Tag Archives: soup

Saigon Hibachi: 935 N Beneva Rd. Suite 701. Sarasota, FL

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saigon hibachi2 saigon hibachi3 saigon hibachi5 saigon hibachi4 saigon hibachi6

 

Saigon Hibachi was another ‘Pho Cali was closed so we looked elsewhere’ kind of discovery for Gabriel and I. We happen to live 2 minutes away, and when we found some good reviews online, we thought it was surely worth a try. What a totally pleasant surprise to find another very good Japanese/Vietnamese restaurant in Sarasota– and this one is easy to get into with normal hours and no wait times! Awesome.

We were both rather hungry and decided to order a bunch of things to try. We assumed we’d eat half of everything and take the rest home for lunch or dinner on the following day. What we didn’t expect was to find everything so tasty that we finished it all right then and there.

We started with a small salad that came with the Hibachi Special. The salad was the only part of our whole meal that wasn’t impressive. It was just boring iceberg lettuce with some shredded carrots and a couple of slices of cucumber. The dressing was very nice and light though- and we ended up holding on to it to use with other parts of our meal.

Next, the waitress brought out the fresh cilantro, sprouts, scallions, lime and jalapeno for us to add as we pleased to our Clear Soup with Shrimp. The soup was wonderful. It was flavorful and had beautiful, large shrimp floating in it along with mushrooms and lots of rice noodles.

Our Saigon Pancake came out next. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting, but it was also very tasty. A huge rice flour crepe was stuffed with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, onions and lettuce. It also came with a delicious dipping sauce, but we found that using each of the different sauces with each bite made it even more interesting.

Our Hibachi special came with lots of sides including fried rice, noodles, and mixed vegetables. The chicken, steak and shrimp were all really excellent. All were cooked perfectly and in very generous portions. There were two sauces for dipping. One was a white, creamy sauce called ‘yum yum’ and the other was a more typical ginger Hibachi sauce. Both were delicious and we enjoyed seeing which was better with each item. I personally liked mixing both together.

Overall, this was a great ‘stumble-upon’ meal for a very fair price. The amount of food we got (and finished!) was an excellent value and great quality. The service was friendly and fast and the location is super convenient. We will most definitely be back soon!

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Drunken Poet Cafe: 1572 Main St. Sarasota, FL

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soup seaweed salad drunken poet shrimp entree

 

I was supposed to meet my father at Pho Cali, one of my favorite downtown Sarasota Restaurants, but it was closed- as it often is when I attempt to go. Their hours and days are sort of weird and never seem to coincide with my cravings. Grrrr. We decided to give Drunken Poet a try since it’s a couple of doors away, had a menu that sounded good, and neither of us had been there before.

We sat at an outside menu and looked at the menu. They had Japanese and Thai lunch specials to choose from and we both ended up picking Thai. I ordered the Shrimp Pad Pak: Shrimp with assorted vegetables in oyster sauce. We also shared a seaweed salad. My entree came with a chicken/rice soup that came out first in a chipped bowl. I was going to take a picture of my father’s soup instead, but his bowl was also chipped. The soup itself was not good. It was very salty and the flavor was just off. I left it aside after having 2 spoonfuls. The seaweed salad was standard and we both enjoyed it. Nothing special, but I always love seaweed salad and this time was no different. My entree was enjoyable. There wasn’t a ton of shrimp in it, but the shrimp that was there was cooked well, flavored lightly and fresh. The veggies were also light and fresh. This tasted like a healthy meal to me, without a ton of oil, or unnecessary chemicals or seasonings.

Overall, this was a lovely lunch- not the best Thai I’ve had, but not bad. I’m not sure if I’d go back, but If you’re in the area and want a reasonable priced Asian lunch I would recommend it.

 

Chez Carey! Carrot/coconut/dill soup

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I cannot believe I forgot to take a picture of this soup but it was SO good that I thought I’d add my recipe…well, it’s really just a ‘concept’.  As many of you know, I really don’t write recipes. I don’t like to measure. I don’t like to do things the same way twice. I like to do things by taste, feel, mood and sense.

 

The carrot/coconut/dill soup:
Saute some garlic, shallots and onions in a little olive oil in the bottom of a stock pot.
Add a pound or so of carrots (I used baby carrots, but you can use chopped, peeled regular ones instead)
Add about 5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
simmer for an hour or so.
add a handful of fresh dill and some salt and fresh pepper.
Use an immersion blender to blend it all up.
Add a cup or so of coconut milk
add some more chopped dill if you’re like me and can’t get enough of it. (but don’t blend too much of it in with the immersion blender or it will turn the soup into an ugly color)
Serve each bowl with a spoonful of plain greek yogurt, chopped chives and a sprig of dill.

Enjoy!

Jim’s Small Batch Bakery. 2336 Gulf Gate Dr, Sarasota, FL

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Stop #2 on my father and I’s little culinary adventure in Gulf Gate led us to Jim’s Small Batch Bakery and WOW this was the highlight of the day for me. This tiny little shop tucked away in the corner of Gulf Gate is just awesome, with a staff who clearly has a ton of integrity about what they do. Jim was on hand to chat and give us some samples of his sorbets and ice creams and I simply couldn’t resist. I ended up with a scoop of coconut sorbet and a scoop of strawberry sorbet and they were both so incredibly delicious. Smooth, creamy and very natural with nothing but the fruit, a little sugar and a binding ingredient. Some of the best sorbet I’ve ever had actually. I couldn’t help topping my cup with a lemon sand dollar cookie that was super thin, crisp and delicate. I also tasted my father’s vanilla ice cream which was equally outstanding.

The case full of treats was extremely tempting, and I’m lucky that I work pretty close by. I will absolutely be back for lunch soon- as they had a wonderful little menu of sandwiches, soups and quiches in addition to their baked goods. The almond croissant was LOUDLY calling my name and I promised it that I’d come back for it soon. The lemon bar, breads and cakes also looked amazing and I’m sure I’ll eventually try them all.

YUM. I will be back within a week, I’m sure of it. Thanks Jim!

Pho 501: 501 Main St. East Hartford, CT

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I SERIOUSLY miss this place. Total hole-in-the-wall…BEST shrimp pho you’ve ever had in your life. $5 gets you a bowl that is the size of your head. I live in NYC now and still catch myself dreaming about my favorite cold weather meal. Sometimes I’m tempted to rent a car and drive 2 hours just to go get some. Sigh.

Chez Carey! Thai shrimp lemongrass soba soup

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                                                                                                                                                                                                           After a chilly evening run, I decided to experiment with a belly-warming soup for dinner. One of my favorites is the Tom Yum soup that most Thai restaurants serve. Not being someone who likes to follow recipes, I attempted to recreate something similar that could satisfy my craving. I also wanted to feel full, so I decided that adding buckwheat soba noodles to it would make it a more complete meal than the soup which is normally just broth and shrimp and a few veggies. As always, this recipe is really just a concept and can be played with as you see fit. I’ll give you a list of ingredients I used and a basic idea- and you can run with it from there. This turned out wonderful but (note to self) next time I will only add the noodles to the portion I plan to eat because the following day, the remaining noodles had pretty much sucked all of the soup up and I had to add some water to reconstitute it.

Add to 8 cups of chicken stock the following:

grated fresh ginger

sliced garlic

slivered scallions

chopped chiles or jalapenos.

a couple of teaspoons of oyster sauce

long pieces of lemongrass (so that you can easily remove them later)

a couple of teaspoons of soy sauce

a couple of tablespoons of almond butter (whisk this in once the soup has simmered for 10 minutes or so)

Let that all simmer for 20 minutes or so and them drop in a pound of cleaned shrimp. Continue to simmer until the shrimp turn pink and curl up.

Cook your soba (or vermicelli, or udon etc) noodles in a separate pot of boiling water. (this is the part I didn’t do…I made the mistake of adding the noodles to the soup along with the raw shrimp. I won’t do that next time)

Put a cup of raw baby spinach in a big bowl. Add a scoop of noodles on top of that. Fill the rest of the bowl with the soup and finish with a little hot sauce. Voila. Yum. Well, Tom Yum. Sort of.

P.S. I think next time I will also add some baby corn and straw mushrooms to this.