Dining out with Frugal Freddy & Ritzy Rita
Freddy and Ritzy are pseudonyms of Hawaii Bob and his Filipina wife Rita. Some restaurants the group recently visited include Aloha Polynesian on 2nd road, El Paso Steak house on Pattaya Tai, Jolly Friar Fish and Chips Soi Lenkee, Robin's Nestaurant Soi Diana, Seaside 2 Soi Chayapoon, Little Italy 2nd Road, Holiday Inn Terrazzo Pizza's Beach Road, Pattaya Beer Garden Beach Road, Shenanigans 2nd road , Zen Bar and Café Pratamnuk road.
Zen Bar & Café: Located on Pratamnuk road between Soi 3 & Soi 4 is one of the newest restaurants to join the Frugal Freddy group, open from 9am to midnight. It opened in June with a large selection of Farang and Thai foods in a comfortable A/C setting with lots of eye candy both inside and outside of the next door establishments. On one side of Zen is the coyote bar appropriately called "Eye Candy" and on the other side is a gentleman's club called "the Lounge".
Zen is a split level Café featuring seating for 30 on the inside mezzanine and a B20 pool table and a large screen TV for entertainment. No girls from the two adjoining establishments are allowed in so no one will bother you while you have a quiet meal listening to soft background music familiar to the baby boomer crowd. There is seating on the lower level for an additional 10 people at tables or you can sit at the bar. Outside all across the front of the 3 establishments are attractive picnic tables with large umbrellas to hold back the sun. These are both for your dining pleasure and a place the girls from next door like to sit, apply makeup and just chat with themselves and their current admirers.
The day Rita and I ate there we chose to sit inside I started with a lamb stew (b200) but Rita cannot fathom eating those cute little animals so she opted for their featured dish appropriately called "the Big Assed Burger". It is 1/3 lb ground beef on sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato onion and a generous order of seasoned French fries. She ordered it medium and to my and her surprise it was just that, pink inside. Fries were perfectly cooked. Total cost a frugal B90 and for B20 more you can add cheese and B50 more gets you a double patty so almost a ¾ lb of beef. My lamb stew was both tender and tasty with potatoes and carrots and a lump of dough called an Atora dumpling. I think you must be English to appreciate it. It was about as heavy as a uncooked lump of dough and not really capable of absorbing the succulent gravy that was featured. I much prefer the light airy dumplings that mom used to make that absorb the gravy, I like sopping it up with a slice of bread (next time I will ask for a slice or 2).
We shared a generous Ceasar's Salad (b120)with hot grilled chicken on top of fresh lettuce and a side dish of Ceasar's dressing so you can add as little or as much as you like. This was a very good choice for me but Rita struggled to eat her burger and had little room for salad. Rita spotted her favorite dessert on the menu, apple crumble (b80) and as usual she managed to eat all of that with a big smile. I opted for the rhubarb crumble (b80) which was ok but not as tart as I remember the rhubarb pies from my early years in Canada.
Other reasonably priced items on the menu are 7 different 7" square pizzas (b125), BLT sandwich (B60), steak and onion or mushroom or kidney pie (b85) or for the same price if you prefer chicken you can have chicken and mushroom or chicken and ham pie. After lunch or if you fancy a drink and a place to relax the Lounge has over 50 whiskeys and Scotches and wine cellar along with Cuban and Dominican Republic cigars, plush furniture, attractive companionship and short time rooms for taking a nap at very reasonable prices.
Robin's Nestaurant: (Pictured Left Page & below) located on Soi Diana by the entrance to LK Metro. November, December and January they are featuring a buffet on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays with a spread of over 20 different items for only B169 B179, reasonably priced drinks and an extensive inexpensive menu and open 24 hours. Last week Rita and I and the Frugal Freddy group were invited by Robin to come try his buffet and no one came back hungry or disappointed. Monday is his stew and pasta night and we were presented with a spread of food that included many different stews, pastas, potatoes, salad and of course dessert. Dessert each night consisted of a fresh chopped fruit salad with apples, pears, grapes (seedless) watermelon and other various fruits in a nice sweet sauce and on top of that you could add ice cream or have it as a side dish. The choices of ice cream were vanilla, chocolate chip and a very tasty lime ice cream. What a deal for only B169, you must buy one drink but you can choose from water to wine and anything in between. Double shots of mixed drinks are priced at only B69 so how can you go wrong.
We came back again on Wednesday for curry night featuring similar side dishes and desserts but this time the main dishes were Indian Curry, Thai Curry, English Curry all of which I liked. My way of eating these types of buffets is to get a small scoop of each dish then go back and get a bowl of the ones I liked best but they all were so good that it was so hard to choose.
On Friday is the Shish Kabob night this time they included a tossed salad bar, chicken, pork and beef kabobs and off course the desserts. Monday and Wednesday I started with the desserts to make sure I had room because at these buffets I often am too stuffed for dessert. Friday I ate traditionally and had dessert last so I had only 1 helping vs 3 on Monday and 2 on Wednesday.
I know where I will be for Christmas dinner as Robin is having his traditional Christmas buffet featuring Turkey Ham and all the goodies that go with it for only B349. Reservations not required, first come first served but if you come late Robin promises not to run out of food but no promises as to how long you may have to wait for a seat. If you don't like crowds or waiting then I suggest you come on Boxing Day (day after Christmas) for the same meal if any is left along with turkey soup and the price drops to B249.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Frugal Freddy.
Pattaya City Expat Club has many special interest groups to serve the members, one of the most popular is the Frugal Freddy dining out group meeting many times a week at various restaurants in Pattaya area. They currently meet each Monday and Tuesday and in 2012 will add Wednesdays. Meeting times are always 6pm and are at restaurants that Hawaii Bob has determined give good value for the Baht with some of them even offering a special discount that evening and any other evening a member returns to dine there. With the value of foreign currency shrinking against the baht and Thai inflation hitting us in the pocketbook club member seek out value dining. If you would like to get on our mailing list and join us some evening just email firstname.lastname@example.org with "Frugal Freddy as the subject" and you will get notices where to go and make new friends, meet old friends and get reasonably priced meals. Any restaurant owner wanting us to review or visit their establishment can do the same.