the other critics

Henri’s Hotts Barbeque ‘Unbelievably Effective’; Pei Wei’s Thai Wonton Soup Sets a ‘Surprisingly High Bar’

• Craig LaBan says the baby back ribs at Hammonton, N.J.’s Henri’s Hotts Barbeque is proof that “some things in life are worth straying off-course and off-schedule for.” There the “no-muss technique” and a “beguilingly plain and unbelievably effective” approach to barbecue, he writes, produces pulled pork that’s an “aromatic collage of chopped meat, the bits of charred exterior mingling with moist, pink, and perfumey flesh”; “drenchingly moist” brisket; and ribs whose meat “clung to the bone until it gave way with a gentle tug” from his teeth. With fried chicken that “that explodes with zesty flavor,” and spot-on sides, the “only things missing were the desserts. [Inquirer]

• Adam Erace heroically braved slurping hot soup while temps hovered in the high nineties to give us his take on the fast-cas Asian fusion served up at Pei Wei’s Cherry Hill location. The Thai wonton soup, with its “dumplings, light and delicate as waterlilies” “set a surprisingly high bar.” Unfortunately nothing else “could match, let alone surpass” it. Gluten-free Vietnamese Roll (aka summer rolls) were a “weak approximation of the real thing,” and the peanut dipping sauce served with them tasted “almost like warm, melted peanut butter ice cream.” The spicy status was “weak” on the spicy Korean with chicken and Thai coconut curry with steak, but he still finished them, because “if nothing else, [Pei Wei] provides a good value.” [Courier-Post]

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