2nd 99 Ranch in SD?

Love fresh garlic and the unpeeled stuff loses most of its flavor and medicinal properties…

They sell at .99 cent store the unpeeled garlic and I’ll use it in food processor for lasagna/eggplant Parm, when I want a subtle hint for the hubs…

I’ll have a couple of fresh cloves for me…the burn baby is so damn good!

I don’t cook very often, other than when my DH companion is over, which is once a week. She and I always peel garlic cloves for things like salads or when the garlic flavor is a major component in a dish. When I do cook for myself, or if we’re making a stew or the like where the garlic flavor is in the background, it’s just easier to grab a handful of the pre-peeled cloves. So I keep a container of peeled garlic cloves in the freezer all the time, at the ready, and have done so for years. I used to buy them at Vien Dong, and can still reliably get them at its successor, Thuan Phat. Which is where I’ll now go to re-stock since they always have lots of them pre-packaged in the fresh produce area. But yesterday I was on Balboa, and replenishing my garlic stash was on my list, so…99 Ranch.

The peel is good for you.

Yeah, yeah. I know, Mom. Actually, I do sometimes eat the skins of garlic cloves, such as when grilling a steak with veggies, where my DH & I usually include a whole intact head of fresh garlic for each of us. I don’t eat all of the skins, but some.

Peeled garlic loses its flavors very fast due to oxidation and even if it is only in the background as of a dish it will taste overall quite different. And peeling garlic takes 5 seconds.

I don’t disagree with either of those things. Fresh is definitely better tasting. I’m just lazy when it comes to cooking. My companion is almost always willing to peel the garlic, but sometimes we’re both feeling lazy. There seem to be lots of other people who are that way; Thuan Phat always has a lot of packages of the peeled cloves on the shelf.

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It’s not necessarily laziness - I suspect many people use the peeled garlic so that they don’t end up with fingers permeated with garlic smell. :smile:

That just means you are not doing it right.

I meant to mention yesterday that I’d been to Saigon 5 again; the bun ga nuong was pretty good. Lots of chicken, although it didn’t really seem to have been “grilled”.

While at 99 Ranch, though, I checked again for the peeled garlic cloves, and voila. “Yuge” mountain of plastic containers of peeled garlic, as I’d seen at the beginning.

Before freezing the new cloves that I bought, I tasted one. A random sample, and relatively small.

Yes, this particular clove lacked the heat, bloom, and sharpness of a just-peeled clove. It had some of both, but not like a freshly-peeled clove. Yes, slightly oxidized maybe. Still, frankly, if I hadn’t known, I’d have written this off to a weak clove. Fresh chilies are like that too: You just cant tell how hot a chili is just by looking at it.

OK, I said I’d stick to the Convoy Shan Xi, but I guess I lied. I went back a couple of days ago to the Shann Xi at 99 Ranch and ordered the Mt. Qi hot and sour soup with pork and linguini-style noodles. It was the polar opposite experience from my last bowl there; this one was really delicious (at least while it remained piping hot). It had a spicy and aromatic deep orange-red broth and lots of perfectly (maybe too perfectly?) cubed veggies, plus some small shreds of pork. The noodles were pretty good, and they tasted fresh in this bowl. I’ve not had this soup before at either location, and so I’ll be interested in trying it on Convoy. The main suspect was the cubed veggies, which might well have come from a freezer bag. But this is definitely a bowl worth trying.

I had to plead and beg to get an Asian-style spoon, but in the end they washed one of their own for me, and so I was happy. If they hadn’t have done that, though, I wouldn’t have completed my order. This place really has to get past those little straight small-capacity disposable American-style soup spoons if they want more business. I have the same complaint elsewhere, like J-T Thai on LV Rd. (although they seem to be doing just fine, thank you very much).

Thanks DC, sounds good.

Wash hands with lemon juice, rinse with warm water.

I rarely do this, but today I made a one-to-one comparison of the Mt. Qi pork with noodles from the Shann Xi at 99 ranch with the same bowl at their location on Convoy. At the Convoy location, of course, you get an Asian-style spoon without having to beg, and nice-quality, nice looking black plastic chop sticks. Plus table service and a pleasant atmosphere. But the soup was very similar to that in the food court at 99 Ranch. The broth was nearly identical if not quite as intense (flavor and spiciness) as at 99 Ranch. The vegetables were diced, but not so perfectly uniform that they seemed to have come from a freezer bag. The vegetables were fresher tasting, too, although there weren’t nearly as many as at 99 Ranch. I thought the little pork cubes and strips had a better flavor on Convoy. The linguini-type noodles tasted identical at both places. Which do I prefer? Well, for the soup itself, I’d say it’s a draw. For the existence of real table utensils (and table service), Convoy.

While on the subject of 99 Ranch/Balboa, I had a very nice Bahn Mi (“bun-me”) sandwich there at Saigon 5 last week, the first since they had just opened. I got bahn mi xa xiu, and the “xa xiu” part (barbequed pork slices) was very good, some of the best I’ve had anywhere. You can load up on pickled or raw sliced jalapenos at the counter, as well as add their very tasty hot sauce (squeeze bottle). Relative to my reference standard for bahn mi, K-Sandwiches (which still hasn’t even torn down the remains of the burnt out restaurant they’ve said they’d rebuild), the French roll wasn’t as firm or as crisp. Otherwise, a very satisfactory offering at a great price for a tasty lunchtime sandwich when you’re at 99 Ranch/Balboa.

Lordy, Lordy, I don’t think I’ve ever had worse ramen in a restaurant than the poor excuse for it at Krispy Krunchy Chicken, 99 Ranch Balboa. Yes, I know, I tried it once before and wasn’t thrilled then either. But I was trying to have lunch at the new Okan Diner on CMB (which I did, a few days later), and Okan wasn’t open for lunch the day I went, which was last week. So, on my way back home that day, I stopped at 99 Ranch and had a ramen bowl at this place. I was hungry, and it sounded good. That’s the best excuse I can give for subjecting myself to an overpriced, barely palatable bowl here. Plus I’d been eating at Saigon 5 fairly frequently and wanted a change. Well, after the fact, “yuk” is a nice word to describe it. Weak and flavorless broth plus poor quality rehydrated ramen noodles, plus horrible other additional stuff. I managed to eat it, but there’s no way on earth I’d suggest anyone try any of the ramen offerings here. Their chicken is ok and not very expensive, on the other hand, especially with the offered American-style hot-wings BBQ sauce. (They give a free chicken tender when you order something else.) But, “just say no” to their ramen.

For a good bowl of ramen try Menya-Ultra

Yes, I’ve heard of it. Thanks for the rec. I’ve bumped it up significantly on my (seemingly infinite) list.

Agree. Superb tonkotsu ramen at Menya. Rich, savory, silky-smooth broth and perfect noodles.

Best in SD.

I finally tried the fried flounder at Krunchy Chicken. And I’m so glad I did! A huge piece of lightly breaded and perfectly fried flounder – such a treat compared to so many “fish and chips” offerings around town.

My DH Companion and I got three of these monsters ($7.99) and were stuffed. Nice, tasty dipping sauces – something for everyone. We got several and liked most. The pieces of fish were so large we broke of chunks and dipped them in the sauces, eating by hand.

I still haven’t had a chicken dinner here, but have had samples, which were good. I can recommend the flounder, though, with no reservations.

Just avoid the ramen.

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