Archive for August, 2010

$7 per person dinner buffet at Hometown Buffet (HTB) at Westgate Shopping Center, Hamilton Ave, San Jose, CA

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

This evening, I went to Hometown Buffet (HTB) at Westgate Shopping Center (4735 Hamilton Ave -x- Sagemont Ave) with a friend. With a buy one get one free dinner coupon, it is only around $7 per person. Not every HTB are good. So far, only two are good. This one, and the one at Newpark Plaza nearby Cedar Ave -x- S Magazine.

I am just going to talk about this one at Westgate Shopping Center. First of all, the only reason I go there is for its marinated steak and dinner rolls. The best two items in their dinner menu. The marinated steak was tender, and juicy. Upon request, the chef or server will select the steak based on your preference: rare, medium rare, or well done. They are friendly, polite, and helpful. I can see the restaurant managers are also eating there during their break. As for the dinner rolls, they bake it at the restaurant, and the surface of the dinner roll was brown, nicely baked, and the heart of it is soft and hot. I usually eat at least 2 of the dinner rolls. Please join the eClub for the coupons, and allow at least 48 hours for email delivery of coupon URL. Yes, it’s very slow…

Finally, please call for their store hours, and double check your coupon’s validity date and time.
For this Westgate HTB, the dinner time on Saturaday begins on 3:30 PM. The restaurant manager is very strict about the timing, so you can only use it after 3:30 PM at Sat, and this coupon is NOT valid on Sunday.

Oscar
Founder of FoodPicky.com

In-N-Out Burgers vs Five Guys Burgers

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Yesterday (Aug 26, 2010), I went to Five Guys Burgers with two other coworkers at the one located on Auto Mall Pkwy, Fremont, CA. Wait a minute, we have Three Guys only…Before I arrived there, I checked their website, and I notice that customer may order online, and I realize immediately that this place must be as busy as In-N-Out Burger. When we arrived, there were like 20 customers at the line waiting, and the whole restaurant was full of people. So, I checked their menu, and it looks similar to Burger. In-N-Out is very simple. So, I ordered a regular size of cheeseburger with grilled onions, grilled mushroom (MY FAVORITE!!!!!), little ketchup, mustard, and pickle, and also a regular size of fries. And, the price is double of In-N-Out’s US$6 meal. It was like US$10. I was like, “whaooo….!” let’s see…. During the wait, one coworker brought us a small tray of peanuts, and he said those are free. That reminds me of Texas Roadhouse‘s peanuts, and its shells covering the ground of the whole restaurant. Besides, the peanuts at Five Guys taste the same as those at Texas Roadhouse. Then, our Order #s were called, and we go picked it up. I could only see a few brown paper bags. At first, I thought my cheeseburger is in another bag or missing, so I asked the worker there, but she told me that my burger and fries are in this single brown bag. I was like “Where ?” Well, my cheeseburger was completely covered by the “regular” size of fries. That’s not regular, it’s huge! It’s irregular!!! By the way, the fries taste “exactly” like Armadillo Willy‘s fries, and the prices are the same at around US$3. After 15 minutes, and after I finish 30% of my fries, I could finally find my cheeseburger inside the brown bag. It was wrapped inside an aluminum foil. Compares with In-N-Out’s paper wrap which wraps only 40% of the burger surface, there are good and bad. The good for paper wrap is that the burger’s bread could still retain its “toasted” taste, and as for Five Guys’ aluminum foil wrap, the bread has been steam-cooked by the heat from the grilled onions and mushroom inside the closely wrapped aluminum foil. If you like toasted taste, you should go for In-N-Out, but if you like grilled mushrooms, you should go for Five Guys. At In-N-Out, you can get grilled onions too. As for the secret recipe, In-N-Out has animal style (special sauce), and protein style (lettuce instead of burger bread). Anyway, I would say Five Guys’ fries is better than In-N-Out’s, and In-N-Out’s burger is better than Five Guys if you don’t care about grilled mushrooms. As for the size, the Five Guys burger in regular size is kind of huge. There is an option for a “little” size, and at first, I thought “little” size burger is like those size at White Castle burgers. If you are “Food Picky”, try The Counter’s burger. I have not tried, but I know it let’s you custom build it at the cost of US$20!!!

What ? U$20 ? Wait a minute !!! Isn’t that our economy is bad now ? Why are people lining up for $10 or $20 burgers ? I think these customers are of one of the following types:

  • rich
  • single and rich
  • first time customer – just try it once!
  • don’t know how expensive it is until after they order
  • treat this as drug
  • have a credit card balance of US$10K or more
  • all of the above

Or, the US economy is getting better now ? (hope so……)

Oscar
Founder of FoodPicky.com

Great wine deal – two for US$12.00 – Beringer Pinot Noir Founders Estate

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Yesterday, I was at Cupertino, CA’s Marina Food supermarket, and I saw my favorite Beringer Pinot Noir Founders Estate is for sale at $12 for two bottles. This is the lowest price I have ever seen. Marina Food used to have $12 for two bottles a year ago, and then, they stopped such promotion, and put the original price back at US$7 – US$8.

I also notice that Marina Food has other great wine at a lower price than Target, or BevMore. Just buy the wine from there since most of their food and groceries are more expensive than Lion Market or Ranch 99.

Oscar
Founder of FoodPicky.com

2009 Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon taste better than before!

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Surprisingly, the two bucks Chuck – 2009 Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon taste a lot better than before. It taste like the US$8.00 2005 Beringer Pinot Noir Founders Estate.

Oscar
Founder of FoodPicky.com