A combo of Oyster Deluxe Rice (topped with Ginko Nuts and Seaweed) and Tofu Soup, above and below, was the Chef's Special on Saturday afternoon at BCD Tofu House in Fort Lee, a Korean restaurant that boasts a bigger menu than its North Jersey rivals.
I asked for my tofu soup with only seafood, including oysters, instead of the beef-seafood combination that comes with the Oyster Rice.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Organic tofu, free side dishes that include a scrumptious fried fish and a varied menu are just three reasons BCD Tofu House in Fort Lee stands out among its Korean comfort-food competitors.
You pay a couple of dollars more for a complete meal of organic soft-tofu soup, fresh egg, complimentary side dishes and rice, but you get more ($11.99 at lunch).
On Saturday, this oyster lover was drawn immediately to a Chef's Special -- a lunch combo of Oyster Deluxe Rice with Tofu Soup, plus seven side dishes, a belly busting meal I couldn't finish ($16.99 plus $1 for an all-seafood tofu soup).
My ravenous son also ordered too much:
The LA Gochujang Pork Combo -- marinated pork belly cooked in the kitchen with a spicy red-pepper paste, and Tofu Soup, but he asked for the standard size of soft-tofu soup and was charged a la carte ($20.99 plus $11.99) instead of the combo price of $18.99.
We took home leftovers, including a couple of wedges of the terrific Haemul Pajun or Seafood Pancake, which is made with squid, small shrimp and scallions ($9.99).
Seven side dishes, including crunchy broccoli, seaweed, cabbage kimchi and shredded radish, come with every meal.
The fried, batter-dipped yellow croaker is so popular extras cost $1 each, unlike the other side dishes, which are replenished for free.
In addition to side dishes, you get a fresh egg to crack into the bubbling broth of the soft-tofu soup.
|Spicy LA Gochujang Pork.|
|BCD Tofu's rice-flour Seafood Pancake is one of the best I've ever had.|
One of the bonuses of the Oyster Rice prepared in a hot stone bowl is a crunchy crust.
|We encountered a short line on Saturday a little after noon. No reservations are taken. Parents can monitor the children's playroom from flat-screen TVs in the dining room.|
|BCD Tofu House is part of a Korean chain with restaurants in Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey. In Fort Lee, the restaurant is at 1640 Schlosser St., in the shopping center that once had a Barnes & Noble bookstore and cafe; 1-201-944-2340. Open 7 days, large parking lot, playroom for children.|
As a loyal customer of Simply Vietnamese in Tenafly, I received a complimentary Vietnamese Coffee at the end of our meal last Tuesday. Strong black coffee drips into a glass with sweet condensed milk.
At Simply Vietnamese, my wife can't resist a bowl of Pho with Pork ($12), made with an anise-flavored broth that sets its apart from all other Asian noodle soups.
As for me, my weight has been creeping up lately, so I was trying to avoid all the carbs in the rice noodles.
I ate modestly -- an appetizer of Broiled New Zealand Mussels ($9.50), a side of Bok Choy sauteed in garlic sauce ($6.50) and a small bowl of brown rice ($2).
You get 10 green-lipped mussels with a wasabi-ginger sauce.
A side of Bok Choy comes with fresh cilantro.
|I ate my brown rice and bok choy wth a spoon.|
More fresh cilantro floats atop the beef broth in Pho with Pork, and it's also part of the garnish that comes on the side (with bean sprouts, fresh lime and sliced jalapeno pepper), below.
|The addictive shrimp chips and chili sauce are complimentary.|
Simply Vietnamese, 1 Highwood Ave., Tenafly, is a BYO; 1-201-568-7770. Open 7 days, free street parking.