Have a recommendation? We'd LOVE to hear it!
Salutations Readers!

Kalamazoo has good food.
Great food, in fact. We have made it our mission to check out all the local eateries one at a time - and more for our own poor memories than any other reason, we'll be chronicling our adventures in food here. And some places float our boats way more than others, which is why we have developed the very scientific
five golden forks rating scale. Ok. It is not scientific at all. It is actually quite unscientific. But, it is something. And now, you can search all of our reviews by the forks rating. YAY!

But, wait! There's more!
Kalamazoo Foodies no longer just eat at restaurants then review them. There are recipes posted, some easy, some less easy, all delicious. There are, or will be, book reviews, the new
Foodie Movie Review-y which will focus on movies about food or ones that have a lot of beautiful food in them. There are other food musings, and hopefully soon contests and so much more. But, Foodie Friends, it is all about food. Because we love it!
And, we want to hear from you!

We want to hear your comments on our recipes and reviews. We want to know where you love to eat. And, we are looking for GUEST bloggers to broaden our horizons a bit. And, if you haven't found us on Facebook, you should do that too. Like our page for other fun Foodies stuff like photos, polls, and more.

SO KALAMAZOO PATRONS - where do YOU love to eat? Because we'd love to check it out and share our thoughts here. Give us a comment below, and quickly! Our tummies are grumbling in anticipation.

A Note from the Foodies about our typical fair:
So, you may notice as you read our blog that we often order the same thing wherever we go. OK, maybe not quite, but we do often order similar things. Kristin has her caprese salads and mushroom dishes. Kate has her baked goat cheese and things with tofu. Well, readers, we wanted to let you know that this is absolutely intentional. A) We love those things, so why not order what you love? And, B) It is a lot easier to compare apples to apples than it is to compare apples to comquats. So, we like to order similar things to have a good sense of how to compare them. Just wanted to let you in on that little secret. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chinn Chinn

Kristin: Homestyle Beancurd, Spring Rolls (with Veggie filling), and a free salad brought to us by a cool little old dude.
Howdy! Kate and I were saying how we needed to make a new post, and resolved to go to dinner. The first answer that came to mind in the "where do we eat tonight?" discussion was "Sprout!"
And then we remembered that Sprout totally went belly up and we'll never eat their delicious marinated tofu again. Hours later, we finally collected ourselves enough to dry our tears and go back to figuring out where we should eat.
Scouring through the reader comments we've gotten on this wonderful little blog (the list has been revived!), we had a couple of people recommend Chinn Chinn restaurant out in Mattawan (about a 20 minute drive from Kzoo) for their "Asian Fusion" cuisine. Thinking this might be Sprout v.2.0, I pitched the journey to Kate, and off we went.
Located in a strip mall sort of development off of I-94, Chinn Chinn holds a lot of fun things to look at. Most notable are the giant novety take-out box, the "fish tank" TV hung above the kitchen, and the punny t-shirts the wait staff wear, bearing such slogans as "Miso Special" and "Men at Wok."
I have two snags about Chinn Chinn (and only two). The first is that it's a tiny place, and to fit in more people, there are chairs/tables where there should really just be walking space. Kate and I were seated at a table within arms reach from the cashier/front door. For the first few minutes I was sitting with my back about 4 inches from the back of a dude waiting for his take out order. And while I'm sure he was a totally upstanding citizen, it made me nervous for my purse's safety. Second, our server was a little "bleh." She didn't quite seem to be enjoying her job. And hey, I get it, sometimes being a waitress sucks... but some of that on her part could have been contributed to rushing her customers and not smiling.
Moving on. The spring rolls were tasty. Light, came with plum sauce and hot mustard. I can't speak to the mustard (because I don't do hot things... keep reading for additional thoughts on that), but Kate seemed to like it once her eyes stopped watering. The plum sauce was wonderfully sweet, and you could actually get a little hint of plum in there. Woot.
My dish I ordered because it contained both tofu and mushrooms (huzzah!). I was a little nervous, because the mushrooms were shittake, and those can either be done well (rarely), or taste like a bike tire (pretty common). But before we can get to the actual meal, Kate makes the wonderful mistake of making eye contact with the little old dude behind the kitchen counter (I can only assume he's the owner), and though she touted it as awkward... fifteen minutes later he brings out a salad for us to share. For free. He was a really nice little old dude. I liked him.
The salad was pretty unusual. Grapes, lettuce, cilantro, cucumber and a vinegrette that I think tasted a lot like apple-cider. Kate's not a fruit on salad person, but I have to say I thought it was a really unique combo. And it tasted exactly how I would expect the word "fresh" to taste (yes, we can eat words now. Because I say so.)
Now for the entre. Each dish comes served with a little bowl of white rice, and some grapes on the side. I was totally confused by the grapes until I tried my dish. It was spicy hot. And when I say spicy hot, please keep in mind I am a total wuss, so it probably wan't bad to your everyday pallet. But it made me sweat, cough, and spew smoke out my ears like any cartoon where Bugs Bunny tricks someone into eating dynomite. (That last one might be an exaggeration) And THEN. Then, I ate a grape. And all that was left was "holy snot my food tastes GOOD!"

Grapes = my hero.

So I managed to eat a pretty good chunk of my food, even though I fail at eating hot things, because past the hotness, it tasted wicked good. (With the exception of one shittake mushroom. But I forgive that singlar piece of food for the yum factor of the rest.)

In closing: Thank you for the recommendation readers! I can't wait to try more from our new list!

four golden forks out of five.

Kate: Crispy Tofu (I remembered!), Spring Rolls (with Veggie filling), and, of course, the free salad brought to us by a cool little old dude.
Clearly I waited way too long to blog on this spot... SORRY! But, what I remember is that my dish was absolutely delicious! The tofu was prepared in a way (that I believe was in the name of the dish, I am checking on it!) that made it crispy and light and amazing. It was marinated in a sauce that was the perfect blend of spice and sweetness. I wanted to devour this whole thing right there! Not a smart idea, as it was a rather large portion. But, I will say that this dish was even better the next day. I know Asian cuisine can go either way on the re-heating value, but this one, oh my goodness, made the perfect lunch day 2.
The spring rolls were tasty, but nothing out of the ordinary. And, the crispy noodles and sauce that are complimentary like chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant actually didn't do it for me. There were too oily or too fried, something, they just weren't appealing. But, the entree, oh my gosh, the entree was delicious. I will find the name of it. I promise you, and you will go there, and order it and not be disappointed!
Unlike Kristin, the grapes weirded me out a bit. I am strange with fruit. Fruit has to be served in specific ways and on the side of a none dessert dish is not one of them. So, I will admit that I did not even touch my grapes. I am sure that they help bring out the flavor and cool your burning mouth, but, I wasn't interested. So, if it is not your think, don't worry about it. It doesn't have to be everyone's thing!
I think that is it on Chinn Chinn. It was a charming little place. Little being the operative word. I saw many people coming in for take out...and, don't get me wrong, I am glad we dined in (and got the free salad), but we were in one of those weird tables on the end that gets bumped into a lot. Almost like the table by the kitchen door. But, it was a dining experience that I am glad we had, and I can't wait to go back and have some more of that delicious tofu! YUM!
And, I echo Kristin's comment, THANK YOU READERS... bring on more reccomendations. As summer approaches, we will certainly be dining out more!

four golden forks out of five.

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