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Evil Penevil

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Evil Penevil last won the day on September 22 2013

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About Evil Penevil

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  1. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    Speaking of Reuben sandwiches, I had a good one from Pattaya Meals.com (pattayameals.com) the other day. Pattaya Meals is a food preparation and delivery service without dine-in facilities. You order by phone or through Facebook and your food arrives at your door within 45 minutes, depending on where you live, traffic and what you order. I usually have my order in 30 minutes. There's no delivery charge and you don't have to tip the driver, but I always do. The Reuben in the pics cost 265 baht and came with a dill pickle and a choice of macaroni salad, potato wedges or onion rings. A good Reuben for Pattaya but still light years from what you get at a U.S. deli. Pattaya Meals offers about 100 different meals in various categories: Western, Thai, healthy and pizzas, plus side orders and a few desserts and beverages. The most expensive dishes on the menu are a couple of pizzas at 325 baht. All the rest come in at under 300 baht, with many under 200 baht. Check out the Web site (pattayameals.com) for a complete list with prices and pictures. Every 10th meal is free. Operating hours are 11.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. I have ordered from Pattaya Meals dozens of times and never been disappointed. It's a very convenient option on the days I don't feel like going out to eat or cooking. Evil
  2. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    The Golf Club on LK Metro is a long-time solid performer for good food at reasonable prices with plenty of main dishes under 300 baht. The emphasis is on U.S.-style comfort food, but there are also numerous Thai and U.K. standards on the menu. In a fit of nostalgia last night, I had the Chicken a la King at 150 baht. It's an American classic, invented at least 130 years ago. Stories of its origin vary. One version says it was named for a hotel owner in New York City; another claims it carries the name of the Philadelphia chef who invented it. It consists of cubed chicken, mushrooms, sweet peppers and sometimes other vegetables served over rice, toast or noodles. It's always been seen as a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey, but at the height of its popularity in the 1950's, it was often made using fresh chicken breasts. I remember it fondly from both elementary school lunches over noodles and post-Thanksgiving and Christmas meals at home on toast. The Golf Club's Chicken a la King adds broccoli to the basic ingredients and is served over rice. It was very good! Last week I had another iconic American specialty, a Reuben sandwich, at 195 baht. It's a signature dish at the Golf Club. It consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing grilled between pieces of rye bread. It was real New York deli rye, not the faux variety you sometimes get in Thailand. The Reuben was good, but didn't contain as much corned beef or sauerkraut as I remembered from past visits. This what a Reuben sandwich at Katz Deli in NYC looks like: The above pic is from the Internet. By Ernesto Andrade - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3022275 However, it's not likely you'll be getting anything like that in Thailand and if you did, it would cost far more than 195 baht. You have to be realistic in your expectations for foreign specialties here. An American classic the Golf Club does very well is the chili burger. It's a thick patty of beef topped with U.S.-style Springfield chili con carne. The chili is spicy but not firehouse hot. A couple of other points: The Golf Club has "steak nights" when steak is grilled in front of the restaurant, but the price puts it outside the under-300-baht category. It's also one of a very few restaurants in Pattaya with grits on the menu. Bottom line: The Golf Club remains one of the better options in Pattaya for U.S. comfort food. Evil
  3. Evil Penevil

    Steak in Pattaya

    We haven't had a thread lately on steak in Pattaya, so I'll start one. Any kind of comment on beef steak in a Pattaya restaurant is welcome. It doesn't have to be about the best or cheapest, it can be about any steak you've had here, whether cheap, expensive, good, bad or mediocre. I'll kick it off with the 200 gram (about 7-oz) Australian rib eye special for 459 baht at Longhorn Steakhouse and Cafe in the Central Arcade across from Mike's Mall. It's the arcade with Kiss, Beefeater, Patrick's and My Way. The special included a choice of potato and gravy or one sauce. I picked mashed potatoes and English mustard, which wasn't a sauce but a small dish of what tasted like real Coleman's Mustard. The rib eye rested on a bed of diced vegetables and came with a slice of grilled tomato. I asked for my rib eye to be medium rare and that's exactly how it came. It had been nicely grilled, tender and had a great taste. I'm guessing, but I believe it was the equivalent of USDA Choice, the second highest quality designation in the U.S. The mashed potatoes were also excellent. To top off the meal, I had a vanilla ice cream sundae with caramel sauce for 75 baht. It could have done with a bit more sauce, but otherwise hit my sweet spot. I drank soda water (40 baht), but Longhorn had a selection of beers and wine on offer, including Belgian beer. Longhorn was clean, comfortable and well-lit, which are always key factors. I ate there at about 8 p.m. and there were 11 other customers when I arrived. Longhorn shouldn't be confused with Big Horn, a long-running steakhouse in the same arcade that closed about three years ago. Bottom line: I won't hesitate to eat at Longhorn again. Price wise, it seems to occupy the upper middle ground between Steak & Co., Beefeater and Patrick's at the high end and the budget steak places. Evil
  4. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    Time for a healthy meal, or at least a healthier one, at Five Star J, Pattaya's leading restaurant for vegetarian and vegan food. It's located on the corner of Pattaya Tai and 3rd Road. They don't have meat of any sort on the menu, nor do they use trans fats, palm oil, MSG or refined sugar in their dishes. Vegan and Jain options without animal products of any sort are also available. For less strict vegetarians, there are dishes with eggs, dairy and root vegetables. I had one of my personal favorites, Swiss rösti with fried eggs, for 189 baht. Rösti is essentially a big potato pancake made from grated potatoes. At Five Star J, diners had the option of topping it with non-gelatin Parmesan cheese or vegan cheese. I took the Parmesan. The rösti and eggs were fried in coconut oil, Not much more to say than it was very good! It would have been even better with a 8-oz. piece of rib eye cooked medium rare or a few slices of bacon, but that's not the spirit of things in this restaurant. I also indulged myself with black sesame dumplings in ginger syrup (69 baht) for dessert. The syrup had a much stronger ginger flavor than you usually get in Chinese restaurants. Loved it! One thing to note: Five Star J does add 7% to the menu prices bur no service charge. The rösti and eggs cost 189 baht, the dumplings 69 baht, which is 258 baht. With the 7% VAT (18 baht), my total bill was 276 baht. Water is free. I left 24 baht as a tip for the friendly service. Five Star J has an extensive menu with vegetarian and vegan variations of many Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Chinese and Indian dishes. There are also several Western dishes including vegetarian versions of hamburgers, pasta and pizza. Prices are reasonable, with a lot of dishes under 200 baht. Everything is cooked to order, so you may have to wait longer than usual for your order to appear in front of you. I did a longer review of Five Star J last year in this thread. (Link) Bottom line: If you want to give yourself a break from steaks, Western fast food, Sunday roast dinners, Thai food from the stalls and carts as well as English breakfasts, Five Star J is a good place to start for tasty options. I'm not about to become a vegetarian, but in the interests of my digestive system, cholesterol level and waistline, I do try to eat at Five Star J a few times a week. You can also order online and have the food delivered. Evil
  5. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    Simon of Retox is certainly no slouch when it comes to effective marketing. He has stated publicly that Retox as a whole loses money on its food operations, but makes a profit on its sales of booze. Specials like the pizza burger keep interest in the group alive as it is a unique offer not available anywhere else. I used to love pizza burgers as a kid, but haven't had one in decades. I really do look forward to trying the pizza burger at Retox Game On. Last Sunday I went back to the Marquee on Soi Buakhao near the night market to try the 100-baht roast dinner again. I had the chicken dinner this time at about 4.00 p.m. I certainly couldn't complain for the price. The chicken breast had been baked and was juicy. The Yorkshire pudding was crisp and light, not at all chewy. The vegetables and roast potatoes were fine as well. I had a cup of coffee (40 baht) after the meal and it came in a larger cup than you usually get. All in all, I was happy with the meal. It's not a huge portion, but certainly enough for me. I've been to the Marquee several times on Sundays at 6.00 p.m. or 7.00 p.m. and they had already run out of roast dinners. It appears to be a popular Sunday option, even in low season. Like with every carvery or fixed-plate roast dinner, the earlier you get to the restaurant, the better it will be. I wrote a longer review of the Marquee's beef roast dinner here. This is the pork chop special I had last night at Kilkenny on LK Metro for 175 baht: Everything was good. The pork had been fried properly and wasn't dry. The mashed potatoes and gravy were fine and the vegetables weren't overcooked. My SML cost 60 baht, so I had a tasty and filling meal for 235 baht. BTW, the open bars and restaurants of LK Metro were doing a rousing trade last night. Plenty of foot traffic as well. I wouldn't have guessed it was low season judging only by the number of people I saw out and about. Evil
  6. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    Two specials are worth mentioning. The pics come from the restaurants' Web sites. Kilkenny on LK Metro: At Retox Game On for 199 baht: The description from the Retox Facebook page: "Another new Retox Special. Pepperoni pizza angus beef burger Chargrilled angus beef burger then oven baked and topped with pepperoni and melted mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, onion rings , brioche bun and topped with a pepperoni aricini (sic) Skinny fries Warm side of pizza sauce Only 199 baht." Arancini are stuffed and deep-fried rice balls. No one can fault Retox for a lack of originality. I'm in more of a pork chop than burger mood, so I'll try the Kilkenny special this evening. Evil
  7. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    I tried Wednesday's special at Retox Game On (Soi Honey near 2nd Road) by accident. I was walking past, it started to rain and I didn't have an umbrella, so I ducked in to have dinner while I waited for the rain to stop. Conceptually, the day's special sounded a bit weird to me. Why serve Chinese chicken balls with chips and curry sauce? Was that what made it "English style?" Anyway, I gave it a try. I asked if I could substitute extra fried rice for the chips and the waitress readily agreed. I'm including this in the "Good" thread because the chicken balls themselves were very nice- lightly battered pieces of chicken breast, fried crispy but juicy on the inside. I was less impressed with the rest of the meal. The curry sauce was the blandest I've ever tasted- no heat and almost no curry flavor. The egg fried rice couldn't have fried for long, if at all. It seemed to me it was boiled rice mixed with peas and bits of fried egg. It tasted OK, but could have done with some seasoning. Why in the world Retox didn't serve the chicken balls with a sweet and sour sauce on the side I can't begin to guess. That strikes me as a more natural pairing than curry sauce and chips. I livened up my chicken balls and rice with a few splashes of Tabasco and seasoning sauce from the condiment box. Portion size isn't a major concern for me. I'd rather have a modest amount of good food on my plate than a heaping portion of mediocre or poor food. The special consisted of eight chicken balls and rice. It was OK for me as I wasn't very hungry, but I can imagine others would find it rather meager, even with chips. There are farang restaurants nearby where you can get a bigger meal for 150 baht or under. Retox Game On is offering Hanoi Beer from Viet Nam at 95 baht. It also has an "all-you-can-drink" offer on Tiger draft on Mondays between 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. for 499 baht. ... Bottom line: For me it was a good meal because of the quality of the chicken balls. I'm less sure it was a good special at 149 baht. Evil
  8. Evil Penevil

    New Food Stalls at The Avenue

    The Avenue shopping plaza on 2nd Road has recently expanded its possibilities for dining. It's added some food stalls and open-air serving area in the "courtyard" of the ground level. There are also stalls, tables and chairs in a covered area on the second level. It's hardly worth a trip to The Avenue as there are similar setups all over town offering the same food. But if you live or stay nearby or visit The Avenue for the movie theater, gym or shopping at Villa Market, it could be an option. I don't know if the whole ground level food area has a collective name. I saw a sign in one section that said, "The Avenue Garden Cafe," but I don't know if that applies to all the sections. The other night I tried the creamy version of tom yum goong, a hot and sour shrimp and seafood soup that typifies Thai flavor for many farang because of the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and tamarind paste used in the soup. I also had a fried rice with squid for 60 baht. The soup cost 150 baht for a large bowl. Both were quite good. A small can of iced tea cost 30 baht and bottled beer was available at 60 or 70 baht, depending on the brand. Most of the Thai standards are available from one stall or another. You can order in two ways: 1) pick out what you want at a stall and they'll carry it to a table; or 2) sit down, order a drink and ask to see a menu. The lady who takes you drink order will then send someone from the stalls with a food menu. One pay the food and drink bills separately as soon as the order arrives at the table. I was there about 8.00 p.m. and the roast had gotten really thin by then. There's also live music, which for once wasn't too loud. I wouldn't want to sit there during the heat of the day. At 8.00 p.m., it was still warm and humid outdoors. I'll try some of the other dishes on offer, but I'll take them home with me to east in air-conditioned comfort. I believe the food stalls begin to shut down around 9.00 p.m., although that can vary according to the day and crowd. The serving of beer and other beverages, as the live music, continue until about midnight. The second-level food stalls start closing up at 7.00 p.m. There are a number of other options for dining and drinking at The Avenue. Pizza Pizza is no more and has been replaced by Sergio's Pizza Factory after a couple of brief closures for remodeling. It's a bit tricky because I recall seeing the Sergio's logo above the pizza ovens when it was still Pizza Pizza by Yanee. This is their current offer: Basically, you are paying 269 baht for a Margherita pizza, salad and beverage. The Margherita pizzas weren't bad at all in the restaurant's previous incarnation and cost only 79 baht. I hope they revive that special offer. The Avenue has several other dining options as well, ranging from a 24/7 McDonalds through the Robin Hood Tavern, Beer Fest, Firepork, Oishi Diner's Express, a Chinese restaurant and a couple more. There's also a Starbucks with a strong and fast free wifi. Most of these restaurants have already been reviewed elsewhere in this section. Depending on your taste in food, a couple of them could be worth a special visit. Parking is readily available at The Avenue. The rear covered section of the shopping plaza remains empty after the stalls were recently booted. Maybe this sign tells what is underway? Very little of the enclosed retail space is occupied, especially on the second and third levels. Evil
  9. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Mediocre

    No, I don't recall ever hearing that story. But I remember reading that the old Thai lady who owned the restaurant once pulled a pistol on a troublesome customer and threatened to shoot him. She even chased him out into the street where he set the world's speed record for running while drunk. Apparently there have been some heavy-duty incidents at Sailor in the wee hours after guys have been sitting all night lapping up the cheap booze. Evil
  10. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Mediocre

    A lot of people favor the Sailor Restaurant on Soi 7, mainly because it is cheap, but I've never had much luck. I've eaten there five times in the past six years Three meals were bad (one totally inedible), one was good and the most recent (Thursday night) was mediocre. I tried one of the more expensive items on the menu, the T-bone steak for 150 baht. It came with a choice of potatoes, boiled vegetables and a smattering of cabbage salad. I'm fully aware for that price baht you're not going to get imported beef, so my expectations weren't too high. I asked for the steak to be done medium and that's how it came. As soon as I had a piece of it in my mouth, I was reminded of the children's story "The Little Engine That Could." Chew, chew, chew and me telling myself, "I think I can, I think I can." It wasn't impossibly tough, but tough enough to place it in the mediocre category. The mashed potatoes tasted weird and the veggies had been boiled way too soft for me, but some people like them that way. I knew before I stepped into the Sailor I was entering the heart of Cheap Charlie darkness, where price and portion size are more important than taste. I figured I'd get a mediocre meal and that's exactly what happened. But whatever its culinary faults, the Sailor has been in operation for many years and remains popular. I sat down at the last available table about 8.00 p.m. At least 30 people were dining, including three groups of eight. It thinned out a bit as I ate my meal, but it still had plenty of customers when I finished. The day the zombie apocalypse comes to Pattaya, the Sailor Bar & Restaurant will be one of the last bastions of Cheap Charliedom to fall before the final stand at New Plaza. I'll visit the Sailor in another 12 months to see if anything has changed for the better or (God forbid) the worse. Evil
  11. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    I feel in the mood for lamb shank tonight. This appears to be a good option at 249 baht. From the FB of Retox on Soi Lengkee.
  12. Evil Penevil

    New Food Stalls at The Avenue

    the back section of the ground floor of The Avenue has been cleared of all the food and other stalls. Tonight a six-member crew was washing it down. The front bottom section still has food stalls, plus more tables and chairs: A new eating section has opened on the second floor: A Thai man was celebrating his birthday with his wife and a friend. He asked me to take pics. I will email him a copy of them. Evil
  13. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Good!

    For a late night snack or even a light meal, Yakuza Burger on Soi Marine (aka Soi Lucky Star) just off Walking Street has been a safe bet for a long time. It's open until 6.00 a.m. every day. While most noted for its burgers (beef, chicken and fish), it also serves up hot dogs, toasties, panini, fried shrimp, chicken nuggets and spaghetti. Everything is cooked to order in front of the customer. The grill, food preparation area and counter were very clean, which isn't always the case at hamburger stalls. You sit on a stool at the counter, but it was more comfortable than the butt-assaulting stools at similar burger stands. This morning at 3.15 a.m. I had the 99-baht cheeseburger. It consisted of a thick beef patty, a slice of processed cheese, fried onion, tomato and lettuce on a toasted sesame bun. The ingredients were fresh and it tasted fine. It's not a large burger, but it was enough for me at that hour. The friendly cook asked me to take her picture. Bottom line: This is one of my go-to places for a quick hamburger or hot dog after a night on WS. There was a steady stream past Yakuza Burger of girls who' work in bars that close at 3.00 a.m. Some of them smiled at me very invitingly. Evil
  14. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Mediocre

    The all-you-can-eat international buffet at the Atlantis Restaurant at the Centara Azure on Soi 15 behind The Avenue falls squarely in the mediocre column. It runs Monday through Thursday, 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m, and costs 299 baht. There isn't much variety- about eight main dishes ( four each of Asian and farang food), a measly salad bar and a few side dishes, appetizers and desserts to choose from. It's not a bountiful buffet. The food is undistinguished and dining can be hassle due to Chinese and other tour groups. We got there at 7.00 p.m. but the serving trays had already been heavily plundered and the staff was slow to refill them. It's a rather off-putting experience to see Chinese tourists hit a buffet and much worse if you have to compete with them. I'm not going to say more, but I think you get the idea. The best thing about the Atlantis is the decor and huge aquarium. Kids love it, but it's sad when watching fish in a restaurant is more enjoyable than eating fish. I haven't tried the BBQ buffet and never will, but a friend who did try it thought it was not just mediocre but bad considering the price. Evil
  15. Evil Penevil

    Under 300 Baht ... And Mediocre

    I started the "Under 300 Baht ... And Good!" thread to disprove a particularly silly statement that claimed if you spend less than 300 baht on farang food in Pattaya, you get "garbage." It was easy to find dozens of examples of good farang food that cost less than 300 baht in Pattaya. The "Under 300 Baht..." thread has run more than two years and still has a ways to go. There are so many restaurants in town where you can get good food under 300 baht and it's almost impossible to cover them all. However, not all the food in I try qualifies as good. Mediocre dishes also abound under 300 baht, so I decided to start a thread about those meals. But before we get going, I have to stress "mediocre" is not the same thing as "bad." Mediocre means "average or ordinary in quality; neither very good nor very bad." Generally speaking, a mediocre meal will be adequate, but not more. One more time, so everyone understands: mediocre does not mean bad. Another point to stress is that a good restaurant can serve an undistinguished dish while the rest of its menu is much better. One mediocre dish does not a mediocre restaurant make, much less a bad restaurant. So with the notes of explanation out of the way, feel free to share the details of meals in Pattaya that were notable only for their mediocrity, no matter in which restaurant you had them. It doesn't necessarily have to be farang food. It can be Thai, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, whatever. Thanks! The fixed plate roast chicken dinner at the Robin Hood Tavern for 199 baht rates a "C," with one component on the plate scoring an "A," two failing miserably and the rest average. I give the roast chicken an "A" because it was a generous portion of juicy and tasty chicken. The Yorkshire pudding and bacon-wrapped sausage were inedible, so they get "Fs." The Robin Hood also has a carvery buffet for 299 baht and I believe the Yorkshire and the sausage had stood on heating trays for a long time and the plate had been rewarmed in a microwave or oven before serving. The Yorkshire was burnt on the outside, tough as leather inside. The bacon around the sausage was so hard it couldn't be chewed. The vegetables and potatoes were OK, but nothing special, the definition of mediocre. A possible upside for some diners is that there was a lot of food on the plate. The downside was that except for the chicken, it was mediocre or bad food. The Robin Hood Tavern is located on the first upper level of The Avenue on 2nd Road. Take Away is an oddly named restaurant on Soi Bukhao, close to the subsoi that connects New Plaza with Bukhao. It's menu aims it clearly at visitors from the U.K. as it's heavy on what can be considered British comfort food. Prices aren't exactly cheap, but they are reasonable and every item on the menu is under 300 baht, with most under 200 baht. You order at the counter and pay at the counter, but the food is carried to the tables by the waitress. I tried the spaghetti Bolognese for 180 baht. Maybe that was a bad choice on my part. If I eat there again, I'll pick something more British. Basically, it was a bland ground beef sauce dumped on top of overcooked pasta. There was no Italian seasoning and very little tomato in what was supposed to be a Bolognese sauce. Mediocre is the best I can rate it. The garlic bread was actually the tastiest part of the meal. Lee's Diner has been operating eight years in the Pattaya restaurant shark pool, which is a longer run than many get. It's located on Soi Diana near the intersection with LK Metro and dishes up Thai and farang food 24/7. It's clean and well-lit, which are definitely positive factors in my eyes. A serious downside factor is that there's no wall between Lee's and the neighboring bar that features a live band blaring the usual numbers at ear-splitting levels. What the band lacks in quality it makes up in volume. There is no way I could ever eat a meal with that deafening racket in the background, but the band knocks off at 2 a.m. and that's when I tried Lee's recently. I had eaten at Lee's in years past, but hadn't gone back much because I found the food, well, ... mediocre. There was nothing about the beef with oyster sauce I had at 160 baht that caused me to change that opinion. It was bland and heavy on the vegetables but light on the beef, also a bit oily. On the positive side, the ingredients seemed fresh and the beef wasn't tough. Everything considered, it fit comfortably in the realm of mediocrity.