Well we went back to Irvington to try a new Vietnamese joint that opened right next to Batters. They have a restaurant in Westfield, by the same name and evidently business is good.
Like most Asian places around here they have excellent lunch specials all in the sub $7 range and all come with a choice of egg roll, spring roll or soup. To start things off we decided on a fish cake appetizer for 6 bucks.
These are shredded fish and potato cakes and are pretty good. They have a nice flavor with the slightest hint of spice on the back-end. They have an odd texture. By odd I don’t mean off-putting or gross I merely mean it is unique to me. I enjoyed them but I think I would have liked a more assertive sauce. They served a Mae Ploy sauce; that ubiquitous bottled sweet chili that is so popular. It is a fine sauce just rather sweet for these cakes.
After our app we got our spring rolls. I prefer spring rolls over egg rolls possibly because they aren’t fried.
These were big, nicely constructed and full of “stuff”. One complaint is the peanut sauce. Too thick and too sweet. It was like a little dish of pudding. However that is a very small complaint compared to the size of the spring roll.
Pat chose from the stir fry section of the special menu.
I had to go with Pho. I mean the place has Pho in its name. Normally I would get a beef Pho. Thin slices of raw beef in the broth. However this time I thought I would be adventurous and go with meatball . Asian meatballs are different from Western meatballs in that the meat is pounded not minced and adding fish to the beef and, or pork is not uncommon. Every bowl of Pho must have a plate of garishment.
This plate was a bit light compared to some Pho I have had. It consisted of a lime wedge, 2 jalapeno slices some basil and a whole bunch of mung bean sprouts.
This was a very good bowl of food. I would be happy to try it again if I were in the area and hackering for a Pho fix. The food is not so unique as to make this a destination. However if your normal joint is getting boring give this a try. Or if you are in the Irvington area for some of the Christmas festivities give it a try. If I lived here I would be ecstatic that they moved in. Just one more option for lunch or dinner.
Well the wait is over. The Mug East has finally opened. The Mug owner bought the building and did a wonderful job rehabbing it. Originally the space where the Mug is was a Christian Science reading room. The center spot was a laundromat. Now it houses a Tyner Pond Farm store. That is the farm that supplies the Mug with all of its protein. That too is owned by Chris Baggott. Owner of both Mugs. The end unit used to be a cafe but will eventually house an upscale restaurant.
The Mug’s menu is the same as the one in Greenfield. They have Draft beer here. They also raised the prices. What was $5 is now $6.75. What was $6.75 is now $8. Life in the Big City.
Jimmy has joined us on a couple of other occasions. Since he still has a job we have to plan in advance for the pleasure of his company. He ordered one of their excellent house made sausages.
I was tempted to order a chicken sandwich. All free range and stuff. I think I ordered a chicken sandwich once. To me grilled chicken is an option only if beef or pork isn’t. I think the 8 buck price turned me off. Not that $8 is too much for a sandwich. Just that maybe $8 for a grilled chicken sandwich is. Since I had already tried their beef and dog I opted for a house smoked pork sandwich. Covered in BBQ sauce and topped with homemade coleslaw, for $6.75. Formerly $5.
It was a pretty good sandwich. Not bad, just not knock your socks off good. I couldn’t detect much smoke in the pig and the sauce was average. As for the slaw I prefer a sweet slaw with a more prominent sauce presence. So a pretty good sandwich. A decent value at $6.75. Excellent value at 5 bucks.
I think their burgers, hot dogs and breaded tenderloin will keep people coming back. I know I will be back for another burger. One of the multi-patty ones. Their basic patty is one-quarter pound,so two will make a substantial sandwich. That is what Pat ordered. They also serve two forms of fries. One is your standard IQF variety which was $2.25 in Greenfield. ( same as McDonald’s) They also offer a hand cut version fried in lard for one dollar more. For an extra buck they will take any fry toss it in olive oil and then parsley and garlic. Like Boogie Burger in Broad Ripple.
So I think they will be successful here in Irvington. They offer good service and a good product and now they have beer.
This joint just opened up in March. I knew nothing about it until a couple of friends;who live nearby told me about it. Their main bag is baking. Cakes,cupcakes, tarts, and cookies. They expanded their repertoire to include more savory dishes. They offer a nice selection of breakfast and luncheon dishes.
I did not bring my scanner,but I was fortunate to take some decent pictures with my new camera. Well,not so new. I bought it from Ebay a couple of weeks ago. I figure with my smart phone and my camera I can take some decent pictures. I know. Too much Info. The only reason I mention this is this joint has no electronic footprint. No website. No Facebook. That is my pet peeve. There is a great venue to advertise and it is free. Why not take advantage of it? Okay. I am done.
The place is bright and clean. When you walk in you see the menu up on the wall. That is what I took pictures of. The other thing you see is a merchandising case with all sorts of sweet stuff.
These are chocolate cookies stuffed with vanilla butter cream. Five inches in diameter and an inch and one half thick. I bought 2 to go. $2.75 each. As of this writing I had not tried them. So I have no thoughts. Yet.
There you go. What more can be said about that cake. A towering 3 layer cake of chocolate and stout smothered in a glossy, shiny ,glorious ganache. 10 inches of goodness . For 5 bucks!
Lets see it again.
Well this place is not just about the sweet. They also can do a notable job with savory. Pat’s Tomato Tart was nicely done for $8. I didn’t get a taste, all I can rely on is my own chile relleno tart also $8. Both dishes were modest in size. And with both you get choice of salad or fresh fruit. By modest I mean a reasonable portion.
So. Yep we dig this new joint in Irvington. I am planning on going back to try one of the sandwiches. The Cuban or Muffuletta more than likely. Also I saw a sour cream Bundt cake sitting on top of the display case. That deserves a look-see.