Blown away in Plano by Eggplant in Garlic Sauce!

May 8, 2011

So we went to 99 Ranch Market in Plano yesterday after haircuts in Richardson. We hadn’t had anything to eat since our green goddess smoothies for breakfast earlier in the day. It was probably about 2:00 now, and we were walking around the store sampling things and saying “oh, let’s get this, oh let’s get that too!” (we actually DO know better than to shop when we’re hungry). We realized what we were doing once we stopped and looked at one of the products and said “why are we getting this again?”. We left the store to get something to eat.

It’s in a shopping center at 75 and Spring Valley, so there were a number of choices to try. We saw a restaurant called “Mr Tofu” – Korean BBQ and decided to try it, even though we had tried something with a similar name in Carrollton once and were fooled by the name. Looking over the menu, they did have some tofu dishes, with pork, with beef, with chicken, only one listed with veggies was a veggie soup with tofu. We told them “thanks, we changed our minds”, and instead went to a chinese restaurant there, Sichuanese Cuisine Restaurant. What a GREAT choice!

Coming from New York to Texas many years ago, really good Chinese food was something we struggled to find. We finally did find a couple of places in Richardson that we frequent and are happy with.

We ordered Mongolian Tofu and Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (note, the eggplant was on the menu under “Tofu and Vegetables”. Other places, when we order it, it normally comes with pork, and we have to always ask for the pork to be left out. This was a nice change).

Wow. I mean, WOW. We took a few bites and were absolutely blown away. The tofu was in small bites, with a nice crunch to it, served with sautéed onions and some red peppers on a bed of crispy rice threads.

The eggplant in garlic sauce was by far the best I think I’ve had. The sauce was rich and flavorful with just enough “bite” to it after it went down. I don’t normally eat the white rice supplied with the meal, but at this sitting, it became an integral part of my meal, as I used it to sop up any remaining garlic sauce on my plate. Mary and I sat there as we were eating and kept saying how much we were enjoying it, and, after we left, continued to talk about how great it was. I don’t remember the last time a meal had that sort of effect on us.

After lunch, we went back to 99 Ranch Market, walked around mostly (we liked what we saw, by the way), and ended up not buying a thing ( reminded ourselves we absolutely MUST eat before we go shopping).

They have another location in Plano at Coit and Park (in the shopping center with Elliot’s Hardware) and we made plans to go there Friday night to celebrate Mary’s birthday. It’s closer to the house, and we’ll try something new (perhaps) I’m sure, but we’re interested to see how closely the items are made between one location to the other. From the information I’ve seen, the restaurants home base is in Seattle, and they’ve been around (in Seattle anyway) since 1992. Here’s hoping they keep a tight control on their recipes between locations. If for some reason we feel it’s not the same, we’ll go back to the one at 75 and Spring Creek, for sure.

What a great find. If you’re transplanted northerners like us and miss really good Chinese food. I would whole heartedly suggest that you try Sichuanese Cuisine Restaurant. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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