And So It Begins… Burmese Lunch Specials at Rangoon
For my first lunch expedition I wanted to find a place that would warm anyone up during this exceptionally cold winter. Recently, I have been really enjoying Burmese food, so when I’m looking for a change of pace in Chinatown, Rangoon is the perfect alternative. If you are unfamiliar with Burmese food, think about it as a combination of Indian, Thai, and Chinese style dishes and flavors. Rangoon’s lunch specials are available for take out, but if you do decide to sit down and stay awhile, you can be in and out of there and back to your office in under an hour.
Lets get the less satisfactory part of the lunch out of the way; lunches come with a soup or a salad, the soup offered was hot and sour (is that even Burmese?) and was the gloppiest bowl of soup I have ever dipped my spoon into. Hello cornstarch. Its really unfortunate because the soup had a nice taste to it, but I could not get passed that texture. Soup should not plop off the spoon! But I can forgive them, because the soup is an unnecessary afterthought and not why I eat at Rangoon anyway. I was there for the Pork with Mango Pickled Curry.
It just so happens that pork, pickled things, and mango are all high on my list of favorite edibles. Apparently this is a traditional Burmese dish; here it comes with either white rice or fried vegetable rice. I was almost disappointed that the fried rice wasn’t the greasy kind, but Rangoon’s lighter hand here is better for my health and the final product is still flavorful. The pork was vibrantly seasoned with a touch of spice, cooked just right, and quite the bargain at $6.50. I am not so sure there were actually pieces of mango pickle in the dish, it seemed more like onion to me, so maybe its just part of the sauce? Regardless, its still a lunch worth having.
Another fine option is the Lemongrass Beef Curry. The chunks of beef were really tender, and the sauce was more subtle than the pork dish- which is perfect for the beef. It reminded me of a lighter beef randang. And the lemongrass was spot on, not too strong not too mild.
If that’s not enough to fill you up, splitting an appetizer would still leave you under the $10 mark (before tip). Phoodie gave Rangoon’s firecracker lentil fritters an honorable mention on their top 2009 bar snacks, but I can never resist ordering the Burmese tofu- which is actually made from chickpea flour instead of soy. Their version didn’t disappoint.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- I love Chinatown, but am sometimes in the mood for something different
- Rangoon (and Burmese food in general) is perfect for when you can’t make up your mind between eating Thai , Chinese, or Indian food
- I like a touch of spice to warm up on a cold day
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I’m all for free soup with your lunch special, but I do not enjoy soup flavored jello
- The sauces are a bit oily
Rangoon, 112 North 9th St (btw. Cherry St. + Arch St.), 215 829 8939