Murray Avenue Restaurant Challenge: Zaw’s Asian Food & Sweet Tammy’s

Achievement: #2. Eat at every restaurant on Murray Ave

Our next restaurant was another take-out stop, Zaw’s Asian Food. I really had thought this was a grocery store, and not a restaurant, up until we started doing the research for this Achievement (oh, you didn’t know there was research involved in our silly hobbies? believe me, there is more than you would think!).

But it is a restaurant, although a grimy, crusty one. We popped in there to place our order one afternoon after we returned from a movie at the Waterfront. We figured it would be about fifteen minutes to wait, at which point we would hop across the street to the bakery there and knock off another location.

We were wrong. We placed our order, and the gentleman at the register (one of only two gentlemen who work there, apparently – the son handles customer service, and the father handles the cooking) informed us it would be 25-30 minutes. That seems like a long time to make General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef, which we thought were pretty standard Chinese dishes. But, once we saw the cooking process begin, it all made sense – they make all the sauces from scratch, and there is only one pan in the whole restaurant.

So, I was a little skeptical of this meal, partially because of the state of disrepair of the restaurant, and partially because it seemed impossible that both of our meals would be the right temperature if they were made in succession, and not at the same time.

However, though Zaw’s Asian Food may not be clean or classy, its dishes are pretty great.

Zaws
The Mongolian beef was spicier than the beef I’ve previously had (I hold every Mongolian beef to the high standard set by the Great Wall restaurant in the North Hills, which has the most amazing Chinese food of all time), but it was still really good. The box was enough to last me two meals, and I think it tasted even better heated up for lunch the next day.

Zaws
Michael got the General Tso’s chicken, which was sweeter than expected. We’ve often seen a maraschino cherry garnish on the chicken, but this version actually had cherry juice mixed into the sauce. This made it almost a little too sweet, but a small amount of it was really quite good. Michael agreed about the leftovers though – they seemed to heat up and taste better the second day.

Sweet Tammy's
We followed up the meal with desserts from Sweet Tammy’s, which is a kosher, non-dairy bakery. We tried their pumpkin-shaped sugar cookie and red velvet cupcake with vanilla icing. I have no clue how one goes about making dairy-free vanilla icing, but it was pretty decent.

Sweet Tammy's
As you can tell, Lucy was pretty excited about the desserts, and hoping some would drop into her mouth. Unfortunately, none did, but she got to sample a lick or two of the icing. The desserts were good, but a bit dry. I guess that is probably to be expected, without milk in the mix. However, the presentation of their cakes and cupcakes is really beautiful!

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