I love the Grilled Pork Chops with Broken Rice at Pho Quyen. I’ve only tried 2 places to order this dish in the Tampa Bay area. But to be honest, I don’t have to try any more as they have the best grilled pork chops served with rice in the area. If I may also add that their side dish, pickled radish, is also delicious! (File photo was taken back in March 29, 2018)
When we lived in Tampa, I used to order this for take out a lot. But when we moved to Clearwater, it was a bit of a drive for me. So I had to try out another place for this dish. But I haven’t ordered from that place again. I still find the Grilled Pork Chops from Pho Quyen much better.
Hubby had been wanting for us to try this place. Chris was out with the family, while I was still at work. They decided to try out this food place, without me. (sad face) But instead of eating there, they decided to have it for to go and brought it home. (happy face!)
I didn’t really have much expectation since it just looked like some other rice topping meal, with meat placed over rice. It wasn’t what I expected when they told me it was Korean. I looked around for my side dishes or even my kimchi. I didn’t find any. I thought about getting some from my own fridge. But I wanted to try it on its own.
I poured the sauce that it came with. It looked like mayonnaise and sriracha mixed together or it could be mayo and gojujang. I couldn’t really figure out which one, but it did taste more like sriracha. It has a bit of heat, but not as spicy as I would have hoped. So i’m glad that hubby had the jalapenos on the side. I was able to add them on topd and I was happy that I did.
The first bite was good. The taste was good and I love the crunch from the raw cabbage. It created a nice texture to what I’m eating. I also liked that the portion of the meat was ample for the amount of rice that was in the bowl. Sure, this isn’t what I expected from a Korean food. However, this did remind me of a korean burrito I had when we were in the keys. Oh, guess what? They do actually sell korean burritos too. But that’s something we will have to try out next time.
I wouldn’t really call it as Korean food. More like, American-Korean fusion. However, I will definitely have this again.
We’ve always loved the food at Frenchy’s in Clearwater Beach, FL, and we also absolutely love crabs. So when we heard that Frenchy’s was doing their 35th annual Stone Crab weekend block party, we decided to go. Not for the party, but for the food!
Saturday came, we hesitated to go. “The parking usually sucks and I’m afraid if we would get stuck there because of the traffic or drive in circles to find a parking spot.” I dreaded.
We still drove to Clearwater Beach because even if we can’t find a parking space, then we could at least show my mom Clearwater Beach for the first time. It wasn’t the best time as it had been raining for most part of the day. Additionally, the sun was actually about to set as we were heading out. Fortunately, we arrived at Clearwater Beach with still a little bit of sunlight, but the sun had already set. We went to the parking lot on the north side of the beach, because it was closest to the venue.
As we arrive at the parking lot, it was no surprise that the lot was full. I was telling my husband, “it’s ok we can just go have dinner else where.” Chris tried encouraging me by saying, “Who knows? We might get lucky.” I nodded. We just completed our first lap around the lot. Then, as we were about to start our second lap, a driver from a distance flagged us down and signaled that they were leaving. We had to back up a bit to give them room to vacate the parking space and make way for us. “Appreciate it. Thank you!” Chris said as he was giving a quick wave towards the driver and his passenger for their kindness. Turning towards me, Chris says, “See? We got lucky.” We sure did! As there was still another car behind us. But we were able to get this one because we were in the right place at the right time. Yup, we sure did get lucky!
Once we got in the event (which was a free event, by the way), we realized that we had to buy tickets to be able to buy food — the stone crab claws and the grouper sandwich that Frenchy’s is famous for. I’m actually surprised that this was not a grouper sandwich festival (which I think they should have one, if they don’t have one yet).
Each ticket is equivalent to a $1.00 value. If you ask me, I feel like I’d rather order this straight from the restaurant with no hassle of buying tickets. Also, I feel like the price seems a bit higher than usual. I could be wrong. But then again, I shouldn’t be shocked as I was in Clearwater Beach, where most times, things are priced for tourists and not for locals.
The grouper tasted fresh. But the sandwich itself was dry, because they don’t put any sauce or dressing. You would have to season or dress it yourself. So, before taking a big bite, it would be best to check to see if it has any sauce or dressing.
The stone crab claws were definitely medium in size. We didn’t order the bigger ones as we wanted to share. If you notice the sign above, you get less claws when you order the bigger ones — which makes sense! For the flavor of the stone crab, it was deliciously sweet and fresh.
Yes, you see that name right – Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries. So those on top of the fries are actually crab meat. They were delicious. As a tip, you will need a fork to eat this. Actually, make that a spork! So that you can scoop the crab meat along with your fries.
There were also bands at the block party. But we were only able to watch the band Never Stop Believin’ (Journey Tribute Band) perform, which I believe would have been the best band among the line up. The band truly sounds like Journey! It was crazy how the lead singer’s voice sounded like Journey’s lead singer. It’s almost as if they were playing a CD and that the band were just lip synching.
Several songs were played, most of which we didn’t know the words to the song. (Sorry, blame it on our being Millenials) Until they got to Open Arms. (Now, that I know!) I was also waiting for Don’t Stop Believing. But it was still too early for their set to be singing the most popular Journey song. We decided not to stick around and headed over to an ice cream parlor to get desserts. After finishing the ice cream, we went to the pier and enjoyed some fresh breeze before going home.
We started the morning with going to church and headed over to the oriental store after. We were able to get the already cooked crispy fried pork and coconut shrimp at the oriental store. Then, we brought it home. Once home I cooked some delicious fried rice with the left over rice we had from the night before.
I’m usually not good at plating, but doesn’t it look visually appetizing? I love the combination of colors on this plate.
The fried rice turned out to be a hit. Both my husband and my mom loved it! Yes, I love it too!
Tinolang Manok (Chicken Tinola) is a very well known Filipino comfort food. It is pinoy’s very own version of chicken soup. You won’t find any noodle in this delicious soup. With the chicken and the ginger being the constant ingredient in this soup, some of the ingredients can actually be interchanged or substituted. For example, green papaya or chayote (sayote in Filipino). Or between moringa leaves (malunggay) or chili leaves. Some would say the recipe or ingredients added are based on taste. But in truth, majority would say that it’s based on availability – it’s what’s available growing in the backyard.
Living in the US, it’s hard to find moringa leaves. I was able to plant one eventually in our backyard, but it’s still not ready for harvest soon. I can also try to ask some of my Filipino friends at church for some, but I’m shy to ask sometimes. An elder at church once actually advised me that I can use spinach instead of moringa leaves. I was skeptic at first. Until she cooked my husband and I a whole pot of chicken tinola. She had told us that she had put in spinach. It tasted really good. Ever since that day, we started making chicken tinola with spinach.
We just recently made some with chayote and spinach, and it was delicious and comforting, as always.
If you’ve ever met a Filipino, then you’ve probably been able to eat adobo. Although adobo is a common dish in the Philippines, there are actually so many different versions. Pork adobo, chicken adobo, pork adobo with dried fish, pork adobo with potato, then adobo with lots of sauce with little to no sauce left at all. There are just too many to enumerate.
My Uncle Dodong’s adobo signature is one that many people would call as humba. It’s salty, savory and sweet. It doesn’t have that much sauce but the sauce is super caramelized that even with just a little bit on rice, packs a lot of delicious savory flavor.
I recenly saw a photo that my Auntie Aida posted in Facebook. So I immediately, asked if I can get the recipe so that I can try if I can recreate it here. She sent me the recipe within in less than a day. So with the pork in the freezer, and the ingredients, that I already had on hand, I cooked humba.
I was so speechless that I was actually able to make it. I think if my Uncle in the Philippines tastes this then he’ll be proud. It was really good that I had to stop myself from eating more than 2 cups of rice!