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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Squarshed Baby Tomato

So, I'm just going to post some of the more interesting food we've been eating over the past month.

This is the large oxtail plate at Caribbean Taste on Imperial Avenue. It's very good. I find myself liking it more than Island Spice. The oxtail at Island Spice is so cooked down and thick and rich that it's a little too much. At Caribbean Taste it's "lighter". If you want patties though, get them at Island Spice. All three - veggie, chicken and beef - are really good. I love the pastry, it's nice and flaky.

You know what these are! So, one morning, we woke up and decided we wanted Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I had been craving these for a couple months, so I was excited to go. The Hot Doughnuts sign was not lit, but we went in anyway. I mean, it was Sunday morning, so they had to be fresh, right? Well, the glazerfall was operating, but they were cranking out mini doughnuts. So you can't buy those except for in a box of 20. Boo :( But, the guy at the counter assured me the regular sized doughnuts were done no more than 5 - 10 minutes ago. So, I got two. The Food Pimp got one glazed and one lemon custard filled. We got iced coffee, which sucked. But, I just needed it to drink while I scarfed down my doughnuts. Actually, I consciously took my time to eat them. They were like sweet clouds of sugar and fat, heavenly! We watched all the families trickle in and stare into the windows and enjoying their doughnuts and the company of their families. We thought it was nice, because it's a memory in both of our childhoods that we do not share.

Now, it's not like my childhood was all bad, but when I see a girl climb onto her daddy's lap and give him kisses, that is weird to me.

Anyway, after the Krispy Kreme outing, we had to go do some errands for a bit, and then the FP was already ready for lunch. So, we were driving around Clairemont Mesa when we spotted a place called Village Indian Cuisine. I wasn't really hungry, so it was all the FP's decision, so that's where we went.

We walked in, and it looked like they had just opened. There was a buffet, which looked, okay. But the FP decided to order off the menu. I guess I forgot to take a picture of his food. It was lamb vindaloo. He said it was decent, but there was no need to come running back to the place.

I had ordered what I thought was going to be a little appetizer.
Chana Samosa. The way I read the description, I thought the samosa would be filled with garbanzo beans, not smothered with them! So it was a vegetable samosa with potatoes and peas, and then the stewed garbanzos with yogurt and cilantro on top. The garbanzos were a little al dente. So, kudos to them for actually cooking the beans, but less than kudos for not cooking them quite long enough. The dish itself tasted good, but part of the goodness of samosas for me is that the pastry is crispy fried goodness. So being smothered with the chick peas, the samosas were not crispy anymore. And so much for a little sumpin sumpin....

We went a couple weeks ago up to Anaheim to see our friend's band play a show. So on the way up we stopped in San Clemente for lunch. We were both wanting Mexican, so that was an easy call since the first shopping center we passed had a Mexican joint. The FP got seafood stew,

and I got carnitas tacos.

It was very good. The FP loved his stew. My tacos were good, but the beans were too pureed. I like pinto beans to be a little more... beany. It doesn't have to be whole beans, although I like it that way, but I like to have some texture so it's not so baby foody.

I kinda was on this taco kick, so I made chicken tacos one time at home.

I just kinda cooked the chicken meat with onion, garlic, salsa and canned pinto beans. I think I threw a little butter in at the end.

Then, I was still on a taco kick, but I wanted fish tacos. This is weird because I've never been a huge fan of fish tacos, but I've come to appreciate them. The FP wanted seafood stew because the one he had in San Clemente was good. So we went to Ranchos in North Park. It was strange because it was a Saturday or Sunday around lunchtime, and we hadn't eaten out in North Park, especially on a Saturday or Sunday in ages.

So, the place has been redone since we last went which was probably a couple years ago. I had been relieved that the front patio with all the plants had been removed. While I love foliage especially on patios, there was too much there. I felt the creepy sense that rats probably loved that patio. Anyhoo, the FP got his stew.

Which he really liked, although he preferred the stew in San Clemente.

I got my fish tacos.
So, the obvious criticism I'm going to make is the cheese. We both got cheese on our beans, me on my black beans, the FP on his pintos. We were eating seafood. While I'm not so stringent about the no seafood with cheese rule, I didn't think it was fitting to have cheese with our beans and seafood stew and fish tacos in this case. I probably might have been okay with a little sprinkling of queso cotija, just a little. But not that mozzarella or whatever it was. Anyway, moving past that, the rice was overcooked, which was fine because that's kind of the deal with this preparation of rice - it's more authentic seeming if it's overcooked. The tacos were good. I got one grilled and one fried. I actually liked the crispy fried fish better. The grilled fish was a little more on the dry side, being grilled instead of fried, but I liked both and I gobbled them up.


I like so many fellow Americans love mac and cheese. Not so much the box shit anymore. I like it with a proper cheese sauce. The cheese doesn't have to be fancy though. So, the FP is not a big mac and cheese fan. He's not a fan at all. But, he can appreciate a good mac and cheese. So, he never really made mac and cheese before he started teaching cooking classes. So, he's learned the technique - slowly cooking the bechamel. Anyhoo, he had a kids' cooking class one Saturday afternoon. The property that the class was at had not promoted the class at all. So no one showed up. So, he had the fixins for a huge pan of the stuff. So that's what we had for several meals. It was so fucking delicious, all baked up in the pan and topped with bacon! So good. We ate almost all of it. It was a shame that a bit of it went to waste.

Sinigang. Yum Yum Yum

Sisig. Yum, but Tita's is way better.

Coconut curry crawfish.
Yuck. I mean, the sauce was good to put on the rice, but the crawfish were gross. They tasted like they were those frozen imported crawfish from China or Thailand. They were just dirty tasting. Yuck.

Coconut Chicken Curry
Yum Yum Yum Yum So good!

We also go pancit to eat with the leftovers (not the crawfish though). The pancit was also yum yum yum!

Several days later I made a sinigang. It wasn't as good as Tita's or Conching's, but the FP said it was good if we just didn't think of it as a sinigang. I made it with pork neck, beef shank, ginger, garlic, tamarind, mushrooms and these chinese mustard greens, bau-sin. I cooked rice too, of course. So, it was pretty good, but the chinese mustard greens gave both of us very very bad bloating, which of course was accompanied with very very foul gas. I don't generally have much of a problem with greens while the FP does. But, these greens were stewed for hours in the soup, so I was surprised that they were still very gas inducing!

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