Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

food slideshow - be careful, some pics maybe xxx rated!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's as american as apple pie

So, last night - Wednesday night - I cooked up a real melting pot of a dinner. For starters I made nopal salad. It's just pickled cactus with lime, tomatoes and cilantro, but it is so delicious. I know, everything is delicious, yummy, tasty or it sucks. That's how I roll.

For the main dish ------------ (I'm getting sick of dot dot dots all the time)drum roll please ---------- AMEWICAN CHOP SUEY. No, that was not a racist joke. Okay it was, but I feel I can make that joke because my parents were from the same side of the world, AND when I was a kid I couldn't pronounce my Rs either and my sisters and our flip friends all used to make fun of me for it. We would play Twister, and they would make me call out the squares just to hear me say "wed".

So American Chop Suey. What, you've never read this blog and you don't know what american chop suey is? It's beefaroni, baby. Beefaroni. I just like American Chop Suey better. Chop Suey is American after all. It's like saying French Pain Perdu or French French Toast. So anyway, the FP had mentioned American Chop Suey earlier in the day, and you know, I'm just put on this earth to please my man! (I'm so sad that Huckabee isn't getting the GOP nomination! :^()

So we went to the store - the Food Pimp for his cooking class, me for our dinner. So I said tomato sauce, and he said, you're going to make it. So I did. The funny thing was, the last time we had something like American Chop Suey was when he had the ... you know... down there...in the back...the ... c'mon... are you gonna make me write it?.... the brown waterfall!

After that enthralling background story, I know all you submissive spouses out there want my recipe:

1 lb large elbow pasta
2 onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cans crushed tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil (I told you before, do not call it EVOO, O I have to punch you in the O)
1 c wine - red, white, pink, whateva
1.5 lb ground beef
1 pack mushrooms sliced
herbage - flat leaf parsley, basil,oregano fresh if you please
salt and pepper of course
sprinkle cheese for garnish if you want

Boil the pasta, drain, coat with olive oil.

Saute 1 onion and 3 garlic cloves. Turn the heat to medium and let them cook not too fast, until they are transparent, and maybe have a little color. Then turn the heat up and "deglaze" with the wine. Let it cook a minute or two. Add the crushed tomato, let it come to a boil, then turn down. Let it simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/2 c to 1 c extra virgin olive oil. Add some herbage.

Saute the rest of the onion and garlic in a really big pot with a fairly wide bottom (insert obvious joke here, if you must) if you have it. Add the mushrooms. Add the ground beef, and salt and pepper. Break it up, and spread it out. Let it sit on one side without pushing it around the pan for a few minutes. Then stir it around, and let it go another few minutes. Keep going, until the meat is all browned. Now, dump in the pasta, mix everything around, then dump in the sauce. Let it all soak in the hot tub for a few minutes. Now it's ready. Top it off with more herbs and sprinkle cheese and red pepper flakes if it tickles your fancy.

Take a look at this authentic ethnic dish that the whole family will love.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Why all caps you ask? Because that's how great the Dumpling Inn is. We went there last Friday. We both knew we wanted to go there. It was a rainy day. Perfect weather for the place. I was congested, so I wanted hot soup.

I've written about this place before, but here's the recap. It's on Convoy Street in San Diego. What, you've never heard of Convoy Street? It is only maybe the most exciting street in San Diego as far as food is concerned. It's chock full of all kinds of Asian restaurants, and other stuff too - from Wienerschnitzel to some pancake house. What, you've never heard of San Diego? Pick up a geography book, then.

Okay, THE DUMPLING INN. It's this teeny restaurant in the corner of a shopping center on the corner of Daggett Street and Convoy. Convienently enough, right down the street from our practice space for our band, perfect blue. THE DUMPLING INN has about 10 tables,and one large round table seems to be mostly for family meals for the staff. They are always sitting there eating big plates of yummy looking food when we go. So we got the pork and pickled cabbage soup. We got it the first time we went, and I had been dreaming about it ever since. Then we got the shrimp and chive boiled dumplings and the pan seared pork dumplings.

So the soup - it is just soup perfection. Good broth. Nice and flavorful. The pork, not dried out, good flavor. The pickled cabbage. It is like no other pickled cabbage I've had. It doesn't taste like pickled cabbage, it's - meatier, in a good way. (But c'mon, can anything be meatier in bad way besides a vegan dish?) This time they put udonlike wheat noodles in the soup. That was a very nice addition. This soup makes me want to cry just thinking about it. We got a huge bowl, and we pretty much finished all of it.

the DUMPLINGS. What can I say? They were great. End of blog.

Okay, just kidding. The shrimp and chive dumplings. They just come in a soup bowl, and there's about 10 or 12 of them for $7. The shrimp is all pureed,and it's flavorful, like it's boiled in broth. Some places just have dumplings that taste like they blended shrimp and folded it in the dough, or balled it up, or whatever, and cooked it - no seasoning, no spice, nothing. Just shrimp. These were the complete opposite. Flavor coming out the wazoo (is that how you spell wazoo? or is it wahzoo?).

The pot stickers. OMG These are amazing. I wish I had a picture of them. They come out on an elongated rectangular plate like for sushi. And they are sitting with these flat brown faces staring at you, all stuck together like pretty siamese octoplets. Doesn't sound pretty, well to each his own. (That reminds me, if you want to see a sick disturbingly compelling movie, watch this Japanese flick called Ab-Normal Beauty. If you have digital cable, it's playing on the freezone on demand sundance channel) Anyway. These are so perfectly browned and crisp on top, and the rest is nicely steamed. Then you reach for one with chopsticks and can't wait to bite into it. But you must. It was piping hot. My first bite seared my mouth with all the escaping steam. I waited a few minutes, ate soup and shrimp dumpling. I tried again, but it was still hot, and there was even a hole in it (insert dirty comment here). Finally,when I got to take a temperate bite, it was dumpling zen. We gobbled all that shit up in probably under 15 minutes. I have to go, all this writing about THE DUMPLING INN is giving me a female hard on!

Tita's Kitchenette

So we went to Tita's Kitchenette 2 times in a row last week. I think it was Monday and Tuesday or Tuesday and Wednesday. I really don't remember. Anyway, Tita's Kitchenette is this Philippine restaurant in National City. You take the Plaza Blvd. exit of 805. You go left on Plaza, then it's a couple shopping centers down on the right. This place is the Super Cocina of Philippine cuisine. If you're not familiar with Super Cocina, this means that Tita's Kitchenette is an extremely wonderful restaurant.

Sorry for those of you who are avid readers who hang onto my every word. I have to tell the back story for each place for the newcomers and passersby so they know what I'm writing about. Each of my blog entries is like reading another Harry Potter book. "Summer was in full bloom on Privet Drive, and an awkward teenage boy was laying on his mattress on the floor in the dark cupboard under the stairs in the Dursley house. The boy's name was Harry Potter. He had been orphaned at a young age when the evil wizard Voldemort had killed his parents in an attempt to kill Harry."

Getting back to Tita's Kitchenette. My parents love it so much, I think they could eat there every other day for the rest of their lives if they had to. My parents are Philippine, if you don't know. That means that it's good Philippine grub....

So the first afternoon, we got there at 2:40 pm. I literally got home, walked in the door, then we walked out the door 10 minutes later and went to National City. So there wasn't many people there. And they were just changing over to fresh hotel pans of steaming meat dishes. Yeah, they are pretty much all meat. Some dishes have some veggies thrown in for flavor though. So there are maybe 15 different things to choose from, and in a combo you pick two with rice. So the FP stepped up to the plate first. I almost always make him order first. I just want as much time as possible to decide. So on this day, the FP got the pork adobo and the pork hocks kare kare. Those were classic cuisine as they always are at Tita's.

For those of you who ain't schooled on adobo:
It's a method of cooking meat. Basically you stew pork or chicken with soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns. It is delicious as a heart attack. And not one of those wimpy little indigestion-like heart attacks. I'm talking about a full blown where-the-fuck-is-the-defibrilator kind of heart attack.

As for kare kare - it's usually oxtail or pork hocks with green beans and peanut stew. It's so good, especially if it's stewed long enough that you can actually pull that fatty meat off the bone and eat it, rather than gnaw on it for several minutes like a dog. The great thing about the kare kare at Tita's, is that the green beans are cooked perfectly. They are still bright green, yet they are tender, not all grey and mushy like canned green beans.

Getting back to the meal, I got the pork hocks kare kare and the chicken adobo. The chicken adobo was wonderful.

The second day we got there pretty much with the after school crowd, but it wasn't too busy still. That place is like a cafeteria anyway, get em in, get em out. So they had goat! We never saw goat there before, so that was exciting. The FP got that and the marinated steak with onions. I got my goat (ha ha huh ha) and the roast pork salad, and some pancit.

So the goat was pretty good, not great, though. It was in a rich sweet tomatoey sauce, kind of ketchupy. And a few chunks were a bit chewy. The dangerous thing about goat though, is that the bones splinter into teeny pieces. So you can't just chow down on it. You have to take dainty bites and chew thouroughly, so you can pick out the bones and discreetly spit them into your napkin.

The steak with onions was very dry and chewy. So very Pilipino style. I remember when I was growing up, my mom didn't know how to cook steak. I think she got lean cheap cuts and she cooked it to death. It was always a nightmare trying to saw through it and then masticate it for 5 minutes. As I got older, she learned how to make it more tender, she would tenderize it and maybe she got the better cuts of meat.

The pork salad was not nearly as good as usual. It seemed to be a bit old. What it is, is roast pork that's mixed with onions, green onions and stuff, but it's hot. Then I smother it in the garlic vinegar, so it tastes like a ceviche. But this pork seemed kind of old, maybe a little cold,maybe the skin wasn't as crunchy as usual. It was kind of congealed. But I ate it. I was hungry.

And then the pancit was just okay. It was made with bean thread noodle, and it had little bits of chicken and barely any vegetables. I guess I like pancit much more with cantonese noodles. But I ate it. It was all still pretty good. But you know, for $6 + change a combo plate, you can't really complain. And every restaurant has it's off day, or it's off hour or two. Every restaurant. Maybe even El Bulli in Spain.

Dinner last night

So I had wanted to go to Popeye's when the Food Pimp got home from work. But he was really feeling bad. He's been having that awful chest and head congestion that a lot of people have been getting that lasts for like a month or so.

So we settled for KFC. I pulled up to the orderbox, and this gay guy is speaking to me on the other end. This process of ordering was a nightmare, because I would order 20 hot wings. Then there would be a half a second pause. Then we would both talk at the same time. Then we would both be quiet, then we would try to talk at the same time again. So I pulled up to the window, and there was the cute little gay guy in his KFC uniform with a white leather belt with star studs on it. I don't think that was a regulation uniform belt. Anyway, the FP said that I could never be friends with this guy because neither of us would be able to finish a sentence. So anyway, I had to ask for the gigantic handful of hot sauce. He gave me a medium handful of hot sauce and ketchup. So the FP picked out the ketchup and I had to hand them to the guy in return for more hot sauce, then he gave me some buffalo sauce too.

We got home, and we noticed that we also had an order of like barbeque nuggets. I don't know if I paid for them, or maybe the guy was hitting on me....
Anyway, they were gross - so sweet - and all white meat. No offense, but you people that like only white meat chicken, I just don't understand it. The dark meat's got all the flava!

Getting back to the meal that we actually ordered. The hot wings were overcooked, and they had lots of breading on them. Same with the fried chicken, but that's a little more forgiving because it's a bigger hunk of meat. The FP's mashed potatoes were cold, so he had to heat them up. I got a 2 piece extra crispy, dark meat of course if you're paying attention at all, and mashed potatoes and corn. So the chicken was okay. I just used my standard method of eating fried chicken. I pull meat off the bone, then I dunk it in a pool of hot sauce. I'm a dunker. My masheds were warm enough, and I just mixed my corn with my masheds and put some hot sauce on it. Oh, and my biscuit was pretty good as always, but I forgot to eat it until there was almost no mashed potatoes left. So I didn't really have any to dip my biscuit in, which is another one of my KFC/Popeye's rituals....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Holy Mole!

So we went up to LA the other weekend. We were going to play a show there, and we had to pick up tickets. On the way there, we had practice, then the FP and the FH went to lunch on Convoy street. We ate at Noodle Town. It's a very strange restaurant. It has Korean and Chinese food. And then there was a call button on the wall next to every table. For a waiter. I swear. We didn't try it. We made a joke though, about how if the FP's dad were there, he'd be wearing that buzzer out. You don't see that often, well, I don't see it ever.

So the menu was hard to choose from. There were many yummy looking things, but some were weekday lunch specials, others were in the high teens to twenties price range, and others took a long time to prepare. So the FP got the Korean beef knuckle soup. It was one of those build your own soup deals. Just plain broth with the meat and noodles. He added salt,soy sauce, chilis, green onions and some other garnishes.

We also got the Korean side dishes. These are always fun. I'll try to recall as many as I can. Kimchee, of course, which was good. The soybeans in some red sauce. The few ones I've tried always look spicy, but they're actually bland. You have to put like soy sauce and chili paste on it. What else? There was the one tuber - some kind of white sweet potato deal - that was really good. There was the one that's like, daikon, and it's crunchy with a little spicy sauce. That was good. There was the seaweed thing. That was good, but I can't recall what was in it. I probably wouldn't be able to tell you. Korean food has such unknown spicy and earthy flavors.

I got the spicy stir fried squid with rice. OMG It had long pieces of green onion and spicy chili sauce and big pieces of squid that were chewy but not in a bad way. It was just delciousness.

So we went to LA. It was a little over 3 hours to get to W Sunset Blvd. What a nightmare. We did see some interesting restaurants on the way that we kept in mind for dinner, though. There was a Cuban restaurant called "Versailles" and there was a Hoagies and Wings place.

We got to Sunset, and the Cat Club wasn't open yet, so we walked up the street. We went into Frankie and Johnny's Pizza. We got a Sierra Nevada and a Sam Adams on draft. They didn't know what was wrong with the Sierra, so the FP got a Sam Adams too. Let me tell you. Mistake. Smudgy plastic beer mugs, old tasting beer, but hey, it was LA. What did one expect. The pizza looked good, so we got a slice of pepperoni to share. It was great. Probably the best pizza we've had since we moved to Cali. It was New York style pizza. Thin crust, crispy, yet floppy, good sauce, not too much cheese, and you know, pepperoni. Great.

So we went to the Cat Club, got our tickets and got back in the car. We both wanted to go to Versailles. We haven't had Cuban food in ages. So we found it again, and there was a line out the door waiting to be seated. And it was only 6:30. So we kept driving. We decided on Hoagies and Wings. But when we drove by, we noticed that it was a stand. All the seating was outdoors, and it was pretty cold.

So we didn't see anything else. We thought, let's just get on the interstate and go one more exit. Surely there would be something there. As we were about to get on the on ramp, I saw in bright shining lights, "Oaxacan Restaurant". I told the FP, but it was too late. So we got on the ramp. But then there was access to the off ramp, so we made a u turn and headed back.

We pulled in, and it was dead. There was a makeshift dining room in the parking lot that was just a plastic tent. We went into the inside, and there was the counter. We grabbed a menu and perused as fast as we could. We were both so excited that it was hard to concentrate. The Mexican lady at the counter was waiting. Finally we both decided. I got the mole negro and the FP asked for the Barbacoa roja de chivo -Lamb in red mole. They were out of the Barbacoa. So he got the Coloradito de pollo. So basically, I got the chicken in black mole, and the FP got the chicken in red mole. The FP also got one of those Mexican Coca-colas.

So she brought us chips and salsa in the tent. It was pretty good, but we were just dying with anticipation for the main attraction. Finally it came. two plates that had rice on one half of the plate and a pool of mole with a drumstick and a thigh dredged in the sauce. And warm tortillas of course. It didn't look like much. So I can't even describe it. The mole negro was bitter, coffee, chocolate, then spicy, then sweet. Rich. The Coloradito was spicy, nutty, almost creamy. God, they were both sooooooooooooooo good. I just took a bit of tortilla, put rice in, then a bit of chicken meat and lots of sauce. It was too good. At that moment, we wanted to go to San Diego, pack our bags and move on up to LA! That's how good it was. And the amazing part, I didn't even finish all my chicken meat or the sauce. That's how rich and filling it was too!

Not chronological

So I'm just going to write random recollections of what we have eaten.

I'll start with Saturday.
I went to Mitsuwa, and I got a bunch of stuff.

I got japanese sochu or soju, and we infused cucumbers in it. It's pretty strong, but it's good, and you can really taste the cucumber.

Then we made seaweed salad. We rehydrated some hijiki and another green seaweed, and we just tossed it with sesame oil and ponzu sauce.

We also made miso soup, with miso paste tofu, nori, udon noodles,those brown mushrooms - honjimeji or something. It's so easy, cook the udon, bring the water to a boil, add the paste, then add everything else and let it all simmer for a couple of minutes.

Then we fried up some saba mackerel. We were going to eat it raw, but it did't look too great when we opened the vacuum packs. But it was so good fried - the Food Pimp declared it his favorite fish! We basically ate about a third a pound of mackerel, which might not sound like a lot, but it's very rich. Then we sliced some nice yellowfin. The FP cooked rice, but he took it out too soon, so it was a little crunchy! Ha ha! I'm not the only one in the house that is ricecooking retarded! So he made some more for later, and that batch turned out.

So a little later, the FP surprised me with some simple tuna rolls. They were really delicious - I think we ate 4 or 5 rolls. So yeah, we gorged on Japanese food all day. We didn't really drink the soju though, because neither of us felt like drinking. We've both been kinda under the weather. I know, we ate all that food, right? But we almost consumed an entire tube of wasabi with it, to help clear our sinuses and chest congestion. Anyway, don't judge me....I'll eat or drink what I want when I want, no one's going to tell me what to eat or drink, unless I see a very provocative commercial, that is.

Okay, here's a picture. It looks like shit, but it was very delectable. That rice in the stainless steel bowl was the fucked up crunchy rice, btw.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wow, I'm way behind

So we've been kind of busy and sick since Mardi Gras - which was 3 weeks ago. But we haven't eaten too too much exciting stuff. So I will try to recall some of it for you. I don't want to rip you all off by not writing about one of our exciting gastronomic adventures!

So I know we had Saigon Restaurant 2 times since we've been back. Both times the FP got the beef combo pho, of course. I got the marinated chicken and rice dish. Their broken rice is really good. The chicken was kind of crispy, but the flavor was so yummy. The second time, we both got beef pho. It was a cold day.

So after the first time we went to Saigon, I was craving the pork, shrimp and jellyfish salad that they have. I wanted to recreat something similar. So I made my own pickled veggies salad. I will try to reconstruct the recipe - but this is really a speculation, cause my recollection isn't the best.

Pickled vegetable salad with beef and tofu

2 carrots, thinly cut on the bias or julienne
3 stalks of celery cut on the bias
1 onion, julienne cut
1 head of cabbage, shredded
1/2 lb of beef sliced (I used leftover steak from the night before)
1/2 lb tofu small dice
1 bunch cilantro, rough chop
1 avocado diced
3 cups vinegar
1 T salt
1 c sugar and 1/4 c sugar
1 c soy sauce
1 lime
1/2 c fish sauce
1 T siracha
1/2 c roasted peanuts

Put half the onion, celery and carrot in a pot. Add 2 cups of vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and water to cover. Put it on a high flame. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, then turn the heat off. Let it cool on the stove.

Get a saute pan hot, and add some oil to the pan. Then saute the tofu and beef quickly, so that they get a nice sear. Then finish it off with soy sauce, a squeeze of lime and a squeeze of siracha. Remove it to a bowl and let it cool.

Put the rest of the onion, cabbage and avocado in a big mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce, 1/4 c sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, most of the cilantro and siracha and mix.

When the pickled mix is cool, it's ready to serve. The beef and tofu can be warm or room temperature. To serve, place the cabbage slaw on the bottom, then spoon drained veggies on top, and top with the beef and tofu. Garnish with more cilantro leaves, peanuts and lime slices.

It's pretty cheap to make but it goes a long way.......

Bennachin Restaurant

I forgot to include Bennachin in my Mardi Gras blogs. On Mardi Gras night, when we were making our way back uptown, Miss DC decided she wanted to eat at Bennachin, so we went with them.

This is an African restaurant in the quarter, that used to be in Mid-City a long long time ago. The cuisine is of Gambia and Cameroon, which, I don't know much about, but it is very tasty.

So we ordered the blackeyed pea fritters, which come with a sweet tasty stewed eggplant tomato sauce. We also got the jama jama, which is spinach cooked down a lot. It is very simple, but it just is really good.

For entree, we got the shrimp with a ginger sauce. It was very good, but compared to the beef and spinach stew, it was not as exciting. The beef dish - I wish I could tell you exactly what was in it - was amazing. It was earthy, flavorful, unique flavor combinations, yet comfort food at the same time, it was a wonderful end to a great trip.

here's links to reviews



Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mardi Gras 2

So we watched Bacchus. It seemed smaller, and quieter than I remember. I didn't catch many beads, oh well, they're made in China by 12 year old girls who live in factory dormitories.

So King Couch dropped the second batch of crawfish. They were yummy. Nicely seasoned. The corn, potato and garlic was good too. The Giants won the Superbowl, everyone cheered. There was a spread of food inside. Mostly container girl's doing. Cheeses, chicken? salad, king cake, smoked salmon cheesecake a la Vega, orzo pasta - with the olives, tomatoes and feta - I ate that mostly. King cake of course. In the kitchen there was a bowl of dried fruit and nuts. We were hanging out there shooting the shit. No one was eating the prunes. I ate one, just because. Then Container Girl's dad broke out the smoked turkey. Every year he does it. It was pretty damn delicious. I ate a lot of that too. So we ate and drank, then we went back and crashed out.

The next morning, I couldn't sleep in. So I was allowed to get out of bed at 10 am I think. We went to Walmart, finished buying stuff for our costumes. Then it was time to eat. Everyone was starving. Our hostess had made cabbage slaw and red beans and rice. I wanted that, but Food Pimp wanted to go out. We were going to meet up with Fireman RR at Casamentos, but they were closed. So we went to the bulldog. It was weird. They had fenced and walled in a patio, and there was a beertap fountain. It looked nice, it just felt confining. We were hoping for those yummy chipotle tacos, but they had a limited menu. So we got the jambalaya. It was okay, kind of weird though. It had shredded cheese on it! And there was also something weird - file or something that was wrong. Oh well, it was sustenance. So we hung out there for a few hours, then we went to see Chelsea Bradshaw and Happy Frenchy. Happy had boiled up some crawfish. They were pretty much picked through and were cold and the small ones were left. So we didn't eat any. Anyway, we were there for a few, then we headed back to Container Girl's dad's because CWS was there with Musical Genius. So we got there. It was pretty much leftover night. All the same stuff replated, and some red beans and rice and roast beef or something. I didn't notice those two items until the end, so I didn't get to try them. I'm not sure if I ate. So we watched Orpheus, and hung out and drank beers until there were literally no more beers left in the place. Then we watched them clean up and we went to Le Bon Temps Roulez. We had to pay $10 to get in, for music we never went in to see. Mardi Gras! Oh well. We hung out there until I'm not sure - 1 or 2 then we went back. The FP and I couldn't sleep for about an hour. So I started to work on my costume, but I decided against it. I set our alarm for 5:30 or 6. We had to be at Nutella's place at 8.

Of course, I woke up before the alarm. I started on my costume - religious freak sandwich board. I had bought sharpies and stencils. Turns out the sharpies were dried up. They must have been one of the few things left in the store since Katrina. So I wandered into the kitchen and found a sharpie. I began the very tedious task of coloring the letters. I thought too late that I should have bought paint....

So then FP gets up, his outfit is pretty easy, just put it on and go.

The others started stirring. They were tired. But they all got up except for one. They dressed, and we were ready. We drove in the car, but then at the last minute, the one left behind called and asked that we bring her the keys. So we were dropped off, and they went back.

Breakfast. Yay! I was starving. King cake filled with cream cheese - too sweet - I used to love that shit! French toast - he bakes it in the oven, eggs, potatoes. It was delicious. I gobbled it up, then I made myself a mimosa, then I helped Nutella put glitter on himself. He was a snowflake.

So then the others showed up. They ate, we got drinks to go, we started walking. We walked and walked. We met more and more costumed folk. We interacted, we drank, we spent a lot of time trying to hook up with friends, some we met up, some, we didn't. Some we met up with by accident. It was an amazing day. Really a blur though. I won't go into too much gory detail. We did have really good purple daquiris at Lafitte's. We ended up at the Marigny though, as is tradition. It was amazing.

The next morning, we got a cab at 3:15. The guy was kinda weird. He asked us if we wanted earhart or I-10. We didn't care. He took Earhart. A few miles on it, he pulls over. Says his tire is flat. He gets out a compressor. It takes him 10 minutes to get it to work, then 15 minutes to fill the tire. Then we're off. We got there on time, then we got on the plane and we slept. We got home at 10 am. We got home,dropped our bags off, said hi to the cats, then we went to National City for Philippine food. I think FP had chicken and pork adobo, I think I got the chopped up roast pork and - maybe the pork hock in peanut sauce, I really don't remember. Then we took our leftovers, got movies and spent the rest of the day sprawled out in the living room in front of the TV. It was a great weekend, but we were glad to be home....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

pappadeux's, mardi gras...(not just about food)

So Mardi Gras. I have a lot of catching up with the Food Pimp and the Food Ho to do.

We flew out Feb 2 - Saturday. Our connecting flight was Houston. So we had a bit of time to kill. We wanted to sit and have a beer and some dinner. The only "restaurant" was Pappadeux - some "cajun" place. Oh god, we weren't going to expect much. So we had to go up to the restaurant. It's like one story up from the terminal. We walked in, and it was full. There was a wait. So the bar was nice and round. There were two bar stools at the end. We slipped in. The FP ordered beer, I had water. I was still feeling a little shitty from the night before. We went to the Whistle Stop for "a few beers" which ended up being several beers for 6 hours. So we looked at the menu, burgers, salads, fried seafood, etouffee and other cajun stuff. I said, I didn't want any cajun food, because I didn't want to be disappointed. So I got a burger. The Food Pimp got crawfish etouffee. We made a joke about whether it would be chinese crawfish. So our food came. Mine was passable, not too great, but ok. The crawfish etouffee was delicious! It had that rich, buttery tasting sauce. The crawfish were added towards the end, so they weren't all shriveled, rubbery and flavorless. And they seemed like real crawfish too! I stand very corrected.

So we hopped on the plane for a very short flight. Next thing we know, we're in New Orleans. We are home.

We went out to the curb, and it was humid. It felt like nola...The FP called our good buddy, I'll call him, Cuban White Sauce, CWS. So he picked us up. God it was so good to see him in New Orleans! Off we went to Molly's. We were in the car, talking and looking, and it was just like, oh, we're in Metry going to the quarter. No big deal like I thought it would be. We got to Esplanade, and there were some houses that still had the spray painted X on the front. Weird. But, it was a city, and it was Saturday night before Mardi Gras. People were out. We hadn't been back for almost 2 1/2 years, but it was just normal. We parked, then we went in to Molly's. Got drinks. 3 Kettle and sodas. Delicious. I was finally ready for a drink. We went to the back and sat on the stools next to the bathroom. We chatted. It was the calm before the storm. CWS needed to eat, so we went next door to Coop's Place. With our drinks. We just walked out with them, walked in with them. No one stopped us, yelled at us. Yeah, that's how it should be - for those of us who can handle our liquor.

Coop's Place. What a place. It's open 24/7. It's dark, dingy, a dive bar and restaurant. But the food. I can't tell you how good it is. You wouldn't believe me. Good cheap New Orleans cuisine. CWS got a cup of gumbo and a cup of jambalaya. We got 3 more vodka sodas. He tasted both, and made us taste it because it was so delicious. The gumbo was smooth and dark and meaty. Too much file though. I like to add my own file, personally, but that was the only problem. What is file, some of you might ask? It's sasafras. It's used in gumbo for flavoring and thickening. The jambalaya - the rice had soaked up all the chickeny sausagey vegetabley flavor, it was so good. I was pissed that I wasn't hungry.

So we finished and went back to Molly's. It was starting to pick up. Prime time. I think the first person we saw was Hipster Cowboy. Man, another great guy, long time no see. A minute later, who happens to be walking down the sidewalk - El Jeffe - the owner of Vega, just off work. Now it was a party! Here's where it started to get weird. PTG (Piercing Tattoo Glasses) walked up. It was turning out to be a real reunion. The drinks were flowing, I don't even know what we were talking about. All I know is that before I finished a drink, someone was handing me another. Then, here's the real surreal part, our friends from San Diego show up!!! They are at Molly's. How bizarre. So then, Big Gay Notgay Tut drives by. The Food Pimp jumps in the car, and they find a parking space. Then everyone was there. Drinking. A little later Chelsea Bradshaw shows up with her friend. They're dressed as synchronized swimmers, cause it's Mardi Gras! Actually, they were at Mom's ball. For some reason, Chelsea's got a crush on CWS, so she left early to see him. Why do girls who can get pretty much anyone have to have the one guy they can't get? Us other girls settle for the first cute guy who talks to them...(actually I think the Food Pimp was the first guy who talked to me who was a bigger Cure fan than me, that was a real turn on).

Anyway, we went to Mimi's. That was weird. The Food Pimp helped open the upstairs kitchen. We looked at the menu. Some of the stuff he did was still on it. It was cool to show Jesus Arcade and Always Ready For a Drink Mimi's. We got back to our friend's house at 5 am. We had to hop the fence. It was funny. Someone was really pissed about it though.

The next morning, the FP and I got up around 10:30 and walked around the old neighborhood. We went to CC's and got an iced coffee. They really know good iced coffee. They use the cold drip system, of which I'm a big advocate. We saw our old place on Magazine street. It was partly repainted. Still looked like a piece of shit. But it used to be our piece of shit.

We went back, everyone was still snoozing. So we went up to St. Charles street to catch the parades and meet Miss DC. It was Mardi Gras! All those people with food made me hungry. I wanted to steal something from one of those card tables piled high with poboys, Popeye's chicken, red beans and rice, etc. I didn't.

We ended up at the Delachaise. Still looked like a dilapidated piece of shit bar. Which is why I loved it. We walked in. There was Noneck at the other end of the bar. We ordered drinks, then we went and said hi. He looked up, said, hi, how's San Diego. End of conversation. I fucking helped this guy open and get the kitchen started and he can't have a 3 minute convo with us!!! Oh yeah, it was like 12 and he must have still been sober. He doesn't talk until he's knocked back a few drinks.

We saw Peewee. He was a little more excited to see us. He said hi, said he was working on stuff, but he'd come sit with us in a bit. We sat, watched the parade from inside. Finally Miss DC shows up with her friend. It was good to see her. We ordered more drinks, shot the shit. Our SD contingent showed up. They needed to eat, so they wandered off. I needed to eat too, so I got a philly cheesesteak and an Italian sausage from the stand in the gas station parking lot, both with onions and peppers of course. We split them both. It was delish, just like always. The cheesesteak was moist, but the bun didn't disintegrate like they sometimes do. I love those carts.

We went back in, threw back a few Pimm's cups. We finished the bottle of Pimm's.Miss DC ordered fries. These are thin handcut fries - fried in - duck fat! Yes, duck fat. They were delicious. The Food Pimp stopped the chef and talked to him. The Food Pimp reads the New Orleans Food messageboards, so he knows all about the Delachaise. He said how the guy was a celebrity. So the chef sends us out an amuse bouche. Proscuitto, rolled with a goat cheese fig filling soaked in bourbon. It was disgusting. No offense to the guy, I'm sure everything else is delicious. It's just that it was all soft, except for fig seeds, and it was sweet and creamy and bourbony. Gross. I don't like to remember that taste. No offense, I just thought it was gross.

It was getting time to head to Napoleon Avenue for Bacchus. There were crawfish waiting for us.

On the way there, we finally met up with our SD friends. They were at Superior Grill the whole time! They needed to sit and eat at a restaurant, so that was one of the only places around. Of course, the wait was horrendous. So we were off.

First thing when we got to Container Girl's dad's house, and we saw the King of Couches talking to some people. The FP and I ran and jumped on him, interrupting the conversation. Then we found Container Girl. Goddamn. I couldn't believe it was her. So we went for the crawfish, but there weren't many left. They were already getting cold, but we got a few, and a potato or two. They tasted good, anyway. Oh well, the King was going to drop another batch after the parade.

to be continued.........

Saturday, February 9, 2008

lucky's golden phenix

Saturday, Feb 2. So we were flying out that afternoon to go to New Orleans to the Mardi Gras. We woke up early, and we needed to eat. I suggested Golden Phenix. This place is on the corner of North Park Way and Grim. I have to admit, I've been eyeing this place since we first moved here. I liked the look of it, the high boxy counter space, and the Chinese decor that has the feel of someone's grandparents' house. But I never knew the hours. The door would be open, but there would be a closed sign hangin there. Anyway, it's open for breakfast - 7:15 to 1.

So we walked in, and we looked for a free spot with two seats together. So we found the window area. There were all old people except for 2 guys in their 30s. So no one came to help us.

Then we noticed "Lucky" in the kitchen cooking. He's a old chinese guy. After a bit, he came out and served someone their breakfast. Then he came and asked if we wanted coffee. He poured our coffee, refilled others coffee. The two younger guys asked Lucky what the spread was for the superbowl. He gave his prediction. One guy said he'd take that bet. Lucky replied, "I don't take candy from baby."

We ordered. The menu is american diner breakfast, one egg, two eggs, three eggs, with hashbrowns, bacon or sausage, toast, pancakes, a few omelettes. The Food Pimp got 2 eggs, hashbrowns, sausage. I got pancakes and bacon. Lucky went in the kitchen and cooked. This mexican family came in with 4 kids. Everyone moved over so they could sit together in a u curve.

Lucky asked them what they wanted to drink. One kid said coffee. He laughed, said, milk or juice. The kid replied, soda. Lucky asked, how old are you? 6. Lucky replied, you have to be 7 to drink soda. He said, come back in a year and you can have soda.

So our food came, eventually. Not nearly as long as one would think, for a one man restaurant operation with a full house. So my pancakes were really good. The bacon was weird. The FP's meal was perfect though. The eggs were happily smiling at him, the hashbrowns were browned on the outside, soft on the inside. The breakfast sausage was nicely browned and crispy on the outside. We started talking to the woman next to us about North Park and stuff. When we were done, Lucky comes up and goes, ten dolla. Not bad. Total neighborhood diner. Great place. We'll be back again.