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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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemas

So last week on Tuesday and then on Thursday, two different friends came in to where I work. The first group was our friend from DC and her friends that live here. The one girl, Garbageman Cheerleader, told me she didn't like crabcakes or fishcakes because the crunchy vegetables in the filling reminded her of bugs. I couldn't tell her if our fish cakes would be like that, but I made her try them. She said it was like bugs. Thumbs down for her, but she did say how she didn't like any of those fried cakey seafood cake things, so not to take it personally. Not that I did.

Then my other friends who I worked with at Wired came in on Thursday. They were all dressed up to go downtown to dance and get hit on by guys and turn them down. So they got the sardines. One friend, We'll call her the Dutch Princess, didn't like the "sticks" in the sardines. They are supposed to be so that you can pick it up with the stick and make it a finger food. I don't think many people eat it that way though.

Then they got dessert, and they got the chocolate pot de creme, which I said was the best thing, and they got the beer cake. So I went to see how they liked it. Dutch Princess pointed at the beer cake and said, we don't like that, but we like that one, and she pointed to the pot de creme. The other girl, the Brand Whore, said, I like this! Referring to the pot de creme. The great thing about that was, that she doesn't like chocolate!

So anyway, it's nice to have friends who are honest. I hate it when people say everything was great, and then later on I find out from someone else that they didn't like something but couldn't tell me. Sometimes it hurts, but it's good to know the truth.

How lame....

So, I've only posted 8 blog entries this month - I'm going to at least make it an even 9. That's a joke, because I'm asian (pacific islander really) and everyone knows we're all good at math. I just don't happen to have my pocket abacus handy right now - two of the beads broke off and I only realized that after balancing my checkbook - so it didn't reconcile with my bank statement! How nuts is that?

Anyway, it could be worse right, I find blogs that are inactive for months, but I don't want to lean on that as an excuse to not blog. So here's an interesting tidbit. We went to Tita's a couple weeks ago when we were in the process of moving. I think we needed some soul food sustenance to keep us going - even though that stuff just makes us want to nap a half hour after we've eaten.

So it was a little later than usual - maybe 9, 9:30. It was a tough decision for me, because there was no lechon or sisig, which I am really addicted to. I need crispy roast pork at least once a month. Good thing I'm not actually a pig, I would be quite the cannibal. There was a little line. But enough people in front of us so that I could get a good look at the food. I'm so excitable. Either I premeditate every move I make, or I make a crazy thoughtless decision on the fly. Especially when it comes to food.

So anyway, we saw this saucy red stuff, and it looked really good. I couldn't tell what it was until I got up close to it. And we had always eyeballed the teriyaki chicken wings, but they are teriyaki. So maybe we weren't thinking straight. The FP got the beef sinigang and the teriyaki chicken wings. I got the goat and the beef kare kare.

So, then, we go to get our condiments, and the FP looked all tense. He didnt' see any hot sauce. So I asked the lady, and she pointed over to where the condiments are. I said, yeah, I didn't see any. She had to look for herself. Is that a filipino trait? To not trust anyone and have to investigate everything for oneself? Because I know I do it, and my whole family does..... Anyway, she went to the side where there's a bunch of dry storage stacked up, 4 rice cookers, to go boxes, etc. Then she went in the back, made a circle. Then she went back to the register and informed me that there was no hot sauce.

I thought the FP was going to flip the "f" out. He has wild mood swings especially in the morning before and after coffee. So I said, go to the store across and buy hot sauce. He calmed down, and dug into his sinigang.

It shut him up. It was tangy, the meat was tender. The veggies were just cooked enough to be tender but al dente. The rice is always good. That medium grain stuff cooked in those industrial sized rice cookers...

I took a taste of my goat. And then the memory came flooding back to me. Ketchup. Goat stewed in ketchup and maybe even more sugar. I put the garlic vinegar on it, but, no, it still tasted like ketchup.

I tasted the kare kare. Delicious. Once again, the meat was tender. The greens were good. The peanut sauce was just peanutty enough. Sometimes people make it too peanutty. I love peanut and peanut butter, but you don't want it to overpower everything else. What I do, is, I take a small portion, and I mix it with my rice. For some reason, I don't like to mix it all at once. Only in portions.

So I asked the FP how the wings were. He hadn't tasted them. So I took a bite of one. Sweet. Not much else going on there. Definitely needed more acid and heat, and well, there being no hot sauce, I didn't want to get the FP into a lather so I kept my mouth shut (figuratively, because you know I was busy shovelling food into my mouth).

So we ate the good half of our combos and took the other halves home, pretty much untouched. So we put them in the fridge and got back to the task of moving. The next day when I looked in the fridge, I saw that the leftovers were no longer there. And I know the FP didn't eat them. This is the first time in Tita's Kitchenette history that we have ever wasted food from there. Hopefully it will be the last. But part of being a food ho is trying things that I know might be a risk, right?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

All Apologies

So, I'm not a big Nirvana fan (for shame - I know, it's like saying you don't like the Beatles or the Stones). I'm not saying I don't appreciate their contribution to musical history - I've watched the Behind the Music and the Classic Albums documentaries and all that. But anyhoo, I hear a Nirvana song on the radio every day like the band is current. I heard All Apologies today or yesterday or the day before. I thought it was an appropriate title for this blog.

But I don't want to apologize. I'm sick of apologizing. I haven't written in ten days, which is why I would apologize, but this is not my job. I wish it were. I would write so much that I might run out of my infinite cyberspace storage. If anyone knows how this could be my job, please give me advice!

Anyway, my life has been a complete upheaval for the past 2 months or so. Lots of stuff going on. So we just moved, and we had been moving for like 2 weeks any spare time we got between work and drinking. So now we've finally moved everything except for our couch which wouldn't fit. This is the first time I've had to sit and write that I wasn't in a completely frazzled mental state.

So what have we been eating. What a loaded question. Lots of not so good stuff. Wendy's a couple times. Subway one desparate day that we didn't have much time. Del Taco. Popeye's - which was actually really good. We got 2 3 pieces, spicy dark, dirty rice for the FP, red beans and rice and mashed potatoes. They gave us both a chicken breast - which we both ate and enjoyed. It was just different and juicy. I wouldn't want to make a habit of eating it though.

We went to Home Depot one day. So, of course we had to get a hotdog. I had exactly enough money for two jumbo dogs and a tip. That was a little bright sunny patch in our dark cloudy time of moving. They were delicious, as usual. Mustard- yellow and brown, sauerkraut relish, jalapenos. They were so delicious. We must have looked funny because these workmen who had ordered some hot dogs looked at me and seemed to laugh.

Then one night we got to the neighborhood late and we weren't sure what was opened. So we went to 7-11 and got cans of Chef Boyardee - ravioli and beefaroni and we mixed them. So as we went to the checkout, I noticed the hot dog display. I couldn't resist. One jumbo dog. Relish, mustard, jalapenos. We split it in the car in the parking lot. That was one of the memorable moments in my life. Sad? Nah, I think it was poignant. It was kinda an end to a long period of time of many mixed emotions and physical strain. I'm not saying our life is peachy keen now, but it could be worse, right? What it all hot dogs were recalled? That would certainly be worse.

We also went to Los Reyes, one of our new neighborhood taco joints. It's got a parking lot. It's big, it's clean. They have seafood cocktail that looks delicious. We didn't get it - but we watched this couple eat it.

I got a burrito al pastor. The FP got a steak rancheros combo plate. The burrito was delicious. The meat was tender and flavorful (what a cliche of a description - but it's true). It just had like onion, cilantro and I think tomato maybe. So good. Soul food. That's what one needs for $3.99 when one is not in the best of times. The FP's stuff was good too, but I honestly don't remember it too well. I know the beans were the mushed kind, but they tasted good. The ranchero sauce was good. I think he was very happy with it.

Also, we went to Giorgino's. I can't believe this place has been in our vicinity and we have never seen it before now! The FP got the philly cheesesteak, of course. I got the Italian sub. Wow. That's all I can say. Okay, I can probably be a little more descriptive:

It was good.








Okay, maybe a little more. Basically, I don't know how many "authentic" cheesesteaks I've had in my life. I've had really yummy ones, but apparently not authentic. These were. They even imported the rolls from Philly. This cheesesteak had american cheese - which makes it authentic. And the guy making it looked like he was from philly too. American cheese really does make it better. The steak and onions and peppers were just - wow.

And the italian. The meat was sliced so thin, and then it had the lettuce sliced really thin and the italian dressing. It was the best italian sub I've had in years. The last one I can remember was at FSU at the sweet shop. And that was a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong time ago. I don't want to give away my age - but that was probably around 92 or 93........ I have to say though - they sell those Honest Teas at Giorgino's. So I got like limeade - maybe ginger limeade? Anyway. It tasted like sugar water with a hint of lime. Sucked. Not a big fan.

They have like homemade huckleberry limeade at Krakatoa, our new coffee shop. I haven't had it, but it sounds good. That place is amazing. It's very homey. They make lots of beautiful baked goods in this smallish convection oven with no hood. I guess I was being a big baby when I worked at Wired and complained about not having a hood and a real kitchen - but this convection oven at Krakatoa is way nicer than the dinky one at Wired.

So what else. The FP is going to the Cystic Fibrosis benefit today in Point Loma. He's making lamb meatballs with a romesco sauce and a mango papaya "ceviche" dessert with coconut milk and candied ginger. He just had me taste it. It's delicious and it is pretty too. So if you happen to be going to the event, eat his food and say, Hi Food Pimp, it's a pleasure to meet you!

Tomorrow we are having a brunch for our friends, so there will be stuff to write about. Like cooking on our electric stove...I said I would never live somewhere where there is an electric stove again. I lied. Writer's liscense...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whoah Nely!

So last week we looked at a new apartment so that we could stress about how we're going to get the money to pay all this overlapping rent and deposit. The landlady is this old old lady who is very stern and intimidating. She basically wanted a yes or no from us on the spot. We told her we needed to discuss it. So we went to lunch in the neighborhood. I really don't know the name. It's like Nely's, or Mexican y Salvadoren Restaurant or Restaurant y pupuseria or something. Anyway, it's that place on like Broadway and 25th or 26th.

So we ordered a jalapeno and cheese pupusa. It came last, but I'll discuss it first. So it took forever. The waitress asked if we wanted it to go because it came when we were halfway through our entrees. But we said, bring it on. So here it is:


So there was this bright green peeking through. We thought, man, they used fresh jalapenos, this is gonna be hot. So we cut through the cheese, and we took a bite. Then another bite. There was no picante at all. The FP noticed first, seeing as how he is addicted to spicy shit. So he asked, are these green bell peppers? Maybe that's why it took so long. Maybe she was looking for jalapenos and couldn't find them. What kind of mexican restaurant doesn't have bell peppers, though? So this pupusa was disappointing. It was just so so.

So the FP's entree came first. He got the lengua combo with verde sauce.



So he took a bite and didn't say anything. I asked how it was. He said strong. So he made me taste it. It was strong. I mean I've wrestled, I mean tasted stronger tongue before, but it wasn't fresh. After our New Year's Day experience, the FP is wary of eating sketchy foods. Sketchy as in tasting old, not sketchy as in weird. He didn't really eat much more of it. Just his rice and beans basically. The rice was okay - not as overcooked as some places, but not whole grains either. The beans were actually really good. They were runny and mushy, not looking like they would have much flavor but they did.

So I got the camarones diablo. The lady had asked after we both ordered, do you like spicy? Because they are both spicy. Yes, we said, we like spicy.



So I got the same combo stuff with it. The salad looked like it had dressing on it, and I said, oh the salad has dressing, that's weird. But it turned out that it was just wet. The shrimp were delicious. The red sauce was hot, but not mind blowing, just hot. I'm always scared shrimp are going to be gross. I've gotten too many of those Thai or other asian shrimp that have no flavor or a yucky flavor. These shrimp did not have those attributes. The sauce was good though. Spicy, smoky - you know, mexican spicy red sauce. Not red sauce like marinara, salsa rojo. It was good. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I ate about half the shrimps and gave the FP the rest since he didn't eat much of his lengua.

So it was very unexciting, but we'll be back. Hopefully they will have jalapenos next time and fresh meat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Island Breakfast

So, Sunday morning we woke up starving. We went out Saturday night and we kinda drank a lot. Usually we roll up to a fast food joint after and order a mess of food - but we just walked home and went to bed instead.

Needless to say we woke up wanting breakfast. The FP's instinct was the Old Mill Cafe. If it weren't for the blog, I probably would have gone there. But there was a place lurking in my mind that I knew had breakfast...........

Island Spice. I'm not sure what is up with all this sudden renewed interest in Caribbean, not like it hasn't been there since we moved to San Diego. Well, part of it is that we are about to move to that neighborhood. But, I guess we just go in phases. Kinda like how friends can be with us - we're like oxtails and tres leches. At first we are fun to hang out with, but after a while, they need a break - it's the same rich meaty and over the top sweety combo. (Don't ask about the rhymes. I'm not sure what that's about.) You just can't eat oxtail and tres leches every single day...

Anyhoo, for a while our default restaurant seemed to be El Salvadoreno, now it's Island Spice. So I'm not even going to apologize at this point, but I don't have pictures. We were going for breakfast hungover, so my mind wasn't functioning properly.

There is this mackerel rundown dish that I was hoping to get, but they didn't have it. It was 10 am and they weren't done cooking some stuff. So the only breakfast dish they had was ackee and cod. That was fine. I had heard of ackee and seen cans of it, but I've never had it. So I ordered that. And you get your choice of rice or dumplings, so I got dumplings because I'd never had them.

The Food Pimp got.......oxtail.

And we got a beef pattie. So the pattie came first. It was also orange like the one at Caribbean Taste. But not as orange. It had a nice flavor, but the pastry wasn't quite as crispy and the meat was wetter. The beef was good, but not quite as flavorful as Caribbean Taste. Don't get me wrong, I could still make a meal of a few of these.

The oxtail. It was good, but not as ridiculously good as the last time we went to Island Spice. It was similar, just a couple notches down.

The ackee and cod. If I ever missed an opportunity for a shot of food - this was the one. I didn't even have my phone on me because it was Sunday morning. So ackee is a fruit related to lychee and longan.

When my plate came, it looked like scrambled eggs. But it was not. It was ackee and salt cod. The ackee was kind of chopped up like scrambled eggs, and it has the same color. And the texture is even kind of soft like good scrambled eggs. But the taste. I can't describe it. I know. As a food blogger, my job is to explain to you that which I have experienced so that you have an idea what it is like. I don't know. It's not tasteless. It's...ackee. It's not quite fruity in the American sense of the word. We would think of it more as a vegetable maybe. I'm stumped. But I liked it. I ate an ackee and I liked it. The taste of the salt codfish....

So yeah, ackee. The plate also came with a little veggies - not as good as last time but still good. There was also sweet fried plantains, boiled green plantains and the dumplings. The sweet plantains were good. The boiled ones were big whole boiled ones with really no flavor. They were kind of good though to mix with the ackee and salt cod. The dumplings were pretty much what I expected, but I had to try them anyway. They were just big gigantic lumps of hard steamed dough. It was hard to cut with the knife. I don't know if that's really how hard they are supposed to be. But they were instriguingly hard. I shaved off a few slices to eat with the salt cod and ackee mix, but, they just didn't do anything for me. Big hard gluten discs. Fascinating. That shit would definitely fill you up for the rest of the day if you ate it all. But then once digested...I don't know.

So that was Island breakfast. I went home and napped after that meal.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Caribbean Queen Now We're Sharing the Same...

So on the advice of KirkK - who is like the major food authority who I listen to in SD, we went to Caribbean Taste. It's always fun to go to a new area of town and explore - but pulling up to this place was very exciting. There were all these people with dreds there - so they're either from Jamaica or they wish they were. Which means they probably like good Jamaican food. Of course, let's not sterotype. Nah, lets. Already did. Oh sorry. That's some dumb saying that the FP and his funny friends at Vega (when he was there the second time as chef, not the first) used to say and they would laugh their asses off over it.

Anyway, there is this brick oven in the place. A brick oven. How cool is that? And then there was just one lady running the whole show. Seems pretty authentic to me.

So we ordered. I was going to get the jerk chicken to compare to the last jerk chicken at Island Spice, but I ended up getting the curry goat. The FP got the oxtail, of course. So then I noticed the patties, so I ordered veggie pattie, but she only had beef and chicken, so I got chicken - to the FP's relief, he didn't want veggie.

So the pattie came first. It was orange. Paprika or other spices?



It was delicious. Flaky pastry, yet tender. The meat was nicely spiced. Meat in pastry. Yum yum. Every culture has one- pattie, empanada, brik, samosa, some other names I can't think of.....

Then the food came. It was pretty big. We like big.

The curry goat.




Wow, it was little pieces - which is accompanied by little bone fragments. The danger of eating goat is that you want to shovel it into your mouth because it's so delicious, but you have to be careful. These teeny bones are in there. Anyhoo, the goat was...I have to say light. Okay, not light like egg white scramble, but for goat it was light. The sauce wasn't as heavy and murky and greasy as goat sauce can be. Weird. I'm not saying I don't like the heavy murky grease. I love that stuff. It's great. But this was just different. It had that great yellow green curry look. It had a lot going on. The rice was kind of overcooked. That didn't bother me - it was just a vehicle to soak up the sauce. The veggies were the same mix as at Island Spice, (is there a blend of caribbean veggie mix that is being sold to these places?) but the veggies were cooked more than they were at Island Spice. Still good, but not as delicious. The plantains were perfect. Big plump slices cut on the bias. They were ripe, but a little crispy sear on them. Oh how I love plantains. But I don't eat them much here. The stores don't sell the black ones here. So sometimes I buy them not yet ripe, and then I forget about them until they are swarming with fruit flies.

The oxtail.



It was with the same sides. It was in a nice sauce. Oxtail sauce. There were whole allspice berries in the sauce. It was oxtail. It was not quite as tender as one could hope for, but it was still cooked. I guess after having that perfectly cooked oxtail at Island Spice, there was a lot to live up to at Caribbean Taste. If one could have the sauce from Caribbean Taste and put the oxtail the way it was cooked at Island Spice it would be perfect. Yum. Oxtail. Who doesn't love oxtail. It's just kind of pricier than it used to be.

I don't know when we'll be back to Caribbean Taste, but I can't wait to give them a rating. Maybe it will change, we'll see. But in the meantime, I think they deserve \/\/\/\ 7 chopstick. They have Ting! That definitely helps with the rating. Ting is a Jamaican grapefruit soda. It's like Squirt, except no vegetable oil.

I don't know how these places can serve so much for what they charge. I guess they don't really have employees, so they don't pay out much on labor. I'm not complaining, just marvelling. I get so much more satisfaction out of meals like these, that don't cost that much, than meals at fine dining places where it costs 2 or 3 times as much. Soul food. That's the shit. The bomb. Off the hook. Off the chain. That's what kind of place I would like to open. The Food Ho's Soul Food Cafe. I have a great space in mind - just don't have the money.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So Long, Long John Silver's

So, this week we went to Long John Silver's for lunch. We were being health nuts as usual, going for a run (jog in my case) and then heading on the 805 south to LJS. Usually when we go there we go right at 10 am when it opens. But we didn't get there until lunchtime - 12 o'clock.

Here is where I exemplify how we both have bad memories and we get so excited to go eat somewhere that we become stupid. I mean idiotic, really. So we hopped in the car and made a beeline for the interstate. Once we got on 805, the Food Pimp asked me, which exit. I had to think about it. I knew it was fairly close. I said, I think it's Home. So we got off at Home. We went a few blocks, and it didn't look right. So we uturned and got back on the interstate. Then I said, I know it's not that far, it's def not Plaza. I said, maybe Market. So we got off at Market. It was the weird exit with that mall. No, we knew it wasn't that one. So we uturned and got back on the interstate heading south. It's got to be Imperial, I said. So we got off at the next exit, and yeah, we knew we were there. We took that lefthand turn. We drove through the crowd of day laborers looking for jobs. We parked. We walked in.

There were quite a lot of people there. It definitely was lunchtime. I was a bit concerned, but happy to be there. I ordered the #10, substitute corn for coleslaw. The FP ordered #10, add a chicken plank.

So we got a corner table. The FP loaded up on about 6 cocktail sauces, which I knew wouldn't be enough. But he got plenty of malt vinegar packets and salt.

So it took a little while. No problem. No need to worry yet.

Finally.



I got the corn on the stick. Thankfully no coleslaw on my plate. I just don't even want it touching my food. The chicken plank looked like a chicken board. The FP ate it with hot sauce. Then he used the paper boat for a dipping container. Yes. A dipping container. I know what you loyal followers are saying to yourselves as you read this. "But the FP likes to sprinkle his fried food with the malt vinegar and hot sauce." That's what I said. He said that he learned from me. He still sprinkled some on his food as well. We can learn from each other, of course.

So, I filled my little well with malt vinegar. Initially I forgot to mix it with hot sauce, silly me. But I did do the malt vinegar dip followed by the cocktail dip. The fries were cold and stale. Very disappointing. The shrimp was very hard, like the chicken plank. The hushpuppies were great. Hot, cornbready goodness ready to absorb the malt vinegar, hot sauce and cocktail sauce combo. The fish was still nice and warm and crispy at least. The clams were a bit "clammier" thank usual, but fried the way they always are fried. Tender and limp. That brings me back to Boston, Bastan, Mass. There was one place on Columbus street, I think. It was called Charlie's or something like that. They had really great fried clams. Probably the best ever. They were oceany - much different from these clams. These are like individually portioned and frozen prebreaded. Don't get me wrong, I like them and all. They are great drenched in malt vinegar, hot sauce and cocktail sauce.

So the FP's second piece of fish was sitting directly under his first. It was completely sogged out. Very disappointing. He ate most of it anyway. So yeah, this was a disappointment. I think we will only be going to LJS if we can go right at 10 when everything is new and fresh.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Island deliciousness

So, you know how you go to a place, and you love it, and for whatever reason you don't go back for a long time? No, oh, that's just us then. Whelp, we were looking for Caribbean food when we first moved here. We found a place, went a few times, but for whatever reason it wasn't on our radar.

So, yesterday I got a call from my boss (he's always bugging me) and he asked me if I could go to the restaurant and let Steeler Drummer in because she didn't have her keys. This is getting to be a routine. This is the 3rd time in two weeks that someone forgot their keys! Anyway, so we were about to go for lunch. So we swing by, and I go in the back and then the FP picks me up in the front because I had to open the front door too. So we were facing south. So the FP keeps driving. So I asked, where are we going, because we were planning on Convoy street. So we were headed to Island Spice on Market street. I said, whhhhhhhaaaaaaaaat?

So we get there, and there's no one in there. I tried to order what I found out was breakfast. Breakfast?!!!! We have to go for breakfast sometime.

So I got the jerk chicken and the FP got the oxtail - both large. You can get smalls for $10 or large for $12. What a smart move. Most people are going to get the large, but the small is probably half the size of the large. I remembered before everthing took so long. This time it took about 5 minutes. Very fast. Can I tell you how delicious this stuff looked?

So this was just so good. I mean, blow your pants off good. I mean, multiple simultaneous tongueasms...... So yeah. Island Spice.

The jerk chicken was not spicy at all, but the flavor was very nice. Smoky, sweet, like BBQ. In fact, it kind of reminded me of my mom's bbq sauce. The chicken flesh had absorbed some of the jerk marinade, which really made it exceptionally delicious. The rice and beans were just right, and the veggies. OMG the veggies were kinda the best thing on the plate. The greens were right. Cabbage, some other green, corn - it was just cooked perfectly. Still green, but tender. Just tasting like veggies. Um um um uuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm yummmmmmmmm. Really. No jokes bro. And the plantains were plumped up and sweet. I have a weakness for those things..




But the oxtail. I cannot tell you what the experience of eating perfectly cooked oxtail is like if you've never had it. The sauce was flavorful, but not really heavy relatively speaking. Simple. It just glazed the oxtail so beautifully. And the oxtails were just cooked right to the point where they were fork tender, but they clung to the bones. If you don't like to suck meat and fat off the bones, then oxtail is not for you. You might as well get IV injections instead of eating though, because that is the real zest of eating - sucking the bone. You know what I mean. I hate it when people say they don't like chicken on the bone. That's just wrong. But with oxtail, oh my god, all that sweet soft fatty flavor is just one of the ultimate tastes that your tongue can run its length against.




So I give Island Spice a.....rating of........ \/\/\/\/\ what? that must be a typo? Nope. 9 chopstick. It's that good. At least it was yesterday.....

Please... go there. It will be like a second honeymoon....Oh, and I hear you can bring your own red stripe because they don't serve alkyhol.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

hot dog

So, being the health nuts that we are, we ate hot dogs Saturday night and Sunday night. I shit you not.

This is how it went down. Sunday, I finally got a chance to pull the FP away from the computer. He had been glued to the screen, watching webcasts of the New Orleans news coverage of Gustav. But then the track turned west, so he could rest a bit and not have to be camped out in front of the computer. He only had to check in every few hours after the news. So luckily, the storm wasn't as bad as predicted and it seems the Big Easy has survived another one, but there is all kinds of activity in the Atlantic, so we shall see. It's kinda sad though, how because the storm didn't directly hit New Orleans it wasn't as big of a story. It did hit Houma directly, and then ironically, it hit Baton Rouge pretty bad. That is where a lot of New Orleanians went to ride the storm out, but it was a safer choice than being in New Orleans, I suppose.

We went to the practice space, then we went to the Bluefoot for several hours. Then we were getting hungry, and we decided we would go to the grocery store. The FP said how he wanted a hotdog and sauerkraut. I think he was joking, but when he said that, my eyes lit up, and the deal was sealed.

So we got the Hebrew Nationals, the Claussens sauerkraut, the Claussen's ridged pickle slices, Louisiana hot sauce and the Heinz relish. We had some yellow mustard at home. We got the Ballpark hotdog buns. The FP doesn't like the thick big buns because it's too much bread in proportion to the hotdog.

So these were the long skinnies. I think our microwave is on the fritz - it takes much longer to heat everything than it used to. So I kept microwaving the skinnies. Finally they were hot. So here was my fatal flaw. The sauerkraut was still cold, and I didn't get enough juice out of it either. So the buns got soggy. But everything tasted good anyway. In fact, at one point in the middle of the night, I woke up. We were camped out in front of the tv. The FP had been dozing all night, but kinda keeping an ear out for any changes in Gustav's track. I had another hotdog. You know - midnight snack.



So last night - Labor day - we had practice minus our drummer. Then we went for a drink, again. So we were at the Bluefoot, again. We brought up the subject of what we wanted for dinner. The FP said, you know, I want another hotdog. My eyes lit up again. So off we headed to Albertson's. This time we got the jumbos. We still got the same little hotdog buns though.

So this time, I microwaved the sauerkraut with the hotdogs. We still didn't have paper towels, though. So the FP's bun got sogged, so I put the soggy bun on the plate as a sponge, then put the hotdog in another bun. But that one sogged too, so he had to get a third bun. Yes, we wasted 2 buns, but our hot dog to bun ratio was so low that we would have eventually thrown out the extra buns anyway after they got stale and we noticed them on top of the fridge 5 weeks later. So anyway, these jumbo dogs are so much more satisfying. There is so much more girth to taste the meatiness of the dog. Size does matter guys, no matter what the girl says. If she says it doesn't, she is completely lying to you. So anyway, I think I've satisfied my hotdog fetish craving for a while. Although we still have 2 skinnies and one jumbo in the fridge. And I hate to let good food go to waste.

Monday, September 1, 2008

You May Be My Lucky Star

So, my friend Marin had told us about Lucky Star. This place is in the college area on University. It's Chinese food and they have big band night on Thursdays. The bluehairs dress up and dance. Oh, and they have dimsum. My food emailling buddy My Halfway told me about dim sum there.

So yesterday morning, we were hungry. The FP was in the mood for dim sum. We talked about Emerald. Then I remembered Lucky Star. I looked it up online, and thank my lucky stars, it opens at 9 am. So off we went, around 8:40 am. We were the second table there.

So if you've been to Jasmine, or that Vietnamese place down University from Lucky Star, they all are kinda similar. Each is asian, and all three are "banquet halls" with a stage and dancefloor. Although, Lucky Star has the most elaborate lighting set up I have ever seen in any bar or club. There are like 6 fog machines and four of every lighting device I've ever seen. I would love to go there at night during a party and see what it looks like all set up. And of course the sound system looks way bigger than what they need for the space. They also have a metal detector, I guess for when they have parties with those punky asian gangster kids.

We were quite impressed. So the carts started coming, and seeing how at first there were only 2 tables, we got hit with a lot of choices. But that's the key to dim sum - you gotta keep your cool. Don't jump the gun. If you feel like you're not really dead set on getting a dish, don't get it, another one will come along. I promise. So, I think overall we chose pretty well. I think we got seven dishes.

Let's see if I can remember without looking at the pictures first.

First, we got the bean curd filled with shrimp and mushrooms. This was excellent. It came with a brown sauce clinging to the tender beancurd. I love bean curd, but sometimes it's just stuffed with shrimp with not really any flavor. This had flavor, and the mushroom made it even better.



Second, we got shumai. I thought she said with egg, but what the hell, we thought we'd see what it was. These were the largest shumai I have seen to date. They were big orbs, big as golf balls, not those bite sized ones. They had that pork paste in them, flavored with cilantro. That's standard. But what made these the most bizarre shumai I have ever tasted was the egg on top. I'm not sure what they did to them. The FP thought they were quail eggs, but they were too circular looking - I thought they were egg yolks. But the weird part was that the middle was like a creamy center, not boiled, but custardy. I don't know how they did this. It looked like they soft boiled an egg and then extracted the yolk. Then maybe they plunked it on top of the shumai and slow steamed them? I really don't know. It was so strange though. When I first bit into one, it was creepy - like biting into an eyeball. But the flavor and texture was really so uniquely tasty.



We also got the beef ball off that cart. Pretty standard. Garlicky. Except they had a skin on the bottom that we had to peel off. That was weird.




Then we got the chicken feet. That standard kind of bbq sauce. They were nicely cooked - you could bite the skin off and suck on the bones and get the flavor out of them. They did have those cold white chicken feet with the nuoc mam type sauce. We've never tried them, but I don't like the look of them at all.




Then we got the pork knuckle. Yum yum. These came with the jalapeno slices, but they really had one flavoring component. Garlic. Lots of it. I mean tons of garlic. I liked it though. I don't use as much garlic as I used to when I first started cooking (yeah, I got that from Emeril - but that was prelive cooking show audience complete with band Emeril. Back when he was just trying to do a humble cooking show.). These were succulent little bites that we sucked on until all that was left was the cartiligenous parts.




Then, thank god, the rice in lotus leaf showed up. I was getting pretty full just looking at all the food we had on our table. These were those 2 small heavy packets in the steamer container. They were heavy. The rice was really sticky and wet. The meat was the scraps, pork, chicken, dried out chinese sausage. There was like a brown sauce that oozed out of it. It was okay, but it was heavy and I was definitely getting full. I ate about half my packet, but the FP saved the day and finished it for me.



But of course, I had room for dessert - baked bbq pork bun. I knew it before as a savory dish, but this one was on the dessert cart and it definitely looked like dessert. It was glazed with a light shiny coating of simply syrup, and the bbq pork was so sweet, that if you didn't focus on the fact that it was pork, you would never think of it as a savory dish. I loved it. Pork for dessert. It can't get any better than that. It smelled like a doughnut, with the glaze and the yeast smell when I bit into it. I swear. It smelled like a Krispy Kreme. And I know that's a chain, but man, do I love Krispy Kremes! They are just great. I could go for one now..... IThe pork bun though, was a little too much for the FP, which I understand. I'm not sure how many Americanos would go for this - but I loved it. I ate 2 and took the third home. It's in the fridge, but I'm not sure how to eat it. Maybe microwave it for a few seconds at a time?