Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

who are the people in your neighborhood

So, we had plans to go with our friends Mr. IIY and Valley Girl a couple Sundays ago. This is the couple who are always busy so when we get a chance to hang out with them we grab it. They had to back out. So we decided to go out anyway to Neighborhood in East Village. We had been one time before, and we liked it. It's almost in our neighborhood, and it's comfy and low key.

We're so dumb, because we walked out and got in the car, and we couldn't remember what street it was on. I thought it was Market or Island, some street parallel to Broadway - but it was not. So we drove around until we found it. On G street. And then we had to park like 4 blocks away.

So, we got there and it wasn't very busy. We sat at one of the island bar tables until a space opened up at the bar when a couple left. This place is interesting because it seems so very disorganized, and the girls who work there make the place being half full or less seem very busy. I'm not sure why - they're hungover, the shift before them didn't finish sidework, there was a rush earlier which they never caught up from? Anyway, it took a while to get to us, which was fine because they have so many beers that there is so much time to change my mind. Which if I were famous, I would be famous for my indecision. Although, I read the list several times, reading the descriptions of pretty much all the beers, even though I knew exactly what I wanted Duchesse de Bourgogne . I remember this beer from The Delachaise in New Orleans. Ah, the Delachaise. Alas, twas a shame that by the time I ventured into the bowels of the Delachaise I was not nearly as alcoholic as before. So the Delachaise is a bar that made sure they never had any big big big mass produced alcohol behind the
bar. No bud, coors, miller, busch, etc. Sometimes they had Abita for private consumption in the walk in. Anyhoo, the kitchen being busy was hit or miss - so I spent some down time at the bar tasting different libations - one being Duchesse de Bourgogne. It's sweet and sour. Not for everyone. Not even necessarily a good beer to drink with dinner, but that's what I wanted. The Food Pimp had a Stone beer - surprise surprise. It's funny how since we've been here, Stone has simply become a default beer to us.

So getting back to the food. We really were more interested in the appetizers than the entrees, as is usual. So we finally decided. Then the food came out, almost too fast.

So we got the devilled eggs. I love devilled eggs. They were good. The eggs seemed small, but it was a good portion to easily eat. The pickled salad that came with it - cucumber, carrot?, radish, etc - is what made it really good. The egg was rich and so salty with the olive sliver on top, but when you took a bite of it with the salad, then it was perfect. I love pickled shit. Well, I don't know about "shit" literally, but you know.

Then we got the big Crispy IPA Buds. $8. I think there were 8 to an order. I would personally take a few out and lower the price a few bucks. So these homemade tater tots, well, they grow on you. They are big and cheesy and starchy and creamy. And the jalapeno cheese sauce is like velveeta. But it's really good. We almost ate all of them, when at first we thought there was no way. I guess the one thing I can say negatively, is that I thought the batter would be a little more bitter - like IPA - which would have been nice to cut through all the richness, but I'm not complaining.

On our first trip to neighborhood, we got the steak tartare. I guess they like putting egg shaped food on the small skinny plates. This shit was the bomb - off the hook and the chain. Just the right amount of everything. These little eggs of raw meat had just the right amount of caper for salt, onion for bite, the right amount of the red pepper remoulade - and four toast points for 3 eggs of tartare. Because you always want at least one more toast point than they give you.

We both at the same time came upon the conclusion that we wanted a burger on our second trip to neighborhood. I like a good burger, and the FP is not a burger guy. But the last time we went to neighborhood we had a great burger. So we wanted to have another great burger. This time we ordered the mushroom marsala burger. Medium.

It was a little mangled and folded over and thin, so it didn't cook very evenly. And the mushrooms weren't as marsalay as the FP had hoped for. The waffle potato chips were okay. It was just an okay burger. I think our expectations were too high.

Here was the "neighborhood burger" which we got the last time. This one comes with carmelized onions, blue gruyere and pepper greens. I think the toppings really seal the deal. This is a more exciting burger. But this one was cooked perfectly. Burgers are not nearly as easy to cook as one thinks.

Last time we went, we got the mussels - butter poached. Yeah. Not just a sauce finished with butter, a butter poach. Yum. These were huge mussels, but they were good. I liked them a lot.

So, on our second trip we decided we wanted something healthy, like a salad. So we got the grilled cheese salad. This must be one of the healthier salads on earth (read in sarcastic tone). Just the name is ridiculous in itself.

So the grilled cheese was great. I believe it's made with gruyere and cheddar, and tomato. Melty and warm. So good. But then the salad. It was a huge mound. Ridiculous, really. But yeah, we ate most of it. Butter lettuce, pepperoncini - could have been more of these, julienned salami, provolone, olives. So good. I miss big filling, not really healthy salads. They have a lot of those in Louisiana. I mean, I've heard of a fried chicken salad. For realsies!

So anyway, I've heard just average reviews of neighborhood, but I like it above average. It's not cheap though - I'll say that. We can't really afford to go there all the time, but every once in a while, I can justify shelling out the mula. Then there's also the business of the speakeasy next door, which has an opening in the back by the bathroom through a fake wall. The guys who opened that place own El Dorado. I don't know much about it, but interesting idea. I give the place \/\/\/ six out of eight chopsticks.

777 G Street
San Diego, 92101

Sunday, March 28, 2010

LSU Crawfish Berl

So, it's almost time. The boil is May 30th - the day before Memorial Day. I'm just putting it out there. The tickets go on sale in a couple weeks, so if anyone wants to go, let me know. It's $45 or $50 a pop. That's for entrance, all you can drink beer for the first few hours, and then there is one 50# box per table - 10 to a table. Yes, that averages to 5# per person. If you drink beer, then you get your money's worth. If you are going for crawfish, not so much. So we'd like to have full tables if possible, so no one's sharing with strangers. If anyone wants to go send me an email. I'm pretty poor, so I'll need cash upfront!

This week

So, we tried grocery shopping last weekend. We don't ever shop for really more than one or two meals at a time. So this time we did. We went to Zion. It's not my favorite place. The parking in the lot in front is always a nightmare. The Food Pimp always bitches about why the empty hair salon has so many spaces that are always empty, and the (pardon my stereotype because it's true) bad asian drivers don't know where they're going or how to back out of an angled space without taking 5 minutes. And then you walk in and it feels like the northpole in there! It's always freezing! Okay, the place is clean and organized and the produce is nicely refrigerated, and the pastries look nice. But it's cold, damnit!

Anyhoo, this is what we ate this week at home:

Big pike mackerel with green beans and mushrooms and sushi rice. This was so good. The FP was smart this time. We have practice on Monday nights, and when we are done, we don't have dinner at home so we end up going through a drive thru. This time, he cooked dinner before practice. So all he did was reheat and eat. Our male cat, Stinksy, went crazy. He used to never care too much about people food before. He would be mildly interested in what we were eating, and then when we gave him a little, he wouldn't eat it. But then he would still stare at us hoping for some more. Now, he still doesn't eat everything, but I guess the way we eat, everything looks so delicious to him. So when I put the bones in the garbage, I put them in a plastic bag and tied it. The next morning, the bag was ripped open of course, and the spine was on the rug by the front door. Stinksy must have had a good night.

Broccoli, mushroom, beef stir fry with green onions marinated in chili paste. You know, I hear stir fry, and it's like not exciting sounding to me. I guess because it's stir fry. But stir fry always is tasty if it's simple and with fresh vegetables. Sometimes, when it's with frozen mix and has lots of cornstarch sauce, that's when it sucks. Or when there are big raw chunks of veggies.

Salad with leftover mackerel, lettuce, shaved carrot, cucumber, and edamame. The dressing was a simple soy, sesame oil, ginger garlic, rice vinegar, lime juice thing. I heated the garlic and ginger, then dumped all the liquids in the pan so it was a warm dressing. Warm dressing is good, cause the food takes the flavor nicely. That sounds stupid, but it's true. I'm not going to preach about warm dressing, because that would be ridiculous. But just ask yourself, when was the last time you had warm dressing on a salad. And ask yourself if you noticed, and you thought, that was really good. Sometimes, dressing doesn't really work as a cold dressing - like bacon vinaigrette or brown butter dressing. Some people don't like warm dressing because it wilts the lettuce, but if it's a little wilted right when you eat it, it doesn't bother me. But why would I preach about warm dressing? As if people who read this blog have time for such nonsense.

Look like an ordinary salad, right. Sprouts, lettuce, beef. Okay. But it's not. This had cilantro chili vinaigrette on it. Probably the best vinaigrette known to man. This is not our recipe though. It's bigger than me OR the Food Pimp. It's from our friend and former owner of Vega Tapas Cafe. Now I don't remember where she got this recipe from, or if she developed it on her own. But it's delicious. At Vega, it was mainly used for coriander seared tuna, with avocado and tomato relish. But then we had the 3 crouton bread salad with tomato and avocado, then sometimes the crab avocado, tomato and cucumber salad. Man, those were delicious. Makes me crave blue crabs. Anyway, I should post the recipe sometime. But not today. It's my day off, and I don't want to go digging through a bunch of old boxes and irritate my allergies even worse!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mystery Food

So, it took me a while to remember where this is from. The bowl looks like it's got duck in it. The plate of food looks like oxtail, but that can't be. I don't recall oxtail at a restaurant. Anyway, can anyone guess where this food is from and what that mystery meat is on the plate?

Oh, here's a picture of one of our (my and the Food Pimp's) current favorite dishes

Bamboo shoot salad. Have you had it before? It's good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saturday Sunday Scrumptiousness at Sab E Lee

So, we've been stuck in this rut. Well, we've been carving the rut out and we want to stay buried in it. We've been going to Sab E Lee, almost every Saturday or Sunday for the past month. It's an addiction. Every time, it's so hard to choose, because we aren't rich, so we can only have really 3 dishes each time. So the dilemna is that we want our favorites, but we also want to try new items as well. I know I've posted about Sab E Lee before, but I just wanted to give you a peak into our obsessiveness and the little routines that we get into in our lives. Why? Because our lives are so exciting! No, not really, unless you are obsessed with eating like we are. Going to Sab E Lee is usually the highlight of my week, or at least it's always in the top 5.

Bamboo Shoot Salad. This is a must have every time. We like it so much that we haven't gotten papaya salad in a long time. The bamboo shoot salad seems to be mixed warm with ground dried fish, rice powder, onion and lime juice. We've been getting it 7, which is quite hot for me - in a good way now, not so good way 1 day later... if you know what I mean.

Here it is at the La Mesa location. We've only been there once. We went on a Monday since the Ulric location was closed. I would go to the La Mesa location if I were taking a big group or it were a Monday. Otherwise, I wouldn't really bother. I realize the original crew is at the La Mesa location, but it's hard to get over the menu setup at this one. It's so americanized. I realize that they are catering to a different audience. They still have some of the specialties that we love. But it is farther away and not as cozy!

Spicy raw beef. I think this is the Food Pimp's favorite next to the bamboo shoot salad. We don't get it every time, even though I can tell he wants to. It has rice powder, lots of lemongrass and lime juice. And it comes with these large slices of raw garlic on top, for some reason. I don't eat the garlic. But it's a really good dish. Not scary like some raw dishes at other places because the restaurant seems sketchy. Sab E Lee is not scary at all!

Here's the same dish at the La Mesa location. Actually, this may have been the first or second time we had ever gotten it. It's equally wonderful at both locations.

Pork with chinese broccoli with steamed rice. Man, I love chinese broccoli. I love to cook it - it's so cheap at the store - but whatever it is, they always cook it better at asian restaurants? Maybe I'm too white? People don't always think I'm Pilipina. Sometimes they just think I'm white, half mexican, half black, someone thought I was creole the other day! I guess when you look at the Pilipinas around San Diego who look like they just finished eating their balut and stepped off the ferry, then I suppose when you compare me to them, I look white. Boo! I just wanted to be white half of my childhood, and now that I'm embracing my heritage more, I'm not brown enough. In fact, when I spend too much time in the sun, I get dizzy! How the hell would I survive in the Philippines?

Here's another bamboo shoot salad. Yum.

Holy Poop, BBQ Pork Neck. I first tried this when I went to Sab E Lee with Canine Cologne and Laotian Flower. Love it. Tender meaty, juicy pork neck.

Here is the broccoli with oyster sauce and beef. I can't remember what the difference is between this one and the one over rice is, but for some reason, I believe the other one seemed to have more meat, and that one was with pork, which I am a bigger fan of than beef. Their steamed rice is not to be overlooked.

While their sticky rice is a must have every time we go - the basket that it comes in is pictured on the left of yet another bamboo shoot salad from another visit - the steamed rice is a winner too!

Here is the famous dish - Phad Thai. This is the first thai dish I ever tried back in Nola at Bangkok Thai below Rock n Bowl. I'm not sure how Sab E Lee's phad thai is compared to other restaurants. This was not our dish. They brought it to our table, so I took a picture of it before I told them it was for the annoying old ladies behind us. They were those kind of fussy old ladies that go "lunching" at Thai and Sushi restaurants, probably because their husbands don't like such exotic fare as medium spicy red curry, phad thai and california roll. Am I being too harsh and judgemental? Well, that's what I do. That's probably part of why I try to be relatively anonymous. I mean, if you want to dig and find out who I am, that can be easily accomplished without having to shell out for 1800USSEARCH, but you do have to do a bit of research. Anyway, we were enjoying a pleasant lunch until the ladies walked in. They were louder than necessary. And you know, they ordered like iced tea with like specific instructions, and also instructions about the curry and the rice too. I swear, they reminded me of the ladies who were behind us at Bai Yook maybe a year and a half ago - the last time we went there because we had not been to Sab E Lee yet. Wow, I can't imagine life without Sab E Lee. We were so not so young and naive back then!

Here's the panang curry we got another time. I think we had not tried curry since the very first visit to Sab E Lee. Their curry is really good, but it's hard for me to settle with curry too often when there are so many more exciting dishes to try! On saying that, I love the way it's so saucy. I could typically eat curry sauce over rice and not have too many solids in it, although the solids are integral to the flavor of the dish.

Half fried chicken thai style. It was pretty yummy, but we were kinda disappointed. One time we went, and this family next to us got the whole fried chicken. So it had everything - including the feet. Maybe when we have more people with us we can get the whole chicken.

BBQ beef. Good. Maybe great. But it's no pork neck!

MINT LEAVES OVER RICE WITH STEAMED PORK LEG. The all caps was mandatory in describing this dish. This might be in the running for my last supper list. I mean, c'mon. Just the name sounds delicious, right? OH MA GAWD is it too good to be accessible to me in my catholic guilt non-worthy or deserving of food this good! It's like, it's so good I don't want to blog about it, because I can't do it justice! I don't have a literate enough vocabulary to describe... let me count the ways!

Here is the long beans with... I want to say it's beef. It's from the La Mesa location. I know that we ordered something that they didn't have, and this was the replacement dish. So I think we ordered the pork and mint leaves possibly, and they didn't have pork? So my conclusion is that we got long beans with beef. Such a bad memory I have!

This is to show what we got when we went this past Tuesday. We didn't make it over the previous 2 weekends, so we were long due for a visit. Raw beef and bamboo shoot salads, and the pork leg and mint leaves over rice. Then we got a new dish too. Yes, we broke the 3 dish rule!

So, I believe we were supposed to get the spicy mint leaves noodle with beef. But something happened, and they didn't have it, so I think we got the chow mein? So this was not spicy, but it was kinda a good thing. The soft texture, and the lack of spice in this dish had a cooling effect after eating the other dishes. So I alternated between them all. Thankfully they fill the water in a timely manner here. In other restaurants, it's like their sadists and they like to watch people suffer from dehydration before they give them more water. So it's nice to say that we go to Sab E Lee enough to be recognised as regulars. They are very friendly when they see us walk in, and when we leave, they say, see you next week!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Palm Springs short trip part III

So, it's a sad day for people my age. One of the actors of our generation is dead today, from a drug overdose, of course. Corey Haim. Back in the day when I first met the Food Pimp, my bestie and I were obsessed with this movie Prayer of the Rollerboys. It starred Corey Haim. And coincidentally, the FP kinda looked like a cross between Corey Haim and Johnny Depp. And the FP is/was the same age as Corey Haim. So farewell, CH, I feel like you were one of my childhood friends.

So, on with the blog. Palm Springs. The place where actors go for r and r. We went to the pub down the street on the way home for some drinks. The closing ceremonies for the Olympics was going on. What a snore! I mean, talk about a tough act to follow. The Chinese Summer Olympics were amazing. But I don't think Canada has the resources to force thousands of kids to practice this one dance number for four years. Anyhoo, there was this actor there. He had quite a mixed entourage. The FP figured he was in Star Wars, but he can't remember who exactly he was.

Anyhoo, we went back to the resort. We wanted to go into the hot tub, but they had masterlocked all the gates, which sucked. They left all the lights on so the steam from the hot tub looked so inviting. So, we just had a glass of wine, and watched tv. And the closing ceremonies were still going on. Ridiculous!

So the next morning, we were thinking about breakfast. And the FP thought we should stay another night, if we could get the same price. So we asked the front desk. They raised it $4, so what the hell, we stayed. That meant we had the whole day ahead of us!

We went to breakfast at the Old Creek House. This is the place we joked about that if the FP's family were there they would be dying to go there. It's like a quaint old stand alone building that looks like an old ranch house with a patio and a waterfall outside. And lots of old people inside. So we walked in, and we were seated by that one token young hyperactive sexually ambigous kid with the jet black dyed hair. He tried to seat us in the dining room, but the smell of maple syrup, moth balls and old people was overwhelming, so I asked if we could sit outside. It was much nicer out there.

So we expected this place to be overpriced, small portions and bad food. Contrarily, it was low prices, with really cheap daily specials, reasonable portions and pretty good food! It's nice sometimes when you're wrong!

The FP had the eggs, homefries and sausage. Nice lookin huevos, crispy skinned breakfast links, well seasoned potatoes - no rosemary, thankfully. Why do a lot of places have to put rosemary on their breakfast potatoes? I hate rosemary!

Pancakes, eggs over easy and bacon. Really good. The pancakes, we found out as we ate them, must have been the ricotta pancakes. They were not very fluffy, but they had this yummy lightness to them.

So the bill was like $13. It was my turn to pay, so I was pretty happy.

So then we drove around. I wanted to drive by the Tahquitz Canyon, which was on the way back to the hotel. We ended up parking, and hiking the canyon, at a pricey $12.50 a person.

So, it was pretty short - a little over an hour, I think. Then we were good and ready to hang out by the pool. It was not as warm as we hoped, but we lay out anyway. I went in the pool, and actually, it was warmer in the pool then out of the pool. But we were there for hours. Then we went to the room. I think I took a long nap. I think the both of us were not really feeling well at all, but we were trying to ignore it. So later on, we got ready to go for dinner. We went really late - like 6pm!

This time, we went to the diner 2 hotels down - Kings Highway. It looked really cool, retro 70s. The hotel was really cool, so we were hoping for a really good dinner, without even looking at the menu.

So we walked in, an a nice looking gay... Austrian? guy in a plaid shirt sat us. Then we noticed all the waiters were wearing plaid and nice looking. The place had a lot of attention to detail, in an unpretentious way.

The place had that cool, yet trying not too hard to be cool vibe. The floor had big naked concrete spots from whatever it had been before that were not covered up. I like that. It had this kind of safari kind of diner kind of feel too. But it all worked. The napkins were like the rags used to polish glasses. The salt and pepper shakers were coleman camping equipment.

And they used old wine bottles as water bottles - which Vega Tapas Cafe does, because the owner went somewhere like San Fran and saw it and adopted it.

And then the menu was in these campy small green school notebooks. The print made it look like they were typed out on a typewriter. Very cool. Very laid back too though. The first page of the menu says, " Whenever we can, we use local, organic,and humanely harvested ingredients, because they taste better. We also serve coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters - they're direct trade, progressive and the best coffee around.

So, they had breakfast. I want to go back again and eat breakfast there. The menu had a mix of mediterranean, local american and classic comfort food in a nice way. It was similar to what the FP or I would come up with in a restaurant like this.

So, I got the openface meatloaf sandwich.

It came with swiss chard and a grilled lemon. So the meatloaf had this north african flavor - it had ras el hanout - which is a spice mixture with stuff like ginger, cardamon, clove, etc. It sounds weird, but it was good. And actually, the grilled lemon was the key to tying it all together. I also got the mac and cheese. The menu is so smart, because they kept the meatloaf at $10, knowing that with one side on it, a lot of people like me would still get another side for $4.50. But it's that freedom to choose which makes it appealing.

I gotta say, the mac and cheese was disappointing. I was expecting it to be wonderful. It was okay. It was strange because the bowl was not hot, but the top was gratineed. So they must have browned it in one container, then scooped it into the bowl, or they just had these cheese crisp circles that they stuck on top of the scooped mac and cheese. So the mac and cheese was just not saucy enough for me. I love a lot of sauce. I am kinda lactose intolerant, so if I'm going to indulge in mac and cheese, I want it to be excessive, because I'm not gonna have it again for a long time. But, the crispy cheese crust was delicious! I could have settled for a plate of crispy cheese crust circles instead of the mac and cheese.

So the FP went all out. Cowboy steak & frites. Yes, steak frites 2 nights in a row. With all these steakhouses, he could not resist the allure of more steak. It was beautifully cooked. And the relish... some minty garlicky mix, I think, was delish. And the fries... hand cut! He was so elated. And boy did he gobble it up! That was some good stick to your ribs rib chop. Just a really really good dinner! We were very happy. We both felt like shit, but we had to have a drink in the bar - the Amigo Room, because we had peeped in it earlier in the day, and it looked so cool. It was like black painted brick with some of those makeup mirror bulb lights. When we walked in, they had just started bingo with Miss Linda. So we sat and ordered drinks, and tried to figure out how to get in on the bingo. All we had to do was get our cards and markers at the bar. Everyone was playing, so we decided it was mandatory that we play too. The guy in the booth next to us won twice. A couple times, we both were very close, but there's always someone closer who wins. Miss Linda was quite the hostess. Between games she would "sing a song", as she used to be a singer/actor. So, from the one visit, I decided that I will give Kings Highway and the Amigo Room a chopstick rating because it deserves a chopstick rating of \/\/\/\/ eight chopsticks - a perfect score - because the crispy cheese topping on the mac and cheese cancelled out the just okay mac and cheese underneath.

So the bingo finished a little after 9, and we went back to the hotel. We went to sleep, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a high fever... which lasted all night long. The next morning we woke up and drove back to San Diego. The vacation was over.

The Old Creek House
1555 South Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264-8354
(760) 322-3442

Kings Highway and the Amigo Room @ Ace Hotel
701 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 325-9900

Monday, March 8, 2010

Palm Springs Short Trip Part B

So, we rested, and rested. I was tired. We took showers and we watched TV - Pawn Stars or something like it, the Olympics? Then we went and sat out in one of the cabanas and had a predinner drink. We were lazy and chillin. Finally, we decided to go to dinner - late for us - maybe 6:30 or 7:30. Usually when we go out of town we go to dinner with the blue hairs.

So we walked to downtown, which was maybe a mile and a half. I have to admit, that's the farthest I had walked in a long time. So we got to the area, and we just started looking at places and then looking at menus if we were interested. I had seen some article in one of those local magazines about Zin, and I liked the menu. The FP didn't seem to like the dining rooms - because there was no patio area.

So we decided on Pomme Frite. I was lukewarm about the place. Something about the font on the menu bugged me. It was like a very familiar font that did not scream french belgian bistro to me. I know that's crazy. I realize I must have had some head trauma when I was little because some things just don't fit in my mind, and it's unacceptable. I'm not a perfectionist, it's just some things aren't right. But anyway, we were looking at the menu, and it was hard for me to concentrate on the descriptions because I hated the font. So this wiseguy waiter comes out and asks, "are you coming in?" Like what the fuck, it's a french menu. So the FP liked that. So we went in. We sat out on the patio, of course, where mostly everyone was sitting. I was first, so I got to snag the corner seat. We both have this spatial clausterphobia issue. So the FP had to sit with his back to this chick sitting at the table in front of us. But I suggested we move the table back some, so he wouldn't whine the whole dinner about being crammed in.

So we were looking at the menu, and the wise guy comes up to us. He looks around, and he says, he's busy, so, can I start youse with drinks? I don't know if he said youse, but it seems like he shoulda. So the FP went with a french malbec. French food, familiar grape, not the cheapest 2 or 3, not the most expensive. It was good. So we went over the menu. There were some choices to make, like an appetizer of mussels and clams or a big pot of mussels. But pretty much, the FP took the man's role and kinda made decisions. I guess cause of the influence of the wiseguy maitre d.

So, naturally, we got escargot. This was my pick. I haven't had these things in ages.

I will always remember in culinary school this dinner we did for Classical French Cuisine class. One of our instructors - the FP called her Chef Big Poop because he always said how she probably took big nasty shits - declined the escargot course. She said she was sick of eating them for so many years that she didn't want them. Way to be supportive! Anyway, these escargot were tender and yummy, but the sauce sucked! Our guess was that they were using some butter blend. It wasn't sweet and creamy like butter, it was separated and oily. The garlic and parsley were there, that buttery goodness, absent.

The mussels and clams. Same gripe. The mussels and clams tasted good, plump, juicy, the sauce was winey in a good way, but that butter or whatever it was made me not need to finish every drop of sauce. And there was like dried thyme and oregano or sage in it too. Dried herbs!

Steak frites. We got our steak first. So for a bit, we were wondering if our fries were coming. But they did. The steak was very nicely cooked. It was the baseball cut - some tender part of the top sirloin. The haricot verts were perfect. Nice and garlicky, still had a little texture to them. The green peppercorn sauce had that fake butter in it again. So then the fries came. The FP was disappointed - frozen fries. He always goes on his high horse about places that don't do handcut fries. Because in his opinion, why would you do frozen at a nice place? I don't know why.

So we took a while to finish our wine. We speculated on the ownership of the place. A french belgian chef? Who maybe is old and stuck in his ways... but the butter. So maybe a belgian owner who employed a mexican kitchen staff to follow recipes with cheaper ingredients. The technique was there, the quality of some of the food fell short. I'm not going to chopstick the place, but if we go back to Palm Springs, I'm not too keen to return to Pomme Frite.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Palm Springs Short Trip

So, I've been pretty busy lately. So busy, that my boss got onto me because I had 18hours overtime this pay period. Which is almost laughable, because when you schedule like 5 special events in a week, on top of lots of regular business, it's going to be very busy. So, I'm pretty much just burnt out. The Food Pimp, in his infinite wisdom pretty much decided we were going to Palm Springs. He found a room at a "resort" for $50. So, Sunday morning we packed and headed off. Of course, my one cook texted me and asked if I could work for him because he met some hot chick the night before and she was leaving town the next day so he wanted to hang out with her. No dice. And we had an event that night, and he is like the lead line cook so he had to be there. But that was an unhappy start to our getaway.

So, we stopped right before the 215 split, and we went to Kmart because I had to buy sweatshop underwear and socks because I didn't have time to do laundry. I have watched a few episodes of "Blood, Sweat & Tshirts" . So, I realize that I buy a lot of sweatshop clothes. But I don't really buy clothes very often. If I buy a T shirt that cost me $2.50 - there is a good chance I might own it, and still actively wear it for 10 years. Really. I also commandier the Food Pimp's old shirts and hoodies that he stops wearing. So, I feel for these people, but I guess their work for my clothes is not in vein. If they would just pay them more and improve their conditions and charge me more I would still buy the stuff.

Anyway, Kmart sucks. I got these Hanes low rise underwear, and they were total high rise granny panties. But I guess I'll be wearing them... the sweatshops and all.

So we also decided to have lunch at a taco shop in the same shopping center.
Honestly, I can't remember the name now. Taco Naso is my guess. I can't find any real clue on the internets. So anyway, we ate there.

This is the salsa bar. Notice the grilled jalapenos.

Those were good. I didn't eat one, I just took a nibble of the FP's jalapeno.

I got rolled tacos. It was good. The taquitos were crunchy, the meat was seasoned inside of it. The guacamole was good, the salsas were good. Beans and rice were nice. I had Jamaica to drink and it was refreshing, not too sweet.

The FP got a carne asada burrito, and it had stuff in it. Not just meat. And it was huge. It was pretty tasty.

So that was lunch. We headed east, and we got to Palm Springs just in time to be able to check in. We drove through downtown, which looked cute. So on the other side of downtown were all the "resorts". It turns out, that in Palm Springs, resort means motor lodge. Our "resort" was on the right - Caliente Tropics - tiki hut theme. It was the cutest motor lodge I've ever stayed at, and did I mention cheap? Okay, so the website really promised more than it could deliver, but the place was pretty clean. The towels... um, not so much - they were... old. The pool was nice though - heated, and the hot tub - fantastic. It was huge. But we never went in the hot tub when there were other people in it. There were a ton of lounge chairs. They had pool towels, we noticed. But you have to go to the front desk to ask for them. They charge $25 a towel if not returned. And then they have a nice little cabana area with nice grass and 8 little tiki huts with lounge chairs in them. And I must say, our car was parked right outside our hotel room, which is very convenient.
So, we got on our waterwear and went to lay out by the pool. I never did take a picture of the view. But it's right at the foot of the mountains. So you can sit in the hot tub and look up at the mountains behind the hotel between two palm trees. Just lovely. When the bar and restaurant reopens there it will be even better. But we did just fine with the beers that we bought at Ralph's and stored in our mini fridge. I just hoped we could find some good grub for dinner.