Dining out with Frugal Freddy & Ritzy Rita
Restaurants that are supporters of Frugal Freddy and their PCEC members, your membership card gets a 20% discount on food and drink, any time you and your guests visit. When we go as a Frugal Freddy group, no membership card is needed.
Loaf Bakery, Pizzeria, and Café. Uthai the proprietor of Loaf, hosted a wonderful dinner for Rita and I last month and gave us some insight to himself and Loaf. He was born in Thailand some 30 years ago and left after graduating from high school to further his education around the world. He got his degrees from various universities and special education in places that he felt would further his dream of opening the best bakery in Thailand.. He studied cake baking at the Ritz in Paris France (one of 30 countries he visited while studying).
Loaf features many baked goods from breads, muffins and cinnamon rolls to cakes sold by the slice in the refrigerated counter. The cakes range in price from B85 to B115 for the Brie and apricot cheese cake. I have tried over half of them and never have been disappointed. Uthai shared with us that so often the cakes you get at the international chain bakeries are made with the same formula no matter where in the world the bakery is, he adapts his baked goods to Thailand's tastes and climate.
Besides the desserts Loaf is a well know Pizzeria with 27 different pizza's on offer, medium size with medium crust. Prices range from B169 for a Marinara (just sauce no cheese) to a Mexican Pizza using salsa as sauce, cheddar cheese, spicy chorizo sausage and jalapenos to give it a little Mexican kick, price B349. The PCEC has voted Loaf as the best pizza in Pattaya and recently held a pizza eating contest during their regular Wednesday evening all you can eat buffet B199. The winner from the club consumed 19 slices but that record did not last long as a customer recently challenged and broke the record eating 30 slices. At 8 slices per pizza that is almost 4 pizza and you must also eat the crust.
Besides Pizza he is well known for his Italian Lasagna which I had for the first time and it was a large serving and very light in textures and mouthwatering flavor. On Monday and Tuesday he features a set menu with a choice of spaghettis following an appetizer of tapas or small tuna salad and a soft drink or water, a very filling meal for only B195.
Loaf is located behind the 7-11 on corner of Soi Lenkee and Buakhao.
El Paso Restaurant With the passing of the El Toro restaurant on 2nd road maybe the confusion will stop between El Paso and El Toro. El Paso not as easy to find but lighter, brighter and lots of free parking on Pattaya Tai just past Cat Telecom, don't go too fast or you will miss it. Ritzy Rita and I ate there a couple of times last month and as usual came out stuffed with a box of leftovers to take home to our 4 legged daughter Yolanda the Yorkie.
After a warm greeting by Torstein Olaussen from Norway we spent about 10 minutes looking over the very extensive menu. We starting with 6 chicken wings (b125) for Rita and a dozen prawns in a wonderful cocktail sauce B185 for me. We decided to pass on the soups and salads even though we were tempted by the French onion at B155 and Goulash at B165. I had had the Goulash on a previous visit and before the main course. This time I had learned my lesson and we went right to the main entrees.
A page of choices from the international menu with choices ranging from B175 for a filet sandwich and mixed vegetables for B175 to Mixed Grill at B450 or lamb chops or surf and turf at B475. This time Rita chose the Schnitzel which was 2 huge slices of pork with gravy and vegetables and we took more than half of it home in the doggy bag. I chose the 250 gram tenderloin rare as usual at B450, ½ lb of pure delight. The piece I got was cooked perfectly, 1.5 inches thick and could be cut with a butter knife. It was thickly covered with caramelized onions and came with 2 sauces. (béarnaise and aux jus) All meals included lightly steamed vegetables, choice of 6 kinds of potatoes (baked, mashed, French Fried, pan fried with onions and bacon, boiled and my choice creamy au gratin), in addition the meal started with a crispy fresh vegetable appetizer and included your choice of 4 different sauces or gravy as we call it in America (mushroom, onion, pepper, garlic).
There were 11 choices of steaks on the steak page, I like variety and previous visits I had had the Roquefort steak (B525) and the pepper steak B475 and the rib eye B425. I asked Torstein why my steak was so tender better than any Aussie or NZ beef I had eaten elsewhere. He informed me that his beef is aged 21 days at the packing house, vacuumed packed and stored in his refrigerator until needed. It is never frozen and thawed.
We chose a French wine (all his bottled wines are French from B805 to B1485) at B1035, recommended by Torstein called Saint Chinion. A blend of 30% black Granach, 40% Syria, 30% old black Carigan. Described as "an intense nose of wild flowers, Thyme, Bay leaves and wild Berries, rich and medium bodied.
As usual even though deserts are on offer we waddled out without dessert and had our customary doggie bag to take to Yorkie Yolanda.
PCEC has many special interest groups to serve the members, one of the most popular is the Frugal Freddy dining out group meeting weekly. 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 most of them even offering a special discount that evening. With the value of foreign currency shrinking against the baht and Thai inflation hitting us in the wallet 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.