August 17, 2012

Jin's Asian Bistro

Jin's Asian Bistro

1720 Liberty Road
Eldersburg, MD 21784
(410) 552-5535

Jin's Asian Bistro opened in the Oklahoma Shopping Center in Eldersburg in February of 2012.  I never made it a point to go there until my birthday.  I decided to try some place new this year.

We arrived about 6:30pm on a Friday and there were only a few people there.  The decor is nice, very aesthetically pleasing, and definitely a nicer Asian restaurant than some of the others in town.  We sat at a table up against the wall.  There was a sign that said to 'Bring Your Own Alcohol'.  That's disappointing.  I thought for sure some of my friends that went there bought drinks there.  Perhaps they lost their liquor license?

The menu is overwhelming.  It's as long as the M's in the Britannica Encyclopedia.  My intent was to get sushi, but obviously I don't want my children to have that.  They weren't sure what to get.  Lo Mein.  Mei Fun.  Chow Mein.  Moo Goo Gui Pan.  They don't know what all these things are.  Heck. I'm not even that sure.  We ordered our food and the sushi came back fairly quick, but it took FOREVER for my kids food to be served.  The waitress apologized for the delay and she was very accommodating, so I cannot complain about her at all.  She did a great job trying to satisfy us.

My son decided he wanted seafood, so he got the Seafood Mei Fun, which says it has shrimp, crab, and scallops.  The shrimp was definitely real, but the crab was the fake crab that's actually fish.  The scallops - those weren't scallops.  It was either squid or sting ray.  This meal was a total lie.

My daughter ordered Triple Delight, which includes jumbo shrimp, chicken, and beef, with mixed vegetables.      There was definitely vegetables in it.  The jumbo shrimp looked like shrimp at first glance, but they oddly looked all the same.  When you bit into it, it did not have the consistency of shrimp.  It was more like that fake crab meat.  Or tofu.  Face it, it was imitation shrimp.  The beef?  Yeah, not beef either.  Reconstituted something.  The chicken?  0 for 3.  It was a wide thinly sliced sliver of ......meat product?  It did not taste like chicken at all.  All of the meats in this dish were terrible.

I got a salmon roll and a tuna roll, which were both very good.  I also had a bowl of Hot-n-Sour soup, which was okay.  The consistency was a bit too think.  And my water in a glass was very good.

My wife got a Shrimp Tempura roll and she said it was pretty good.

My youngest daughter got what they called chicken tenders.  It was long chicken strips coated in shrimp tempura flakes and fried.  She thought it was okay, but mostly scraped the tempura flakes off of the chicken.

As I said, this . was my first visit to Jin's Asian Bistro and honestly, I'm probably never going to go back unless they offer me a free meal and a back rub.  I might get carry-out sushi, but I will never let my family eat Asian food that is not what is advertised.  Nor would I want to wait 20 minutes for food that is fake and tastes like crap.  I think they owe me $29 for the two meals my older kids ordered.  

February 19, 2012


1834 Liberty Rd
Eldersburg, MD 21784
(410) 552-5502

Plazuelas in Eldersburg does not have a website, but they do serve some great authentic Mexican food. And I mean Mexican, not Texican like you get at Don Pablos, Qdoba, Chipoltle, or Chi-Chi's.

My wife and daughter were heading to the Mall in Columbia to look at dresses (boring!), so I took my youngest daughter and son to Plazuelas in Eldersburg. We went there when they first opened years ago, but I wasn't overly impressed then. I decided to give it a second try. I had plenty of company on Friday night. The place was packed.

The building is the former Pizza Hut on Liberty Road (Pizza Hut moved to its current location on Route 32 in the late 1990's. The interior looks new and different than what I remember the first time. We grabbed a booth and were quickly served a basket of hot tortilla chips and salsa in a mini-decanter (or whatever it's called). I thought that was a nice quirky touch. The chips were okay, maybe a little bland. They definitely needed some salt.

It took a while for the waiter to come take our order. I'd say about 15 minutes. Once we placed our order it wasn't too long before we were served. I ordered 2 beef enchiladas with a taco and rice. My son ordered a cheese burrito. My 4 year old daughter ordered the most authentic Mexican dish you can imagine - chicken tenders and French fries.

My meal was very good. Not cheesy like you think of Texican dishes. Just very flavorful. I chose not to eat it all because I am trying to lose weight, so it made an excellent lunch the next day. My son loved his cheese burrito, but was not able to finish it, so he ate the remainder the next day. I tried the chicken tenders and French fries and they were pretty good, too!

There are many choices on the menu and I think they had 9 different vegetarian options. The prices are excellent. My meal was only $7.95 and my son's was $5.95. I didn't have any drinks as I was the only adult there, but they do offer several domestic and imported beers in addition to the quintessential Margarita.

If you're looking for a decent well-priced authentic meal where you can have a drink served by a friendly staff, Plazuelas is definitely one of those places you should try.