At least twice a month, Jen Hernandez drives during lunch hour from her job in Davenport to downtown Moline just so she can eat at Little Rangoon.
She’d make the drive more often, but Hernandez always orders the fried food and is trying to watch her diet.
“It’s easy to just come in here and get your food,” she said. “It doesn’t take long. It’s a quick lunch, if that’s what you need to take, and it’s just really good food. I love it.”
Hernandez usually orders the hot braised chicken, but she also recommends the cashew chicken, which isn’t quite as spicy, and the cubed chicken with a vegetable. She orders Little Rangoon’s tamarind sauce with everything.
“The chicken is definitely crispier, and the sauce is just incomparable to any other,” she said. “The spiciness is wonderful and the taste is just better.”
The tamarind sauce is a favorite among many of Little Rangoon’s customers, owner Todd Sibley said. He even has one customer who drives down from Wisconsin every couple of months to buy a bottle.
“Everybody that’s eaten here comes back,” he said. “The food speaks for itself. The food is very addictive, especially the Burmese food.”
All of the recipes are those of Sibley’s wife, Zona Mundt-Sibley, who moved to the United States from Burma (now Myanmar) 24 years ago. The most popular Burmese dish is the shan khauk swe, or SKS for short, Sibley said. The dish is made with a thin rice noodle that is marinated in tomatoes, ground peanuts, fried garlic and sweet sauce. Then it’s topped off with pork or chicken. The dish isn’t very spicy, but it’s often served with a spicy salad, he said.
“It’s really a nice dish,” he added. “I’ve only found five people in the two years (the restaurant has been open) that haven’t liked it.”
$10 OR LESS
What: Little Rangoon
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 4-8 p.m. Saturday, closed Sundays
Where: 1401 5th Ave., Moline, and 4018 Blackhawk Road, Rock Island
Specialties: Shan khauk swe and tamarind sauce
Where’s your favorite spot?: Do you know of a Quad-City area restaurant, bar or entertainment venue where a meal or a night out costs $10 or less per person? Give your ideas to entertainment reporter Stephanie De Pasquale.