Monthly Archives: April 2013

Pho Hien Vuong

We’ve pretty much established here at triadfoodies that our kidlets are not foodies. But they do love Asian fare and I have former blog posts to prove it. They get it honest as Mr. foodie and I love Asian. Often the craving hits and it simply cannot be ignored (you know what I mean). One of our faves is Pho Hien Vuong in Greensboro. It used to be a tiny little restaurant and has expanded to accommodate a good number of additional patrons. They even expanded their parking lot. And here’s what I’ve noticed…the measure of a really good authentic restaurant is look around. If you see a lot of patrons whose ethnicity falls in line with the ethnicity of the restaurant, you know it tastes authentic.

Without missing a beat, you need to order a fried spring roll. It’s amazing. It comes right out of the kitchen steaming hot and crispy. You will burn your tongue if you are not patient enough to let it cool a little. I know because Pho Hien Vuong’s spring roll is the #1 culprit of burned tongue for me. It comes with the traditional slightly sweet and tangy fish sauce for dipping. Oh, how I need one right this second.

Fried Spring Roll

Fried Spring Roll

Now if it’s a chilly day, you cannot go wrong with their very popular Pho dishes. They are on many of the tables. Even if it’s not a chilly day, it’s delicious. I have only had the Beef Pho and it’s been a while. It was delicious with fresh sprouts and herbs on top. On our recent chilly day there, both Mr. foodie and I got the Curry. He got chicken. I got beef. It is so good and spicy with a delicate coconut flavor. It will clear out your sinuses but you will be so happy eating it. On this day, my curry was way spicier than Mr.’s. Way spicier than any other time I’ve ordered it. I ate as much as I could and saved the rest. For leftovers, we just added a little milk and it toned down a good bit and was still amazing. Oh, and the rice….we just love the fragrant and perfectly cooked jasmine rice served alongside.

Beef Curry

Beef Curry

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

The kidlet got the standard stir-fried chicken and vegetables. It was wonderful as always.

Stir-fried Chicken

Stir-fried Chicken

And look at the beautiful plumped up pea? Not shriveled or anything. Just lovely.

A pea...from Pho Hien Vuong

A pea…from Pho Hien Vuong

See? The kid loves Asian!

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And your meal will not be complete without some Thai tea. It comes with milk only if you request it. And you can get sweetened or unsweetened.  I’m difficult and get a mixture.

Thai Tea (without milk)

Thai Tea (without milk)…so refreshing

You pretty much can’t go wrong with anything you order. Ginger Chicken, Beef and Broccoli and the Pad Thai all are great. They have a lovely fresh spring roll with shrimp and a peanut sauce for dipping.

Pho Hien Vuong is not as flashy as some of it’s counterparts. All the flash is in the flavor of those great dishes. It’s no wonder it’s a favorite among Vietnamese and Thai food lovers.

Pho Hien Vuong

4109 Spring Garden St, Ste A, Greensboro, NC

336.294.5551

Pho Hien Voung on Urbanspoon

The Majestic, Alexandria, Virginia

The Majestic
As the cherry blossoms have hit their peak and you are in the DC area just to see those pretty petals (I just love cherry blossom “snow”) or if you are traveling up I-95, I can guarantee that you cannot go wrong with stopping in the Old Town of Alexandria, VA. It is a very quaint and friendly area. I asked around and so many people pointed me in the direction of The Majestic, I simply could not ignore it. From the looks of their reservation site, it can be hard to get a table. That is a very good sign. Busy can also mean “touristy”, which I was kind of trying to avoid. However, once we got there, the casual, “swanky” vibe of the place and the low key ambiance didn’t seem touristy at all.

The Majestic, Alexandria, dining room, triadfoodies

The Majestic dining room

The Majestic is part of a small, but renowned restaurant group in Alexandria that prides itself on sustainable practices, relationships with farmers and generally blowing the socks off people who eat at their establishments. We opted for the Majestic because it was casual and had a kids menu and we were told it was rustic and amazing. It’s in a building which housed the “old” Majestic and the owners came in and saved it from closing its doors and reinvented the place. It’s located among other wonderful shops and cafes along King Street…kind of the main drag in Old Town. You can park and then just window shop (or really shop) for hours in this area.

First of all, the service is incredible. The hostess and our server were so friendly, welcoming and helpful. Before we ordered the food we decided it was necessary for our sanity to have a cocktail. We’d been in the car since Virginia Beach. In traffic…a LOT! I have no idea what I ordered but it was served in this beautiful champagne glass and I know it had tequila in it. So if you are there, you will find that ordering this is refreshing and will set you right. Mr. ordered an Old Fashioned. Here at The Majestic, they soak their own beautiful cherries. What you get is a very drunken cherry and you will frown at anything out of a jar evermore.

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Libations

Libations…see Mr.’s big block of ice and that cherry?

Our server suggested The Royal Fixe menu which features an appetizer, entree and dessert for $35 per person. We decided that would be an acceptable way to really sample the goods, and be able to let the kidlets have one of the desserts. Mr. foodie ordered the Chicken Liver appetizer with toast points and fruit compote. The pate was incredible. It had such a delicious smokiness to it. I got a Wedge salad featuring the house-cured bacon, bleu cheese and their homemade buttermilk bleu dressing. It was quite big and very satisfying. I shared with Mr. He “kind of” shared with me. I can hardly blame him.

Chicken Liver Mousse, Majestic Cafe, Alexandria

Chicken Liver Mousse

Majestic Wedge, The Majestic Cafe, Alexandria

Majestic Wedge

As if we didn’t get enough at the table, I was informed that one of the signature dishes and one that is an overwhelming standout is…wait for it…Liver and Onions. Ewww….really? I’ve heard that liver “done right” is wonderful. You are not supposed to overcook it or it gets that blech texture we all dread. I took her advice and ordered it. Mr. foodie couldn’t believe it. It was a dark and rich dish with beautiful pearl onions, lardons (kind of like chunks of bacon), mushrooms and sage in a tasty marsala sauce. Yes, I ate every bit of it. The liver did not have a funky taste. It was not mealy. I will say that if you chew it to death, you could get some of that weird texture, but I just didn’t chew it to mush. I’d definitely get it again.

Liver & Onions, The Majestic Cafe, Alexandria, VA

Liver & Onions

Mr. foodie ordered the Braised Lamb Shank. He is a fan of lamb so if it’s not up to snuff, he will know. The shank was tender and flavorful…simply falling off the bone with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, polenta taragna, red wine-olive sauce, gremolata. Hearty and delicious.

Braised Lamb Shank, The Majestic, Alexandria

Braised Lamb Shank

Girl kidlet got a burger which was delicious with a nice char and boy got a grilled cheese. It was great too. They also loved the fries.

And then dessert happened. We went with the “signature” Coconut Cake with coconut creme anglaise and the Death by Chocolate for the kids. That coconut cake was a dream. And the chocolate cake was also very good and basically bulldozered and inhaled by the kids. But that Coconut Cake…mmmmm. Well, it was the winner of the dessert round.

Death by Chocolate, The Majestic, Alexandria, Triadfoodies

Death by Chocolate

See? They didn’t wait for me to take a pic. I was snapping away at Coconut over here and off those kids went.

Coconut Cake, The Majestic, Alexandria

Coconut Cake

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The pics are a little blurry…not the best lighting and I forgot the fancy cam. But they really should call it Happiness by Chocolate. Because it was obviously enjoyed.

So, when you are beyond the Triad and you find yourself in one of the sweetest little areas outside of our nation’s capital, you might want to point yourself to King Street in Old Town Alexandria and find the neon sign that leads you right inside this awesome place. And while you are at it, do a little research and you might just decide to share the love at a couple of The Majestic’s sister restaurants.

The Majestic Cafe
911 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 | 703.837.9117
If you’d like more info on other establishments of “The Fanciful Feasts,” click here.

Here’s to the land of the long leaf pine: Lucky’s guide to NC Beer Month in April

From Chef Jay at Lucky 32….

Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Blog

Greetings, salutations and craft beer libations to you and yours as we christen April – North Carolina Beer Month. The Old North State has tapped this month as the first annual event, toasting craft brews across the state from mountain to sea.

In the last five years, North Carolina has thrust itself onto the national craft beer stage, “with more breweries than any state south of Pennsylvania (73 and counting), according to the New York Times.” So we put together a few thoughts to guide you through this glorious month:

  • How to drink a beer like a Boss (forget the frosted glass)
  • How to choose the best foods for your beverage
  • The long form ode to the long leaf pine, the state’s official toast
  • Links and information to our NC Beer month events

“The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate. ” ― NC…

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