Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

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

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

quick comment about Julie & Julia

So, I watched Julie & Julia the other night for the first time. I'm by no means a film critic. I like all the movies people hate and hate movies people love, but I love the classic comedies and stuff. Julie & Julia was enjoyable until the conflict part of the story when Julie gets in a fight with her husband and they reflect on the selfcenteredness of blogs. Well, I totally don't agree with that. I will tell you my synposis of Julie & Julia as it relates to my (the Food Ho)blog and my life. That is a joke. Julie, if you're reading this now, I just want you to know how you, and Julia paved the way for people like me.

So, look for the new blog, book and movie coming out - as the Food Ho attempts to do the Julia Child recipes that Julie did in the order that Julie did them in her blog. That is another joke, although I bet someone has already done it. All I know, is that the movie was entertaining, held my attention, but it just kind of fell apart at the end for me....I did like Meryl Streep as Julia Child, and that Glee lady as her sister!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

soutwestern vacation part2

So, we had a good night's sleep. Heavy sleep. We got up, packed the car, and headed out. We stopped in town. We took pictures with the pink mama and baby hogs.

Then we had coffee on the veranda. This was the view.

How could you be angry or stressed when having coffee with this view? It was beautiful. A General Foods International Coffee moment.

Then we drove. And we drove. We went even higher in the mountains if possible. Miles and miles, acres and acres of pines. Christmas trees. And snow. Lots of deep snow. I would have loved to get out and make a snow angel. But we didn't really have snow boots or anything other than sneakers. Then it got a little lower, and a lot less snow. Vast plateau, because we were still high up. How do people live like this, in the middle of nowhere? No cell phone service, probably no cable in some parts. Weird. Desolate.

We got to Flagstaff, and we went to the Walmart. The FP bought a pack of ladies thermals, xl, because that was all the thermals he had. He put the pants on and threw away the shirt. We needed to eat. We had intended to go to the Arby's, but we hadn't seen it, we kinda got turned around trying to find it. So we ate at Subway in the Walmart. I never said this was a grand culinary experience! The sandwich artist was very chatty and chipper. But his sandwiches were not fine art. The bread was smushed, the toasted meatball sandwich the FP had was almost burnt...just sustenance really.

So then we had trouble figuring out how to get back on the highway, we ended up going south a couple times, on campus at the university once, then we figured it out. And we saw Arby's and KFC, and a bunch of other places that looked way better than the lunch we had just had!

Then we finally were getting closer to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at a gift shop. They had lots of animal bones and antlers and taxidermy and pelts.

Lots of touristy stuff, but this was neat to us. They had 2 dogs wandering around outside. Make that one artic wolf and one dog. The shop owner tried to make the wolf howl, but she wasn't really into it. I'm sure she gets tired of howling for tourists every day.

Then we got to Tusayan. We passed a Best Western where the Food Pimp would have liked to stay. We passed our Holiday Inn Express, which looked fine. Then we got to the Grand Canyon. We paid our $25 fee for a 7 day pass. I thought it would be more. It's a big ass park to be taking care of on $25 a carload!

So we parked. And there was snow. But we didn't have boots. And it was cold. We layered up - 4 or 5 layers of shirts and jackets, 3 layers of bottoms for me, 2 for the FP. We were going to take the shuttle to the end, but then we just decided to walk up to the closest lookout. And there it was. A big colorful jagged snowlined hole. A big beautiful hole.

So then we trudged through the 4 - 12 inches of snow and ice and walked around looking at it. And there were those outcroppings with no fences that were scary. I am terrified of heights, so I couldn't go closer than maybe 4 feet to the edge. So we walked and trudged. We passed all the lodges on site that I had thought about booking, but they were either too expensive or booked. So we got pretty far. And we finally decided to take a shuttle to the other end of the canyon. But once we got on the shuttle and sat down and realized how we had trudged several miles, we were tired. So we took the shuttle back to the car and went to the hotel, on the conditions that we would drive back in the morning to see the far end.

So, we got to the hotel and checked in. We got a suite for maybe $15 more than a regular room, and the suites were in a separate building in the back - the building where the hot tub was! So, we looked at the hot tub, very big and warm looking. So, then all we wanted to do was get dinner over with so we could get in the hot tub.

We weren't sure where to go, so we looked in the guides and on the iphone, and we decided on Canyon Star, which we didn't realize was basically across the street. So we walked in a little after 5, and we were the first customers. They sat us at this gigantic booth that could seat 10. There was this artificial rehearsed "fine dining" service there. Very weird and unnatural. The menu wasn't too fancy, but I guess compared to the 3 pizza places on the street it was.

So, meat. That's what we had. Again. We were in meat country after all. I got the buffalo brisket. Buffalo is very lean, so it needs a lot of sauce, but not bbq sauce with, ugh, pineapple in it. Canned pineapple. It was strong. It ruined the meat, which was nicely smoked. So I scraped most of it off and put A1 on it. That was much better.

The FP got a steak, of course, New York Strip. He got the blue cheese butter on it. For some reason they put it on a bed of fried onions, so the onions were soggy! We both had the same sides - red potato mash (I didn't know people still did this!) and steamed veggies. I have to say, the fresh veggies were very nice - none of that bullshit frozen vegetable medley.

So we finished our dinner, and went to the "general store" to get beer and popcorn, then we went back and got in the hot tub. It was ridiculously hot. The room was overheated, and the water was overheated. But I stayed in there as long as I could. Finally, another couple came in. They had ran in their suits and towels from the pool over to the hot tub, which was crazy since it was like 40 degrees outside! So we sat there the obligatory few minutes, and then we went upstairs to our temperate room.

Friday, March 18, 2011

southwestern vacation part1

So, we went a couple weeks ago on a much needed break. So needed, that it wasn't long enough. It wasn't very restful either, as there was a lot of driving. But we got to see a part of the country we've never seen before. Arizona. Not our usual urban vacation we would normally plan, but as socal residents, we are more outdoorsy. If you know us, you may laugh, but compared to our selves from 10 years ago, we are like granola eating tree people now!

So, Mother Nature apparently thought it would be funny to conjure up a snowstorm the day before we left. I-8 was closed until just hours before we left, and even then, the road would have been even more treacherous if we had not been tailing the salt truck.

But we stopped at the Golden Acorn hours later, and then came the sunrise and clearer roads. We stopped at the IHOP in El Centro. For ourselves, we were conservatively dressed, but all the locals still stared at us like we were from another planet.

Believe me, IHOP was not our first choice, but it was the first open restaurant. I got bacon (undercooked) eggs over easy (very nicely cooked) and pancakes. Pancakes were pretty damn good. The flavored syrups were disappointing. They tasted more like fruity syrup you would put on a snowcone, not a pancake.

The Food Pimp got some smoked sausage combo that also came with pancakes. The server set them on his side, and he had that silly surprised look - like why the hell did I get pancakes. But he ate almost half of them - with plain "maple" syrup of course.

So then we drove through desert, and we drove and we drove...then red rocks started to appear, then we were going into the moutains, then there was snow, then we were in the mountains with the red rocks and snow! It was beautiful. Really amazing, like nothing I had ever seen. Right in our backyard practically - if our backyard was 350 miles long.

So, we drove through the main part of town. And we passed all the hotels that I had looked up online. We passed all of them. The Food Pimp had to mention how that Best Western looked like a good place to stay. I had looked it up and decided against it. And we went 8 1/2 snowy miles past town on a two lane winding road. It was so scenic that the FP was not paying attention at all to the road, and I thought we were going to drive off the road.

So we got to the resort. No signal. We checked in. They asked if we wanted our landline activated. I said no. They told us that the restaurant was closed for the night and the next morning. Go figure. Wherever we stay, this happens quite frequently.

But that was okay. It was early, we were tired yet exhilerated. We would drive the 8 1/2 miles back for dinner then drive back to our secluded timeshare rental.

I have to admit, it was so quiet and cold and snowy, and creepy. The Food Pimp kept making references to the Shining and stuff. But I have this unreasonable fear of the supernatural, that in those situations I can't make light of it, because I truly feel like ghost will come out to fuck with us. Don't ask me why. Too many inappropriate horror movies when I was too young. Too many lone nights using the "spirit board" by myself in the dark. I wouldn't touch one of those things if you asked me to today.

So, we drove into town, and ate at the "Best Mexican Restaurant in Sedona". I don't think that was too tall an order because I don't think there were that many Mexican restaurants there.

We had actually tried to eat at this little BBQ place behind these scary statues, but this lady was cleaning the place up, and she told us that they were closed because the cook didn't show up for work!

Interestingly enough, the mexican restaurant was attached to another hotel that I was very close to booking. I didn't though.

So we walked in, and we were seated at the window! This was funny, because usually, you sit a party in the window seats to catch the eye of the pedestrians walking by, so you want them attractive, if possible. Maybe all the other customers just didn't want to sit in the window, but either way there we were. And we watched a lot of people stop and look at the menu. Most of them didn't come in though!

We got some local beer, some local name like Grand Canyon or something. Nothing really going on much with the beer, but very drinkable.

So, we got some chips, salsa and guacamole. There was this big debate between nachos and wings and some other bar food, but the chips and salsa won.

They were delicious, actually. Everything was properly seasoned, and freshly made, and the guacamole was very tasty.

I got something like a sirloin steak. It was...not great. But my refried beans were delicious! And I got onion rings too, they were okay.

The FP, however had a fabulous dinner. He got skirt steak and black beans and rice. Everything was wonderfully seasoned, and the steak was meaty and spicy and flavorful.

Anyway, the grounds of the resort we stayed at were beautiful. The creek ran right behind it, we went for a crunchy snow covered walk in the woods. We were gone maybe 15 minutes and we started getting creeped out, so we turned back.

We had some drinks, lit a fire, read the guestbook. It was cozy and relaxing. Then we stoked the fire, lit a fire in the bedroom, and watched all the fox cartoon lineup. Nice.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

dumpling inn

So, there are restaurants I dream of eating at all the time. But I don't eat at them, because of my schedule, or money, or laziness, or the place is too popular, or stupidity. Dumpling Inn is one of those places. One of the issues is that the one day I always have off is Monday. Dumpling Inn is closed on Mondays.

So finally, one day about a month ago we got to go. I'm not sure what day of the week, but not Monday. So, if you haven't guessed, this place is known for their... Chinese food. Okay, they are known more specifically for their dumplings. But, because we are rebels we didn't get dumplings. Okay, we were probably on somewhat of a budget or didn't want to be complete pigs like usual, so we didn't get any. We did get one of my favorite soups of all time in the city of San Diego. Not kidding. Maybe I'll do a blog about soups one day. One day, when I have a new computer...sigh.

Anyway, they have this great soup at Dumpling Inn. But I'll get to that later. I want to tell you about the place first. It's on Convoy. CONVOY STREET . Ah, the avenue of asian fare. Some good, some great, some mediocre, some bad, some average, some horrible, some heavenly. Get it? There's also Jack in the Box and Wienerschnitzel and a mexican place or two if you don't want asian. But if you don't want asian, then I don'tawannayouarouna-a-ound....

What the hell was I talking about? Sorry, I had a sleepless night watching the 5 am news, looking for signs of whether to buy iodine tablets or not, not that there are any available. Speaking of asian and great. Japan is great. But they are doing shitty right now. I dedicate this blog to Japan. I feel for them. I have $29 in my checking account, but I might donate something to Red Cross tomorrow when I get paid. I wish I could go over there and help somehow....

Anyhoo, Dumpling Inn. It has about 10 tables. One is a big round one which seats maybe 10 people. If they aren't too busy, the restaurant uses it for their family meal table. I think a lot of delicious shit has graced the top of that table! Anyway, this restaurant is an exception to the white test. If I'm repeating myself to the seasoned fans of the Food Ho and Food Pimp, I apologize... but it's a series, and some people jump on midway through. Anyway, I'm always astounded at how many different nationalities can be in the Dumpling Inn at one time. Chinese, Whitey Whiterson, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, African American, European... you get the picture. I like how there's usually one douchebag (overused word lately, but it totally fits the description) who has taken a coworker in, and he "shows them the ropes" in an almost too loud voice, not quite the cell phone voice, mind you, but almost.

Anyway, they have delicious handmade dumplings. Supposedly there is also a secret menu, but we don't go there enough to be hip to that one. Anyway, we did not get dumplings. We got this short ribs dish with baby cutie bok choy. It was... very rich. You can see the sauce just coating the ribs and bok choy. It was so, rich and tasty, I thought I was eating beluga caviar in a Jaguar. Yeah, that doesn't really make sense, but I just woke up from a much needed nap and poured myself a glass of red wine and plopped down on the computer chair, so, you know...

Short ribs. This was the first time we got them, and they were lovely.

Then we come to the piece de resistance....pork and pickled cabbage noodle soup. And we got the red pepper dipping sauce that usually goes with the dumplings to garnish with.

Pork and pickled cabbage noodle soup.
Yes. That is what I've been making all the fuss

Not the Fuzz, the fuss, about.


So, it's got pork, and pickled cabbage, and wheat noodle. And it's just like home. Not something I had as a child, but I felt like my mom was there with me, urging me to eat, eat.... It's just so simple and wonderful. It's just the perfect meal in a bowl And it's a big bowl. And every time we say we can take the leftovers. But there never are leftovers.

Dumpling Inn
4619 Convoy St # F
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-9638
Open Tue-Sun 11am-8:30pm