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Evil Penevil

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Evil Penevil last won the day on September 12

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About Evil Penevil

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  1. Which WU booth is most convenient depends on your starting point in Jomtien. You might want to check the WU Website for Pattaya, as not all booths are open on weekends. Make sure you take the confirmation email with you or at least copy all the information on it, as the WU clerk will ask about the sender, exact amount transferred, etc. Your passport is also necessary. Evil
  2. I'm in the U.S. now and I have tried the Impossible Whopper. I wasn't impressed. I don't think the plant-based burger tasted like a beef burger. Without the toppings, the Impossible Burger didn't have any taste at all aside from the grill char marks. The regular beef Whopper tasted like it always does- not great, but definitely an acceptable beef burger. I had taken advantage of a Burger King special promotion called a Tasting Bundle. You got an Impossible Whopper and a regular beef Whopper with cheese for $7.00, including free home delivery through DoorDash. That's a really low price for two burgers, not to mention free delivery. It must be an attempt to win over new customers who normally wouldn't visit a BK outlet. The idea was to compare the burgers "side by side." The burgers looked similar and both were heaped with lettuce, tomato and thick slices of raw onion, which I don't like at all. The toppings were also slathered with mayonnaisse and ketchup. Despite the similarities in appearance, I had no difficulty distinguishing between them even before I tasted them. The patty of the plant-based Whopper was a bit thinner and had a more even surface. The char stripes were heavier as well. I guess if you eat the Impossible Whopper with all the toppings and condiments, you might be able to convince yourself it's a regular Whopper. The "mouth feel" is approximately the same. However, for me at least, Impossible Foods has a long way to go before it developes a plant-based patty with a convincing beef taste. Evil
  3. Burger King has rolled out a meatless, plant-based vegan hamburger in all 7,000 of it outlets in the U.S. McDonald's is experimenting with a meatless, plant-based burger in 28 restaurants in Ontario, Canada. McD's already has a "McVegan"in Finland and Sweden and its proved bery popular. However, the vegan patty is made by a local Swedish company and isn't the same as the "Beyond Meat" patty used in the P.L.T. The McVegan is fairly recent, but McDonald's has had vegetarian burgers in India, Sweden, Israel and some other countries for a number of years. In Thailand, Big Burger already has a vegetarian Whopper. They don't taste like beef burgers, though. That's the new twist with the Impossible Whopper and the P.L.T.; they taste like beef patties. Two companies in the U.S., one called Impossible Foods, the other Beyond Meat, have developed meatless patties that are supposed to closely resemble the appearance, texture and taste of an ordinary beef patty. It's widely believed that large numbers of hamburger eaters won't switch to a plant-based burger unless it tastes the same as a beef burger. There's a big debate about this in the U.S. Some commentators claim people who are truly concerned about the environment and saving rain forests and cows won't eat in Burger King or McD's in any case because both still sell millions of beef burgers. Optimistic types believe it could be an important baby step towards more responsible food production and consumption. A number of U.S. food food chains and casual restaurants now offer plant-based burgers. In the U.S., Carl's Jr. and White Castle have been offering vegetarian and meat-tasting, plant-based burgers for awhile. A few smaller chains like Hardee's and Red Robin also offer them, as well as restaurants like Hard Rock, TGIF, Chipolte, etc. In Canada, A&W offers Beyond Meat Burgers as well as meatless breakfast sandwiches. The Beyond Burgers have often been sold out. Nutritionally, the plant-based burgers aren't any better or worse than the beef burgers. The big attraction of the Impossible Whopper is that it is sustainable and environmentally friendly. "The Impossible Burger really stands out with its carbon footprint. It uses 95 percent less land and 74 percent less water, while creating 87 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than a beef option." Link Fad or real trend? It's still too early to say. But if McD's decides to add a plant-based burger to the menus in all 14,000 of its U.S. outlets (38,000 worldwise), that would indeed be a major development. EP note: I read in a comment in reaction to this post on another board that Beyond Meat products have been available in Pattaya for about a month. You can find Beyond Meat at Sizzler ... and the vegetarian-vegan restaurant Five-Star J at the corner of Pattaya Tai and 3rd Road, according to that poster. Evil
  4. Depending on how much luggage you have, you could just cross Thappraya and jump aboard a regular songthaew for 10 baht. It's usually no problem with one small suitcase. Evil
  5. The Hungry Hippo is the most recent of the "big three" budget restaurants to open on a short stretch of Soi Buakhao, the other two being the Chunky Monkey and Cheap Charlie's. It's also the latest project of an experienced restaurateur who had started and flipped the Chunkey Monkey. In fact, he almost replicated the CHunky Monkey (but in smaller premises) a couple of hundred metters down the street from the original. The Hubgry Hippo uses the same menu and the bargain-priced food tastes the same as it did at the CM. If you liked the CM under Robin's ownership, you won't encounter any surprises at the HH. The opposite is also true. If you disliked the old CM, the HH won't change your opinion. One significant difference: the surly service has improved from the waning days before the Chunky Monkey changed ownership. The waitresses at the Hungry Hippo were friendly and attentive. Like its simian predecessor, the Hippo is clean and well-lit; the AC keeps the interior cool but not artic cold. The background music is played at a blessedly low volume. Those are all important factors for me and can't be taken for granted in Pattaya. It's a comfortable place to have a meal. Unfortunately, the meal I had wasn't very good. I tried the Friday daily special for 129 baht: two eggs, ham and a choice of potatoes, British-style chips or bubble and squeak, which is mashed, boiled or roasted potatoes fried with cabbage and other vegetables. It's basically a tasty way of using leftovers. I took the bubble and squeak. The special also came with a portion of raw salad that was mostly shredded cabbage and carrots topped with a slice of tomato and three slices of cucumber. The salad and fried eggs were OK, but the ham and bubble and squeak plunged the meal into the mediocre category. The slices of standard wet-cured ham were commendably large and thick. However, they were served not lukewarm or at room temperature, but straight-out-of-the-fridge stone cold. How much effort could it have taken to have given the ham slices a quick turn on the griddle? The bubble and squeak was in name only; it seemed to consist of chopped leftover fried potatoes or even chopped chips mixed with side vegetables but no cabbage. It lacked the proper flavor and consistency. Much of the flavor in traditional bubble and squeak comes from the fat used for frying, usually meat drippings or bacon fat or duck or goose fat if you want to get fancy. The HH's version had seen none of them. I have realistic expectations about the type of farang food you'll get for 129 baht and am fully aware I won't be scaling any culinary heights at that price. However. cheap dishes should at least be acceptable in terms of taste. This wasn't. I took an order of chilli con carne and rice , also a special for109 baht, home with me. It wasn't Tex-Mex chilli con carne by any stretch of the imagination. Remember, despite the name in Spanish, chilli con carne is NOT a Mexican dish. The HH's version lacked any of the spices associated with chilli con carne (cumin, oregano, garlic powder) and seemed to be a mixture of minced beef and chopped onion with a few kidney beans thrown in. It was mouth-blistering spicy do to a heavy dose of cayenne pepper; otherwise, it was flavorless. I couldn't eat it. I had to wonder if anyone in Pattaya could enjoy that concoction. Any dish that's inedible isn't worth the price, it's a waste no matter how low the price. I don't eat a Western breakfast very often these days, but friends who do tell me the 99-baht breakfat special is OK. There are several other cheap breakfast options on the menu as well ... and plenty of specials ... Drink prices, especially bottled beer, are low at HH. Small bottles of beer go for 50 and 55 baht, while large bottles (620 ml) of Singha, Chang and Leo cost 79 baht. That's very competitive, even for the Soi Buakhao area. Bottom line: The Hungry Hippo is a cheap and cheerful place to have a beer and people watch if sitting outdoors. But in terms of food, the only description can be cheap and mediocre or worse. The location, physical setup and prices for booze give the Hungry Hippo a lot of potential. The massive menu needs to be trimmed and the cooks trained in how to properly prepare a narrower range of farang favorites. Everyone loves a bargain, myself included, but the food has to hold a reasonable standard. I've included a few excerpts from the Hungry Hippo's 23-page (!) menu. One final observation: I visted the Hungry Hippo at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night and was finished by 9.30 p.m. No other customers entered during that 30 minutes and only two remained when I left. On a recent visit to Cheap Charile's around 7.30 p.m., there was a steady stream of customers in and out during the 45 minutes I was there, with 20 to 25 at any given moment. I haven't summoned the bravery yet to retry the Chunky Monkey, but it appears devoid of customers every time I pass by and that's usually twice a day. This is only anectdotal evidence based on what I've experienced and observed, but Cheap Charlie's seems to be leading the pack among Soi Buakhao's low-price farang restaurants. Evil
  6. Thank God, Buddha, Allah, Shiva, Zeus, Odin, Tezcatlipoca and all other deities known and unknown for that! Evil
  7. I think you'd do better at Kilkenny, Golf Club, Harry's or the Buakhao Bistro on Soi Buakhao across from Serenity A Go Go (former Oasis). Smokin' Joe's on Lengkee is also good for U.S.-style farang food. Kilkenny revamped its restaurant menu about three weeks ago. Here's an excerpt from the new menu: Kilkenny also has great value-for-money daily specials. Today's three specials: and yesterday's two: I've tried and reviewed the beef stew, pork chop and Ozzie burger. All were very good. Most noteworthy is probably the Sunday roast lamb dinner for 199 baht. You won't do better than that for the price anywhere in town. What impresses me most about Kilkenny is its consistency. I've never had a bad meal there. In many farang-oriented places in Pattaya, the quality of the meals can swing dramatically depending who's in the kitchen at the time. Prices are reasonable at Kilkenny but it's 30-50 baht higher for popular menu items compared with the nearby Cheap Charlie's, Chunky Monkey and Hungry Hippo. However, in terms of quality and portion size, Kilkenny wins hands down. Kilkenny also has an extended Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to midnight every day, during which all house spirits and bottled beers go for 65 baht. Kilkenny's is located at the corner of the L on LK Metro, across from the Billabong Bar. It's an excellent spot for people watching on LK Metro. Things can get quite lively at the Billabong.
  8. Prime Burger has taken over the premises of the venerable but now defunct Butchers Arms across Soi Buakhao from the southern edge of Tree Town. As the name makes clear, Prime Burger is narrowly focused on premium burgers. In addition to hamburgers made from 100% imported Australian beef (70% chuck, 30% brisket) ground daily in the restaurant, the menu includes chicken, fish and vegetarian burgers as well as some traditional side dishes and salads. Prime Burger is a good option if you're in the mood for an upscale burger, but not if you want anything else. The interior features booth and table seating. There is a big screen TV on one wall and a pool table in the back section. For those who want to people watch or prefer dining al fresco, there are tables outside. The burgers are named for cities around the world and come in three sizes (single-, double- and triple-patty). Each patty weighs 90 grams. Eight different burgers are available. The New York Burger is a basic cheeseburger, but I chose the Paris Burger with cheese, U.S.-style smoked streaky bacon, tomato, lettuce, Dijon mustard and truffle mayo. On its Web site and printed menu, Prime Burger states "the quality of beef and ingredients" is the key to making the best burger. I certainly won't disagree but add that proper execution by the cook is also important in producing a great burger. Even the best ingredients can be mistreated in the kitchen and result in an unpalatable dish. But the kitchen staff at Prime Burger got it right regarding the basics. Quality ingredients were well prepared to yield one of the tastiest burgers I've had in a long time. Admittedly, I don't often eat hamburgers in Pattaya, so I don't have a large or up-to-date basis for comparison. The owner of Prime Burger is a Swede who opened a Prime Burger in Phuket earlier this year and its Stockholm Burger promptly won the annual Phuket's Best Burger. If the owner isn't doing the cooking himself, he's trained his staff well. A bacon cheeseburger is straight out of Peoria or Omaha; it's the Dijon mustard and truffle mayo that gives the Paris Burger it's French twist. I'm not sure truffle mayo really has a place on a bacon cheeseburger; a more neutral base like pasta, eggs or mild meat and fish is needed for the truffle flavor to shine. A generous blob of Dijon mustard would have been a brilliant addition, as it would have added a contrasting bite to the fatty richness of the cheeseburger. Alas, the cook had been rather stingy with the mustard and I couldn't notice any taste from the mustard or truffle mayo. Nevertheless, as a straight-up bacon cheeseburger, it was very good. The bun, the most overlooked component of burgers, was fresh and light, exactly how a hamburger bun should be. I ordered the halloumi salad at 90 baht as my side. Halloumi is cheese that originated in Cyprus and is traditionally made from sheep's milk. It has a low moisture content that makes it perfect for grilling and frying. Halloumi has a unique taste that's hard to describe; it's sort of like feta, but milder and creamier. I can't even recall seeing halloumi on a Pattaya menu before. In modern times, halloumi has been made from cow's milk and I think (but can't be sure) that was the variation I got. It had a good texture but very little flavor. The vegetables, pieces of vegetables (tomato, cucumber, green and red pepper) were freshly chopped. Black olives provided the accent rather than the cheese. Bottom line: Next time I have a yearning for a hamburger, Prime Burger will be one of my options. I wouldn't say it's the best burger in Pattaya, but it's very good and the location is convenient for me. I also want to try the Tokyo Burger (deep-fried fish). The total cost of my meal (burger, salad and soda water) was 375 baht. I'm not sure about Prime Burger's hours of business. I got there at 2.30 p.m. and the staff was still putting out the settings on the outdoor tables. A "Closed" sign hung on the door, but the waitress told me to go inside and "wait five minute." I believe it is supposed to be open between 3.00 p.m. and 11 p.m. Evil
  9. Cheap Charlie's is one of three low-price restaurants evenly spaced along a half-kilometer stretch of Soi Buakhao in the heart of the LK Metro area. The Chunky Monkey and Hungry Hippo are the other two bastions of budget bites on Buakhao, although several restaurants in that area have daily specials that put them in or slightly above the same price level. Competition for bargain baht is fierce around LK Metro! CC's is located about 150 meters south of Soi Lengkee on the east side of the road. I visited on a Sunday at about 2.30 p.m. It had about 25 customers at that time, which was considerably more than I saw at the Chunky Monkey or Hungry Hippo as I passed them on the way to CC's. "Cheap and cheerful" is an apt description for CC's. It's open-front, but powerful and well-placed fans keep it cool. There's nothing fancy about the decor, but it's a comfortable and pleasant place for a meal with friendly service staff. I tried the roast chicken dinner for 99 baht. At that price, it can't really be faulted. It tasted fine and the portion was large enough for me. You can certainly find better and bigger roast chicken dinners in Pattaya, but they'll cost three or four times as much. The chicken was a large piece of breast accompanied by Yorkshire pudding, roast and mashed potatoes, gravy and boiled vegetables, mostly cabbage and carrots. The Yorkshire was a bit dense and the gravy slightly too salty for me, but those are minor quibbles. It was indeed good for 99 baht. I had intended to try the roast lamb Sunday dinner, which I had read on a board went for 149 baht. However, when I arrived, a sign out front said the price was 195 baht, but a waitress hauled the sign in moments after I sat down. Sure enough, the waitress who took my order said it was already sold out, so I had the roast chicken instead. I haven't had much luck with roast beef or pork dinners in budget restaurants. CC's has an extensive menu centered on familiar British dishes, but also quite a few internationa (hamburgers, pasta)l, Indian, Chinese and Thai offerings. It's pretty much the standard fare for farang restaurants in Pattaya. Here's an excerpt from CC's menu: The roast dinners are available every day, not just Sundays. There are also daily specials at discounted prices. Drinks are also reasonably priced at CC's: Bottom line: Cheap Charlie's is definitely a competitive entry in the crowded field of restaurants vying for budget-conscious customers who want farang food at a low price. Adjust your expectations accordingly. Evil
  10. The Food Park on the lower level of Central Festival shopping mall on 2nd Road has been redone. Whether it is an addition to the old Food Park or a replacement for it remains to be seen. The new version is slicker, more comfortable and has a better layout than its hugely popular predecessor. I took these photos at about 8.30 p.m. on Sunday, July 14. The Food Park was busy, but there were plenty of seats available. The old Food Park was often rammed, even in low season. It's also more expensive. I couldn't see any Thai dishes for 45-50 baht; the cheapest seemed to be 90 baht, but I read elsewhere there are 60 baht dishes. The space that housed the old Food Park is still under wraps, but the ads that block off the construction indicate it will be food oriented. Maybe the old Food Park stalls with mediocre but very cheap food will return. I haven't eaten yet at the new Food Park, so I can't comment on the quality of the food. I'm not a fan of shopping mall food courts as better Thai food is available at the same low prices in any number of hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Pattaya. However, I will eventually give the Food Park at Central Festival a try. Just by way of comparison, this is what it used to look like at the old Food Park. It was packed every day with a mix of Thais, foreign tourists and resident ex-pats. Evil´╗┐
  11. I remember during my most recent trip to the U.S. I got five Haas avocados for $3.00. Must have been a bumper harvest. Now the price is about $1.00 each. I guess these guys weren't happy with the avocados on sale.
  12. The stand in front of Central Festival has huge numbers of picture-takers (myself included), but I've never seen anyone buy any meat. I've had crocodile several times in Thailand and the U.S. The meat itself has a very mild flavor and usually all you taste is whatever spices/sauce have been used. Evil
  13. Flagging a taxi on the departure level was never a good idea but it hasn't worked at all for a long time now. Pre-booking car service is the best option (cheapest and the driver usually knows Pattaya), but you can also grab a taxi from the public rank. Evil
  14. I'd add a joke about chemistry, but I doubt I'd get a reaction. A Japanese manufacturer is introducing a laughing motorcycle in Thailand. It's called a Yamahahaha. Evil
  15. Sorry for the delay in answering. From what I gather from reading posts elsewhere and what a friend said, the food truck was located on the Darkside, but I couldn't pin down a specific location. Maybe someone else knows the details. Anyway, I had a final meal on Friday at Richman Poorman. I had intended to have a Reuben sandwich, but it was finished. The only dish left was the quesadilla at 180 baht. It was good, but I wouldn't have gone all the way to Soi 9 off Jomtien Beach Road just for it. The RMPM Facebook page said sandwiches and other dishes were still available Friday, but that wasn't the case. A bit of a sad ending for my experience with RMPM. It will be interesting to see what opens in its place. Will the new owners continue on the U.S.-theme or try something different? Evil
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