Review: Al Markaz in Carrollton, Super H Mart, & Homemade Gourmet

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


My buddy Anwar was celebrating his 40th birthday afar and we wanted to be a part of the celebration for him. To honor him, we headed out to Al-Markaz restaurant in Carrollton since he was the one who introduced it to us to begin with. It is an affordable Indian-Pakistani restaurant, nestled on the side of a grocery store. It is somewhat casual, very friendly and best of all, very good. We ordered the palak paneer, paneer tikka masala, mutton biryani, rice, and naan. They didn't make the paneer dishes very spicy, but they were good. The mutton dish was FANTASTIC, even if it was full of a lot of bones. Best of all, they meat was so tender on the bone, and the marrow inside of it was cooked perfectly and yes, folks, I'll admit it, I suck the marrow and I like it. Boo on you if you don't! That's the best part! I swear, you could make butter out of that stuff, it's amazing! So happy birthday Anwar! Cheers to you and I hope you felt the happy vibes coming all the way from Dallas. I would recommend this place if you are in the area and don't need anything fancy at all.

I adore this place, if only because it challenges me. I'm so far out of my element when I walk in, yet I feel so comfortable at the same time. Everything is well labeled in English, but just navigating through their produce department is a joy of its very own. To give you an example, there must have been about a dozen different kinds of mushrooms that I noticed right off the bat. There's an entire section dedicated to the vast amounts of tofu. And the amazing greens! Wow! No seriously, wow! If you are a vegetarian or want to try new fruits and veggies, this is the place for you. From what we gathered, it largely caters to the Korean population, which I'm not complaining because I am a fan of kimchi (thank you Teej for introducing it to me!) Best of all (at least in Mari's opinion) they have a Hello Kitty store and several fashion stores with shoes. I also like the music selection and fresh fish. No seriously, the fish is swimming in the tank, they kill it and prep it for you, so it is fresh. This is one of the places we've bought our fish when we make sushi at home. Good stuff! Check it out sometime. It is also in Carrollton, off of George Bush and Denton Tap.

Homemade Gourmet
 I'm a mom on the go and while I like to TRY to make time to so some special fun things (like crafting and baking and such), the past couple of months I've fallen short. One thing that I have been wanting for a long while, but haven't been able to indulge just yet is to make a yummy peach cobbler. I'd just about resigned myself to buying a store made one, when I placed and order for Homemade Gourmet's Texas cobbler. (Thank you again Julie!) She's my rep and reminded me that they are out there. This is my first HG review and I have two other items awaiting to be made so I can review those for you as well.

After visiting Super H mart, we were well stocked to make an awesome Korean seaweed soup* (which I later discovered has great brain boosters and is awesome for pregnant and nursing moms too). Even though I knew I would be full, I couldn't miss dessert. It's my latest thing, you know. Can't miss dessert! I whipped up this cobbler and it was SUPER easy and tasty. Between 4 adults who'd just gorged themselves on both homemade miso soup and seaweed soup and Mari who'd consumed the emergency spaghetti-O's (she still can't adequately chew the seaweed without choking and she demonstrated that immediately, which scared the ever living *%$@ out of me), we tore up ALL of the cobbler. TASTY! If you've ever wanted to try out HG, I would highly recommend you contact me and I'll hook you up with Julie's info. Good stuff indeed!

Korean Seaweed Soup
1 package of dried seaweed
3-4 cloves of minced garlic
1 package medium to firm tofu
chicken broth or stock
thin slices of beef (only if you want)

Cut seaweed into 2 inch sizes and soak in a bowl of water for 1-2 hours. Rinse, the water and rehydrate the seaweed. Since it is harvested and dried from the sea, there may be bits of it lingering just like when you get fresh spinach. 

Saute your garlic with a bit of oil or butter. Add your beef or chicken at this time. Cook it up good. Next, add your stock and water. Just eyeball it when you reach your broth to water ratio. Stir. Add your seaweed and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and add your tofu. Let simmer for a bit and serve. Goes really well with Sriracha sauce if you like it spicy!

**I was not paid, nor received any compensation for these reviews. They are just my opinion.

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