We were pretty late getting back from our afternoon walk (which is usually a morning walk), in part due to being delayed in starting by trying to get E’s photos ready for her. On the way home, D pointed out that we didn’t actually have to cook, we could go out – a novel concept. We sometimes plan to go out, but usually it’s not like “rats, too late to start the pizza dough, let’s go out.” But this time it was. Decided on Mint Leaf in part b/c it is close by, in part b/c we really enjoyed it on our visit with our friends R&L a couple years ago (which shows you how often we go there – however, we do get their yummy banh mi for lunch every couple of months).
Not really knowing anything there we did this silly thing, which worked out fine. D noted that each wine on the menu (none over $24!) had a suggestion of which of their dishes it would go with, and we decided just to order the Pinot Noir and the dishes they suggested. The server had a hard time understanding that we wanted those three dishes (she brought the wine, which was fine, though too warm) till I opened the menu and pointed to the dishes with their numbers, which is how she needed to communicate them to the kitchen. Anyway, here is what we had (texts pasted from the online menu [pdf]):
17* Spicy Veggie Potstickers 6.75
Served with balsamic vinaigrette [I would not refer to this as a vinaigrette, however]
Our least favorite of the three, which is not saying too much b/c all were good. The potstickers were fine, just nothing special. Crust perhaps a bit tough. The carrots underneath were marinated and quite tasty.
37* Saigon Vermicelli Bowl “Bun Dac Biet” 9.75 [This is pictured at the top.]
Choice of grilled chicken, beef, pork or tofu topped with crispy imperial roll and peanuts, shallots on a bed of vermicelli noodles, sprouts, lettuce, cucumber with traditional vinaigrette [We had the beef b/c the other dish has chicken.]
This was D’s favorite, my second. He put Sriracha and Hoisin on his, and he liked that a lot. I used only the sauce that came with the dish (fish sauce-based clear broth with carrots in it) and I liked it a lot, but the curry was my favorite. The crispy roll wasn’t terrific IIRC.
Fork or chopsticks… fork or chopsticks…
53 Sweet Potato and Curry Chicken Clay Pot “Ca Ri Ga Kho Tho” 11.25
Boneless chicken, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and carrots stewed in a yellow curry sauce
[I didn’t actually run across any sweet potatoes, but I really liked this!]
The server pointed out that we would need rice with this, and agreed with my choice of coconut rice, from the options she recommended. I really liked this a lot!
We took a bunch home, too, as this was way too much food for two people. We ate the empanadas….er… potstickers… b/c they would not survive well, and also the last (of three) bits of the crispy roll on the beef dish. Look forward to lunch tomorrow!
The wine was fine with this dinner, so we may try another of their “this wine with these dishes” suggestion sets in the future 🙂 A 2015 Pinot Noir with grapes from Lodi, though the winery – Harlow Ridge – is in Napa Valley.
We used up the last of the Boar’s Head smoked ham I got from the Bowl a few days ago, on the last two slices of Morell’s Country Batard I got Wednesday (which is probably when I got the ham?) Mayonnaise, seedy mustard made by the Bowl, romaine lettuce (from the Bowl, duh 😉 )
I wanted to use the last little leaves of this “burgundy butter(?) lettuce” in a salad so we could see how cute it is, so I decided on using the smallish avocado I bought yesterday – barely ready – and Nicoise olives. D cleaned up some of the romaine and put the tiny leaves (which I rearranged a bit for prettiness, which was my point in the first place) (not that you could see them that well after all, and they refused to lie flat anyway) of the burgundy and a previous romaine on top. He made a vinaigrette with balsamic (I usually use red wine vinegar for this salad, but this worked ok).