been difficult to find. The brand-spanking new mall boasts an impressive 95 food and beverage outlets spread across five of its six levels. About two-thirds of them offer Asian food (Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean), while one-third are farang-oriented. Nearly all the food outlets, Western and Asian, are branches of international chains. However, the farang places are mostly fast food, pizza, coffee or dessert outlets, with only a handful of full-menu Western restaurants. Terminal21 also has a food court on the San Francisco level. It's truly Asian, with displays of plastic food. I haven't tried the food court yet because other food outlets tempted me more. I was happy to see Marugame Seimen Udon & Tempura had a branch in Terminal21. It's a big Japanese chain with 1,100 branches worldwide. I had a big bowl the niku udon pork for 139 baht, which included three fried gyoza as a special offer. I also took a piece of prawn tempura and a tempura corn fritter, 39 baht each. The entire meal, with a bottle of water, cost 236 baht. The udon soup was tasty and filling, with a lot of pork. I'll definitely be back to try more of Marugame Seimen's menu. I have also eaten at Jiao Zi Guan, a 20-seat restaurant centered on Chinese-style dumplings. The name Jiao Zi Guan means "dumpling place" in Chinese. Jiaozi have long been a personal favorite of mine, but they have been difficult to find in Pattaya other than frozen. There's no lack of gyoza, the Japanese equivalent, but they are not the same thing. I had the Shanghai beef noodle soup for 89 baht and ... pork and leek dumplings for 109 baht. The meal, with a bottle of water, cost 218 baht. The beef noodles had a real Chinese taste, which is a rarity in Pattaya. Most of what is called Chinese food on menus is actually Thai-style Chinese. That's not a bad thing and I eat a lot of it, but there are differences in flavor compared to traditional Chinese cuisine. The dumplings were freshly steamed and had the proper taste and texture, again hard to find in Pattaya. Jiao Zi Guan also offers xiaolongbao, another specialty from the Shanghai region. They are small, pinched buns that have been filled with meat aspic that melts into soup during the steaming process. That will be my next meal at Jiao Zi Guan. On my third outing to Terminal21 I tried the pig's trotter noodles (99 baht) at Hong Kong Noodle, which has a number of noodle dishes and dim sum on its menu. I also had a Golden Bun (45 baht), which I hadn't eaten in 20 years. The noodles had a generous amount of braised meat with vegetables in a great broth. I had a glass of roselle drink for 19 baht. The Golden Bun was filled with a rich and thick duck-egg custard, but was too sweet for my taste. The restaurant is well-lit and decorated in bright colors, especially red which symbolizes good fortune, success and happiness in Chinese culture. I'm impressed so far by the meals I've had at Terminal21 and will be back again and again to try more. Whether you want a hamburger, pizza, a cup of coffee or Tai, Chinese and Japanese specialties, you'll find what you want on one of the floors at Terminal21. Durian pizza, anyone? Now that's what I call fusion! And there are also reminders of how you might end up if you indulge too heavily in culinary delights, particularly the sweet stuff that abounds at Terminal21. This is also what happens when you try to try to take photos while a lot of people are in motion. Still more food reviews and comments to come. I have barely scratched the surface of dining at Terminal21. Evil
  9. Evil Penevil

    Dining at The Avenue

    It looks like it will be a food court at the back of The Avenue. Work continues, but slowly. Evil
  10. Evil Penevil

    Thanksgiving

    The massacre of the Pequot tribe at Mystik, Connecticut, in 1637 is a historical fact, but it wasn't the inspiration for the U.S. Thanksgiving Day. The massacre took place in May, 1637, and on October 12, John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, proclaimed 'A day of thanksgiving kept in all the churches for our victories against the Pequots. … .” However, it is unknown whether this included any sort of dinner or celebration. Days of thanksgiving were not unusual at the time and many were regarded as days for fasting and prayer rather than celebrations. Hundreds of days of thanksgiving were declared for a variety of reasons in colonial times and after the U.S. gained its independence. George Washington and several other presidents, as well as many,many governors and local officials, declared days of thanksgiving, but none of them commemorated the massacre at Mystik. Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday was established by Abraham Lincoln on Oct. 3, 1863. The proclamation, which Lincoln didn't write himself, doesn't mention Pilgrims at all. You can read it here: Link. The story of the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony and members of a local Native American tribe having dinner together as part of an autumn harvest festival in 1621 is based on fact. Such a dinner did occur, but it wasn't repeated on a regular basis. In fact, much of the history of the Plymouth Colony was forgotten or ignored outside Massachusetts until after the Civil War. The "first Thanksgiving" story was resurrected to promote unity in a nation recently torn by war and to inspire immigrants to assimilate into mainstream U.S. culture. Evil
  11. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good

    The Hideaway Guest House and Bar on Soi 15 between The Avenue and Soi Buakhao has recently added a Rib Shack. A sign at the front of the Hideaway says the hours are 6 p.m. to midnight, but a post by the owner elsewhere says the dinner menu is available from 5 p.m. to midnight. The Hideaway also serves breakfast and has snacks like onion rings and chicken nuggets available at other hours. As the name indicates, grilled spare ribs are the focal point of its menu, which features a limited number of dishes. That's an admirable approach I wish more Pattaya restaurants would follow. It's far better to concentrate on a few dishes consistently done well than a long list of mediocre offerings. It's a grill menu with a U.K. rather than U.S. touch, as you won't find Cumberland sausage at many BBQ places in Memphis or Kansas City. I wasn't in the mood for spare ribs the night I ate at the Hideaway and had the grilled chicken breast for 175 baht instead. It came with a choice of French fries or rice and I took rice. The chicken breast was moist, tender and had a good charcoal taste. It wasn't overwhelmed by the BBQ sauce. The small portion of salad consisted of fresh and crispy ingredients. I'm not a fan of raw onion on salad, so I pushed it aside. The condiment basket included a bottle of Heinz salad cream and I used it with an extra splash of malt vinegar rather than the thousand island dressing on the plate. The Hideaway is a clean and comfortable place to have a meal, a snack or a drink. Customers can play pool for free and there's a big-screen TV for sports. The service is very friendly. I had never been to the Hideaway before and the owner greeted me warmly, then came back and asked if everything was OK once my meal arrived. Two of the waitressed also asked me the same question. That sort of interaction with the customer is sadly lacking in many Pattaya restaurants. Bottom line: I'll be back to try the ribs and the Thai daily special. Evil
  12. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Mediocre

    I haven't had much luck at the Chunky Monkey. I tried the 99-baht daily special yesterday- chicken rissoles with onion gravy and mashed potatoes- and it was as bland as, well, unseasoned chicken.   The only flavor came from the thick, glutenous package gravy to which a few bits of onion had been added. The chicken patty itself was totally lacking in any sort of seasoning and consequently, no taste either. On the plus side, the mash was good and the patty had been cooked properly. It wasn't dry inside, but it had an extremely smooth texture, though, which gave it a weird mouth feel. The rissoles would have been much helped by the addition of diced onion, garlic, carrot, green pepper, whatever, but most of all it needed herbs or spices. There are dozens of variations to Australian-style rissoles. There's no one right recipe, but there is a wrong way. I scraped off the icky gravy and gave the rissoles a few splashes of HP Sauce from the condiment basket. That improved them, but it didn't make them good. Bottom line: The Chunky Monkey now has two strikes against it in my book. In the near future, I'll try either the Sunday roast or the meatloaf dinner. A third strike will put it out for me as a dining option for quite awhile. That's unfortunate, as it has a convenient location and an enclosed air-conditioned dining area. It's well-lit, clean and spacious, with the background music played at a blessedly low volume and friendly service. Not many budget restaurants in Pattaya tick all those boxes. The prices for bottled beer are very low (55 baht for Leo and Chang, 65 baht for SML) and big bottles cost 79 baht. Perhaps that will be enough to attract customers who aren't concerned about bland food. However, the cocktail van across the street could give it a run for the money. 
  13. Evil Penevil

    Thanksgiving

    I think it is boring as all hell and can watch it about 10 minutes. but a lot of people love it. You couldn't pay me to stand on the street watching it. Evil
  14. Evil Penevil

    Thanksgiving

    The holiday centers on the family dinner. Aside from that, 50 million Americans will watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television in the morning. It's the world's biggest parade and 3.5 million people flood the parade route to watch it live. U.S. football is also a big Thanksgiving tradition, with matches played at every level of amateur and pro competition. In many communities, Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas season, with a lot of Christmas-related events and activities. Evil
  15. Evil Penevil

    Christmas Dinner in Pattaya - Adverts/Posters etc

    Hemingways in Jomtien: The Hard Rock Hotel has two options: I've had both and both are good. The more expensive option at the Starz Diner was a huge buffet with a lot of appetizers and non-Christmas dishes as well as the traditional Christmas fare. There's plenty of stuff (sushi and other seafood, Asian hot dishes, Asian desserts) that appeals to Thais and other non-farangs. For me, I want to fill up on turkey, stuffing, gravy, hopefully cranberry sauce and Christmas pudding. I don't care about appetizers and sides, so the limited carvery in the Hard Rock Cafe is fine with me. However, if you have a Thai partner along, then Starz is better unless she's really into farang Christmas food. Evil
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