Eating out, Food, Indian, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews, Take-out

Choolaah, King of Prussia

Hey folks. Today I thought I’d share a yummy little place in KOP that is now offering delivery and take-out. It’s a nice choice for something a little different and inexpensive. Choolaah is basically fast casual Indian deliciousness. Their cooking method is an ancient clay cooking style. It’s healthy and exotic. Yes I am describing food people not a handsome gentleman LOL.

Build a bowl is their primary method. You pick a protein, a masala sauce and a base like rice and/or veggies. The proteins you can choose are chicken, lamb meatballs, veg croquettes, tofu, paneer and salmon. The masalas are tikka masala, chickpea masala and a couple different lentil daals. They offer both white rice and brown rice. Anyway, I could read you their entire menu but I think you should check it out yourself because there are so many different bowl or salad combinations.

Our Food

Below are pics of our bowls. I got half brown rice and a half roasted veg base with veggie croquettes and tikka masala. It was super good. Dan got white rice and a half veg base with lamb meatballs and tikka masala. He also enjoyed his. Actually, we both ate our entire bowls!

My veg bowl
Dan’s lamb bowl
Multiple sauces

They offer other menu items like wraps, naan and additional sides. They also have a fixin’ bar with a variety of accompaniments. Above is a pic of a few of the sauces including but not limited to spicy mango and tamarind ginger. I tried most of them and they were all delish.

We went to Choolaah way back in October 2019 so we were able to eat inside. It was clean and super busy. The staff were so helpful and inviting. I remember commented on how well they must have been trained. They really seemed to care if we were enjoying our meals. I give Choolaah 4.5 out of 5 forks! So needless to say we will be back once this stay at home order is over.

I thought I would share this little place with you now since they continue to deliver and have take out. Give it a try for something different. Well,thanks for eating folks and soon we will be eating out again!

Beer, Eating out, Food, Restaurant, Reviews, Wings

Order Take-Out or Delivery TODAY! We did! The Whitpain Tavern / Blue Bell, PA

Wing pic from their website…to put you in the mood.

We are all feeling it. This quarantine is trying in so many ways. Beside all of the other issues like employment insecurity, financial burdens and mental sanity to not say the least, not being able to eat out really hurts. It’s changed my routine for sure. Listen I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. This blog’s name for goodness sake is ILoveEatingOut….so duh.

Now is the time for us to buy at least one meal a week from your favorite local place to give them a little helping hand. You want them to still be in business when all of this craziness is past us right? You might have a concern over ordering take-out right now and I do too! I have copied a couple of Q and A directly from the CDC website regarding this so hopefully it will ease your mind if you have concerns. See below.

Q: Can I get sick with COVID-19 from touching food, the food packaging, or food contact surfaces, if the coronavirus was present on it?

A: Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to wash your hands often, including utensils.

Q: Can I get COVID-19 from a food worker handling my food?

A: Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in some communities in the U.S. The CDC recommends that if you are sick, stay home until you are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

Anyone handling, preparing and serving food should always follow safe food handling procedures, such as washing hands and surfaces often.”

AND back to my thoughts…

Listen, it won’t hurt to follow some basic precautions while getting your take-out. While I’m certainly not an infectious disease expert by any means, I have the internet and TV to inform me (LOL). No seriously, I read and heard that stomach acids will kill the virus so there doesn’t seem to be any risk in investing it. Just be careful when you get your food home. Empty the food directly onto your own plates and discard the containers. Heat up your food in the oven for a bit or even microwave. Again, I’m not an expert and I don’t know if this will help but I can’t imagine it will hurt. WASH YOUR HANDS after handling the containers and before you eat.

The Hubs and I ordered from one of the local watering holes The Whitpain Tavern in Blue Bell, PA. We love to go there and listen to live music and just chill with some wings, fries, drinks whether its just us or with some of our neighbors. It was really nice of them to offer us delivery without a charge. I’m not sure what their requirements are but you probably have to be pretty local to qualify for this free service. Note they do have curbside pick up too if you need to get out and take a drive. OH! And they also delivered a 6-pack too so that was very convenient.

I’m lacking pictures this time folks sorry but I can tell you our food was great. We had hot wings, hot BBQ wings, and Shane’s French Onion Fries. The wings are always big and meaty. They are fried and generously tossed in your sauce of choice. The Garlic BBQ sauce is so good. Little pieces of real garlic mixed into the traditional BBQ sauce makes this very special. Wings are served with celery and blue cheese. The fries we got are sidewinder fries which are basically curly steak fries crispy on the outside and soft and hot on the inside. On top they melted provolone and Swiss cheese and then covered it with a layer of crispy onion straws and its served with the most delicious beef gravy I have ever had. Really if it was acceptable, I’d drink this gravy from a cup. Mmmmmmm drinkin’ gravy from a cup…LOL. I should mention that the fries weren’t as delicious as when they come directly from the kitchen to the table but that’s ok, they were still very satisfying.

Alright enough of my rambling. It’s getting close to dinner time so start thinking about what restaurant you want to support and I don’t mean McDonalds or Wendy’s people! I mean those small businesses that have delicious food we crave along with the warm environments we love. Help keep these places above water until they can get back on track. Thanks for reading folks and we will be eating out more often soon enough! Stay safe everyone.

Eating out, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

Restaurants Closed…WHAT!?

I’m gonna write something light and simple to get some of the (you know what) cleared from the blogs and the facebook feed. Speaking of feed, I’m a professional feedee. ILoveEatingOut, as you all know. So with restaurants closed I’m having a hard time adjusting. I mean besides my regular WaWa trips (there is one across the street from my work), I look forward to meals out with the Hubs and friends and family. This may present as a challenge for me in a few weeks. It’s been 10 days since my last meal out (besides the one pizza we ordered) and we have been doing pretty good setting so far but I thought it would be a good idea for us to share some recipes so that we don’t get bored with the same old stuff. We all have our regular go-tos like spaghetti and meatballs or sausage, tacos and baked salmon but what else I ask you. Help me set my table please. Some restaurant quality recipes would be awesome…so we can pretend!

Also, with all that is happening now we are trying to limit our trips to the market so we are really trying not to be wasteful, to use what we have, and to not throw out any food. With that said, today I am preparing a simple slow cooker beef stew. It’s a great dish for those lonely root vegetables you have just sitting around waiting to be loved. I was lucky enough to have a beef stew seasoning mix packers so I didn’t have to mess with anything else but a little water. But beef stew is very forgiving and you can use what you have. Spices like thyme and ground mustard go nicely in stew…fresh or dried spices will do! A can of beef broth or a bullion cube or two will add lots of flavor as well. Don’t forget the salt and pepper my friends.

You can serve this as is or over noodles (egg noodles are my fav) or rice or even another grain like barley or quinoa. Really whatever you have will work.

The veggies I am using are onions, parsnips, potatoes, carrots and celery. I’m not picky. In addition to a new onion, I’m using a half of one that was in the frig that was a little wrinkly. Also threw in there about 10 baby carrots that were left in the bag in the veggie drawer along with 3 fresh carrots. My point is that this is a dish to use up those “old veggies”.

I’m very excited to share this post with you before my meal is ready so we can all start sharing our ideas. I do have one photo and that’s the before. And here it is!

Before!

I hope this rough and unprecedented time passes soon and we can all be out and about meeting our friends and family so we can share a cocktail (OMG the liquor stores are closed too) and some delicious and prepared by someone else…food. Thanks for reading folks. We will be eating out more often soon enough. Stay healthy.

Eating out, Food, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, King of Prussia, PA

We started with the Craft-Your-Own Guacamole for $20. Yes this is a bit pricey but it is freshly made and a nice starter for a group. It starts with the traditional guac and you add your own mixins such as crispy capers or roasted red peppers. Their are multiple mixin options available but we chose to have one traditional, one with pickled jalepenos and the last with candied pumpkin seeds. They are served with fried plaintain, tortilla and malanga chips. It is very good and its not just your old typical guac and chips so give it a try!

Guac sampler
Side of chips for the quac

Since we had all of the delicious guac to eat and that’s not good for leftovers, I decided to get an appetizer as my main dish. I ordered the Paladar Empanadas stuffed with portabella mushrooms. I wasn’t too impressed with this at all. It was a bit overdone and too greasy. The filling and toppings were just okay. I will probably won’t ever order this again.

Empanadas

The Hubs ordered a traditional Latin dish, the Feijoada Stew which is made with pork, chorizo sausage, black beans, sofrito vegetables, kale, sofrito rice and grilled Cuban bread for $19. Oddly I’m not a huge fan of Latin food but my husband is. He really enjoyed this dish. My only observation (I took a pic so you can see) is that the chef clearly burned the bread and covered it with a second sadly prepared piece of bread. That’s lame. If you know you ruined something fix it before it goes out to the guest. Don’t try to hide it like your customers are stupid and won’t notice! It’s insulting. I mean this is a nice restaurant, not a cheap place.

Stew served with both burnt and underdone bread

Paladar offers a nice cocktail menu including different styles of margaritas and mojitos. Its main feature is the extensive rum list. They even offer rum flights ranging in price from $9 to $25. If rum was my thing I’d totally try this but its not so I didn’t!!

Paladar is located in the King of Prussia’s happening Town Center. There is a lot of action all around especially this beautiful fall time of year. Like most of the restaurants throughout the Town Center, they get busy so make a reservation. In case you haven’t guessed, this is not the place to bring young children.

The main dining area and indoor bar have have nicely decorated interiors and is very spacious so tables aren’t on top of each other. Outside seating is also offered. We sat outside with no regrets. Our server was busy but attentive so no complaints there. You know I just realized that my heart isn’t really into this review and I’m not sure if its because I’m not a Latin food lover or I just didn’t have a really great meal. Either way I’m still going to share this brief review for you. I give Paladar 3 out of 5 forks. Thanks for reading folks and eat out more often!

Eating out, Food, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews, scallops, steak

White Dog Cafe, Haverford, PA

There were four of us that met out for dinner at White Dog Cafe in Haverford. We started with Sandy Ridge Farm Deviled Eggs for $11 which included a half dozen, cage-free eggs with an assortment of seasonal fillings. Ours included caviar and chives, a crispy potato crumble and a blue cheese and bacon topping. These were fantastic and unlike any deviled eggs we had ever had. They were so creamy and the toppings were unique and complimentary.

Deviled Eggs

We also shared Parmesan Fries with truffle oil, grana, and chives for $8. They were cooked just right and were served with care. However, they could have used a bit more truffle oil. You could barely taste or smell the truffle oil but they were still tasty.

Truffle Fries

The Hubs ordered the Butcher’s Cut which was a filet mignon. It was served with locally sourced, shallot butter, house made steak sauce, truffle fries and arugula salad. The plate looked nice but the filet was overcooked. He ordered medium but there was no pink inside. The Hubs isn’t a complainer but I could tell he was a bit disappointed.

Filet

I had the Locust Point Farm Chicken served with goat cheese whipped potatoes, baby spinach and mushroom marsala for $27. Now this chicken could not have been cooked more perfectly! It was so tender and juicy and the skin was so crispy. The potatoes were a little runny but I think that’s because the chicken on top was so juicy. The flavors were divine. I would order this again.

Chicken

Our friends ordered Yellowfin Tuna Tartare served with avocado salsa, sesame soy emulsion and true leaf micro cilantro for $16 (no photo taken). They also ordered the special appetizer for the evening. It was a Tempura Battered Cauliflower all sauced up.

The special appetizer that evening

For their entrees they ordered the Cape May Scallops served with sweet corn ragout, basil charred tomato romesco sauce and almond crumble for $35 and the fish special which was swordfish with various accompaniments. They enjoyed their entrees although they (and we) struggled to finish them as we had so many apps and a few cocktails. We were even all so full and content that we skipped dessert!

Scallop meal and sword fish meal

The decor was very warm and comforting. There are a few rooms available for dining. We were seated in The Living Room. It was super crowded so make sure you make a reservation. There are adorable pictures of dogs a dog related art throughout the restaurant and I loved it. I even enjoyed my trip to the ladies room because I got to enjoy more of the dog related decor.

The bar is small and it was crowded. The bartender and the servers were personable, attentive and knowledgeable. It’s a great date place and a nice place for friends to gather. I do not think it’s a good place for small children so best to get a sitter. I give White Dog Cafe in Haverford 4.5 out of 5 forks. It’s a bit pricey but totally worth it. Thanks for reading folks and eat out more often!

Eating out, Food, Mexican, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

El Limone, Ambler, PA

El Limone is one of our favorite spots to go for quick, inexpensive and delicious Mexican food. It’s authentic and we always leave with big smiles and full tummies.

El Limone is a BYO. We often see people sharing a bottle of wine or drinking a couple of beers. If you forget your alcohol fear not my friends as they offer FREE margaritas. I understand they are supposed to offer a max of 2 margaritas per entree but I have seen them pour more. The margaritas are sometimes a bit watered down on occasion but who’s complaining if they are free right!?

Complimentary margarita

I almost always order the same thing…the loaded nachos with carnitas for $9.95. They are mouthwatering. I literally crave them at times. The pork is shredded with big chunks of meat found throughout the plate (see blown up pic below in pic collage). The nachos are smothered in refried beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo. The chips are house made and served crunchy and warm. I love adding their house made hot sauces. They offer a tomatillo and a chipoltle option. I love both and I use both. Use the chipoltle cautiously though…it’s hot both at the time you eat it and the next day (if you get my drift). It’s true folks. I gotta let you know but I also have to let you know that, to me, its worth it.

The most perfect nachos you’ll ever have

Below is a pick of Dan’s sopes. He ordered a chorizo and an al pastor. Sopes are a thick corn tortilla (fried masa) covered in Mexican goodness. Note El Limone’s sopes are often greasy (as well as the chorizo) but still so good. Sopes are covered in lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and cheese at $2.50 each. You just can’t beat it.

Sopes

My Mom got a shrimp quesadilla for $8.00. It was cooked perfect and the shrimp were big. She was happy…I was happy.

Shrimp quesadilla

Dan and I love the Tres Leches cake at El Limone. It’s only $5.95 and it was big enough for the 3 of us to share. It was wet with milky sweetness and satisfied our dessert desire. Yum. Get it!

Tres Leches

The restaurant is located in the middle of a strip of stores in Ambler. It’s a bit run down and lacks everything fancy. The tables are set close together and there are a few placed outside on the sidewalk. The chefs are not in a closed kitchen so you can see them cooking in the very small space. TV’s are anchored in the corners of the small room often showing sporting events.

This place is loved by many so it’s usually crowded. Expect to wait on busy “out-to-eat” nights like Friday and Saturday evenings. Its always a full house with a full (and cramped) waiting area and a line often out the door but they have a quick turnaround so the wait has never been extreme. They are also very popular with the take-out so you will see door-dash folks coming and going.

It’s a great place for friends to gather, families with small children to get together and honestly, even a fun date night with maybe a show to follow down the street at Ambler Theater. One last note, in addition to it’s Ambler location, there are locations in Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Conshohocken, Norristown, Malvern, Paoli, Royersford, and West Chester. I have only been to Ambler and Norristown. Ambler is my fave of the two.

I give El Limone in Ambler 4.75 stars out of 5 forks. For the money you can’t get a better meal. Skip the fast food restaurants and head on over to El Limone. Thanks for reading and eat out more often folks!

Eating out, Food, Italian, Philadelphia suburb, Restaurant, Reviews

Valley Forge Trattoria & Lounge, Phoenixville, PA

I had heard from two different people that this was the new place to be so I wanted to try it. We went on Sunday of Labor Day weekend with out neighbors and friends. They actually recommended it too as they heard it was good.

The decor was beautiful. It had a very fitting Mediterranean Tuscan decor. There was a lovely inside dining area with a beautiful and large bar as well as an outdoor patio. We sat outside since the weather was lovely. Note if you decide to eat outside, the patio is directly across the street from the newly renovated Valley Veterinary Hospital so be ready to hear some howling and barking dogs intermittently during your meal. It only happened a couple times so it wasn’t too distracting.

They have a very interesting cocktail list with drinks at an average cost of about $13. Below you will see two Manhattans, one gin and vodka martini with blue cheese olives, and a pomegranate martini. We all were very happy with our drinks. The waitress did have some difficulty serving them but that’s because they were filled to the brim which is fine by me!

Coctails

We shared a seafood stuffed egg roll appetizer. It was crispy and delicious. It was served with a sweet and tangy Asian style dipping sauce which complimented it nicely. It was a generous portion and perfectly prepared. Yummm I would order again.

Appetizer

Each of our meals started with either a house salad or a cesaer salad. I had the cesear and it was just okay. The dressing was a bit to vinegary for me. It needed more parm cheese I think and lose the tomatoes. I don’t think tomatoes should be in a cesaer. Other than that, the ingredients were crisp and fresh.

My cesaer

All tables are treated to complimentary garlic knots. They looked a lot better than they tasted. The knots were a bit chewy. It almost reminded me of the texture a roll gets after its been microwaved. I hope they don’t microwave their knots before serving. That would be so bad. I believe the sauce was their pizza sauce. It was sweet…just okay. I will pass on them next time. They are not worth the carbs or calories.

Complimentary garlic knots

I had linguini with mussels and clams in white sauce. The pasta, sauce and clams were devine. After a few bites the mussels became questionable. Some were nice but others were mushy. Also there was one mussel that was not cleaned properly (see the bottom left mussel in my picture). It had the hard hairs still attached to it. Please if you can’t remove them, toss it and don’t put it on the plate. It grossed me out. I don’t know that I would order mussels here again based on this experience. I want to know that each mussel I put in my mouth is going to be good, not take a gamble.

Mussels, clams and linguini with white sauce

So not to bore you too much I decided to put a collage together of the dishes my husband and neighbors enjoyed. No one complained and all said their food tasted good. Dan had the lobster ravioli (looks a little too saucy to me), my neighbors had the spaghetti with seafood and a chicken dish with a side of pasta. I try not to be too annoying to eat with so I didn’t ask too many questions so pics is all your gonna get regarding their dishes.

Everyone else’s food

Would I go back again? I don’t know. Probably I would but I won’t go out of my way for sure. If someone invites us I’d go. Hopefully the experience would be a bit better. I’ll surely avoid the mussels though.

As a side note I’ve decided to increase my forks to 5. It’s too difficult with only 4 so for this place, I give it 3.5 out of 5 forks.

Thanks for reading and be sure to eat out more often folks.