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Friday, July 30, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
So I'm a little behind.... Bob and I ate at Absinthe on Thursday night, before going to see "Young Frankenstein, The Musical" which on a side note is awesome. Anyway, I thought because we were going to a show we should do some fine dining, and so we did. I've always heard of Absinthe but I'd never been there before, and I was excited after having looked at the menu online.
We started the meal off right with some spicy fried chickpeas, they were like little tiny Indian samosas. It was a small portion but I loved the way they crunched. We shared a Melon Salad, which consisted of honeydew melon and spinach leaves covered in ricotta and crispy prosciutto. We both would have liked more prosciutto, but we made do with what we were given, the combo was pretty good.
For the main course Bob had the Chermoula-Rubbed Lamb Loin (chickpeas, Indian eggplant, Swiss chard, chili oil). I'm kind of picky when it comes to lamb, and while this was good, it wasn't something that blew me away. I've definitely had better lamb before. It was displayed
quite beautifully, as were all the dishes.
I ordered the Slow-Cooked Pork Confit (Anson Mills cheese grits, house-made bacon, collard greens, pork jus) and the cheese grits alone made my mouth water with delight. The pork was absolutely juicy and tender, falling apart while I ate it. The bacon was a little chewy, but very flavorful. Mmmmmmm.
Sadly we didn't have time for dessert, so I guess I'll have to go back. Over all though the place was pretty darn good, a bit pricey though for just an average night. I would definitely go back for a special occasion. :)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Apparently, Margaret and I are now competing for most blog posts. It's quality, not quantity I say! Well, I at least have to do my part to keep up. So tonight, I joined my pal Gail who has been having a hellish week at work at Lauriol Plaza for a margarita, some Mexican food, and a chat. Lauriol never disappoints, but it fills up quickly after work. Luckily, I was "sick" today, cough cough, and left work early, so I was on a bar stool waiting at 5:15. I was flying solo for a bit and didn't want to seem like a weirdo, so I ordered a margarita to blend in. Lauriol has several flavors of margarita but you can't go wrong with the classic blended. Several people were also ordering the swirl, which is regular and strawberry mixed together. Also a good choice. So by the time Gail shows up, I'm done with the better part of my drink and feeling quite chatty. So we asked for a table and went up to the rooftop bar.
The salsa is really my only complaint. Usually when I go with other friends we have a routine. We split the beef fajitas and an order of tamales, but today I had to branch out. I went with the Cantina Superior combination which came with tacos carbon, a cheese chili relleno, a chicken enchilada, and a chicken tamale. Yes, it is a lot of food, and no, I am not ashamed. I like variety, and why not sample all they have. How was it?
Well, the tacos carbon was amazing. It’s the same high quality ribeye they use in their fajitas just rolled up in one of the freshly made flour tortillas. I’ve heard that they won’t serve the tortillas if it’s been more than six minutes after they came out of the oven. I’d believe it as they are delicious little fluffy pillows that gently caress your meat. Or something like that. The chicken tamale was just ok, especially considering how great the pork tamale is. Then again, pork is always better than chicken. The chicken enchilada was great with ample chicken spilling out and a tangy red sauce over the top. I’m not a huge fan of chili relleno. I want to love it. I mean, what’s not to like. Cheese, chili pepper, onions, all battered and fried with more cheese over the top? How can that be bad? Well, I usually find the batter has gotten soggy and falls off and the cheese is overwhelming. It wasn’t bad but I won’t be writing home about it. All in all, it was a satisfying plate and there was probably half of it left by the time I could no longer breathe with my pants still buttoned.
On a completely different subject, I’m working on a brunch idea. I’ve got something cooking. Basically a friend and I are trying to trick a (straight) male friend into joining us for brunch. Little does he know this brunch will be at Perry’s, which is known for its drag queen brunch. I think it will be a nice surprise for him. This is in addition to next week’s drag queen bingo which we are billing as trivia night. Hey, I’m just trying to open minds and expand horizons, and if I can throw some food into the mix, even better!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Today I was over in Japan Town with a hankering for ramen noodles. My experience in Japan Town is fairly limited because it's not really next to anything else, just lots of housing. Anyway, Bob and I headed into the strip mall that Japan Town is made of, and had lunch at Sapporo-Ya. I'd never been there before but Bob said the ramen was pretty good, and I wanted something spicy and noodlie. We both ordered the Kimchi Ramen which had spinach, onion, bamboo shoots, kimchi, fried egg and pork in in a miso-esque broth. As I'm not much of a pork in my ramen kind of girl, I gave the pork to Bob. I did try the pork, it was okay, nothing too exciting about it. The kimchi on the other hand was wonderful! It was tangey and spicy with a little bit of crunch like it was added at just the last minute to the noodles. The bamboo shoots also had a bite, which I really like because no one wants limp bamboo shoots in their soup, well at least I don't.
The servings were the typical massive size to the point where I was only able to eat half of mine. Next time I'll know to bring a friend to share with. We also had green tea to go with the meal, which seemed to be typical green tea.
The place was pretty roomie, and there were plenty of other diners while we were there. The place does sushi too, but I'll have to try that another time. The staff were nice and quick to refill my water glass. Overall, I think I could go back, I'd love to try the gyoza. :)M
Monday, July 12, 2010
Mmmm Pica Pica, is exactly what I love after a long day, it's melt in your mouth amazing. Tonight Bob (my husband) and I met up with our friends Matthew, Jenn, Alex and Regan for some delicious latin sandwiches. We all live in the Mission and the friends had never eaten at this wonderful place, so we had to remedy this problem.
This place specializes in latin sandwiches, what is this you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked, because this is how it works:
1- you pick one of three different kinds of breads - arepas(grilled corn flour cake), cachapas (sweet corn pancake) or maize'wich (sweet corn cake)
2- You pick one of the fabulous combos of fillings Pica Pica has to offer. My personal favorite combo is the cachapa pabellon (shredded skirt steak, sweet plantains, black beans and cheese). It's not too spicy but has a nice kick to it.
3- Pair your choice of sandwich with some yuka fries and the spicy pica pun dipping sauce and you're good to go!
And while it's not necessary, I always like to order the coconut lemonade. It's like slurpee goodness times a million.
The food is really good, but kind of messy, which is why I order mine cachapas style. I like to eat the sandwich with a knife and fork. The maize'wich is pretty much the same thing, but more like the size of an english muffin and you need to pick it up to eat it.
The restaurant itself is one where you stand in line and order your food, and receive a number for your table. There's very limited space for seating so if you're hungry during the rush hour time, I'd suggest ordering ahead and picking the food up to go.
Right after this place opened Bob and I liked it so much we ate there three times in one week!
Well, once you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by the smell of grilling meat, garlic, and chilis. Here comes the first challenge. I'm not convinced the waitstaff speak English. If you've never had Korean food, you might have a challenge here, but if you are up for an adventure you'll be fine. The menu is in English and Korean, but sometimes it doesn't really explain what you are ordering. We did the point and nod thing and made sure to smile and be polite and everything worked out. Your best bet is to order the all-you-can-eat bbq. For $16.99 you get a plate with three meats--two cuts of beef and pork belly. In addition to the meat, you get an endless supply of banchan, which are the various side dishes commonly served in Korean restaurants. There was the typical cabbage kimchee, bean sprouts, spinach, sliced radishes, some chewy little things that looked like translucent crinkle cut fries but were probably made with seaweed, and of course we had two soups.
The doenjjang jigae, or fermented soy bean stew, was perfect. Pungent, spicy, piping hot and filled with big chunks of tofu and a hearty serving of potatoes and zucchini. My friend was scared of the egg soufflé but his fears were quickly allayed after he had a taste. Well, first he burned himself on the steaming fluffy egg mixture, but then he fell in love. What do they put in there? It seems like only egg but there’s got to be something else to make it taste so good.
On to the meats…. I’m a big fan of samgyupsal, or pork belly. But this time it seemed like the cut was too thick. The meat took forever to cook and was tough and chewy. We left a few slices of that on the plate. The best had to be the thinly sliced beef. Dip it in a little bit of the pepper sauce for a sweet and spicy kick or the sesame oil dip if you like salty and earthy flavors. For me, it was all about the gochujjang (pepper sauce). Although this place is all you can eat, with only two of us we were struggling to get through the original plate they served us. But we are troopers, and southern to boot, so there would be no wasted food! We polished off the meat, most of the soup and egg soufflé, and the better part of all the side dishes. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but 10 hours later when the taste of garlic still lingered in every breath I took and I couldn’t even think of having dinner, I realized maybe I shouldn’t have eaten a pound of meat and several raw garlic cloves. It did, however, go a long way to curing my hangover.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Yummmy, Harvey's is always delicious, but I really like it for brunch. There's nothing better than a couple of spicy bloody marys and a great breakfast or lunch. My husband and I went for brunch with our friends Jay and Staci. We went for a late brunch....1pm, I have issues waking up early on the weekends. Anyway, we only had a 15 minute wait, and it was a beautiful day, so it wasn't bad. The place is usually packed at 10am and noon, so we got there as the main crowd was dissipating.
(Harvey's is named for Harvey Milk, a notable San Francisco politician in the 1960's, who helped bring about the LGBT rights in California. )
I had the Nacho Breakfast Skillet, YUM! Homefries cooked with bacon, ham, sausage and cheese with 2 eggs over easy on top with beans and salsa. It was way too much just for me, but I attacked it with ferocity. It came with a couple of fruit pieces and an english muffin.
Harvey's has an excellent selection of various concoctions of Bloody Mary. I had the "Bloody Mary Tyler Moore" mmmm, extra spicy AND they gave me five olive, and let me tell you, I love olives and spice. Some of the bloody marys are made with vodka, others are made with tequila. My husband had the Bloody Mary Lou Retton.
My husband had the Buffalo Chicken Salad, which in my opinion is amazing, mostly because I like a little salad with my dressing. He thought there was too much dressing, but blue cheese is great no matter how much you have. The chicken in the salad comes in a delicious and spicy wings sauce.
Staci, had the Mecca Scramble, which looked good, and must have been because she cleaned her plate. The scramble had peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach and feta. And she sampled the mimosas and was quite pleased.
In other words, if you're looking for a place with great drinks, and filling food this is a great place to start your day.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Holly will be posting from the East Coast with all the wonderful places she visits. And Margaret will be posting from the West Coast and then Shanghai. So there's going to be a little bit of everything for everyone.
Feel free to send notes of places we should check out, because we always like to find new watering holes. :)M