Restaurants of Nephi, part 2
So we have tried three more restaurants in the last ten days. I think we're almost halfway through our magical adventure, actually.
Tonight was Tomatilla's, which is located in the Conoco convenience store. Even before we walked in, Princess Adora remarked that it seemed a lot like Cafe Rio. I've only been to Cafe Rio one time, but it seemed true to me, too. So I ordered the same thing I got there, a pork salad-- which is a lot better than it sounds. And although the food looked very similar (and cost about the same), it was missing something. It was not bad, by any means, but it lacked a certain zing.
Last week, we tried two different places. One was a restaurant that has Chinatown on their sign, but is listed as Da Huan Jiang on Google Maps. Also contrary to Google Maps, they are not out of business. I mean, somebody took our money and gave us food. Anyway, we did the dinner for two, which gave us soup and appetizers, plus three main dishes, shared family-style. It was certainly plenty of food. The hot and sour soup was pretty good, as was the orange chicken. Neither were terrible spicy, but that's okay for most people. The other two main dishes, beef with broccoli, and twice-cooked pork, I was less impressed with. But when I reheated them, the twice-cooked pork was my favorite. So make of that what you will. It's definitely the best Chinese restaurant in town.
Prior to that, we did Big T's, which is a burger joint decorated with the obligatory posters of classic cars and Elvis. I had a burger and onion rings with a vanilla shake, and Adora had a fish sandwich and fries with a chocolate shake. The rings were the crunchy kind instead of the crispy kind, if that makes any sense. It was all pretty good, but unexceptional. They also advertised corn dogs, which tempted me briefly, but since I was neither in a lunchroom nor at the fair, I ended up passing. Now I wonder if those corn dogs were their secret weapon. Alas, I shall never know.
In conclusion: Three serviceable restaurants, but nothing to surpass (or match) the happy surprise of Mi Rancherito.
--CHEF GILBERTO "TURK" BENITEZ