Friday is my telecommute day, and I usually use my lunch hour to explore what's in the immediate neighbourhood. Today I ended up on Sherman Way in Thai Snack Gulch (between Bellaire and Fulton), intending to go to Swan and see if it's any good.
I passed BBQ Unlimited, which is in the same impossible-to-park-at strip mall with the Bangluck Market and Sanamluang Cafe and decided that some Chinese BBQ would hit the spot. They have a full, mostly Guangdong-style, menu and several tables in the back, as well as the barbecue station.
I bought quite a lot of food, all to-go, and fed the housekeeper and the neighbours, because I didn't know there was a $25 minimum for the use of credit cards.
Shrimp (shell-on) in spicy salt, $7.25 -- very, very tasty. The shells were crunchy and wonderful, and they added more chilies at my request. A huge plate -- probably a pound and a half of food.
Long beans with ground pork and chili oil, $5.25 -- an absolutely enormous portion -- so much that they had a hard time closing the container --
of long beans, cut a little short for my taste but still very tasty. The beans still had the "snap", Cantonese cooking being short and hot rather than long and cooler.
Beef and asparagus, $6.95 -- oh my God. Sweet, slightly soft asparagus, well-cut beef, lots of ginger and an impossible amount of toasted garlic.
Roast pig, $4.95/pound. Cut right off the pig in the front display case. We dropped it into some ramen-style egg-noodle soup ($2.95) and it was heaven. You can buy entire sides of pork, starting at $115 and ranging up to a 60-pound monster for $155.
Char siu bao (BBQ pork buns), 55c each -- a little less filling than I might like, but they were soft and very, very tasty.
Ginger chicken bao, 55c each -- wow, these pack a lot of flavour into a small package.
Jin dui (red-bean filled sesame balls), 50c each -- a little chewy for my taste but I love hong xiao dou so much that I don't really care. They're also huge, the size of baseballs, as compared to the smaller ones encountered at dim sum.
Shu mai (pork dumplings), 50c each -- I bet they'd be killer fresh. These were a little elderly.
The food was way, way better than I was expecting. An added bonus is that you can watch the food being prepared -- if you can stand to see the heads being whacked off barbecued whole ducks, etc. While this isn't a dining destination -- I wouldn't take a date to the dumpy dining room, that's for sure -- for a quick lunch it's really good, and very cheap given the ginormous portions.