Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Latin Style

So, I've been told I have a big booty - you know - "baby got back", ghetto booty, J Lo booty, cushion for the pushin, bubblebutt, junk in the trunk. Now, the Food Pimp will LOL when he reads this next statement, but I think it doesn't protrude as much as it used to. Ha ha, I know very funny, if anything, it's bigger.... Anyway, I wonder if that is part of why I crave latino food so much. Maybe, it's in my jeans?

Anyhoo, we went to Tropical Star recently. Thankfully, it wasn't as hot as it was in there last time we went. So it's a great place. It's a store, but they have a restaurant menu and tables in the middle of the store. So while you wait for your food, you get to look at all the neato items that they stock. Their cuban espresso pots are pretty cheap too.

So, this time we got different stuff.


The FP got the arroz con camarones. It was really good. The rice was flavorful, the shrimp were tasty, not overcooked or mealy.



I got an alcapurria. Here's the insides.


It's like a croquette with plantain dough and pork filling. It was really tasty. Earthy fried goodness.




I also got yucca con chicharone. Because I'm such a health nut, I thought I'd just get a couple of light appetizers. I didn't want to fill up on a big entree like the FP did. So usually I get the yucca fried, but I got boiled for a change, you know, less grease. But then, I was wondering if the chicharone was deep fried? Either way its fine, because when you deep fry something the excess fat drains into the fryer. this chicharone was thinner sliced and not quite as dark and crispy as El Salvadoreno, but these are different styles. I think this one has less calories if you happen to be on a diet, like I am. I'm trying to loose that booty so I can schooch into the front door at Tropical Star. I was glad that this had the slaw on top of it, because salad adds nutritional value to any meal!



So I had ordered one more little bite, but it wasn't coming out. So I finally went to the counter and asked, they had forgotten about it. A few minutes later, it came to the table.



Morcilla. I think it was supposed to come with a corn cake, but I figured, I didn't want to ruin my low calorie low carb meal by consuming a corn cake anyway, so I didn't ask. The morcilla was good. Crisp casing, sweet rich filling. Eating blood is good for the blood, right? I thought I read that somewhere on the internet. This was really delicious. I love blood sausage. It's so healthy too, it's my replacement for dessert because it's on the sweet side. So we finished our food - the FP was tired and weighted down and bloated, but I bounced out on my slightly smaller booty because of my nutritious light lunch!

Tropical Star
6163 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111-3105
(858) 874-7827

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blogaversary!

So, thank you Teena in Toronto for pointing out that it's my Blogoversary! One more hour left, so should I make a wish? What is my wish? To own my own little restaurant that people can blog about and I can be proud, whether or not I get good ratings, of the food that I put out because it's my food.

I guess I could highlight some of the great meals of the year? Without cheating and looking back through my blog posts....Costa Brava with Valley Girl and Mr. IIY, LSU Crawfish Boil, Ba Ren (Which I have yet to post) with CanineCologne and Kirk K, and just with TFP, Sab E Lee with Canine Cologne and Laotian Flower, and just with TFP, Aji Seco, Tropical Star, Latin Chef (not posted), Convoy Tofu House, Dumpling Inn, Island Spice, Tita's Kitchenette, Bully's, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, Memorial Day, The Temecula trip - the Public House & eating cheese, pate & drinking wine at the resort, well, that's what I can think of. I'm sure I'm leaving out some great stuff, but I have to use maybe a little too much Secret, because I don't want the stinky pits, and it's probably impairing my memory. And I drink Diet Coke out of cans.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I'm glad to have met some of you nice and knowledgable people - more knowledgable than me - and I hope to continue to meet more and have great food experiences with them! And of course thanks to The Food Pimp, because none of it would be nearly as pleasurable without him!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

If it's Broke, then Leave it to the People Who Don't Care About Good Food!

So,
We rarely go for what we call "American Breakfast" anymore. Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's our evolving taste, maybe it's our shallow pockets, maybe it's our slightly modified diet due to the Food Pimp's exercise regimen. Anyway, one morning we wanted American Breakfast. The FP suggested the Broken Yolk downtown, because he ran by it all the time and it was close. So we went. There were maybe 2 parties waiting when we walked in. But they were both seated at the same time. Then the hostess decided to tally receipts, or close out checks or something. She was very intent on this. She didn't even look up to acknowledge us. So we waited. We were the only party. Then some other people walked in and were waiting behind us. Finally, a server came and seated us. Then, the hostess seated the people behind us!

So, we had coffee. It sucked. But, you know, it's like a diner with a newer image. It's a cooler Denny's basically. And the hilarious thing, is that we didn't really want to drink it. But every five minutes one waiter come around with a carafe and ask if we wanted more. We would say no. Then a minute later, the other waiter doing the coffee rounds would ask if we wanted coffee. I swear this happened 3 times! I think at one point I said yes so that I would have coffee in my cup and they wouldn't ask me.


So the FP got the corned beef hash, of course. It was the canned stuff with the potatoes already in it. I know, a lot of places use this stuff. Fine. But add some stuff to it, something. Hot sauce, worcestershire, green onions. And then cook it properly. You gotta slap it down on the hot grill in a thin layer and then let it crisp up. And then you do the other side too. So this corned beef, they might have done that, but then it didn't slide onto the plate in one sheet. It was kind of chopped up and then put on, with the pinky middle all mixed up with the crisp outside. Now, this may seem kind of OCD, but there is a difference if the crust is broken and chopped up. You just want to dig in to the pink part, but personally, I don't want it too pink, that's why I like a thin thin layer on the grill! So anyway, the textures in your mouth are kind of yucky when it's presented like this. The eggs were nicely cooked at least. As for the home fries - they were pretty much executed the same way as the corned beef. Crispy bits mixed in with borderline raw bits.



Bacon that I got. Too pink. I like darker crispy shit. At the breakfast place I worked at, people were fanatic about their bacon - they would ask for it burnt. It would be pretty damn burnt, and they liked it like that. I think microwaves were made to cook bacon. They make it perfect. You wrap it in paper towels and nuke it. Or maybe you have one of those microwave bacon racks. I've never tried those. I don't eat that much bacon.



Blueberry pancakes. They were...kinda passable. Well, I was hungry. Blueberry pancakes are tricky. You really don't want to put too many blueberries in, because they make the pancake watery and mushy. The best would be to put a few fresh ones in a minute before you flip it. But most places probably use frozen ones, so you probably put them in sooner, and then the water leaches out, making it mushy. But I should know better than to order blueberry pancakes. They are often disappointing. I should go for the plain ones with fruit topping.

So we ate, then we wanted to get the fuck out of there. We had our check but we had to pay up front. So we went up to the hostess area. She was on the phone. Not acknowledging us. Looking in the corner or at the register again. For a while. A few minutes. Jabbering away. No, just one minute, no glance in our direction. Finally, after ages, she hangs up. Then it takes a few beats for her to help us. It's like she wants us to know that we, with our check, and my camera, and my little food blog are insignificant to her. She doesn't care if we are in her life or not. We are just like the little mites that reside on her body to eat dead skin cells. She may or may not know that they are there, and that they are beneficial to her, but of no consequence to her daily life. She didn't care that maybe the longer she ignored us, the less tip we would be leaving. So, it's not like I left a horrible tip, just not 20% which is usually standard for mediocre service. So I'm gonna give the Broken Yolk \ one chopstick for the eggs. After all a place that is called the Broken Yolk should make nice eggs, right?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Spain on a Sunday Evening

So, about a month ago, we went to Costa Brava with our friends, Mr. Interested In You and Valley Girl. It was a perfect evening, and we got there a little after the start of happy hour, and we sat on the patio. Of course we had several pitchers of sangria - at $8 a pitcher, you owe it to yourself to drink as many as possible and cash in on the deal - without impairing yourself for driving, of course.


So, marinated octopus. This was on the happy hour menu. It was delicious. It was perfectly tender, and it had the right balance of acidity and olive oil and sea salt. Just wonderful.




Okay, so I think this was not on the happy hour menu, but I needed to order it anyway. This is the morcilla with onions. So so so good. I think the name blood sausage is way more scary sounding than it is. I think people think of a casing filled with gushing runny blood. Yeah, it does have blood, but it's cooked blood. It's mixed with meat, and it adds this sweet dark flavor, and the texture when cooked is crunchier (in a good way). You know, don't knock it until you try it. And this is a good way to try blood sausage for the first time, in my opinion.





Hell yeah! Fried anchovies! These are fucking delicious! It's like french fries of the sea! They are crunchy, yummy, no relation to those salty little things in the can at the grocery store. While those do have their applications, I would not eat those straight out of the can. If you want to eat yummy preserved anchovy fillets, go for the boquerones. I love those, but we didn't get those this time.





Patatas a la Brava
Damn, these are good! These were one of my favorite things that evening! Wedges of fried potato coated in spicy aioli...yummy. How can you not like that? Everyone likes these!





Mushrooms in garlic sauce. I gotta say, these were...good. So compared to everything else, they were not that exciting. If I got them somewhere else, I might be raving about how they were the best thing on the menu.






marinated olives. You know, olives. From Spain. Good stuff. Nice and plump and olivey.





Pulpo a la Gallega - octopus with olive oil and spicy paprika. This was also good. Not on the happy hour menu, but still worth the price. Tender octopus is one of the best oral experiences ever!





Ham and cheese croquetas. Ham, cheese, bechamel, rolled in a little football shape, coated with bread crumb and deep fried. How can you go wrong. They are like the original cheese sticks, really.




Pinchitos Morunos. Lamb skewers. I was getting full by this time. These were good. But not the best of the tapas. They were...a little dry. They just didn't blow up my skirt, I guess.




Garlicky escargot. Now don't tell me you don't like escargot but you've never tried them. Well, you just don't like the way they look or the fact that they are snails. C'mon. Why, cause they're black? If shrimp weren't a common food item, wouldn't people think they were weird looking and say, I don't want to try it because it looks weird with the legs and stuff. Escargot are delicious. Especially with garlic. Yummy.

So that was the food. The company equally added to the experience. Mr. IIY and VG are just lovely people and Mr. IIY is a great story teller. He was telling us about his friend, who is quite the character, and his unsavoury stripper girlfriends and police encounters and whatnots. Great stories that if you saw them in a movie, you would say, that is so unrealistic.

So we were winding down, and the place was getting packed. I think there was a wait, so one of the San Sebastian waiters asked us to move to a small round table. I was a bit tipsy, so I said, do we get a free pitcher of sangria for that? He made a face and walked away. A few minutes later, he graciously gave us a pitcher of sangria! I was just totally joking, but he gave it to us, and we drank it, and it was delicious. Then we all sobered up and drove home - because it's illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol........

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Korean Tofu Soup

So, one of our new default lunches is Convoy Tofu House. This is one of those crossover places that the caucasians know about too - kinda like Dumpling Inn.

So here's what we almost always get:





Tofu Soup with kimchee and pork. I've gotten other versions, beef and mushrooms and one with korean sausage - it's like hot dogs. Anyway, you need the kimchee for the flavor. They give you a raw egg that you crack into the soup when it first comes all bubbly and hot. Sometimes I crack it in, sometimes I pass. It also comes with rice which you just spoon in as needed.

Here's the banchan:

These are little side dishes that you get, there are different ones at every restaurant - some are great, some have no flavor at all, but usually, if you add soy sauce it makes them taste better.

So we tried New Seoul BBQ one day, and I got the mackerel instead for like a wopping $9 or something like that. It came with this flavorless soup:





The mackerel was dried out, burnt, dead. I ate it all. But it was very unsatisfying.

So one day at Convoy Tofu House I got the dukbokki for something different:


Now this was interesting! It was hot, but that slow slow burn that you don't feel at first, but you definitely feel hours later, if you know what I mean. So it was rice cakes and fish cake and veggies and hard boiled egg. It was tasty and filling and...korean tasting.

So the Food Pimp was just getting obsessed with tofu soup. So one day we went to First Korean Market on Convoy between Dumpling Inn and Jasmine. The FP decided he was going to make tofu soup. So he got a small container of the chili paste, kim chee, veggies, we got the thin sliced pork.

So anyway, he whipped up some korean tofu soup. It tasted...korean. It was really good.




Here it is!!!!

So we also bought some frozen gyoza for appetizer. I cooked them and made a soy, chili, sesame oil sauce:


So then after that day, we were a little burnt out on Korean. We didn't go for tofu soup for almost 2 whole weeks!

So then we went to.... I think it's called Noodle Town. Well, it's on Convoy and it has 2 or 3 names...to narrow it down. It's on the same side as Jasmine, one or two shopping centers after at the end of the strip. Anyway, we both got different things. And I can't find pictures, because I think I didn't bring the camera, and we didn't bring our phones either! That's like such an amateur food blogger mistake! Either that, or it was the pictures that I emailed to myself that just look like a red lowlight blur - like amateur porn, if you will. The Food Pimp got the octopus bulgogi on the fajita platter thingy. I have to say, the FP's octopus kinda blew, texturewise. Tastewise it was delicious. But it was like they were not seared at all. They were possibly too crowded on the platter and they kinda steamed rather than grilled. And then all the liquid was just streaming off his platter and he was having a difficult time eating and simultaneously mopping up the liquid. It was just a big fucking mess.

I got the spicy pork bulgogi on a plate. OMG IWSFY! It was an a big huge round plate, and I had plenty of room to maneuver and add as much rice as I wanted. It was a fair amount of meat, but we scarfed it down. It was sweet and spicy and fatty and Deee lishus!

So that's our Korean odyssey.

I'm not going to rate these places. I'm just going to say...go to Convoy Tofu House, but don't bring your obnoxious picky friends because they'll ruin it for the rest of us. You can probably bring those obnoxious friends to Noodle Town for the all you can eat BBQ at night though. We don't do that cook at your table thing - we're cooks and we don't want to pay money to go to a restaurant to cook for ourselves. (And no, I don't think it's really fun going to Turf Club and cooking my own steak - although I do like the atmosphere at the Turf Club Next time though, maybe I'll try to pay someone to cook my steak for me). But from some of the yelp reviews that I scanned, I have a feeling some of those obnoxious people already found Noodle Town - I guess with that big banner touting ALL YOU CAN EAT BBQ $19.95 - it just lures them in!


Noodle Town
4647 Convoy St.

Convoy Tofu House
4229 Convoy St.

New Seoul BBQ
4344 Convoy St.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tube Meat and Apricots

So, with 4th of July coming up(don't cheer and shit, cause I'm working)I thought I'd do a short blog about stuff people eat on 4th of July.



Apricots. It's stone fruit time. You can find them everywhere. It's not all good though. I have this compulsive habit of squeezing stone fruit when I pass it in the store. So far I haven't gotten arrested... Anyway, a common thing I see, or feel, is wrinkly old improperly ripened fruit. It's like wrinkly on the outside, but still hard inside. And it's going for $2 - $3 a pound! How does someone have the.... plums to stock this huge pile of crappy peaches. I know that it's someone's job to get this shit out onto the floor, but, c'mon. C'mon. They should have made a bunch of peach pies before it got to that!

Anyway, these apricots were purchased at the fruit stand between C and Broadway on 25th street. They were pretty delicious. They were sweet like honey, tangy, and just the right texture. I didn't eat one, and I put it in the fridge. I tried to eat it a day or two later and it sucked. It either froze and thawed out or it was just overripe.



Hot Dog from Weinerschnitzel. Yum. That's all I have to say about that.




Jumbo Hebrew National from the grocery. These babies are so good, but it's not exactly cheap when you're talking about hot dogs.




Bratwurst with sauerkraut and german potato salad. Yum! I'm not sure how this happened, but we randomly decided this is what we wanted to eat.




Well, you can't have fourth of July without watermelon, right? This is a yummy sugar cookie with chocolate chips from Panchita's. Personally I don't get all the pan dulce, it's like bread with a sugar coating on top - it reminds me of frosted wheat! Like why would you want the outside sweet and then the inside not so sweet? I just end of craving more of the sweet. But some of Panchita's shit is the shit. Like these cookies, the custard filled doughnut - which the Food Pimp refers to as a hamburger because it's just a doughnut split in half and overstuffed with the pastry cream.

Anyway, hope all y'all out there have a great Fourth of July!!!