Growing up in Midwestern Illinois, my family’s idea of Asian food was La Choy out of a can with Uncle Ben’s rice. As a teen, my tastes adapted to Chinese takeout and food court cuisine. Even after I began dating my eventual wife, a native of the Philippines, I still did not know real Asian cuisine.
Shortly after settling in St. Louis, we began frequenting the local restaurants. I can’t remember the first time we ate at Pho Grand, but I remember my life changing for the better with my first experience of Vietnamese cuisine.
We recently dined at the south St. Louis landmark for the fourth time. The food, service and ambiance are as mind-blowingly good now as they were on our first visit.
Pho Grand has a very extensive menu
Fried Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce
These Crispy Chicken Wings were sticky, pungent and delicious with the flavors of fish sauce and garlic.
Lettuce Wraps with tender pork
The Cari Hao, or Scallops with Curry and Coconut Milk
Com Tam Bi Suon Cha, or Crushed Rice with Pork Chop and Eggcake
I cannot wait for my next visit to Pho Grand Vietnamese Restaurant
Pho Grand is located at 3195 South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis. They are open Sunday and Monday from 11:00 to 9:30; closed on Tuesday; open Wednesday and Thursday 11:00 to 9:30; and open Friday and Saturday 11:00 to 10:30.
We ushered in the fall season on Sunday afternoon with this amazing lunch. I baked homemade cornbread on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, I crumbled the bread and toasted it at 350 for 18 minutes. Then I sweated a chopped onion in butter, added celery and bell pepper, and added the cornbread, chopped sage, fresh flat-leaf parsley and homemade chicken stock. I toasted chopped pecans, added it to the simmering mixture and then transferred everything to a casserole.
In the same skillet, I heated olive oil, seasoned thick-cut pork chops with salt and pepper, and seared over medium-high heat for about seven minutes per side. I then placed the chops over the dressing and baked the entire dish at 375 for 15 minutes. While the casserole was in the oven, I wiped the oil out of the skillet and heated it over moderately high heat. I then added a cup of apple cider and deglazed the pan, scraping up all of the “yum-yums”.
Once the cider was reduced by half, I added another cup of stock and a cornstarch slurry. I simmered until reduced and thickened to a glaze. Once the chops and dressing were finished, I topped with the glaze.
This dish was amazing. If this is a precursor to the cold-weather season, we have a wonderful Autumn to look forward to.
I made this cake last year sometime in September. This is my nostalgia recipe for the month. It is from the September 2013 issue of Food & Wine magazine. It calls for flour just to dust the pan before baking, but if the flour is omitted or a gluten-free flour is used, then the cake will be gluten-free.
I topped the cake with the leftover apples and plums I used in the tarts I baked a few days ago, along with fresh peaches. I also made some homemade whipped cream to eat with it. The only drawback to this cake is the recipe calls for 10 ounces of walnuts, which can be quite expensive. I paid $10 just for the walnuts!
Good thing the cake tasted so good.
Sorry the picture is not more clear. Someone please buy me a good camera!
We paid our fourth visit to this awesome house of gelato on Sunday evening. After a pungent, spicy dinner next door at Pho Grand, some cooling gelato was exactly what we needed. We tried the Mocha, Soy Chocolate and Salted Caramel. It was the second time we have had the salted caramel. It’s just that good.
The interior of the shop on South Grand in south St. Louis city.
Just some of the delicious offerings.
The Soy Chocolate Gelato
Goodbye Sweet Gelato! We will see you again soon!
Adapted from the September, ’14 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Very strong flavors of fish sauce, fresh cilantro and chili pepper. Tossed with roasted peanuts. Very pungent and very good.
A perfect Labor Day dessert or breakfast. I actually ate mine for breakfast this morning. It was delicious. Early fall Granny Smith apples meet late summer red and black plums.
This recipe was adapted from the September ’14 issue of Food & Wine magazine. It called for all-purpose as well as rye flour and corn meal. I could not find any rye flour, so I substituted whole wheat flour. It still made a very tasty, nutty and quite attractive crust. If anyone can advise me on where to get rye flour, I would appreciate it.