Posts Tagged ‘Price3’

ZenYai Noodle House

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

ZenYai-exterior

OGF: 4/5
One of the more interesting of the abundant Asian pseudo-ethnic restaurants surrounding the Microsoft campus, ZenYai serves primarily Thai dishes of widely varying quality.  Sometimes excitingly named, it’s worth going in with a recommendation or spying on your neighbors dishes before making a decision as while the “Hot Mamma Noodles” (usually on special) are delicious, dishes like “Noodle Explosion” are decidedley “meh”.  Despite the name, there are also a large variety of non-noodle dishes.

Taste: 4/5 – While we’ve had our share of bland dishes here (avoid the Ramen and the  aforementioned Noodle Explosion), they have a number of delicious and highly satisfying options such as the “Angry Curry Noodles”, “Hot Mamma Noodles” and “Crispy Garlic Chicken”.  It’s also hard to go wrong with Thai staples such as Pad Thai and Panang Curry.

Price: 3/5 – What you’d expect, roughly $8-10 a meal.

Quantity: Doggie bag – always more than you can eat.

Wait Time: 15 minutes on a normal day, but this place can get busy!

Rotation: 1

% MSFT employees: close to 100

Parking: Difficult – in the frustrating Mayuri/Trader Joe’s/Can-Am complex

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: The Hot Mamma Noodles when they’re on the special’s bored at the front if you like spicy food, or, if you’re feeling unadventurous, the Crispy Garlic Chicken is a decidedly unhealthy yet scrumptious option.  Also, unlike the entrees, their appetizers are universally acceptable.

ZenYai Noodle House

15400 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&ss=ypid.YN925x15738201&encType=1

Taco Time

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Taco-Time-Exterior

OGF: 2/5
A North West fast food chain which purports serving what can be called "tacos" only in the loosest, technical sense.  Serving "Mexi-fries" (tater tots) and "crisp burritos" (deep fried tortilla wrapped meat), even Taco Bell beats them in taste and authenticity.  The best you can say about this place is that the lettuce shreds are green and fresh.  Why on earth you’d go here when delicious and cheap options like the taco truck on 24th and 148th abound is beyond me.

Taste: 2/5 – Somehow, they managed to take what looks like a burrito and make it blander than your Minnesotan mother’s tuna noodle casserole.

Price: 3/5 – Not particularly cheap for a fast food joint, and definitely not worth it.

Quantity: Just right

Wait Time: 5 minutes

Rotation: 0

% MSFT employees: 25% or less

Parking: Difficult

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: The exit, and if you’re brave enough to actually eat your order, make sure you locate the bathroom.

Taco Time

2001 156th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&ss=ypid.YN925x15737578&encType=1

Taj Palace

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Taj-Palace-exterior

OGF: 4/5
With more and roomier seating, a wider selection of vegetarian dishes (along with all the meat dishes you’d expect) and far easier parking, we can heartily recommend Taj Palace over the slightly closer Mayuri to satisfy your Indian lunch buffet needs.  The day we visited, there were all the standards (Tandoori and butter chicken, palak paneer etc) along with an additional set of 4-6 rotating dishes.  The fruit, vegetable and desert selections are also worth a stop.

Taste: 4/5 – The dishes seemed slightly better prepared and of higher quality than Mayuri.  Nothing amazing, but solid choices all around.

Price: 3/5 – Typical price for a buffet lunch in Bellevue of about $10.

Quantity: Just right – It’s an all you can eat buffet, so quantity is not an issue

Wait Time: 3 minutes – there was a short line for the buffet when we arrived, but nothing compared to Mayuri on a typical weekday.

Rotation: 1

% MSFT employees: 75% or more

Parking: Easy

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: Those balls floating in goo at the desert tray are actually honey and cardamom soaked donut holes.  Delicious!

Taj Palace

2331 140th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&ss=ypid.YN925x15733839&encType=1

Celtic Bayou

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Celtic-Bayou-exterior

OGF: 3/5
Probably a better choice for dinner; if MicroGrub weren’t specifically rating spots for lunch, we would have gone for a higher OGF.  As it is, Celtic Bayou probably won’t make it into most people’s regular lunch rotation, despite its surprisingly complimentary mix of Irish, Cajun and burgers with a Pub atmosphere.  Which is a shame since it’s one of Redmond’s more unique restaurants.  If you’re a trivia fan, be sure to stop by Monday nights for some friendly competition.

Taste: 4/5 – It’s hard to find a dish here that’s a disappointment, with the possible exception of vegetarians, it should be easy for everyone in your group to find something they like whether it be a Cajun gumbo, an Irish stew or a surprisingly good burger.

Price: 3/5 – Nothing shocking, dishes usually clock in at just over $10.

Quantity: Just right – maybe even a little too much, but you most likely won’t be bringing home leftovers

Wait Time: 25 minutes – this really is the main issue preventing us from giving it a higher recommendation, CB is definitely more of a dinner and drinks place making it hard to be in and out for an hour lunch.

Rotation: 1 – there’s a decent variety, but more in terms of the spices used than the meat + starchy carbs theme

% MSFT employees: 75% or more

Parking: Easy

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: Adding some novelty hot sauce to your Jambalaya.

Celtic Bayou

7281 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE, Redmond, WA
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.rybdt74tp7jz_Celtic%20Bayou_7281%20W%20Lake%20Sammamish%20Pkwy%20NE%2C%20Redmond%2C%20WA___&encType=1

Kidd Valley

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Kidd-Valley-exterior

OGF: 3/5
A local fast burger chain with decent food and good appetizers, but the burgers can’t compare to Wibbley’s.  Don’t get us wrong, Kidd Valley’s still a class above national chains like Burger King, McDonald’s or Wendy’s.  Service was friendly and fast, although not chain-fast, which is a good thing.  However, when compared with all the excellent burger joints that can be found in the Seattle area, it can’t really stand with the Red Mills, Blue Moons and Wibbleys (although unless you head into Seattle, you’re not going to be able to hit up the Mill or the Moon for lunch).

Taste: 3/5 – A good selection of quality appetizers (we tried them all – the onion rings and sweet potato fries were our favorites).  The burgers however were a bit uninspired, and even a bit cold when they arrived.

Price: 3/5 – In the $5-$10 range depending on how much you order.  More expensive than McDonald’s, but cheaper than most sit-down places.  About what you’d expect.

Quantity: Just right – menu items range in size from snack-sized mini-combos to double burgers, it should be easy to find a meal to fit your appetite.

Wait Time: 10 minutes – once we ordered, the food arrived quickly, just took a while to make our way to the front of the line with only one cash register open shortly after noon.

Rotation: 0.5

% MSFT employees: 75% or more

Parking: Difficult – a very small lot, but when we arrived, there was still one spot

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: The sweet potato fries and the indestructible, milk-shake-proof straws.

Kidd Valley

15259 Bel Red Rd, Bellevue, WA
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&ss=ypid.YN925x42158560&encType=1

Ooba’s Mexican Grill

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Ooba's-Exterior

OGF: 5/5
Cafe style Mexican behind the Redmond Way QFC.  Neither taking pains to be authentic, nor the typical Americanized mess of refried beans and cheese, Ooba’s is some of the best Mexican food in the Puget Sound.  The highlight of the menu is their deliciously marinated grilled meats, so we recommend passing on the burritos for an option that highlights the eponymous grill like a quesadilla or one of the excellent daily specials.

Taste: 5/5 – You might find Mexican to match if you sniff out an excellent taco truck or take the trek out to Ballard, but you won’t find a more delicious piece of grilled meat.

Price: 3/5 – Prices are reasonable, but expect to pay about $10 for a main which while high for a cafe, is well worth it for the food.

Quantity: Just right

Wait Time: 15 minutes, but you may want to come a little early to avoid long lines

Rotation: 2

% MSFT employees: About half

Parking: Reasonable – street parking only, but usually not a problem

Prime Card: No

Don’t Miss: Chuletas (rotating special) or a dinner-style quesadilla (adds sour cream and guacamole)

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Ooba’s Mexican Grill

15802 NE 83rd St, Redmond, WA 98052
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.rych4b4tp6ws_Ooba’s%20Mex%20Grill_15802%20NE%2083rd%20St%2C%20Redmond%2C%20WA%2098052___&encType=1