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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Smoke Plano

Over Xmas break, I got to finally go check out the new Smoke in Plano. I've always gone to the Dallas location, and only for brunch (which is fantastic of our go-to's). But this time I wanted to try dinner. I've been eyeing their Big Rib for some time now. :P

A friend of mine was back in town for the holidays so a group of us met up for dinner. It was a party of 7 adults and 2 babies. They put us at this super large table.. it was a little hard to talk to everyone cuz we were so far apart. haha. And I didn't bother taking pictures of some of the dishes that were across the table. :P

Smoke Plano
2408 Preston Rd. #704a
Plano, TX 75093
(972) 599-2222
Price: $$$+

I knew I wanted to try the Big Rib... which is supposed to be massive. So I got a friend of mine to go in on it with me. When the waitress came to take our drink orders, I immediately asked if they still had any left. They have limited quantities of this so you gotta order fast! She went to go check... came back and said there's only 2 left! Yikes! I put my order in then and there. haha. The Big Rib (hominy casserole, fresh herb chimichurri) $38~ 
When this thing came... everyone at the table just stopped and stared. I was psyched! And shocked at the same time. MEAT FOR DAYYYYYYS!!! It was wayyyy bigger than I could've ever expected. The bone itself was longer than my forearm bone. O.O Whoa. Definitely more than enough for the 2 of us. I would say shareable for 4 people if you order sides or appetizers. Yowza. They're not playing around! We went to work attacking this thing. My friend wished that he didn't order the appetizer that came earlier. haha. This rib was spectacular. FORK TENDER, we didn't have to barely touch it to pull it off the bone. And soooo much flavor on that char. Some of the most tender bbq I've had. My friend loved it as well. And it came on a bed of hominy (basically like grits). OMG. Heavy, with the meat pairing but oh sooo good. The chimichurri added some brightness. I wish there were more veggies on the plate. The onions and parsley on top helped a little. At last, we lost. We binged ourselves to about 3/4ths of the dish. I was proud we got that far. haha. He took the rest home. So freaking awesome. I'd totally get this again, but next time share with more people. And the pictures never do it justice...just trust me when I say that is one big ass rib!!

Collard Greens. I did order a side of collards. Not sure how much it was but it was a pretty big portion. Unfortunately it was way too salty, so neither of us had much of that. I was hoping having some veggies would offset the large amount of meat. Instead we just focused on killing that rib!!

Smoke Sausage (stout beer, cabbage, spicy mustard) $11~ 
So my friend also ordered this to start. Not knowing what to expect with the Big Rib. It was ok... Not sure I like the sausage bathing in the soup. I would've preferred a drier dish... The sausage was good but nothing specials. I liked that they gave a lot of cabbage, but neither of us were fans of the beer "soup". We didn't drink it obviously, but it was a tad salty. The spicy mustard was nice. Always a good combo.. mustard and sausage. But like I said, we totally didn't need this dish. haha.

Coffee Cured Natural Beef Brisket (B&B pickles, potato salad) $22~ 
Another friend of mine got this. She subbed the potato salad for the Mac n' Cheese. And what a great choice that was. The Mac n' Cheese was on point! She originally wanted the ribs but they were out. Next time I guess. The brisket was super good as well. Thick slices and very juicy. I think she make it through about halfway of that mountain of meat. It was a lot! And I want to give a spotlight to those pickles. Fantastic. And I'm not even a huge pickle fan. I'd get this again too.

EB&D Loaded up & Truckin Burger (homemade thick and smokey bacon, sharp cheddar, frittered egg) $15~ 
2 of my friends ordered the burger. Somehow the orders got messed up and was never sent to the kitchen. So they waited forever for it. Finally it came. OMG. How do you even eat this thing?!? That frittered egg looked awesome. But do you just press down and smoosh the whole thing? haha. I think they decided to take a knife and fork to it. The burger patty itself was juicy and pretty flavorful. I got to try a bite, but was already so overwhelmed with the Big Rib that I really don't remember much. Their fries were good too from what I can remember. :P

It was a great meal. Quite epic actually. It's not everyday you eat something as big as your arm. hahaha. And always fun to catch up with friends. Other than the snafu with the orders, the service was good. And on a weeknight, I'd say their business was doing well! I'll definitely be back again for dinner. Just thinking about that Big Rib is making me drool. Just make sure to not go too late and order it fast, otherwise it'll run out!

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Shanghai Trip 2015

So... I totally forgot to post about my Shanghai trip. I went for a week before Thanksgiving. My parents were already there so I went to go meet up with them. My sister joined a few days later.

I didn't make a great effort to keep track of the restaurant names and stuff... so this is purely for your viewing pleasure. I included as much info as I have.

Shanghai has so much good food. Although I'm still biased that the food in Taiwan is better. :P And you can't beat these prices! $1USD = ~6.6RMB You do the math. Even the more "expensive" restaurants weren't that bad for a party of 3 or 4.

Deep South Yunnan Ethnic Cuisine

Grilled Tilapia (Dai flavor, salty & spicy) 58RMB~

Spicy Rice Noodles in Small Pot 28RMB~

Stir Fried Water Spinach 28RMB~

Roasted Pork Neck 38RMB~ One of the most tender pork ever. So good.

Xuanwei Stuffed Bun 15RMB~

Bamboo Sticky Rice

Old Shanghai Restaurant

Beef & Mushrooms

Sauteed Mushrooms

Wonton Soup

Axiang Rice Noodles - probably the best place all week. We went back twice

Pickled Cabbage Beef Rice Tofu noodles with Korea Style 36 RMB~


Tanked Spicy Pork Intestines Rice Tofu Noodles 36RMB~

Axiang Tomato Rice Noodles 31RMB~

Combo with side dishes and drinks
Sweet Hot Soy Milk - their soy milk was the best I've ever had. And came in a HUGE cup. Enough to share for 3 people. But I ain't sharing!! :P
Mango Juice


Matcha Latte with Fresh Cream (hot) 25RMB~

Spicy Chicken Wings

Chicken Pasta (eggplant, mushrooms, in tomato sauce) 40RMB~

Crab & Pumpkin Carbonara 42RMB~

Tonkatsu Curry 

Charme Restaurant - we went here for my mom's bday dinner.
Stewed Hot & Spicy Pork Intestine Noodle 32RMB~

Soup 68RMB~

Fresh Perch Extraordinary 48RMB~

Stir Fried Cabbage with Lardon 36RMB~

Stir Fried Young Kale Shoot 38RMB~

Pickles & Marble Pork Fried Rice 40RMB~

Free Noodle Soup for my mom's birthday

Original Black Tea with Milk on Ice 20RMB~

Spicy Stir Fried Cauliflower 32RMB~

Spicy Fried Pork 48RMB~

Mapo Tofu 28RMB~

Dim Sum - All You Can Eat 78RMB~ per person
Fried Pumpkin Balls (with purple yam paste)

BBQ Pork Buns


Veggie Dumplings

Stir Fried Rice Cakes

Shrimp Dumplings

Pan Fried Dumplings

Fried Daikon Radish Cakes

Peanut Rice Cake Rolls

Clear Veggie Dumplings

Sesame Balls (custard filled)

Hand Pulled Scallion Pancakes

ZhaJiang Noodles (knife cut noodles)

Giant Spicy Bowl (frog, lotus, bamboo, cauliflower, assorted veggies)

Muskcat Coffee
Matcha Ice Snow 48RMB~

Matcha Latte (hot)

House Specialty: 8 Treasure Dish (duck, veggies, sticky rice)

Seafood Crispy Noodles

These are the BIGGEST plates of food ever. See how it compares to other normal dishes... O.O
Individual Hot Pot - Last meal before returning to the US.
ChaoZhou Style Soup
Consomme Base Soup

Spicy Sichuan Style Soup Base

Tomato Soup Base


Soooo full, ALL THE TIME. I didn't even have room to really snack... XD