Saturday, July 23, 2016


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We were headed to Luigi's Italian in Summerfield, but the parking lot was so crowded we took a long detour to TASTE OF THAI on Westover Terrace in Greensboro.  The address is actually 1500 Mill Street, but the restaurant is located in the Westover Gallery of Shops.  Click on the link and go to the contact page to get yourself oriented if you're not familiar with the area.  We were definitely familiar because we've been to TASTE OF THAI many times.  We've never been disappointed.  The food is always good.  They do a buffet at lunch and offer a regular but a frequently changing menu in the evening,

I don't remember seeing the Oriental Grill sign before.  Maybe it's new.  I'm not sure what it means.  Note: I did a Google search on Oriental Grill.  The results were not entirely clear, but seemed to indicate Oriental Grill was a separate restaurant operated by the TASTE OF THAI.  Oriental Grill is now permanently closed.

This is the salad served at TASTE OF THAI.  I know it doesn't look like much and it isn't much.  A few pieces of torn up lettuce and a couple of carrot slices.  But it is damned good when they throw some of their peanut sauce dressing on it.  I could drink the dressing with a straw if somebody put it in a glass.

Here's my entree.  I know it looks like a tangled, undefined mess, but it was actually quite good. It was go good I slopped it all over my shirt, before putting a napkin cover on.  Then I slopped it on the napkin.  It must be terribly embarrassing to eat a good meal with me.

At first I wanted the Nua Koong, which was some sort of beef dish with tamarind sauce, but since I couldn't pronounce it, I settled on my second choice - Green Gulf.  Green Gulf turned out to be napkin slopping good.

Green Gulf doesn't sound good or look good, but that was not the case.  The green liquid is Green Curry Sauce.  I know it looks like vomit, baby poop, or pea soup.  Fortunately it tasted nothing like vomit, baby poop, or pea soup.  

The green sauce was delicious after I got over the initial burn in my mouth.  It was not heat burn.  I was spicy burn.  I love spicy food, but the green curry sauce was a shock,  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to eat it.  After three or four bites, and the addition of a little white rice, everything settled down.  I wanted to lick the bowl after I was done.

Click here for information about green curry.

In the green curry sauce is mixed seafood - lobster, shrimp, scallops, squid, and unnamed fish.  I had to dig the lobster out of its shell, but it was worth the effort.  The squid sounded suspicious, but that was good too.  I normally only eat squid when it's served as Calamari.  Bread it and fry it up and the rubber bands become pretty tasty.  They are also tasty when served with green curry sauce.

The shrimp and scallops were of course delicious.  I don't know about the unnamed fish since I couldn't identify which part of the dish was the unnamed fish.

There were several vegetables in the dish which I could not identify.  They all tasted good with the green curry sauce on them.  I did recognize string beans, which I hate.  But, the green sauce worked its magic and the string bean flavor was not recognizable, unless I separated one bean out of the mixture and tasted it by itself.

The small dish at the upper left is Crab Rangoon with yet another spicy sauce.  The Rangoon appetizer was quite good.  Rangoon is a fried wanton stuffed with crab, cream cheese, green onions, and garlic.  The spicy sauce was entirely different from all the other spicy sauces we were served.  The Thais know their spicy sauces!

Here's Debbie's plate(s).  She decided to order a gaggle of appetizers rather than a single dish.  On the right is Nua Jim Jaew.  Nua Jew Jaew is grilled sliced Sirloin with a spicy sauce.  I tasted this one.  It was very good.  To the left are Spring Rolls stuffed with glass noodles and vegetables and another spicy sauce.  At the top is Blanket Shrimp.  These are shrimp wrapped with spring roll paper and yet more spicy sauce.  I have no idea what spring roll paper is, but it's crunchy and tasty. I've had the Spring Rolls and the Blanket Shrimp, so I know they are good.  The two red sauces were the same. 

Here's the complimentary dessert they served after the meal.  Debbie and I each got one.  Neither Debbie nor I could figure out what it was.  It had no real distinctive flavor.  It had a slight fruit taste, but nothing I could identify.  The texture was a bit waxy but soft.  It looks sweet, but it wasn't.  It wasn't bad, but I couldn't call it good either.  It just was.  I seem to recall TASTE OF THAI pulling the same mystery dessert trick every time we've eaten there.

I'm showing this guy in order to brag about how honest we are.  He had no idea his wallet fell out of his back pocket while eating.  I saw it happen, pointed it out to Debbie, and she picked it up and returned it to the man.  He was very grateful, but he didn't offer to pay for my dinner or anything.  Oh, well...

Dinner set us back about $48.00 with the tip.  The tip was pretty meager.  

The kid waiter seemed in a daze.  Maybe it was his first day on the job.  Maybe he had too many hits on the opium pipe.  Asking for water with no lemon confused the hell out of him.  I had to ask again later to have my water glass refilled.  I asked to see a menu after dinner to take a photo of the dishes we ordered, so I could write this review.  He brought me a fresh glass of water, but not the menu.  Debbie had to get up and ask the cashier for a menu.  Otherwise we never saw our waiter.  The restaurant was less than half full.  Busy was not an excuse.

This was the one time out of many visits to TASTE OF THAI that the service was lacking, but the food was really good.  Try it sometime, but be adventurous when you order.  Hopefully, you will be rewarded. 

By the way, the lunch buffet is great!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016


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We've been on a roll this week!

Debbie really is a good sport whenever I point a camera in her direction.  Here she prepares to take a bite out of a Linguine with Shrimp and Baby Spinach dish she has just prepared.  It was another Graziani recommended recipe.

This was a quick and easy one and it was delicious.  And, I don't normally like Spinach, even if Popeye eats it all the time.

Here is the pasta Debbie used.  It was actually a Spaghetti rather than a Linguine, although I'm not nearly Italian enough to know the difference between Spaghetti and Linguine.  If you know, leave the answer in the comments.  All I know is the pasta boasted that it is Protein Plus.  I guess that's a good thing.

Below is a quick video of the recipe:


Sunday, July 17, 2016


Debbie is a pretty good cook. Actually she is a great cook. We copies recipes accurately and makes a lot of tasty original dishes.
Occasionally we come across a recipe to try. One was recently posted on Facebook by Misti AndCarmine Graziani. The Grazianis post a lot of good recipes, but they often don't fit within our diet restrictions.
This new recipe is called GARLIC BUTTER SALMON and it fit nicely into our diet. Plus Debbie at least weekly cooks Salmon and Zucchini anyway. All she had to do was add a couple of ingredients and some paper.
Salmon is placed on Zucchini slices and baked with Italian seasoning, lemon, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. The dish is then baked in parchment paper.
Debbie served it with sweet kale salad, sliced cucumbers, and sliced tomatoes.
The Salmon was very tasty and the Zucchini was great. The Salmon could have used more garlic and more Parmesan, but everything benefits from more garlic and more Parmesan,
I'm told the Zucchini was picked fresh this morning from a local garden, which I suppose explains why it tasted exceptionally good.
The Salmon was good, but I have to say Debbie's normal Salmon preparation is better. Debbie usually says some Magic Words and then adds a little Panko bread crumb to the Salmon before baking. A dash of breading, like garlic and Parmesan, makes everything better.
Anyway that was tonight's dinner. Thanks to Misti and Carmine for the tip. 
A link to the recipe is below:

Saturday, July 2, 2016


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Let me begin this review by telling you the restaurant is located at 1726 Battleground Ave. in Greensboro.  I believe it's called Lawndale Shopping Center.  There is a link to the restaurant below.  Click it to learn more.  

Note when you visit the PASTABILTIES web page the photos section.  There's lots of photos of the food, the customers, and the restaurant.  Unfortunately, all the photos are so tiny you can barely see them and there appears to be no way to enlarge them.  It's very frustrating.  It's definitely a missed marketing opportunity.

I've always wanted to try PASTABILITIES.  I can't say for sure why, but it's always been near the top of my list.  I guess a restaurant with the word "PASTA" in it's name is the trigger.   Everything with pasta is supposed to be better.

The GOOGLE reviews of PASTABILITIES are mixed.  Some diners felt the place was fabulous, while others said the service was poor, the food tasted "processed" and "microwaved."  Something was amiss.  How could one of Greensboro's best restaurants offer poor service and serve processed and microwaved food?

Then PASTABILITES appeared in Spoon University's list of Greensboro's top 15 restaurants.  It was time to visit PASTABILITIES and put all my anxiety and doubt to rest.

This sign greets you when you enter PASTABILITIES.  We arrived at around 6:30 PM and had no trouble finding a seat in a what I thought was a sweet spot.  We were expecting to stand in a line to wait for a table.  It didn't happen.  We were very quickly met by a smiling waitress ready to take our order.

Let me say PASTABILITIES is not nearly so large as it appears in the restaurant's web site.  That was a good thing.

Until the restaurant was filled it was a fairly quiet evening.  As customers continued to arrive, the noise level grew.  To get to the restroom, you had to weave your way around tables and dodge waitresses who were scurrying here and there 

Debbie said the place had the feel of a "community bistro".  I'm not sure what she meant by "community bistro".  Maybe her comment will help you.

I believe PASTABILTIES considers itself to be an Italian restaurant, but the menu had a bit of everything.  I had to take notes while I read the menu.  That's my notes you see on the left.

I counted sixteen different salads, eleven appetizers, ten sandwiches. five chicken dishes, five seafood dishes, three hamburgers, five Italian specialties, five meat entrees, four vegetarian dishes, three pizzas, five items on the kids menu, plus an almost infinite number of BUILD YOUR PASTA combinations.  Plus about a dozen different desserts.

It was hard not to be reminded of Alvin Toffler's FUTURE SHOCK - the book in which TOFFLER predicts the future will be "dazed and confused" by too many choices.  How the PASTABILITIES kitchen staff gets the orders right must be a trick unto itself.

I would have been happy with just BUILD YOUR PASTA, the wine, and a dessert list.

I forgot to mention the dozens and dozens of wines, beers, and cocktails that were available.  This view is but a partial selection of wines that were on the menu.  Of course, the wine Debbie ordered was sold out.  

So, we washed our dinner down with water and of course the waitress brought our waters with slices of lemon in the glass after being specifically asked not to put lemon in the water.  I normally pick the lemon out and lay it on the table.  This time I picked the two slices of lemon out of our glasses and handed them directly back to the waitress. 

I remember the days when if you asked for water, they brought you water without any useless fruit in the glass.  I'd like to know who started the lemon in the water thing many, many years ago.  If you know, please tell me so I can find him or her and throttle the life out of that person.  Now you must request "no lemon" in your water and you will probably still get the lemon about half the time

Here's a shot of the bar with the mandatory TV.  I don't think anyone was paying attention to the TV.  A second TV on the other end of the room was not even turned on.  Notice the large bouquet of flowers on the right. 

OK, now it's time to talk about the food.  This is an appetizer called "mozzaluna".  It's crescents of mozzarella cheese breaded with herbs, romano cheese, fried, and served with marinara sauce.  It sounds good, doesn't it?  It wasn't.

I was served three crescents in the contraption you see standing behind the plate. I could only eat two.  I don't usually waste restaurant food.  Debbie tasted one of mine and immediately pooh-poohed it.

It was several hours later before I made the connection between "luna" and the shape of the appetizer.  Mozza I had figured out pretty quickly.  I'm slow like that at times.

I now understand the Google reviews that called the food processed and microwaved.  Mozzaluna could have come out of a brightly colored box pulled from a Walmart freezer

Check out this mozzaluna after I've taken a bite out of it.  There was barely any mozza in the luna.  It was nearly a hollow shell.

This was Debbie's appetizer - Gotcha Foccacia   These weren't bad, especially after dipping them in the cream tomato sauce shown with them.  Gotcha Foccacia is fried bread covered in Parmesan cheese.  They were pretty tasty.

This is my BUILD YOUR PASTA dish.  It's whole wheat linguine with a cream sauce, romano cheese, pine nuts, and Cajun anduoille sausage.  It is spiced with garlic, black pepper and crushed red pepper.  I never tasted any pine nuts.  Maybe they were there, maybe they weren't.

I've eaten whole wheat pasta for many years.  I know what whole wheat pasta tastes like.  This pasta did not taste like whole wheat.  It had a rough and coarse texture.  Pasta should not be rough and coarse.  Somebody forgot to scale the fish before cooling.

The dish was not good, but I suppose I will have to take some of the blame - I ordered it that way.  All of the ingredients sound tasty, but when you put together - not so much.  One clue that it was not just my bizarre combination was the sausage.  I tasted it by itself.  It had no flavor.  Well, maybe the flavor of chewy moistened cardboard.  I went to college in Louisiana - I know my Cajun sausage.

If you decide to BUILD YOUR PASTA, I hope you have more success than I did.  It's the way to go at PASTABILITIES, but you've got to get it right.

This is Debbie's entree.  It's a FRIED OYSTER SALAD.  The oysters were large, crunchy, plump, and juicy.  They were served on spinach with mushrooms, carrots and a bacon vinegarette.  This was a good dish.  Why does Debbie always order the good stuff and I get the dregs?

As if the BUILD YOUR PASTA with mezzaluna and foccacia weren't enough carbohydrates, our entrees were served with dinner rolls and butter.

At the risk of exceeding our carbohydrate tolerance level, we declined dessert.

This is Cindy Essa.  She's the owner of PASTABILITIES.  Our camera drew her attention.  She wanted to know why we were taking pictures.  You would think with all the camera phones around no one would pay any attention to a camera anymore.  Debbie said I draw attention because I use an "old school" camera rather than a cell phone.   Debbie explained that I was a "food blogger" and PASTABILITIES was on a list of Greensboro's top 15 restaurants.  That answer seemed to pacify Cindy and she smiled for our camera. 

Cindy said a lot of other things, but I couldn't hear a word she was saying, even though she was only three feet away.  She was competing with the restaurant noise.

PASTABILTIES is good for carbo-loading, but I doubt we will ever return to PASTABILITIES.  Debbie's dishes were good, but mine weren't.  The service was fine.  

PASTABILITIES does not belong on a list of top 15 restaurants.  Somebody made a mistake by putting it on the list.

The tab was about $39.00 with a tip.

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