Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stella Restaurant, Rockville MD

I went to dinner with couple of my girls on a Monday night. Yes you read correctly, it was a Monday night and also the '$10 bottle wine' night at Stella restaurant. Stella restaurant is a new restaurant in Traville plaza. The three of us ventured in there not knowing what to expect. 

Stella





















Our first impressions were very good ones. The interior decor is nice and relaxing, plus they have a beautifully decorated bar area. Check out the center lighting, ain't it cool?

bar area: credit TL















 We waited a little since our friend was stuck in traffic. So the waiter suggested that we order an appetizer to munch on. I ordered the Lobster Guacamole with taro chips, it was actually pretty good. My two friends seemed to enjoy the appetizer.

Lobster Guacamole

















We proceeded to order three very distinct main courses. First up was a rib-eye steak. She was actually not happy with this dish since it was not done medium rare like she asked. So I guess Stella failed one of the fundamentals in this case.

rib-eye steak, credit TL















I ordered the fish special which was one pound fish cooked with head and tail. It was quit a visually stunning dish since I didn't expect to get a whole fish (should have known I guess). It tasted just okay, a bit too fishy for my taste. On top of that, there were way too many bones for my liking.

rock fish? I don't remember now..

















The third dish was a somewhat safe dish. She had the roasted organic chicken with rice. I forgot to ask her how the dish was but I know she liked the rice. As far as the chicken, they looked plump and juicy, so I'm hoping they tasted okay.

roasted organic chicken with rice

















Overall, Stella looked great, the service was impeccable, and the ambiance was lovely. The food was about average or a little below for its price. Since it's a fairly new establishment, I'm hoping it will improve as time goes on and I am willing to give it another chance!

FoodiePop's rating: 3/5

Stella Restaurant
9755 Traville Gateway Dr
Rockville, MD 20850

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chop Stix, Gaithersburg MD

We go to chop Stix in muddy branch plaza all the time for carry-outs and dinner.  This was the first time I went there for weekend dim sum (Mandarin style) in a while.  I was thoroughly unimpressed.

We ordered 6 or 7 small dishes.  I only liked the bean curd dish, everything else was just mediocre at best.  The wonton soup was definitely epic failure.  I couldn't believe they dared serving such a bad tasting dish.  The so called soup tasted like they dumped salt and LOTS of soy sauce in the water (hence the soy sauce color soup), the wontons were all falling apart.  I couldn't finish any of this, so I picked the wontons out and barely ate those.  Strange thing was, even though soup was super soy saucy and salty, the wontons were pretty flavorless. 
















We also ordered some pan fried meat buns 生煎包. This was just so-so, the version I like is from Fu-Shin restaurant where there are more filling and less bread.  We ordered 2 orders so this is $8.99 worth, definitely not worth the money.

pan fried meat buns 生煎包
















We also ordered some rice ball 飯糰.  This is still sitting in my frige, probably mediocre at best so we're not excited to try it yet. 

rice ball 飯糰
















There were some other dishes that are not worth mentioning since they are not extremely bad or make the grade.  The list includes a Cantonese congee 皮蛋瘦肉粥 that was not made the right way.  It looked and tasted more like regular taiwanese congee 稀飯.  I don't think I'll go back to Chop Stix again for their weekend dim sum.  We will still order their regular menu though.

FoodiePop's rating for weekend dim sum: 2/5

Chop Stix
820 Muddy Branch Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Caspian Kabob, Germantown MD

I wondered over to the middlebrook rd area on weekday during lunch hour.  So I stopped at this kabob place for lunch.  It turned out to be pretty good for quick lunch and the price is reasonable as well.

exterior





















I ordered the platter with ground chicken kabob.  It was quite tasty!  The kabob was a little sour though, I guess they used some lemon in the marinade?  The meal came with a side item, you can choose garden salad or the yogurt dressing.  I picked the salad since I'm not a big fan of yogurt dressing.  The rice was cooked very well and blended with the cheese for a wonderful aroma.  If you like long grain rice, you will probably like this dish!

ground chicken kabob
















FoodiePop's rating: 3.8/5 for weekday quick lunch

Caspian Kabob
19911 Frederick Rd
Germantown, MD 20876

Monday, May 9, 2011

Guapos, Gaithersburg MD

We've always loved eating at Guapos.  This is the one Mexican restaurant that always had consistent quality food and awesome patio view over the Washingtonian lake.  On mother's day, we needed to go to Washingtonian center to pickup a few items from the sporting goods store.  So we strolled over to Guapos by the lake after for a treat.

The wait was surprisingly short, only less than 10 mins on mother's day.  My guess was that everyone had large groups/family on mother's day.  So the two of us got seated quickly and placed our orders.

festive live band on mother's day for lunch
















He order the usual steak fajita platter.  This always taste great!  The steak was perfectly marinated and grilled, and the tortilla is the best in the area, fluffy and piping hot.

steak fajita platter
















I felt a little adventurous so I ordered a 'seafood chimichanga'.  It was delicious!  The portion was on the small side but it had shrimps and scallops inside along with some cheese and cream.  The rice and bean made up for the small portion.  On top of that, I managed to snuck in a steak fajita from a neighboring plate :)

seafood chimichanga
















A very satisfying lunch both physically and mentally!  I loved sitting by the lake, people watching, and chilling for the afternoon.  They also had this freshly squeezed lime juice for $2.50, make sure you try it for a non-alcohol alternative! 

freshly squeezed sweetened lime juice
 




















FoodiePop's rating: 4.5/5

Guapos Cantina Restaurant
9811 Washingtonian Boulevard
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

California Pizza Kitchen, Gaithersburg MD

Yikes, it's been a while since I posted anything on the blog.  No, I have not stopped eating, I've just been busy doing everything else for the last couple of weeks.

We actually go to Washingtonian center a lot, either for workouts, good eats, shopping, or just taking the dog for a stroll.  This past week, I've dined at the California Pizza Kitchen twice!  Once with the hubby on a weekday, and once on a Friday night for our girls night out.  I was able to use the 20% off coupon printed off Washingtonian website both times, so it was a bargain!

On the weeknight, we ordered the kung pao spaghetti.  It's a fun spin on the Chinese traditional dish kung pao.  I usually steer clear of non-authentic Chinese dishes such as this, but this particular dish was a hit!  You can get it with shrimp or chicken, I picked the chicken.  It was a little spicy but the flavors were very good!

kung pao spaghetti
















He ordered the new clam linguine dish.  This was delicious as well, but of course I liked the spicy dish better.  They gave a lot of clams but not a lot of noodles, but since pasta is a heavy dish, it was fulfilling nonetheless.

clam linguine
















On our girls date night Friday, I ordered something lighter since it was the common theme for the night.  I ordered the blacken mahi mahi with noodles.  It was a little bland, but after I squeezed the lemon juice onto the fish, it was much better!  The noodles were very good, I finished the whole plate in no time!

blacken mahi mahi with noodles
















This was my friend's artichoke pizza.  I didn't try but it looked good!

artichoke pizza





















Overall Cpk was a pretty good deal with the 20% off.  If you haven't gotten the coupon, look on the Washingtonian website!  I plan to go back again before the coupon expires :)

FoodiePop's rating: 3.8/5

California Pizza Kitchen
136 Boardwalk Pl
Gaithersburg, MD 20878