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We tried a cake from the Albemarle Baking Company for the first time on Ahan’s first birthday. The cake was really good. It not only looked great, it tasted even better. Almost everyone who came to the party was asking where we got the cake from. The cake we picked was The Albemarle – “Chocolate cake on the bottom, then THREE mousse layers—dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate. Covered with a milk chocolate glaze.”
We liked the cake so much that for my birthday we tried our second cake from Albemarle Baking Co – The Chocolate Praline Crunch Cake, which was also excellent, especially if you like dark chocolate.
We tried Taste of China near ACAC in Albemarle Square a few weeks back and really loved the food. We made a second trip this weekend and the food was awesome again.
I ate the Tofu Casserole Sichuan Spicy (left) and Parchayi ate the Spicy Scallions and Chili hotpot (or something like that, right).
Both dishes were fantastic. Taste of China is not a regular American Chinese restaurant (though they do serve up some American Chinese too). This according to them is the real Chinese food. Why O why then are we subject to the same old Chinese food everywhere?
I would call taste of China expensive for a Chinese place but then they don’t serve the tired old Chinese and the portions are generous. The food is closer to Indian Chinese than American Chinese.
Here is a link to the Vegetarian Options on the Menu, and for a good laugh see the last item. I wasn’t brave enough to try it. Maybe you are
Update: On our third or fourth visit here, Parchayi got the wrong dish after about an hour of waiting and the wait staff basically told us to either cancel our order and leave or order something else. They claimed it is because they are afraid of chef Chang. Anyway after creating a scene there, the chef himself came out and apologized and gave us a free sample of some awesome red bean dumplings. It seemed form talking to owner that the restaurant was not capable of handling the number of customers and chef Chang was very overworked and stressed. A few weeks after the incident we read in both Cville and Hook that chef Chang has left. I’ve heard from other friends at work too that the wait staff was really rude. Anyway now that the chef is gone, there is no point visiting. After all, the long lines and the extra wait all were just to eat his famous Sichuan cooking.
Here is to hope that he remains in Charlottesville. We will miss the food.
Charlottesville now has a new Indian store on Westfield Rd. near the Comcast office called Taste of India.
We’ve been to the new store twice and as compared to Indian Bazaar on Rio, the store is more neatly organized. There are more Frozen options and most of the basics are the same. The store owner has promised to order some stuff that he didn’t have and I’ll find out soon if he did. I’m not sure we really needed another store but if he does deliver on his promise of ordering stuff that the other one doesn’t carry we might end up going there more often.
We tried the new Tara Thai at Barracks Rd this weekend and were completely disappointed with the food. The soup we ordered was lukewarm (not even close to hot). When we complained, they heated it up for us in a microwave for a few minutes. After that it was ok and decent tasting.
The food we ordered was all cold too. We could hear them cooking it and we were sitting about 10 feet from the kitchen so it can’t have become cold in transit. Maybe they just stir fry stuff and dump in cold readymade sauce? and maybe they don’t stir fry long enough for the vegetables to become hot? After complaining again and being served microwave heated food, the temperature was ok. Still not hot but tolerable. Even the fried Tofu was cold. I’ve never had fried tofu cold in a dish before. Taste wise the food was mediocre and the dish I ordered was overly fishy. I threw away the leftovers because when I heated them up later at home they smelled bad. All in all a bad experience. I’ll stick with Thai 99 on JPA and Lemongrass at the corner for good Thai food.
We were in DC last weekend for our skin test (got an RFE from USCIS for that – even though we had submitted negative xrays last time and we are known positives for the skin test) and ate at Wah Taj, which is the complex neigboring the one with Minerva and Curry N Kabob.
The Indian Chinese at Wah Taj was fantastic – the Chili Paneer was exellent and reminded me of Bombay and the rest of the chinese food was really good to. We also got takeout Indian from there and that was also good but not really spectacular.
The next day we ate at Hot Breads in NoVA, which was a disappointment after the excellent experience with Hot Breads in Richmond the previous weekend. The NoVA one didn’t have much of a menu, no dosas, no Indian Pizzas, just a few sandwiches and Pav Bhaji. The Pav Bhaji was just ok, the sandwiches were also just ok. The Richmond Hot Breads dosas were good and Pizza was also nice.
An update on Curry N Kabob, our old favorite in Herndon from a friend who lives close by – he stopped going there because he once found a cockroach in his food. Yikes! It still tastes as good though but eat at your own risk.
On Sunday as a change from spicy Indian food we went to a brunch place called “Waffle King’s Virginia Kitchen” and I have to say I have never eaten such bad waffles. My waffle was chewy and leathery – I would rather eat a Frozen toaster waffle than this again. I though it might just be mine but everyone elses waffles were the same. The only good thing here was the fresh sqeezed orange juice.
You all know what I think of Indian Restaurants in Charlottesville but since Milan has a new chef from when we last visited, we thought we’d give the place another try and to summarize the experience – nothing has changed.
We went for the lunch buffet on a saturday. Only one dish amongst all the vegetarian food stood out – an eggplant dish, which too I would call good – nothing exceptional. The rest were mediocre curries. Even Chana (chick peas), which is really hard to get wrong was just ok. I can’t say about the chicken, but Parchayi definitely is not visiting the place again for a long time.
All in all, I’d say stick with Just Curry, which now has two locations, in place of Mesob at the Corner and on The Downtown mall.
I heard a few days back that Casella’s at Barracks Rd is being replaced by a new Thai place. Will report on that when it opens. My favorites still are Lemongrass and Thai 99. I’ve tried several times to try to get the chef at Lemongrass to tell us what goes in his Spicy Lemongrass Tofu, but he is tight lipped about it and the only clues he will give us is that it is a Thai-Vietnamese combination dish which has an Indian influence. I’m willing to offer a free 20$ gift certificate or 20$ by paypal if you can reverse engineer that dish for us.