Wow, Ipse, I don’t mean to sound contrary or “take sides”, but I just was over to Facing East (which actually faces south – joke) where I had some of the best XLB I’ve had in SD. I’m nowhere near as experienced as you with these, but that was my impression. I was motivated to run out and see for myself because of the 180 degree difference between you and FN, another person whose opinion I value.
Let me back up a bit. This moderate-sized place has a nice layout IMO, tastefully simple furnishings, subdued lighting, and an acoustic ceiling (a big plus). The only mildly distracting thing is the on-the-wall projection video, a minor quibble; it didn’t really bother me.
Today is a Monday and I went in the middle of the afternoon, sometimes not the best day of the week or time of day to sample a new place. They don’t close down for two hours mid-afternoon here like so many other places on Convoy.
I ordered the green beans with garlic, and asked that they be served first, given that according to the menu one should allow 20 minutes for the XLB to be prepared. The beans came out quickly and were delicious. Perfectly fresh, perfectly cooked, they made for a great appetizer.
Not long after I finished with the beans, the basket of XLB came out, along with an Asian-style spoon and some ginger slivers. I’m quite sure that 20 minutes hadn’t passed, but I wasn’t watching. Nevertheless, the XLB were hot and (initially) puffy, but not so scalding that I couldn’t start eating them right away. Maybe the server thought I wanted to finish my “appetizer” first and, trying to oblige, left them in the basket for a couple of minutes? Whatever, they tasted very fresh.
I got the pork option. Every one of the ten (relatively small) buns was loaded with “soup” and excellent. I didn’t think the skins were tough at all, just nicely chewy and strong enough that I had no trouble picking them up out of the basket with chopsticks. Not a single one “failed” on the way to my plate. The pork inside was tender and flavorful and I chowed all ten of the little gems down in short order.
I will most certainly be back for more. Now my “to try” list of restaurants is once again down by one, but for much nicer reason.