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Monday, March 31, 2008

Mz Snowbliz's wedding

So that afternoon, we got back to the house and hung out with Dr.A And Bubbles. This was to be the only time we got to spend with them that weekend. It was great, though. We just hung out and drank beers.

So the wedding. It was very nice. Mz Snowbliz looked so cute, so perfect. The best part was that she was wearing her sister's wedding dress. I thought that was very fitting. The wedding was at St. Anne's on Esplanade. Then the reception was at the Omni in the quarter. So we walked there. I was wearing my standard going to a wedding outfit. So I had on these pretty high heels that I have worn about 8 times at the most, but they were about 6 years old. So my right shoe started to feel weird, and I walked slower and slower. Next thing I know, the whole front half of the sole detaches. So, this couple happened to be walking to the reception too, and the guy says, duct tape, use duct tape! So we turned around and headed to the nearest tourist shop. We figured we would either find flip flops or tape. They had a whole wall of flip flops. At first Nutella pulls out these green ones with fleur de lis on the strap. They were pretty funny, but not appropriate for wedding attire. So we found these flip flop wedges. I found the right pair, we paid for them, I put them on and we headed to the reception.

So the reception was on the second floor. As soon as we walked in, we were right at the bar. I don't know if Mz Snowbliz planned it that way, but I wouldn't have been surprised. So being a vodka drinker, Mz Snowbliz offered her drink of choice - Ketel One vodka. So I got a Ketel One and soda of course. Then the food was right there. This was a small room, and there were only a few tables in it. But then there was a side room with more tables and the band and dancefloor. And then there was the huge patio area with another bar. It was very nice.

So here's a rundown of the menu: Natchitoches meat pies, crawfish pies, crabcakes, artichoke balls, crab barquette, brie with praline topping, mini muffs, roast beef, roast ham, roast leg of lamb, pasta with tomato cream sauce, mashed potato bar, and brocatos sesame biscotti. That's all that I can think of. I have to admit, that I was very selfish at this wedding, and I was really only thinking of my needs - alcohol. I drank very steadily, and so, I didn't eat everything there. In fact, I ate very little. I just only went for one go at the buffet. I realize that I have failed my readers as a food ho, after all this is not the vodka ho's blog! I heartily apologize for this, dear readers.

But I guess I will tell you what I ate. I had the meat pies, the crawfish pies, the crabcakes, the artichoke balls, crab barquette and the brie. Not very much of an assortment. I just pretty much went through the first table, then my plate was full. That's why I got a very poor assortment. I should have gone for at least one more plate. Anyway, I ate a bunch of fried stuff and cheese. The barquette was a passed hors d'oevre. So that was okay. It was nothing special, but not bad. Then there were the pies - the meat pie and the crawfish pie. They were both soggy bottomed, which was disappointing. It's kind of hard to keep that kind of thing in a steam table, though. The flavor of both was okay, not as exhilarating as I remember that kind of stuff. The crabcakes, I can't remember, but I don't think I really liked it. I think I had already had too much other fried food. Then the artichoke balls. I honestly think I was blabbing or drinking, and I don't quite remember these, but the Food Pimp said those were the highlight. So I guess the artichoke balls were the winners.

I assure you, next time I go to a wedding with this kind of set up, I will get a little from each table the first round, so that I will be forced to go back for something that I wanted to try. This was a new learning experience for me, since this is my first wedding review. I will get better, I promise.

So someone got a packet of the biscotti, and brought it to our little secluded corner of the patio. So I broke them open and tried one. Really strong sesame flavor. It might have been good, but I think that was definitely a made-for-dipping kind of biscotti.

So then they did the wedding cake stuff. Both cakes looked great.





I can't remember who made them, of course. So the wedding cake was wedding cake flavored. Mz Snowbliz is a traditionalist. It was very refreshing, actually to eat a traditional flavored wedding cake. It was very moist and almondy and vanillaey. The groom's cake had a pirate on it, because her husband had some ancestor who was a pirate! So that cake was chocolate, of course. It was pretty damn good too. Also moist. Nutella ate his cakes in about 30 seconds flat. He is a fast eater... actually, he's a fast drinker too.

So after the reception, Mz Snowbliz told us to head to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop. So we headed to The Court of Two Sisters first, to get a free drink and shoot the shit with Mozzfan69. After a bit, we said bye and headed to Lafitte's. There were a few people there. We doubted that Mz Snowbliz would make it out, but we hung around for a while, then we decided to go somewhere else. I was kinda tired, but they wanted to go to the House of Blues foundation room for one drink. On the way there, though, everyone else got tired. So we went back to the Omni to go our separate ways. As we were walking around we saw Mz Snowbliz and company in the lobby. So Nutella starts freaking out and says, there she is, she's in the Omni, she's there! It's hard to calm him down when he gets like that. So we walked in, said our byes to everyone, then the FP and I were on the streets again. We were deciding between going home and getting something to eat. Since none of us ate too much at the wedding, we decided to eat. The only place we could think of was Deja Vu. We weren't sure what street it was on, but somehow we stumbled upon it, no problem.

So we walked in, and the door seemed to be on another side than we remembered. It was very brightly lit, and it seemed to have been renovated a bit in the past few years. All that made it look worse than I remembered. It was always a dump, but dumps that owners try to halfass make into something other than a dump always turn out worse. It still had the shady characters in there, anyway, and they still had the gumbo and red beans and rice and the jambalaya. That was all we needed anyway. So we ordered one of each. We remembered we used to love that place when we first moved to New Orleans, all those years ago. We hoped the food was still as good.

And it wasn't. The red beans and rice were kinda watered down. Like maybe they didn't have too much left, or it stuck to the pot, so they tried to reconstitute it and put too much water in it. The gumbo and the jambalaya were atrocious after our lunch. It would be like comparing a McDonald's hamburger to kobe beef tartare. (Which means there would be no contest as the two things are not in the same category) One or both of them had this horrible foreign taste in it, like rosemary or something offensive. Let's just say it was rosemary. How could anyone put rosemary in gumbo or jambalaya. They should have been arrested for that. If I had had handcuffs that night, I would have made a citizen's arrest. Although I don't know if it would have held up in court since I'm not from New Orleans parish anymore.







So that was the horribly disappointing end to our night. But we knew the next day we would be in for a real treat.....



So Sunday brunch. We had dim sum at Royal China with some old friends. Nutella came along, then Fryball 2000 and his fiance, and Gretna Girl. So the Food Pimp started ticking things off the menu, then he passed it around and everyone added a few more things - except for me! By the time the menu got to me, there were so many things that I figured that was enough.

So here is everything that we could recall ordering:(Gretna Girl, please comment and let me know if I missed something here)

shrimp wonton soup,eggrolls, pork wonton soup, asparagus, chicken dumplings, baby bok choy, pork dumplings?, spinach with garlic sauce, chi chow har kow, shrimp stuffed mushrooms, steamed rice in lotus leaf, curry squid, spicy squid, short ribs

So once again, I failed as the Food Ho. I didn't try everything. This was a lot of food, and I tended to focus on the things that I liked the best. So I had a little soup. It was good. Standard good Chinese soup. Not shitty watery chinese soup, but good flavorful soup.

Chi chow har kow. I love those. These were the dumplings that are shaped kind of like tortellini, you know, kinda like a pointy clit or some other female part. Those were delicious. They are just like shrimp and cilantro, I'm not sure what else. But they were always tasty. No, I'm not going to go into any lesbo scenario or anything. I know that those people who google "porn" and land on my blog don't read this far down. Otherwise I might go into some kind of girl on girl kind of digression just to please the international perv scene.

Rice in lotus leaf. What can I say. This was perfect. Just like I remembered it. Perfectly steamed and sticky, with the little goodies inside flavoring the rice.

Curry Squid. Oh yeah. It lived up to my expectations. The squid was so soft and tender. And it had that curry flavor that I remembered it having. It was just right.

Spicy Squid. Okay, this was cooked perfectly. But the sauce was wrong. There were no little slivers of jalapeno, and I don't recall seeing any black beans. Now, it was still really good, and all one needs anyway is the chili paste or whichever condiment from the jars on the table. But it just wasn't the same. I still gobbled it up though.

Short Ribs. These little suckers were amazingly tender. We used to always wonder when we got these whether they would be tough and chewy or kind of edible. They were barely ever tender, but the meaty taste was always so good, that we would get them anyway, and just masticate away. But this time, they were perfect. We only got one order, too.

Egg rolls. I don't think I ate them. They're egg rolls.

Asparagus. I think I tasted a spear or two. They were good. You know, the Angelina Jolie of the food world. A bit overrated. (Not that she isn't a nice caring person)

Spinach. I don't think I tasted it, but it looked good. It was nice and green but cooked.

Baby bok choy. I love this stuff. It was very simply cooked. nice and tender. Yummy, and good for you too.

Shrimp stuffed mushrooms. I didn't taste them. I never was a big fan of these. From what I remember they just tasted like mushroom caps filled with pureed shrimp. Boring.

So that was it. I perfect last supper to a great weekend. So we split the bill and then went for one last drink to Lager's. Then it was time to head down Vets to Kenner and turn in my beloved V8 Nissan Titan.

So we were waiting for our plane for a while. Our gate was right behind the hotdog stand. Every time I got up to go to the bathroom, get water or whatever, there it was, beckoning. I know this sounds sick, but we ate around 1 and then our plane took off around 6. So we were at the airport at about 4. We waited for about an hour and a half. We probably ate the footlong hot dogs with mustard, relish, and jalapenos at around 5. That was four hours later. So don't judge me, I did it for you. For the blog! So anyway, we got in line for the dogs, and the lady said that all she had for the next 20 minutes was footlongs and maybe sausage. So we got footlongs. They are funny though, because they are so skinny. Those all beef hotdogs are short but they have more girth. I'm not really dissing the footlong for having a smaller radius, I just think that it should come with a thinner bun to compensate. It's just that the footlong looked so puny in that big bun, (it was like throwing a hot dog down a hallway) and then when eating it, the bun engulfed the hotdog. So the hotdog tasted great, it was just kind of hidden in all the bread, that's all.

So when we had checked at the airport, there were not really any seats left, except for the exit row aisle 2 middle seats one behind the other. So I booked them. I hated sitting between two strangers, but at least it was with lots of legroom. So this flight went to LA. I forgot that it was the only flight with a reasonable pricetag. It was 4+ hours I think. And there were no meals. We flew on Delta, and they offer this stupid menu of items that passengers can purchase. Yes, they can buy a meal! It's like a fruit and cheese plate, some crossaint turkey sandwich, a chicken parmesan sandwich, a hummus and veggies plate with the hummus being a Todd English recipe (ooh! celebrity chef hummus!).

For free snacks, there were cookies, cheese crackers and peanuts. But just looking at the delta website now, I see that first class gets the added options of Quaker Granola bars and Sun Chips! If I had known that before, maybe I would have upgraded.

So here is the interesting thing about the flight. The guy next to me in the window seat may or may not have been in the wedding. He was Indian, and there were a few of those there who were the groom's friends. And he had friends from LA. I didn't ask this guy of course. I just sat there and wondered. But this guy got the cookies and the crackers the first time we were offered snacks. I got crackers. The guy next to me got the fruit and cheese plate. It actually looked okay, and the portion didn't seem ultratiny like I might have expected. So maybe an hour into the flight, the Indian got up and went to the bathroom. He came back with 2 bags of peanuts. Then about 30 minutes later, they came back around with the drinks and snacks. He got cheese crackers again! I got peanuts, but I put them in my purse for later like an old lady. So this guy had a full meal of snacks! I was very impressed for some reason.

Anyway, we got to LA and it was like 9:15. We had a while until our flight to San Diego. We could have driven home from there and gotten home faster. But we had to eat, so we checked out the choices. Not really anything. So McDonald's again. Yep. We ate there. We got quarter pounder meals. The quarter pounder tasted suspiciously similar to the one I had in San Diego. It was really pretty good. And I got the hot mustard dipping sauce again to dip it in. The fries were good too. Nice and salty. Crunchy. Doo doo doot doo doo ... I'm loving it. And the diet coke. The FP reminded me how Mickey D's always seemed to have good fountain drinks. Whatever the level of CO2 is - it's always just right. Really refreshing. This time was no exception. Bravo, Ronald and Hamburglar and Grimace and the Fry Guys and everyone else there in McDonaldland, Bravo.

So we had to take this bus to the commuter terminal, then we finally got on this teeny plane - sitting across the plane from one another, and we finally touched down in SD a little before midnight. It was a great weekend, but I was happy to be back...home.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday lunch

We woke up, still in Nola. We went for coffee at CC's. We were hoping to eat lunch with Dr. Authority and Bubbles, but they were running late. So we ended up going to the quarter. To Coop's. Finally. It was already very muggy. I was kinda thankful that Coop's was dark. I didn't know what to order. I couldn't decide. Then the guy came to take our order. So I wanted a cup of jambalaya and a salad with green goddess dressing. The Food Pimp ordered a bowl of gumbo and a bowl of jambalaya.

When the food came, I realized that I ordered a cup of gumbo. Oh well, at least it was still a home run.



So the gumbo had such a nice dark roux. Just a great gumbo. Maybe one of the best in the city. Maybe the best. It pretty much tasted like the gumbo CWS had when we had gone into Coop's with him during the last trip. It was chock full of seafood. For god's sake, the oysters were still nice and plump. The okra. I forgot how much I missed okra. It's not so plentiful in San Diego. This gumbo took me back to the days. I felt like I was on a plantation down the bayou. Sitting in the slave quarters eating my gumbo. Planning my escape to freedom. (I figure if I lived back in those days I most surely would have been a slave and not a rich landowner's daughter) Alright, I know that was weak. I guess the point is, this gumbo is timeless. It was always there at Coop's waiting for me to eat it. And it always will be there - except for at midnight on Thursday night.

So the green goddess dressing.



The salad had that same mix of greens and carrots. Nothing special. The star was the dressing. This was different. How disappointing. It was mayonnaisy, but it didn't have enough herb flavor. It was kinda white. Before it was always really green, hence the name "green goddess". This one was more of a white demigoddess. It wasn't bad. It just didn't ruffle my skirt, much less blow it up.

The jambalaya. OMG! That was my favorite. Thankfully, the FP got a bowl of it so I could eat some. It was so delicious. And once again, very consistent. This jambalaya has rabbit and sausage. So it's got this gamey earthy flavor, but not over the top gamey, just enough.



But the real genius of this dish (yes, like the genius of Cuban White Sauce) is that it's kinda mushy and saucey but not cooked to mush. Does that make sense? Well, if you've ever had Coop's jambalaya it would make sense to you. Just looking at that sloppy bowl of goodness. Oh no, here it comes. I'm getting an oral erection. Sorry. This is embarrassing. I'm like slobbering like a dog. I have to go get a bucket to catch my drool. Hold on.

Okay. I got a bucket. I'm balancing it on my lap. I just can't resist the urge to keep looking at that picture of the jambalaya. Do you not think that looks delicious? This IS the best jambalaya in the city. There. I said it. I stand by that statement. I can't think of any other jambalaya that comes close. Can you? If so, please, please, tell me about it. This shit was so good that one day CWS called to ask how to make it all wet like that. The Food Pimp thinks you just add more water than you normally would. But I feel like there's something else. Some kind of voodoo magic going on here. How does one hit a homerun every time he goes up to bat? Is that possible? It must be, because as far as I know, that's what they do at Coop's Place.

Coop's Place. For real Nawlins cuisine. Pop open a room temperature Abita and grab a bowl of jambalaya. Coop's Place. 1109 Decatur St. In the French Quarter next to Molly's. Coop's Place. Where it's dark and dingy even in the middle of the day. Coop's Place.

There I did an ad, hopefully they will pay me in jambalaya and gumbo.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Night, Nola Part2

So we had just had a lovely experience at Rio Mar. We were on our way to La Boca, the Argentinian restaurant around the corner. On the way, we passed the corner place that used to be a coffee shop - some witty name. Damnit, I can't remember the name. Anyway, it was turned into a restaurant. It's now the Creole Skillet. Just catercorner to Mulate's.

Here's the link to the menu if you want to check it out:

http://www.thecreoleskillet.com/menu.html

I recommend the lobster springrolls. I remember how John Folse used to talk about them in our Cajun and Creole Cuisine Class. How his great grandaddy used to go down the bayou and catch them rascally lobsters and they'd pinch him and he'd pinch back...

Anyway, I think there were two seated tables in there.

So on to La Boca. We noticed how Rock n Sake was like a rave party. Quite different atmosphere from it's neighbor on the corner.

Then we were at La Boca. We walked in, and right away the chef saw The Food Pimp and came out to say hi. The maitre d' seemed a little put out. So it was pretty busy, we decided to sit at the bar. There just happened to be 2 open spots on the end. So we sat down.

The maitre d' came around to the other side of the bar and he said, well everyone else seems to know you, so I should meet you too. So he said his name. I can't remember it. Let's call him Armand. It was something like that. They had told us about this guy. He used to work at Andrea's. If you don't know about Andrea's then the reference is lost to you. Anyway, he's one of those Heil Hitler-y very orderly, very proper, by the book kind of maitre d's. Which is funny if you know Chef Big Love and Serioussarcastic Marathoner.

Anyway, the bartender asked us what we wanted to drink. The house specialty was a piso sour. It's like a margarita with brandy and egg white(for a frothy texture). It was good, but it was pretty sour. I think in my old age, I can't handle the acidity like I used to. I think I used to drink fresh lime juice and vodka. Anyway, it was a good drink nonetheless. And it was garnished with, I think it was nutmeg.




So the FP had told the chef to feed us, but we had already eaten a few dishes before, so not too much. He said, no problem. Keep in mind that he's a kinda big guy.

So the first course came out right away. I liked his style. Right to the point. So he gave us a kobe corned beef. With a little baby arugula salad. Very tasty.
So the picture is a little fucked up, because I only remembered to take the picture after we both had eaten a slice. It was nice and fatty tender. The corning spice was there, but not over the top. Very well done.

The next course was very exciting. The chef's wife, who bartends at Rio Mar, told us to get the gnocchi. So we got the gnocchi. Even though we didn't ask for it.



It was like a carbonara. I won't say that it was in case I'm wrong. Then someone will call me on it and say, "Well technically a carbonara should be with linguine" or some bullshit like that. One time I wrote something about corned beef being unhealthy, and someone practically bitched me out for that. In fact, a lot of people do a google search "Is corned beef unhealthy". So I guess that's up for discussion, but not in this blog. If you just did the google search and got to this page, my apologies for misleading you. Anyway peas, pancetta, parmesan, carbonara. It was delicious. Very nicely done gnocchi. Creamy, meaty, pillowy, peay, cheesy. I think that's all the points one wants to hit when one makes this dish. Just a really really good dish. It really reminded me of home. Not the kind of thing I eat anymore. I barely got my portion down though. Very rich and heavy. I only ate it all because it was in front of me. I think I'll have to start eat- training before I go to Nola next time.

Then came the main attraction. MEAT! Oh wait, we had already had meat in the two previous courses. Well, it was a meat and pasta kind of place after all...

So we got a plate of meat! Really. It was flank steak, grilled sweetbreads, grilled skirt steak, and then slow roasted skirt steak with the casing. Then we also got grilled asparagus and the garlic parsley fries. The fries were what the other bartender at Rio Mar had recommended.





Starting with the fries. They were delicious. Really well fried, and just enough of everything on them. But, boy, that was a big cone of fries. They were packed in there too. I knew we wouldn't even come close to killing those suckers.

The asparagus. I'm not a big fan, it's an okay vegetable. It's pretty on the plate. A bit overexposed. Like Angelina Jolie. She's the asparagus of the celebrity world, asparagus is the Angelina Jolie of the food world. I know I didn't have to explain that out, I just wanted to see how the comparison looked on the computer screen. It's fine. I'm not laughing out loud. But I don't really laugh out loud when I write this shit. Hopefully you laugh out loud when you read some of it. Hopefully your mouth waters too. I wish I had the power and influence to drive people to obsessively eat. That would be a pretty cool evil superpower. Then the Food Pimp's evil power would be to make people laugh right after I made them eat, and food would explode out of their noses. We would make a great evil duo!

Okay. The Angelina Jolie of the food world. There were a lot on the plate. Enough for like 4 hungry people. They were nicely cooked. Still vibrant green, but a nice bite. These were the medium sized ones. Not pencil thin (like Angelina Jolie) just right. They were pretty delicious, as far as Angelina Jolies go. I mean as far as asparagus goes.

On to the meat! The Meat! THE MEAT! It was good. We were tired and went home.























Ha ha! Just kidding. If you are an avid reader, you probably knew this trick from when I used it before in a previous blog entry.



Starting with the grilled sweetbreads. That's on the left under the lemon. We were both very intrigued by the idea of grilling. Neither of us, in our vast culinary experience had ever heard of grilling sweetbreads. They had nice grill marks. We both took a bite. Very strong, gamey. Then the center was firm, meaty gamey. A very different flavor and texture profile than when they are sauteed or fried. I think maybe grilled sweetbreads would be good for Sunday afternoon football. Grill up some sweetbreads and watch the Saints. Yeeeeeeeeaaaaahhh (read in a deep gutteral masculine voice)

So next lets talk about flank steak, baby... That's at twelve o'clock in the picture. So flank steak. Beautifully cooked. Dark char on the outside, nice a pink like a baby on the inside. If I ate baby, that's how I might want him or her to look like. What more can I say. It was delicious. We tried the different sauces - the green chimichurri, the mustard, the red pepper. The green was the best of course. The other two were good too though. It's just that the green went better with the flank. I slathered it on my steak. It was easy to cut through with my incisors. It was meaty tasting. Beefy. It was what was for dinner. Yum.

Okay, skirt steak grilled. At six o'clock. Similar to the flank. Char on outside, pink like a baby on the inside. Chew chew, yum yum, smack smack. Beef greases on my face. Dark taste. Voluptuous. Just look at it all hanging out there at the bottom of the plate. It's kind of obscene. It could be the centerfold in some carnivore's carnal lust rag. Some like the more ladylike cuts, like tenderloin. I can appreciated a nice piece of filet mignon, yeah, but it doesn't really get me greased up like skirt steak does. Now boys, if the FP and I for some reason don't work out, now you know the secret...don't abuse it.

So on to the you know what. The slow roasted skirt at three o'clock. Gaddamn son! That was some nice skirt! I wanted to put my head down and lick that skirt all over. So the casing was crunchy! You know, like slow roasted pig fat. Crunchy! I love crunchy! It's a shame that my teeth with fall out prematurely because I haven't been to a dentist in ages (go Democratic presidential candidate - go universal healthcare!). Then the flesh. Ooh...I just tore into that piece of skirt with such zeal. I felt like jumping on the bar on all fours and howling. I didn't. I just wiped my lips daintly and said, "My that was a very tasty dish. Perfectly executed." Okay, I didn't do that either. My reaction was somewhere between the two, but closer to the first scenario. The only bad thing was, that I was getting very full.

I barely managed to finish a piece of each type of meat. The chef had cut everything into 4 slices for us. We left about half on the plate. I felt so bad. I hated myself.

I couldn't fully consume what I fully desired. Oh sorrow, to be of larger constitution. Oh woe, my irony lies within my lining. That curved balloon-shaped organ - my incentive, yet also my deterent. Oh why? Why? Oh lord? Why hath thee givest me such viril manly appetite, and paired it such with such petite blushing maiden's digestive system. Yet still, I bear forth such manly disposal. Such wretched stench and vapour do escape forthwith. Why oh lord have you cursed me? You mock me. Do you sit in observance and make mirth of my affliction? You cruel trickster. Woe is me! That you may have pity on a humble servant.

(Okay. I read this aloud to check for grammatical errors - there were none - and I did laugh out loud.)

So getting back to 2008. La Boca. Meat. MEEEEAAAAAAAAATTTTT! We had some. We had to tell them to tell the chef that we were cashed out. We saw his face when the bartender told him. He looked pissed. Okay, maybe just disappointed. We had only gotten through 3 dishes. And we hadn't even eaten all of it. Pussies! I admit. We had a poor showing. So they completely took care of us in every way. Very nice people. Very nice atmosphere. It's the same layout as Taqueria, but they redecorated it to be upscale. It's very nice. If I lived there, I would go to La Boca more often. But I don't so I have only this memory for at least a year.

So we went back to Rio Mar and we thanked them for everything. I kissed Chef Big Love on one of his chins. Then we were back in the Titan and headed uptown. Oh yeah.

Lilette. If you don't know Lilette, it's Lilette. It's a very nice, proper bistro type uptown place. Very simple nice decor. It's got nice clean food, great ingredients. Great proprietor and chef - except he's an asshole. He knows how good he is, and he isn't afraid to let you know that he knows. He's hot shit on a silver platter. Really stinky.

We walked in, it was kinda late, not too busy. There were a lot of waitstaff just congregating in the middle of the dining room. We were looking for the king of couches. We didn't see him, so we took a seat at the bar. We ordered drinks. The FP got a vodka soda or something. I got an Alberto - I think. It was an A Italian name (no, not Alfredo). It was like a weird mojito. It had vodka, mint, lime and it was topped off with champagne. Not the best drink all night, but it had stiff competition.

So we asked the bartender if the king of couches was there. The bartender said that he wasn't feeling well, so he had left early. Or he just got married recently and wanted to go home early. So that was a bummer. That was the main reason we went there.

So then the Food Pimp asked if John Harris was there. No nickname for that bastard. He couldn't have a more fitting name, then John Harris. He is not just an evil superhero - he is a supervillain! He is great! Quite a character. I've never worked for him, so I just find everyone's hatred of him amusing. Anyway, the Food Pimp likes him. He likes how spiteful the guy is of his staff.

So the bartender said he'd see if he was busy. The bartender came back later and said, "well, he's kinda sick, he just came back from New York. He's eating right now." So we were like, okay, whatever. Get us a poached pear and goat cheese dessert.

So the guy brought us out the dessert later, and he said, "Sorry, John can't come out right now. He's got this allergy thing (he motioned to his nose) and he doesn't want the customers to see him." We were like, okay, let us eat this pear thing.



So for those of you that don't know, this is like a landmark dessert, when it first went on the menu like however many years ago that was when Lilette opened. It's got a poached pear,sweeted goat cheese quenelles and pistachios. It's very simple, yet just really a nice dessert. The pear that night, the FP pointed out, was a little hard. It could have been poached a little longer. The goat cheese was nice though, it was sweet, like cream cheese, and the pistachios were crunchy. That might not seem like a big deal, crunchy pistachios, but sometimes they get stale and one gets a salad or something with stale pistachios. That sucks. These were not crunchy of course. This was John Harris' restaurant.

So we got the bill. The bartender said, John's sorry, he's got that congestion, that allergy thing, so he's sorry he can't see you. He remembers you though, and he's buying your dessert. So hmm... either talk to John Harris or get our dessert comped. Hmmmm... which one would you pick. Vote now. Send your text to 44455. Text 1 for Seeing John Harris, Text 2 for dessert comped! (Must be 18 or older to play, or ask parent's permission. $1 per text, vote as many times as you like)

So we left. I was thouroughly ready to be done with food. Even though almost everything was fabulous. But I was ready to head on down to Molly's in the old pickup.

So we got to the quarter. We went to the Court of Two Sisters Bourbon Street bar to see Mozzfan69. He was "working" so he gave us some drinks, and we shot the shit for a while. He was talking about his new goth girlfriend that he met up in New York when his band was recording their album. See, that's how he would say it, make sure you knew he was recording. Good for him though, yay for the Public.

So then we went to Molly's to meet Hipster Cowboy and Big Gay Notgay. They both showed up almost the same time we did. We bellied up. Then after a while, Hipster Cowboy decided we should move to Mimi's. So we walked up the street. We went directly upstairs, of course.

We had previously left Container Girl and the King of Couches voicemails saying where we were and for them to meet us. So a while later, who came up the stairs, but the King of Couches. He saw us, and we jumped him. He was in a hurry though, he had to tell Container Girl to park the car. So a few minutes later, they walk up. We jump Container Girl, but she was not having it. She was pissed. She thought that we were sneaking into town and not telling them. But basically it was miscommunication and stuff. Eventually she got over it enough to drink and talk to us. So we all hung out till too late. That is what just seems to happen in Nola, you know, with no curfew and all...





So we made plans to hang out the next night, and we said our goodbyes. We went back to Dr. Authority on Everything's house and crashed out. I barely stirred when the alarm clocks went off the next morning.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Friday Dinner

So we were in New Orleans. We had had a great morning/afternoon. We took a nap. We were ready for dinner.

First we went to Vega. A little background. That was the first place I worked at. The Food Pimp worked there with me a while. We met most of our friends working there. Then later on, after El Jeffe bought the place, the Food Pimp went back and eventually became the chef there. El Jeffe was in Munich or something. So the only person we knew that was there was Big Gay Notgay Tut. He had been at Vega on and off from the beginning. I had always told him he'd be an old man and still in that hot kitchen. So we said hi. We got a drink. The FP asked the bartender what kind of cocktail was her specialty. She said, if you want any kind of fancy cocktail, that's not my thing. If you want tequila or something, I can do that. So the FP ordered some $10 albarino and I got some Italian Pinot Grigio. the Albarino sucked. So for the next drink the FP ordered a vodka soda.

So the kitchen sent out a plate. We asked what it was. The bartender went in the back, then she came out and told us it was a smoked pork rillette. We had met the "chef du cuisine" last time we were in town, so I guess he sent us out a special thing he made. It came with some accompaniments, which we later found out were pepper jelly, fig, mustard, and apricot marmalade. The rillette was really smoky and rich. We liked the accompaniments, so we figured that if we put a little of the pork and more of the other stuff it tasted pretty good. But the rillette was in a 6-8 ounce ramekin. It was too much. By the time we had about 1.5 ounces between the two of us, we were done with it. It was too rich and too strong. And then the jellies started to melt and run off the plate onto the bar. You know, maybe 7 years ago I might have thought that was the best thing I'd ever had. But now, no. Oh well. We were going to finish our drinks and leave. But then they sent us out another dish.

I really don't mean to sound like an ungrateful bitch... but here I go. We purposely didn't order food, because we were going to go to 2 or 3 more restaurants. We didn't want to waste the stomach space on this place. This is horrible of me, but hey, this is my blog, my opinion, my honesty. If you don't like it go read the Food Network blogs of Rachel Ray or one of those ones that never say anything bad. You know, I guess they get paid the big bucks because they can lie.

Getting back to the food. This is a food blog.

I am about to bash the place that I used to work at, but it's not the same place. Different owner, different staff, different attitude, different time. Now, I'm not saying this is a terrible place. Maybe I'm backpedalling. There are things on the menu that we would have ordered if this was where we had planned to eat dinner. The atmosphere is pretty cool, but I spent so much time in that place, that to me it has lost the excitement. That's all.

Getting back to the food. They sent us out the Croque Senor. No, not the Croque Monsieur or Madam, but Senor. It's a tapas place with a spanish "bent". So, cie, Senor. We had actually looked at this on the menu and thought that this was one of the least appealing dishes to us. Here's the menu description:

Croque SeƱor
Duck Confit, Saffron Bechamel, and Manchego
Broiled on Crunchy Toast

Here's the picture:



So the dish was true to the description. That is one point for Vega. But that's where it ends for me. I can't say no offense, because what I'm writing is very offensive if you are connected with this dish or restaurant.

Okay, here's one thing. Once again, my taste has changed. I've realized that food tends to be indeed richer and heavier in good old Nola than in other parts of the country. I remember having people visit and say, oh, it's so rich, it's so filling. I can't eat anymore. And I remember thinking, god, I'm still hungry.

Getting back to the croque senor. I don't know how to make that squiggly thing over the n, so that's another point for Vega. The first bite. I unwillingly took a bite. I crunched down on the crunchy toast from the lower choppers. It was nice and crunchy. I sunk my uppers into a toasted cheesy crust, then soft creamy middle. In the very middle there was a little resistance, the duck. Okay. Nice contrast in textures. I'm going to go on a limb (a very brittle little shaky one) and award one more point. That's 3.

Taste. Disgusting. I'm sorry. Give me those 3 points back. Not only that, I deduct 5 more. That's -5. God, I'm such a bitch. But I'm being honest. Do you want me to lie? I can try. Develop a stupid laugh like Rachel Ray. I mean, she is very poopular...

Taste, taste, where was I. Oh, it was gross. First, there was the cheesy crusty manchego on top. Fine. But then the saffron bechamel. Not the ideal couple, but I could accept this pairing. But then my tastebuds and my brain said, seafood, maybe. But then I tasted the duck confit. Not what I expected, not in a good way. Saffron is such a strong flavor. So is duck confit. They compete. Neither wins. It was a disgusting stalemate in my mouth. I managed to finish half of my crouton. I guess I was intrigued by how unholy this dish was, that I somehow found the will to eat that whole half. The Food Pimp, he can be such a martyr. He ate the whole thing!!!!! I offered him my half, but he deferred. He only ate it to make it look good. We should have done them a favor and thrown it up back on the plate so they would know how bad it was.

So we went in the kitchen, thanked them for the food, then we jumped into the Titan and hightailed it to Rio Mar. At that point, I was feeling a bit ill. I was sure a drink would help though.

A little background about Rio Mar. After Vega, the FP worked at Rio Mar. That's where he really cut his chops, and he later became sous chef. Chef Big Love was the Food Pimp's mentor, which makes sense....

So we walked into the newish bar. It was great. Very spanish looking. Very long. Lots of room. We bellied up. We saw the Serioussarcastic Marathoner. Hugs, kisses. Then we got a drink. Caparihnas, of course. The Bartender asked, pineapple or regular. They had a big vat of cachaca with pineapple macerating in it. Obviously we got the pineapple one. It was strong, but delicious.

Chef Big Love came out to say hi. Hugs, kisses. He was great, as usual. We shot the shit a bit, then he went back to the kitchen, and we ordered. They had razor clams on special. Just our luck. We got those babies.



I don't know what to tell you. They were fantastic. The perfect balm to my affliction. (My affliction being a croque senor raping and pilaging my digestive system) They were fresh. They were not too sandy. They were cooked perfectly. They were just chewy enough, but not dog toy chewy. They were cooked by someone who obviously had the confidence to cook them simply, with white wine, garlic and parsley. Bravo, bravo, Chef Big Love. If we were mormons....

So on to the Panamanian ceviche. The Food Pimp had been talking about this for a week or so. It was great. Just like I remembered it. I think it was made with puppy drum. (Aw puppy drum. I remember that fish. We used it alot at Cafe Negril. (Aw Cafe Negril. (Aw Chef Cecil))) It was just fresh fish, habanero and lime. It was so good. One of those great taste memories. Even now I can conjure up that taste in my mind. And those crackers that came with it. This was like the Light after the Darkness, the Sun after the Rain, the Saviour after Beelzebub, the Good Food after the Bad Food.

We looked at the menu, and the FP got another drink. We were thinking about getting one more thing, then going to La Boca, the new Argentinian sister restaurant around the corner that they had opened up. But then Chef Big Love brought us out a plate of... Iberian ham. [cue the porn music]

(Knock at the door, enter plumber into horny housewife's abode)


(Pipes burst, pants rip off, boobs pop out)


(And... the money shot)


This is ham from the black footed pig. It's like serrano, which is usually from oinkers with black feet too, but this is like top shelf shit. Look at the glistening fat. It just melted in my mouth like... well like fat. In a good way though. It was...sublime. Yummy thin fat, and I swear, I could taste the acorns. Goddamn it was good! Those religious people that don't eat pig, god, they are missing out. It must be a cruel prank. What is it worth, unless they die and they get to go to heaven and eat Iberian ham?

So I was spent. It was time for our next stop, La Boca. A bartender, the Serioussarcastic Marathoner, and maybe Chef Big Love for all I know, called to let them know we were coming. Talk about VIP treatment. These guys hooked us up at Rio Mar, and they were rolling out the red carpet to La Boca. Such great people, such a great place. I can't imagine ever getting sick of Rio Mar. I think the worst experience I had there was the first time we ate there. Way, way, way before the Food Pimp had worked there. And that was a great time...

to be cont....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Midnight dinner - Friday morning

So we got in at 12 am. It was several hundred dollars cheaper than all the other flights... We got our rental car. Oh, I mean we got our rental truck. Yes, I mean truck. Big truck. I don't know if you know what I look like, but I'm 5'2. I had to drive this big monster all around town, and try to parallel park the bitch too! It was a Nissan Titan. One of the most ridiculous rental "cars" that Hertz has ever rented out. Here's the picture.



So anyway, we hopped into the cab (king cab of the truck), (and I mean hopped). Then we drove straight to the quarter. Luckily, it was kinda dead around there, so I found a nice big spot on Decatur st. It still took me forever to get into the spot though, don't think that I just eased in...

We walked down Decatur, and it was like we were just there a couple of weeks ago. We got to Coop's Place, which we had been dreaming about, and we pulled the door. It was locked. We look inside and there is no one there. What the fuck? Where the hell are we going to eat? I didn't want Angeli. So we were standing in front of Molly's trying to decide our plan b. Then the Food Pimp said, hold on, I want to go say hi to someone. So he strode into the bar and sat on a stool right next to PTG (Piercing Tattoo Glasses). PTG looked at him and asked, are you still in town? So obviously we got some drinks. the FP had 3 vodka sodas to my 3/4 of a Red Stripe. At one point I decided to see if the kitchen in back was open, even though I had no faith. So it was open! I looked at the menu, and I decided on crawfish etouffee. Two of them. I figured if I got some bar food and the etouffee was way better I would be sorely disappointed. So the food came.



It didn't look that sloppy when it first came to us, I just forgot to take a picture. So we were hungry, but this was deceivingly a lot of food. It was good. It wasn't etouffee though the way we knew it. It was more like crawfish and sausage stew with bell peppers. It didn't have that rich buttery flavor that coats your mouth. It was good. Not as good as the crawfish etouffee at Pappadeux's at the Houston Airport...

So we ate, then we went to our friends' house - Dr. Authority on Everything (no, he really is) and Bubbles the Lawyer. We had to wake him up to get into the house. I felt really bad. He had to get up in a few hours. But what the hell, he's a doctor, he was used to not getting enough sleep.

So their alarms went off at maybe 5 am. And then they went up again, and again and, you get the picture. It seemed like they had set about 3 alarms, and they kept hitting snooze on them for what seemed like an hour or more. At one point, the one aeh aeh aeh aeh alarm went off for about 15 minutes before someone turned it off. It was really kinda funny. Doctor and a lawyer. They hit snooze just like us regular folk.

Anyway, they left, and I would drift off to sleep, then wake up, then sleep. At around 8:30 we just got up. We went to CC's. The one on Esplanade. This was all weird to us, because we had always lived on the other side of the Quarter. This was strange territory. We couldn't remember simple streets that we had been down before. It must have been the Titan. Anyway, I got a minisippi and the FP got an iced coffee. The iced coffee was great. I forgot that the minisippi was for kids, thus no caffeine. So I poured a bit of the iced coffee into my minisippi. It was delicious. Nothing like a shake for breakfast!

So it was early. The only logical thing to do was to climb into our V8 and drive down to St. Bernard Parish and take a look around. There were dilapidated shacks with trailers in front of them (those formaldahyde tainted ones), shopping center after shopping center that were boarded up and empty.



There were some functioning businesses and houses in repair, but a lot were not. It was hard to see this, but we felt the need to. Most of the area we had been hanging out in during Mardi Gras was fine. Either minimal damage or repaired structures mostly. But St. Bernard was like a forgotten parish. The Long John Silver's we used to go to was empty.



We went into a Walgreens. At least that was open. The FP needed an inhaler because he stayed awake all night trying to breathe. All the inhalers were out of stock. Weird. We drove back into the city.

We stopped by Martin Wine Cellar, which had relocated to where a catering company used to be on Magazine Street. It was small. No food, just alcohols. The FP used to work with the manager at the Martin's in Metairie, so he got to say hi to him.
We bought a bottle of champagne. Then we headed to Mz Snowbliz and her fiance's crawfish boil.

As soon as we walked in, we noticed Mz Snowbliz all hunkered down popping open oysters. So we decided to help. It reminded us of Vega. Sadly, the oysters weren't very flavorful. They were watery tasting, not much briney flavor. But it was fun to open them anyway.

The sack of oysters was killed. Then we were just waiting for the crawfish. Some guy was doing them, we were doubtful. Then finally they came out. Everyone was crowded around the table. I tried to squeeze in and get a few. There were no potatoes, corn or garlic left. I guess I had to be at the table waiting for the boil to get that stuff. There were peanuts though. I've never seen that. I've boiled peanuts in the crawfish boil seasoning before, but why did I never think of boiling them with the crawfish or shrimp or crabs? Oh, cause I'm so dumb when it comes to the prospect of eating boiled seafood that I can't think properly, even more so than usual.

Anyway, I managed to get about 8 crawfish and 4 peanuts in a napkin. We ate them. They were pretty damn good. Lots of boil flavor, spicy, cooked just right. And still warm! The peanuts were not like boiled peanuts, they still had a little crunch. So I was thinking maybe they were roasted peanuts? Either way, they were delicious. I needed more. Luckily Mz Snowbliz's sister saw us huddling with a napkinful of crawdads. So she had pity on us and got us a tray. It just happened to be the very same old sunbeam tin cover that Mz Snowbliz had brought to our house for our Thoth party. We had that thing for a year, because of course we kept forgetting to give it back to her... So I got a respectable pile, and the boys went to smoke, so I got to eat most of them! Then there were no more. They were all waiting on the next boil. Which meant it was time for us to go. We said our goodbyes, then we climbed into our white Titan, RR Fireman in his Xterra.

We headed down to Stein's Deli. It's only maybe two years old, but is has the feel of an old deli. And Stein has the bearing of an old deli owner. When we walked in, we saw him. Funny, he remembered the Food Pimp more than me, even though I knew him better. But I realize that the FP outshines me in every way, thus, he is way more memorable than me. That's just how things are.

So there is just all this deli meat, and cheese, and weird sodas and beers and they make their own bread right there in the back where you can see and it's just a fabulous place. We looked at the menu, and it all looked good. But we were looking in the deli case and it all looked good. So we ordered the only thing that seemed logical. A cheese and meats plate. We ordered from the guy at the counter, but of course Stein put it together. He even sliced the meats himself. He asked if we wanted lunch or a snack. We said a snack. Good thing we said snack. The board we got was huge. It must have been 3/4 a pound of cheese and 1/2 a pound of meat. I wish I had taken a picture. I wish I could tell you what the meats were. You know, a bunch of cured salame-like meats of different sizes and proscuitto. I was buzzing a little I think, from the heat, from the abitas and the crawfish. So I don't know what they were. But I can tell you that there was St. Andre cheese, which I had been thinking about, RRF too, so it was great to get that one. We also got Cashel Blue, which is nice, and then a firm goats milk cheese. Obviously everything was great. And the bread! He gave us two nice loaves of like muffaletta bread. Nice and hot. God, that bread was defuckingeatyourassoutlicious. (No, I'm not sure what that means. That's jut how good the bread was) RRF ended up eating a lot of it though. I ate until I thought I might vomit. Stein gave us a nice discount, and RRF paid the $26 tab, which was nice. So after that, it was time to head back and maybe catch a nap before dinner...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thursday Night

So, we left for New Orleans Thursday evening. When we were waiting at the airport, I was kinda hungry. The only options were California Pizza Kitchen, ASAP or McDonald's. I don't know the last time I've eaten McDonald's. Maybe that horrible one on St. Charles a few years again, I don't know. So I figured, why not, it's research for the food blog. Of course airport chain restaurants are entirely different from the regular full sized ones. Anyway, it is McDonald's.

So you know how sometimes you're in the airport security line and there's an annoying family in front of you that takes a long time? Well, we had one of those. When I went to McDonald's, there they were in front of me in line. It was this lady with her bratty kids. So they took a while to order. Then I ordered. A quarter pounder with cheese for me and 6 piece chicken McNuggets for the Food Pimp. So I waited. The family's order came up. As soon as they approached the counter to complete their order, the little girl goes, I want ice cream, in a whiney little girl voice. The mom says, but you ordered a cookie. Ice cream! So the mom says, can she get an ice cream. So the boy goes, I want ice cream! So the mom asks for another. She asks how much, and they give her the ice creams free. Does anyone else see anything wrong with that scenario? I mean really...the girl already has a cookie, then she wants ice cream and she asks in an annoying whiney way and the mom conceeds so easily. She rewards the bratty behavior. Then the McDonald's employees reward the mom by not charging her. So next time they go to McDonald's, the girl will remember when they are at the pickup counter that she can get an ice cream along with her cookie. And the mom will remember that she wasn't charged before. Do you see anything wrong with that?

Sorry, getting back to me. I was waiting. It seemed that my quarter pounder with cheese was ready in a timely manner. I actually kinda saw them making it - taking the condiments out of the drawers and stuff. Then it sat at the bottom of the slope under the heat lamp. But the chicken nuggets were taking a while. I figured, maybe they were frying fresh ones. That would be a score. So I was anticipating stealing one of those. Finally they came out. So I hurried back over to the bar where the FP was waiting, ready for his second beer. So the burger was warm enough, not hot, not cold. It looked fresh. The bun was still inflated. (You know how sometimes the bun is all smashed in like someone sat on it) And it wasn't greasy either. The patty was nice and brown, and it seemed to have a good ratio of mustard, ketchup, pickle and cheese. I took my first bite. It had some texture, it tasted like a burger! I was maybe expecting those McDonald's burgers that had the soy filler in them. I mean, I don't know how long ago they stopped making those, but that is my taste memory of McDonald's. I did after all grow up on the stuff, and I am getting up there in years.
"I remember back when the McDonald's fries were fried in beef tallow. And we didn't complain, and we enjoyed them. And the burgers had cow anus in them. And we ate them up, because that's what we were given and we didn't complain. And if there was a cockroach under the bun, we didn't sue, we just picked it off, threw it away and ate the burger. Didn't even wash our hands!"

Anyway, I have to say it was a good quarter pounder with cheese. I did dunk it in the hot mustard sauce. I like to dunk my burgers in mustard and or ketchup. Is that weird? Cause if it is, that's the only weird habit that I think I have. My most recent burger experiences have been getting one late at night in the drive thru window probably close to closing. You know how that goes.

So the chicken McNuggets. I asked how they were. The FP said they were okay. So I took one. After all, he took a huge bite of my quarter pounder with cheese. So when I picked it up, it was hard. The meat inside was dry. How disappointing. I waited all that time for refried Chicken McNuggets! And they were all white meat. How flavorless. You really need the dipping sauce so they taste like something!

So on the plane. I think there is one Stepford flight attendant required on every flight. The one lady who follows the rules and is not pleasant when a passenger is annoying her, but she still has that gigantic phony smile with the bright shiny red lips. You know that one? Well, we had one of those on this flight. We had just gotten our drinks. Then that Stepford Stewardess was manning the snack cart. She was saying, Cheeseburger?! Cheeseburger?! Cheeseburger?! To every single passenger. As if we hadn't heard her from the previous 8 rows in front. So the snack was a cheeseburger. Of course. I just fucking had a cheeseburger an hour ago. I barely ever eat them, and then I had 2 in one day. So it was in that plastic bag that they seem to microwave, just like that roast beef sandwich. And there was a ranch peppercorn dressing with a salad of iceberg lettuce, carrot and maybe radicchio. The dressing was good. You know that stuff. I like it. New York loves ranch dressing too. God, we have so much in common, her and I.

So...the cheeseburger?! First of all, it's not a pleasant smell in an enclosed area, like the main cabin of a plane. But I popped open the bag anyway. I wasn't hungry, but you know, research, for the sake of the food blog. By the way, I definitely seem to be getting fatter....

Cheeseburger?! The bun was soft, of course. As if it had been microwaved in a sealed plastic with a burger patty. The patty was terrible. That was more soy than beef, I believe. That tasted more like those McDonald's burgers used to taste. The problem was, after that fairly decent quarter pounder with cheese, I was disappointed to bite into this soybeef burger. It was so weird. That's the only way I can describe it. And it was kinda soft. I probably ate half of it, simply because it was such a strange gastronomic sensation. Like chewing on chalk might be. At least I had a mini Kitkat to dilute the soyburger taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sorry

I have a lot of catching up to do. We went to New Orleans this weekend for a wedding, and I didn't have any time to post. It was great, cause I didn't even touch a computer the whole weekend. That's rare! I will hopefully everyone up to speed in the next few days!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

blue shrimp boil

So there's The Oriental Seafood Market (or some generic named place) on Plaza Blvd in National City before Tita's Kitchenette. They have tons of seafood, it's all in these open bins iced down, but there's never anything that looks fresh, which is a shame - because there's whole salmon and yellowtail and snapper and other fish. The last time we went we saw these blue shrimp. They looked like 16 -20s or 21 -26 counts. They were actually fresh looking, and still a little frozen, but IQF frozen, not frozen like they had been previously frozen then thawed then frozen again. So we didn't get them the first time. We just stared at them in wonder. So the next time we went to National City we looked for them. They had them for $2.99/lb, and we got a couple pounds.

So it was supposed to be up to me to cook them, as the FP was working that night. He was very excited about what I was going to do with them. I thought Asian, since they seemed to be the product of some import shrimp dumping from somewhere in asia. But I know the FP wanted shrimp boil. I was going to get some stuff for some simple stir fry or something. I thought, cook them simple but maybe have a yummy dipping sauce for them.

Before that though, I decided to go for a jog for the first time in several months. It was a nice day, and I wanted to be outside. So I went for maybe 30 minutes. I took my house keys off my chain, so didn't have to carry such a bulky set of keys. I got back, and an hour later I thought I'd run to the store, then prep dinner, then take a shower. So I get to the store, I buy girl scouts Samoas cookies and groceries, and I go home. As I'm walking up the stairs, I realize, I never put the house keys back on the chain. I'm locked out. Our door lock is kind of old and messed up, so I don't have too much hope of getting in with a credit card. But I try. For about an hour. I can't get it, and I've gone through 3 cards - an expired debit card, a loehmann's store savings card and maybe a ralph's card. And I have ripped the skin off of my index finger trying to wedge the cards in. Oh, and my cell phone was charging in the house, so I didn't have a phone. I sat and thought. Well, the FP would hopefully be back in 2 hours. I could wait. I've waited before. Eventually, one of the neighbors went to do laundry, so I asked her if I could use her phone. I called the FP, but he didn't answer. I left a message. All I could do was wait. I ate some cookies. I didn't want to drink the water I bought, because I didn't want to have to ask the neighbors if I could go piss in their toilet. I wrote some shitty lyrics. Finally, at 9 pm, the FP comes banging in the gate. He sees me and asks, "What are you doing outside?" Duh.

So I finally get inside the house. The last thing I want to do is cook. The FP wants shrimp boil. So we get back in the car, and go back to the store, where I was 3 hours ago. We get stuff. So we go home, and the FP cooks up a shrimp boil with Zatarain's boil, new potatoes, garlic, italian sausage, onion and those blue shrimp. We forgot corn though, damnit! The shrimp were good. Very shrimpy, but not spoiled, just strong. They were very asian tasting, I thought, whatever that means. The sausage sucked. There was a flavor that was too strong in the sausage that clashed with the zatarain's. Fennel or something. The potatoes and garlic were delicious, though. I'm so pissed though. I forgot to take a picture of the blue shrimp. They were so pretty. Blue.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Tita's Kitchenette

God, Tita sure can cook. So we went there for bruch yesterday - Saturday. It was pretty damn busy. There were a few other non-flips there. Maybe 4. We went around 11:30, which is prime time. They were running out of food but not yet replenishing. There was no adobo!!!! But when we walked in the side door, there was a man with a cutting board set up on card table, and he was chopping up ------roast pig!!!!! So I had this red beef stew, I don't know the name of it - and the roast pork of course. I don't know what the Food Pimp was thinking. I know he was pretty disappointed not having the adobo. So he had the red beef and the menudo.

So the menudo is not quite like spanish menudo. It's pretty much beef stew. It's got potatoes, carrots and peas. It's always really good.

The red beef, we found out was red partially because it had shrimp paste in it. Not too much. There was one dish that was sooo pink it looked like they dumped pepto bismol all over it. That looked like overkill with the shrimp paste. If you've never tried it, just go to the oriental market and buy a jar of it. It's maybe $2.50. Open it up and just smell it. You don't even have to taste it. It's strong stuff. You'll get all the baleen whale knocking on your door. I know that's not really funny, but that's the first image I conjured up in my crazy head. Anyway, shrimp paste, when used in moderation adds a whole other dimension to food. When you make a fried asian sauce, you can put a dab of shrimp paste in there.

Anyway, that red beef was good. I'm gonna eat my leftovers after I'm done writing this.

The roast pork though. That is the shit that my fantasies are made of. Yeah, I'm back on the pork porn. I'm addicted to it. They displayed the head in the buffet, and I wondered if we could buy it. It was so crunchy and golden looking.

So the roast pork came with a nice sinigang - a tangy tamarind soup made with some of the drippings with bok choy. It was good. And it also came with a thickened pork sauce. With garlic and sugar maybe and lots of black pepper. When I tasted it on it's own I had mixed feelings. With the pork and the garlic vinegar - delicious. The pork had lots of crispy fat squares - like crackers. So I ate those first. I figured, they wouldn't be crispy when I reheated the leftovers. The FP kept taking pieces of pork. I was definitely getting very animalistic territorial over my pig meat with each piece he took. Why didn't he just get some too? Anyway, the meat was succulent. I think the word succulent was invented to describe roast pork. It must have been. Anyway, succulent. The skin that was soggy, wow, that was a flavor explosion. That was the part that was sitting in the pan. It was so strong and salty, but in a very good way. Eat some skin, eat some meat, eat some soggy skin. Repeat. God, I have another one of those mouth erections. I need a napkin or I'm going to slobber on the keyboard.

Hafta go eat now!

Soba noodles

Thursday. So I wanted something cheap and easy, like I like my men. Ha, just kidding - all men are easy - oh, except for my friend Cuban Whilte Sauce. He can play hard to get - for years. Anyway, I got some poor man's steak, those big thin slices of chuck for $4 at Albertson's, which is about 7 blocks away. Pancho's is maybe a mile or 2 away, but I'm too lazy to drive there. So I made simple soba noodle stir fry. It was good of course - this shit practically cooks itself. If you can't make it taste good, maybe you should consider never setting foot in a kitchen again, unless it's to wash dishes. Or you could take cooking classes from the Food Pimp. He'll teach you how to entertain everyone while cooking, so that hopefully they won't notice how bad the food sucks.

I guess I'll write a recipe, but it's just whatever you want.

Beef and Soba Noodle Stir Fry

1 bunch green onions, sliced on the bias (because it's an asian recipe)
1 carrot, sliced thin, julienne if you like
1/2 head of cabbage sliced
1 package button mushrooms sliced
3/4 lb chuck steak sliced
2 or 3 bundles buckwheat noodles, cooked
1/2 c ponzu sauce
1/4 c sesame oil
veg oil

So heat up some veg oil and a bit of sesame oil in a big hot pan. There's nothing like a big hot pan, of course a wok is great if you have one. Saute the green onion bottoms, carrots and mushrooms. When they start to get tender, add in the steak. Let it all brown. If your pan isn't very big, take the veggies and their liquid out of the pan and brown the steak on its own. Then put the veggies back in. Add the cabbage and the ponzu sauce. Let it all mingle, toss it all around. Don't worry if you're not good at flipping stuff in a pan, your friend who can't cook his or her way out of a Minute Rice bag will clean it all up for you after dinner. When the cabbage is cooked the way you like it, add the noodles. Invite them in and show them around. Then add the rest of the sesame oil. Lube everything up with it. Then you're done. Garnish with the green part of the green onions. Eat. Tell me it's not yummy for how much effort you put into it!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Popeye's Wednesday Night

So the FP had a class near a Popeye's, so I was very excited to hear him clanging and rattling up the stairs when he got home that night. (He carries all his stuff in a big rubbermaid bin, and he just throws it all in after class, so all the pots and utensils and stuff just bang around in the bin.)

So I pretty much snatch the bag from him and look inside. There's 2 large sides: on red beans and rice, the other mashed potatoes. There are boxes, each with 3 piece spicy dark chicken and both with a side of dirty rice. Very intelligent move. See, I don't really like the dirty rice. I have to reiterate how I'm not really a chicken liver fan. It tastes, too, well, livery. So anyway, this way the Food Pimp gets almost a large side of dirty rice, and we split the red beans and mash.

The chicken was great. Crispy, spicy, hot, and tender flesh. Like grandma's fried chicken. Okay, my grandma didn't cook fried chicken, and she was pretty old already when I met her and she didn't cook. I doubt the FP's grandma cooked good fried chicken. Do they know how to cook that shit in Pennsylvania?

The dirty rice, from the FP's account, was not too good. I guess the taste was good, but they seemed to have mixed "clean" rice in with the dirty rice for filler. The problem was that the clean rice wasn't fully cooked, so it was crunchy, or toothsome.

The mashed potatoes were delicious. I love that spicy gravy, they just don't give enough. Next time we should maybe ask for a side of gravy. The mashed potatoes were creamy goodness. I'm pretty fickle about mashed potatoes. I like them fluffy, but I also like creamy mashed potatoes. As long as they're not gluey. Don't cool them off and mash them or overwork them. That's a mashed potato mortal sin!

The red beans and rice were great. The red beans are so creamy and kind of salty in a good way. The only problem I have is that they put the rice on top and it's just kind of hard to mix the red beans and rice in the container that they come in. If they came in a wider bowl type container, it would be way easier to mix them. They were delicious though, as I wrote.

Oh and the biscuit. Good as usual. Great for dipping in the mashed potatoes and red beans and rice. Nothing like Popeye's at 9 pm right before bed.

On a side note, I wonder why I seem to be getting softer and wider?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

a pork lover's version of porn......

So Tuesday. I went the optometrist. When I was driving down Balboa Avenue, I saw this shopping center with three buildings called Marukai Market, Marukai Living, and something else. So I had to check it out of course. I went into two of them. The market and this other store that was like a Japanese Big Lots. So much fun cheap stuff in that one. The market was small, but clean. Nice enough produce, nothing too exciting, but reasonable. The fish and sushi looked nice. I saw.... Hamachi Kama. Yellowtail collar. I look for this everywhere, and I never find it. And it looked fresh. So I had to get that. Then I went over to the meat. I think I circled it 3 times. This was the nicest meats I've seen. So they have the sliced beef and stuff in Mitsuwa. But here it was soooo nice. They had wagyu beef. This is American Kobe beef. It is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatty as hell. The marbling is so beautiful. So I stared at all the packages of beef for a while, wondering if I wanted any.

Then I turned to this other refrigerated case and spotted the pork. It looked like the beef, but lighter pink! It was Berkshire pork, or Kurobuta. Okay, I know pork butt is fatty of course, but I don't think you could thin slice regular pork butt and have it look like this. I've never heard of it. I tried to look up the company on the internet. All I really gathered is that it's in Minnesota. Anyway, look at this pork!







Okay. I am one sick bitch. I'm sure that's what you are thinking. You have no idea why that excites me. To each his own, MF. I've got a tongue hard on. Okay, I just made that up now. I guess it's equal to saying my mouth is salivating. I am one sick bitch. I know. But come on. Doesn't that close up picture of that butt turn you on. The pork butt, silly. You know you want it.

Focus. Focus. Task at hand, what was that? Oh yeah. So I made a soup with mainly leftover items that we had on hand. I call it Buttery Berkshire Pork Butt Miso Soup.

We'll get to that in a minute. But I have to tell you about the Hamachi Kama, which I forgot to take a picture of! Anyway, no messing with our crappy broiler. I fried it all the way. I just put about an inch of vegetable oil in a skillet, heated it up, and gently plopped that sucker in there, skin side down. I let it go, for maybe 7 minutes. I had to move it around a little, because it didn't sit completely flat. So I looked at the bottom, and it needed a bit more time. A few minutes later, I flipped it over. I let that side cook another 6 minutes. Then I drained it on paper towels. I made a quick dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar and siracha. OMG! I'm having another oral boner. I wish I had a piece of hot hamachi kama right now. I would eat it out so bad....... Okay. Focus. I am so sorry. This is really getting out of control. It's like the literary internet foodie version of Eyes Wide Shut. I should rename the blog Mouth Wide Closed. What do you think? Anyway, I have to say, that Hamachi Kama was cooked much nicer than a lot that we have had at the Japanese restaurant. I'm not saying that I'm better than those Mexican Japanese cooks (you know, most cooks in SD Japanese restaurants are Mexican,right?) I'm just saying that I really babied that piece of yellowtail collar, because I was cooking it for us - the Food Ho and the Food Pimp. I mean, if I had to cook it in a restaurant and I was cooking a bunch of other stuff simultaneously, the other stuff would probably be neglected by me, but the Hamachi Kama would be good. It's easier to cook stuff you lust over.

On to the Buttery Berkshire Pork Butt Miso Soup. I can't tell you what it tasted like. I wish that I could have invited you over that night to partake in it. It was earthy and buttery and salty and sour and yummy all in nice proportions. It was just a really good soup. That's all I can say about it. Here's my approximate recipe. I wonder if anyone uses these recipes. I don't really measure anything. When I write these I just guess. I don't measure. I go by feelings.

Buttery Berkshire Pork Butt Miso Soup

1/2 c miso paste
2 quarts water
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c fish sauce
8 baby baby bok choy heads
1 1/2 c edamame
4 c cooked soba noodles or cooked sushi rice or both
3/4 lb berkshire pork butt shabu shabu

So bring the water to a boil. Stir in the miso paste. Let it come back up to a boil. Add the soy and fish sauces. Add the baby baby bok choy. Add the edamame. Now put the noodles or rice in your bowls. Then ladle the soup into it. Add some slices of pork to this. Stir it around with your chopsticks. It will cook in maybe a minute or two. Garnish with whatever you want. Then eat. Tell me its not good. Tell me it tastes like any other pork you ever had. Go ahead. I'll think you're lying. Now for those that are scared of pork that isn't cooked to death and all that nonsense, don't be. You're not going to get sick. This is quality stuff. It's like the sashimi of pork. If you're really freaked though, maybe don't bother to get this stuff. It will be wasted on your nonappreciative taste buds if all you're worried about it whether it will make you sick or not. No offense.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Super Super Cocina Sunday Brunch

Some people go to the Parkhouse for Sunday Brunch - we go to Super Cocina. We woke up late. We stayed out until maybe 10or so the night before, but the FP slept in until about 10:30 am. So he woke up, and we went straight down University. It was kind of busy. We got in line, and the two older men were working the line. They always give us samples. I don't know if they're just being nice because they don't remember us, or they think that we are dumb non mexicans that don't know what we want. Anyway, they gave us a sample of that smoky chipotle chicken stew. Every time someone gives us a sample of that, we both end up getting it, because it's that damn good. It's smoky, it's rich, it's bright and earthy and chickeny and very spicy. It doesn't really need hot sauce. We also saw some lengua - tongue - so they gave us a sample of that. It was delicious. Nicely sliced thin pieces of tongue in a meaty sauce. But the eggs looked different today. They looked like they were in some pepper sauce instead of the tomato broth. The sauce was darker, browner. So I got that. The FP got the lengua, of course.

So we sat down, and there was no hot sauce bottle. They had about 2 or 3, but they were all being used. The FP looked bewildered. He sat for a few seconds and scanned the room. The table next to us had a bottle. So he asked if we could use it. We both scribbled all over our food with red hot sauce, and then the FP handed it back. The guy next to us got up and walked away. Maybe to the bathroom. His wife didn't seem to be using it. We should have kept it. Oh well. Now we were ready to chow down. Two combo plates with pinto beans (whole, not pureed) and rice, cilantro and chopped onion garnish and warm tortillas.

So I tried my eggs. They were not in pepper sauce like I suspected. My tastebuds were sleepy - because my head was quite congested still - but I could tell that it wasn't peppers. The eggs were firmer than usual and the avocado was not quite ripe. After a few bites I figured it out. Of course, it was unripe fresh tomato puree. I guess they ran out of canned tomato or whatever they usually use, and they didn't strain it. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't nearly as good as it usually is. At any rate, I just ripped off a piece of tortilla, spooned in some rice, some beans, a little chicken with sauce and some egg. When I ate it all together, it was delicious. Super Cocina brunch tacos, ole! Watch them put that on the Chili's menu in a month or two. The FP finished his plate, but I probably ate half of mine. I was really full. It's funny because when we first discovered Super Cocina, we used to eat there 2 or 3 times a week, no problem. Sometimes I finished my food, to the FP's disappointment. Not anymore. I just can't eat as much. Maybe I should get a tapeworm. I don't want to let my audience down. So we left to take a nap. The lovely brunch had tired us out.

On a side note, that guy at the table next to us still hadn't returned from the bathroom when we left. Guess he used too much of that salsa picante, or maybe he had drank too many cervezas y tequila the night before.

Skipping on to dinner. Neither of us felt like cooking or going anywhere far, so the obvious choice was the Great wall Chinese food. The FP was in the car waiting for a parking space, so I ran in and ordered. He wanted the curry chicken, but there wasn't really any left in the steam table. So I asked if they had anymore. It was only 6 pm. So they did, and it would take a few minutes. So I ordered lo mein, the vegetable stir fry with chicken and the jalapeno chicken wings. For the FP, I got rice, beef broccoli, and the curry chicken. When he brought the curry chicken out, it looked good. So that cost us under $9 for about 7 pounds of food.

So I ate my chicken wings first. They weren't really chicken wings. On closer inspection, I realized they were cut up drumsticks. Which is fine. They tasted good, the meat was tender, but the skin wasn't really really crispy. And they were not spicy. Oh well.

On to my lo mein and stir fry. It looked nice and fresh. Too fresh. The vegetables were a little too al dente. The noodles were also a little firm for my taste. I think this might have been a first for me. The steam table food had in fact not sat in the steam table for long enough. Usually, my gripe with a steam table is that it keeps the food cooking, to the point where it's disintegrating or dried up because it's been in there longer than it should be. I think that if I had ordered my food a half hour or hour later, it probably would have been perfect. Oh well, a good portion of my joy of eating is the excitement of the experience, and a part of it is feeding my carnal lust to gorge on food.

Oh yeah, the Food Pimp's dinner - I guess it was great. He ate it all, in a relatively short amount of time. I asked him how it was, and he said it was good. So that's his side. Maybe one day he'll write blog entry, but I doubt it. Don't miss any meals waiting around to read his recommendations, or anything like that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Saturday grub

We woke up yesterday morning, we got dressed, and we got in the car. I wasn't quite sure where we were going, I wanted it to be a surprise. I thought it would be Lucky's Golden Phenix or the Old Mill Cafe - formerly the Lumberjack Grille. So we ended up at the Old Mill, which was fine with me.

The Food Pimp got the corned beef hash with home fries, eggs smilin at him, and english muffin. I wanted that, but I was staring at the specials board, so I was deciding between the New York steak and eggs or the Blueberry pancakes 222 (2 pancakes, 2 eggs and 2 bacon). I know they are totally different, but that's how my brain works. I've been craving sweet, but something meaty like steak with runny egg yolk on it sounded good too. So I got the 222.

The FP's plate looked perfect. I really should have brought the camera for this one. The eggs were perfectly cooked, the home fries were brown and crispy, and the corned beef hash had a crust all on the top. That cook was patient! So everything he was was great. I feel like whenever I get the corned beef hash plate it's hit or miss, but when he gets it and I don't it's the best.

My 222 was, not so good. The bacon was alright. The eggs over easy were okay. But I realize that I have to eat eggs with toast. I just can't eat them just like that. The pancakes were really good - oh - except for the 3 inch diameter circle of raw batter in the middle of the top pancake. I cut into it and batter oozed out. So I inspected both pancakes, and realized it was just that middle of the first one. I really didn't want to ask them to take it back and recook it, because I figured I would get a rubbery overdone pancake. So I made a decision and just cut the raw part away and put it on the side of my plate. The rest of that pancake was delicious. Frozen blueberries are the way to go for this. They stay whole when the pancakes are cooking, and then when you bite into them they are juicy. If you use fresh blueberries, don't mix them into the batter, drop them in the pancakes right before you flip them over. That way they won't pop and run and turn the pancakes a funny color.

So we went home and I took a nap and the FP watched Meet the Press or something. About 4 1/2 hours later, we were both thinking of food again. Yes, we are sick people. We like to indulge, okay? If we both were anorexic, this might not be as interesting:

I chewed a stick of gum, 5 calories, for 2 hours until my jaw hurt. I drank a gallon and a half of water. Then I went crazy and ate 1 oz of nonfat yogurt. At night I had a Tab for dessert. Ummmmm. That was decadent.

So we went for lunch.

Long John Silver's!!!!!! I was so excited. So we get there and there is one guy ordering, then we're next. For some reason, this guy was taking forever. Of course. Why was he standing in the way of ecstasy for me and the FP? Finally, he moves on. We step up to the plate. Funny chubby gay guy took our order. He was very congenial. This was one instance in which I could order first. L10, substitute corn on the cob for coleslaw. The FP got L10, no substitutions. 2 medium diet cokes. $17.20 is your total, wait for your number to be called. We got a table close by. We got 10 paper cups of cocktail sauce, and 15 packets of malt vinegar and the hot sauce bottle. We waited patiently. It only took few minutes. Our order was correct.

I emptied packets of malt vinegar in one of the compartments on my black plastic plate. Then I added hot sauce to it. The FP liked to sprinkle hot sauce and malt vinegar all over his food. That is less effective, but it's a free country. I decided not to arrest him. The paperwork would take forever and then my fried feast would be cold and soggy.

So we dug in. The fish was perfectly battered and fried. The shrimp was good. The clams were nice and separated. Sometimes some jackass throws too many packets of clams in the frier at once and doesn't try to gently separate them. The fries were hot and fresh. The corn on the cobb was warm and not completely overcooked. The diet coke had a refreshing amount of CO2 in it. The coleslaw - yuck. I hate that coleslaw. The FP likes it. That's one of his few flaws. It was perfect. Screw lunching at some fancy smancy French bistro on the veranda. LJS is where it's at. I was happy. Then we went home and watched TV. I think I took another nap. Lunch always makes me sleepy.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

What I ate at work on Thursday

So, you know, being a cook, some people ask, do you eat all day at work? Or how are you not really fat because you must eat a lot at work? Or something like that. Well, I barely eat a "meal" at work, I often take food home at the end of my shift, because it's just not satisfying to me to eat standing up. Like I used to hate those areas in airports and train stations that had the high tables so you could eat while standing up. Like those are for people "on the go" because I guess eating standing up works with gravity and makes the food go down faster? Whatever.

Anyway, I wrote down everything I ate at work on Thursday. Usually I think I eat more than this:

2 1/2 inch cubes of nutella scone (yeah I make them myself - I'm a real baker((read in sarcastic voice)))

1 butt end and 1 middle slice Milton's multigrain bread with butter (this is some really good bread!)

6-7 slices banana (gotta ward off the muscle cramps)

2 1/2 inch chunks cantaloupe (I tasted the first piece to see if it was any good, the second because it was surprisingly better than it looked)

2 shreds parmesan cheese (I swear, it was a different brand cheese with really long pretty shreds, so I wanted to taste it)

1 oz mushroom soup (this was to taste for seasoning, it was perfect)

1 3/4 inch cube focaccia (compulsion - I have to cut this bread up every day, so I just eat a piece every time)

1/2 thin slice of pear (this was terrible, it tasted like wood)

1/4 a fairly large strawberry (They were pretty, but I had the feeling they wouldn't taste too great, they didn't, but they weren't bad either)

1 bite cucumber (sometimes they are terrible, I think that they are grown in a field of arsenic, so I am always curious to see if they're good or not, this one was actually good)

1 bite croissant(this was just compulsive, I didn't want it, an edge just fell off the crossaint onto the cutting board)

If I felt like it, I would go online and look all this shit up to see how many calories I ingested that shift. But I'm too lazy and I kinda don't want to know either...........