March 17, 2007

Inedible Food

Earlier this week I was running around, doing errands, I happened to be at the big box mall (needed to shop at stores that started with a B) at the corner of Foothill and Madre shopping at the BBB (Bed Bath and Beyond) and BB (Best Buy). I was hungry and had to get home fast to meet the Direct TV guy (yah, I just moved so things have been hectic). I spotted this fast food Chinese place across the corner, PEI WEI. Hmm, supposed to be related to PF Changs so it can’t be to bad.

I decide to order won ton soup and Pad Thai to go, I only have to wait a few minutes for the food so I get home just in time to meet the TV guy.

I start with the won ton, pull a bowl and spoon out and begin to ladle out some soup. Hmmm what is this? Pieces of mushy won tons at the bottom of the take out container, not only did the noodles fall apart but the little meat balls inside turned to ground whatever and sunk to the bottom. There were also green things floating in the soup, I could not tell what they were.

I took a bite, hoping the broth was flavorful. YUK! It was awful all of it! I couldn't’t eat any and decided that the broth, noodles (what was left) the dogs would like ladled over their crunchy dried food that evening (see how I am making the disgusting won ton soup sound good to dogs?)

I prayed that the Pad Thai was edible as I was very hungry. I opened the box. OK, lots of noodles, where’s the meat? The veggies, a bean sprout perhaps? Under the pile of overcooked noodles I found 1 piece each of chicken beef and pork, and about 5 pieces of tofu. Oh, and I finally found some bean spouts but they were so overcooked I could hardly tell them from the noodles. I ate enough to stop the hunger pangs, and then threw the rest away.

Stay away from this place. It’s for the dogs.

Pei Wei Asian Diner, 3455 E Foothill Blvd Pasadena, CA 91107
Phone: (626) 325-9020 Pei Wei Take Away: (626) 325-9020

March 07, 2007


I grew up with my grandmother, she was from Chihuahua, and grew up in a small town in the Sierra Nevada’s in Northern Mexico. I could tell you all kinds of cool stories about her and food, she used to go pick wild mushrooms with an Indian, and he would tell them which were edible and which ones were not. But those stories are for a different blog, right?

She was a super cook and made the best Albondigas Soup. She taught me how to make a lot of delicious things, but Albondigas was not one of them, thus the quest for the best Albondigas in the SGV began.

What is Albondigas you ask? A delicious soup that usually will have zucchini, potato, carrot, onion, tomato, celery and meatballs that are very light and fluffy because they use rice instead of breadcrumbs and a secret ingriendient; the broth is flavored from all the vegetables and my grandma always added a small can of tomato sauce which gave it more flavor.

I have tried this wonderful comfort food at almost every Mexican restaurant I go to. So far I have tired Max’s in Azusa, Caberra’s in Duarte, Peppers in Arcadia, La Nueva Posada in Pasadena, Mijares in Pasadena, Los Gueros in Monrovia and Sergios in Azusa, and probably more. That is not counting mi abuelas.

So is there a clear winner? Not really. I liked the meatballs at Caberra’s but the broth had no flavor, the broth at La Nueva Posada was fantastic but the meatballs were a little dense and there were no potatoes. Sergios vegetables were way to mushy, Max’s had a good average on everything, but probably the best was Los Gueros, everything was good but there were no potatoes. Obviously I have my perfect soup all picked out. I will order one of my favorite comfort foods again at Los Gueros, Max’s and La Nueva Posada, but after that the search is still on.

Can you recommend the perfect bowl?

Los Gueros 313 West Huntington Dr., Monrovia (626) 358-0200