Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quiznos Baja Chicken Sub

 Quiznos is known for two things. Having toasted subs, and having one of the most disturbing TV commercials in history.

  Ive always been a big fan of their sandwiches, finding them tastier and of much better quality than Subways. At Subway unless you order a lettuce sub, they seem to try to put on as little meat as possible.
 Anyhoot I purchased a large Chicken Baja Sub for $7.59. The subs length is around 10 inches and is packed with ingredients.
Baja Chicken Sub $7.59
  As you can see my sub was quite the mess by the time I got it home to eat. You can choose a couple different types of bread including Italian White, 9 Grain Wheat, Rosemary Parmesan, and Italian Herb. My selection was Italian White. The Baja Chicken comes with the following ingredients.
Chicken, Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Onions, mild chipotle mayo, and sweet and smoky baja sauce. I also requested lettuce on my sub.
Tasty Mess
 Despite the disturbing pic, the sub was pretty good. It could use slightly less of the two sauces, but they were both tasty. The chipotle mayo added a little bit of savory heat, while the Baja sauce tasted like a smoky bbq sauce with some Southwest seasoning. They combined well together to give the sub a nice sweet and savory flavor. The chicken chunks were all white meat, tender, and juicy. The bacon was nicely distributed in small pieces and added to the smoky flavor. The bread was of very good quality as well, being crunchy on the outside with a nice chew in the middle.
  A great sub with a lot of flavor. Its a little pricier then the average sandwich you get at Subway, but the quality and the taste are worth it.You also get a lot more meat than your average Subway sub.

Quiznos Baja Chicken Sub:    8/10  

264 Mount Nebo Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
(412) 366-3285
Quizno's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Restaurant Reviews

 The Post Gazette and the Tribune Review have some good info/reviews on two restaurants that have just opened up recently, North of the Allegheny River.

Burgh'ers in Harmony just outside Zelienople looks like a great place to stop and have a high end hamburger.
Review Link
Burgh'ers Web Site

Also right down the street from me. The Trib takes a look at a new Greek restaurant, Mediterrano.
Review Link 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

North Park Lounge

 North Park Lounge is a bar/restaurant that has been in business for over, well I'm not exactly sure, but its been open since I moved to Pittsburgh in 1979. They have always been known for their excellent fish sandwiches and large portions.
 The original ownership group split up some time ago with one owner retaining the North Park Lounge in Mcandless, and the other retaining the North Park Lounge Clubhouse in Gibsonia. Both places have similar menu items such as "Lounge Fries" and "Lounge Licker Wings", but they are no longer affiliated with one another.
 Any-hoot, me and one of my coworkers stopped in for lunch at the original North Park Lounge in Mcandless . Having been friends with one of the waitresses at the Lounge for a long time, I have eaten there a few times previously, and while I never had a really bad meal, I also have never had a really great one either.
 After seating ourselves in my friends section, we ordered our drinks. Every time I go to the Lounge I make the mistake of ordering a water. The water for whatever reason is frickin horrific tasting. It tastes like 20 year old well water. As usual I change my drink order to a diet Pepsi, which does a good job of covering up the waters taste.
 We were told that their was a promo to get a free 10" 4 cut pizza with two toppings, so we ordered that with sausage and pepperoni.  My companion ordered the Italian Sausage Sandwich, I ordered the fish sandwich to see why everyone raves about how good it is.

Pizza: Free
   Normally this Pizza would go for $6.99 plus 99cents per topping. At first glance the pizza looked pretty good. After tasting it I was underwhelmed. The sausage was bland and due to it being placed on top of the pepperoni, it fell off as soon as you picked up a piece. The crust was slightly crispy on the outside, but not crispy at all in the middle. The sauce, cheese, and pepperoni were average at best. So the pizza was a disappointment , but considering it was free, no big deal. Had I payed $8.99 for this, I would have been displeased.

Italian Sausage Sandwich $7.99

   First off let me say that my eating companion is not a picky eater in any sense. He will eat pretty much anything. His sausage sandwich looked good, but like the pizza, looks are not everything. The peppers and onions could have been cooked a little longer. The fries he commented on as being flavorful but not crispy. The big disappointment was how undercooked the Sausage was.


 The sweet Italian sausage was quite pink in the middle. Not exactly how you want your sausage cooked. Now I am no food safety Nazi, but a lot of people would be repulsed by this. My companion said to hell with it and ate the sandwich anyway. In actuality, undercooked pork is just as safe to eat these days as beef, but I am sure most people would be turned off by this undercooked sausage patty anyways.

Fish Sandwich $7.99
 The fish sandwich came with fries and coleslaw. The fish itself is actually kind of small compared to most fish sandwiches you can get in restaurants around the Pittsburgh area. The fish appeared to be breaded, and was void of any flavor at all. A beer batter or some seasoning in the breading would have helped immensely. The actual fish fillet also had zero flavor. The bun was dried out and stale. An insider (my waitress friend) told me that  the bun was dry because the cooks in the back start cooking the fish as soon as the order comes in, fish only takes a few minutes to fry,so the sandwich pretty much sits and bakes under the heat lamps, while the rest of the order is completed. If it was not for adding tartar sauce and a lot of Franks Red Hot, this sandwich would have really sucked The fries were as my companion stated earlier,  flavorful but not at all crispy. The coleslaw was decent and tasted fresh.
Houston: We Have No Flavor
 This trip to the North Park Lounge was by far the worst I had ever had. The food is usually mediocre, but this was pretty bad. Why anyone would consider this fish sandwich the best in the North Hills is beyond me. Let me also add that the whole menu is pretty uninspired and could use some revamping. I'm sure that one day I will return to North Park Lounge if for no other reason, then to see my waitress friend that works there. Lets hope that the food has shown some improvement my next visit.


Pizza :     6/10 (Bonus points because it was free)

Italian Sausage Sandwich : 3/10 (Minus points for being undercooked)

Fish Sandwich : 6/10

For the love of god someone buy a water filter, so the water does not taste like butt sweat.

North Park Lounge
8701 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh , PA 15237
(412) 364-9878

North Park Lounge on Urbanspoon

NP Lounge Web Site

Monday, January 3, 2011

CHINA STAR : Part Deux

 In my last review of China Star, I promised to go back to try some of there more authentic Chinese dishes. So back I went to try there much ballyhooed Tea Smoked Duck. Being that my eating partner is not all that adventurous, I bought her some Orange Beef. We both shared a Pu Pu platter as well. So lets get to the review shall we.
PU PU Platter ($10.95)
 The Pu Pu platter was a disappointment. It came with 2 of the following. Spring Rolls, Crab Rangoon, Unidentified Fried Thingies, Teriyaki Beef, BBQ Spared Ribs.
 The spring rolls were crunchy and filled with a pork/veggie mix, and were decent tasting.
 The Crab Rangoon was lacking in that there was not enough filling. What filling there was, had little crab flavor, and tasted like plain cream cheese.
The unidentified fried thingies (UFT) looked like a shrimp toast, but there was no seafood flavor at all. They tasted like fried wonder bread, and were very greasy. Looking at the China Star Menu , I think these might have been the scallion pancakes, but I really have no idea. 
 The Teriyaki Beef was infused with a nice teriyaki flavor, however the beef was slightly tough and stringy.
The BBQ Ribs were meaty and had a nice Chinese BBQ flavor to them.

Orange Beef ($10.95)
 The Orange Beef was one of the better versions of this dish that I have eaten. The coating on the outside of the beef was crunchy yet slightly over-coated  for my tastes. Inside the beef was very tender. The sauce was very good  with orange, soy, garlic, ginger, and pepper flavors. Imagine a General Tso's sauce with an overriding orange flavor. The dish had a great balance of sweet, sour, and savory. Someone needs to tell the chef to cook the broccoli along with the sauce, as it was quite dry and plain. Letting it cook in the sauce would have infused the broccoli with some much needed flavor.

Tea Smoked Duck ($13.95)
   The Tea Smoked duck hit my palate with flavors that I had never tasted before. The duck itself was juicy and slightly fatty, yet it missed having that crunchy skin which makes Peking duck such a treat. The tea smoke flavor was quite different from the usual hardwood smoke flavor (hickory or oak) that I am used to. The tea smoke was almost floral in its flavoring, and that flavor was quite pronounced throughout the duck. It honestly took me a little while to get used to the strange flavor. While I cant say that I did not like the flavor, it wasn't good enough that I would order this duck dish again. It seemed like it needed some type of sauce, to balance out the smokiness of the duck.


PU PU Platter: 4/10 

Orange Beef: 7.5/10 

Tea Smoked Duck: 5/10 

China Moon
100 McIntyre Square
7900 McKnight Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

China Star on Urbanspoon