Bon Vivant's written and pictorial diary of her culinary adventures that will amuse and excite your virtual taste buds...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shan Dong Restaurant

The second half of our meal that day – we were doing some serious noodle whoring:

Ever since I left LA I’ve been having saudade for that certain aptly named dumpling house in San Gabriel. I’ve begun my quest to find a Bay Area alternative and first up was Shan Dong in Oakland’s Chinatown.

We got into a dumpling frenzy and ordered vegetable dumplings (boiled), Shan Dong special dumplings (boiled), potstickers, green onion pancake (ok, officially not a dumpling), and steamed veggie buns.

I think that the crowd favorite were the Shan Dong special dumplings. They were filled with ground pork and vegetables and a little something else that gave them a bit of oomph. I was really looking forward to the onion pancake and the potstickers, since I had heard that they were really good at Shan Dong, but they were just ok; the restaurant seems to do a lot better with the steamed and boiled dumplings.

Several of the many noodle dishes that we ordered:

The sesame paste noodles were actually my favorite dish. I was surprised that these were served hot instead of cold. The sauce worked really well with both the noodles and the Chinese broccoli. My only complaint was that the menu said that these noodles spicy and it turned out that they weren’t at all (but that wasn’t something that a big spoonful of chili sauce couldn’t cure.)

I haven’t had Singapore noodles in years and Shan Dong’s version was better than I remembered the dish to be. The noodles were perfectly cooked and the curry sauce had a nice spicy kick to it. Also, the vegetables, especially the onions, were cooked (there is a place for raw onions but I don’t like them in stir-fries).

The soup turned out to taste better than it looked. We also ordered a sizzling rice soup and both soups had very flavorful broths.

We went a little crazy and splurged for the hand pulled noodles in almost every dish.

Although Shan Dong wasn’t as good as my beloved SoCal dumpling house, I thought that most of the items that we ordered were good and I would probably go back and try some different noodle dishes.

Shan Dong
328 10th Street
Oakland, CA 94607

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

SacsTasty Hot Dogs - Indeed.

Immediately after reading this review, I knew that I had to go here. I thought that the perfect time would be when I was returning to Napa after my vegan cooking class and lunch in Oakland (I like to seek redemption before I give into temptation).

I started off with the Original Tasty Dog with mustard, relish, onion (chopped), and tomato. I really wanted to get cheese on it but I was trying to practice some sort of restraint since I knew that I was also going to get a chili cheese dog.

I loved this hot dog. The dog itself had really good snap! and I really liked how all of the accoutrements worked together. It really didn't need cheese but that is not going to stop me from ordering it with next time!

Next was the chili cheese dog. Oh man, I got so excited when I saw the gobs 'o' cheese that went on the dog.

My only complaint was that the chili that day tasty a bit pasty/grainy. I miss the days when fast food chili was emulsified by thick orange grease instead of the low-fat thickeners. Despite that, this was one great chili cheese dog.

SacsTasty Hot Dogs
2445 Springs Road
Vallejo, CA 94951

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