Back in Mt. Shasta city…

11 03 2008

Okay…I guess I’m just picky. Picky-picky-picky. Having said that, I’ll relate our most recent disappointments dining in the land of Majestic Mt. Shasta. Things haven’t gotten any better.

In November, we gave Lai Lai’s a shot… It’s a little Chinese restaurant that came recommended. The food was supposed to be good and fresh. Fresh, yes. Good, not necessarily. However, compared to Chen & Lee’s, it’s fabulous. Chen & Lee’s was in the neighborhood of our “hotel” (when did they start referring to “motels” as hotels??), and it smelled really good, so we decided to have dinner. Chen & Lee’s was a lot of things, but good wasn’t one of them. The won ton soup was almost good. The broth was a good start, though it was a faint green shade that was mildly disconcerting, at least it had a decent flavor. It was probably the best of all the food we had. If it hadn’t been for the dry, previously frozen peas and carrots, it wouldn’t have been too bad. Frozen peas and carrots we’d find in just about everything… We selected their Gourmet dinner for two…won ton soup, egg roll, fried prawns, BBQ pork, and fried chicken wings with the main dishes being some kind of vegetable dish and a chicken dish with steamed rice. I also ordered house fried rice. I was saving the steamed rice for Jasmine…our fur-baby. The appetizer part was awful. Hubster took one bite of the BBQ pork, and I knew I didn’t need to even taste it. The look on his face was more than enough to steer me clear. Of course, one look at my face as I bit into the prawn did the same for him. Oh awful purveyors of frozen foods they try to pawn off as fresh! Blech. The steamed rice arrived next, followed by a vegetable dish that was utterly taste-free. There were a few fresh snow peas mixed in with some previously frozen broccoli, those ubiquitous peas and carrots, and canned baby corn sauced with something the same shade of green as the soup, but with none of the flavor, and mixed with so much cornstarch it could have been used as glue. Blech!!! The chicken entree was almost ok, but not quite. The fried rice was gummy and gray…and it had the best flavor of anything. Go figure. Hey…I was hungry. But…I wasn’t taking any of that (save the steamed rice) for Jas…I didn’t want her to get sick. Even the fortune cookies were stale. The servers must’ve thought I was off my rocker…the only food we took with us was the steamed rice! Yeah, compared to Chen & Lee’s, Lai Lai’s is good. Chen & Lee’s – 1 Whisk; Lai Lai’s 2-1/2 Whisks.

The Black Bear Diner was closed…remodeling? It looked like it could be, there were workers there, but it wasn’t open. We opted to try The Dugout for breakfast. A perfectly serviceable breakfast it was too. Bacon and eggs is hard…no, it’s not…it’s easy to foul up. This was serviceable. Not fancy, not anything to write home about, just edible. Their lunch and sports bar menu however looked worthy of a stop sometime. The menu looks like standard Sports Bar fare, but it’s got variety and imagination. Breakfast at The Dugout, 2 Whisks…lunch or dinner, to be determined another trip.

We also had dinner at an American-Mexican restaurant north of town. I’ll have to get the name again. It was reasonably good…at least for Americanized Mexican. I had a fajita shrimp tostada (I wanted a shrimp fajita salad – this was as close as I could get), and Hubster had Carne Asada. Amazingly, it was done very nicely…actually medium rare, with nice cross-hatching which is almost impossible to achieve. Bravo to the chef! Everything had a decent flavor, but was a little lack-luster. We’ll go 2-3/4 whisks for this one.

Once again, our dining experiences weren’t outstanding. I think it must be time to go back to the Billy Goat’s Tavern…or whatever it is at the corner of Mt. Shasta Blvd. and Chestnut. We had a really good burger there…and the fries were fabulous. What was that place….

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