Friday, February 4, 2011

Baccali Cafe & Rotisserie: An Appetizing Appetizer-Entree.

I know I go to a lot of Cantonese cafes. I eat, sleep and breath in the aura of this part of my own culture. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I have yet another post on another cafe. Though Baccali is for the most part a Cantonese cafe, it does emphasize itself on its rotisserie as well as bring in some non-standard Cantonese Cafe dishes to its tables.

My friend and I got a little hungry and decided to grab a bite to eat. We have already went to a bunch of the other cafes around town and Baccali was one of the few remaining that we have yet dined together at. So we decided it may be time to just drop by. The interior of the restaurant is open with a high ceiling. It was more like a little lodge cabin than a restaurant in its decor, which is rare for a cafe. It was mainly because a long time ago it was some sort of American restaurant before the Asian takeover of the valley.

(Half Rotisserie Chicken - Cajun Style)
Baccali specializes in making rotisserie chicken, and is probably one of the best cafes in the San Gabriel Valley to get rotisserie chicken. Personally it's not something I would eat all the time, but once in a while, if a friend orders it, I would nibble off a few bites off their plate. That's exactly what I did on this occasion.

The chicken was tender and flavorful, but hardly cajun. It's completely expected since cafes tend to mainstream their foods for the taste buds of the general Chinese eater. Not too strong in spices, but flavorful with a nice aroma to the food. Having had authentic cajun food from New Orleans and its surrounding areas, this Cajun style chicken barely had anything that remotely tasted cajun. It was only slightly more spiced up than their normal rotisserie chicken. Nevertheless the chicken was still well made and made for a good meal at a very good price.

(Curry Deep Fried Chicken Wings)
It almost seems like a completely opposite concept of serving something simultaneously deep fried and with a curry sauce. But I definitely enjoyed this combination very much. Something about having that nice juicy and slightly spicy curry sauce smothered over a crunchy deep fried chicken wing that just hits the spot. Of course this is hardly a healthy meal being wings have a ton of skin and fat. The curry wasn't oily which was a plus, but it was still quite heavy and stomach warming.

The steamed vegetables were lightly flavored. The zucchini slices were fresh very crunchy to my liking. Different cafes serve different vegetables as their side dishes and this is one of my preferred vegetables. It actually feels like I'm eating vegetables rather than just two slices of broccoli with some peas. Sometimes I'm stuck with baby corn which I find a bit too hard to be served steamed. But this dish was great. It did feel more like an appetizer rather than an actual meal, but since I wasn't overly hungry, combined with the rice, it was enough to fill me up.

(Lemon Iced Tea)
It wouldn't be a trip to a Cantonese cafe without my glass of iced lemon tea. There really isn't all that much special about this one here at Baccali. I think the most important thing is that it actually has tea flavor and tasted more than just water. It wasn't especially rich or bland. It was your ordinary glass of iced lemon tea that was cold and refreshing.

Baccali isn't my favorite cafe of all time, but it makes for a nice break away from my usual joints on occasion. They have some slightly unique dishes like beef stroganov that isn't commonly found in this area. I had that before and it was decent. I don't know enough about Russian foods to know the authenticity of the dish, but my guess is that it's not. The environment does make for a nicer date joint or just an outing with friends. Parking isn't a complete nightmare, though it is still small. I wouldn't make a trip out to Alhambra just for their chicken if I lived more than thirty minutes away. But to swing by once in a while if you happened to be nearby will turn up a few nice dishes of food on my table.


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