Tag Archives: food

Oh the Tacos at Guisados!

It’s just down the street from Dodger stadium, which I did not think about till I found myself in a string of stagnant cars filled with people wearing blue hats. I wasn’t there for the game, I was there for mole’.
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Standing in line with a bunch of hipsters I had plenty of time to check out the chalk board menu and its list of creatively named entrees, none of which looked familiar, I decided to do what all smart people do in new situations; order the sample platter. Now my not understanding the menu may have had more to do with my lack of Spanish than their creativity, but I tend to trust anyone who states on the menu that they don’t adjust the recipe. they know what they are doing and that is what you go there for.

From the menu: “Chiles Toreados-Habanero, serrano, jalapeno, thai, chiles blistered together over high heat. Served on top black beans. Adjustments kindly declined.”

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And horchata, always order horchata. Their’s was the most cinnamony I have ever had, in a good way. Good enough to make up a new word; like cinnamony.

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Where Your Fortune is Created:Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

It wasn’t till after we left that it occurred to me that for a couple bucks they probably would have let me write my own fortune to have stuffed inside a cookie. Tip to anyone considering a proposal of marriage; visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory located in a tiny alley in San Francisco’s Chinatown.IMG_5998

In Ross alley is a little shop about the size of my living room, where dreams are created. Well, maybe not dreams, but rather the little cookies you get with your sweet and sour chicken. I had never considered how these little treats are made, just as I have never really considered how my iPhone or a kazoo are constructed, but when confronted with an opportunity, why not?IMG_5991

There ya go. That’s pretty much it. A circular conveyor belt with a hundred Forman Grill like hot plates spins around spitting out hot pancakes that are peeled off the press and the folded around a slip of pre printed paper  into the shape of a croissant. You walk in, go “huh.” Then buy a bulk bag of cookies and go on your way. That is my style of learning.IMG_5736Going there is worth the trip and being there is even better. I find it incredibly American. American in that it is very much IN America, but in a place where a large number of people have come from somewhere else in hope of a better life. That is American.IMG_5990

What is also very American is gawking at the the culture of others without any real back story or true cultural understanding. That was my part in the whole visit. I played my part well and I am through and through American. Below I present exhibit A:IMG_5993

I appreciate drying your laundry the cheapest way possible and I don’t mind dried fish, but combining the two displeases me. I would guess that were it otherwise I would displease most of the people who might sit next to me on a bus.

But that is my opinion and this is America where we are each entitled to our own opinions… and smells.IMG_5997

 

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MILK: and Macarons…. Oooooooh Macarons

I’ve been to MILK twice, once on a weekday, the other a weekend, and on both occasions the line stretched out the door. I haven’t been to Disneyland but I hear they have the same problem over there. I also hear that just as at MILK, the waiting is worth it.IMG_7076

They make Nutella ice cream. How can you argue with that? They make and sell all sorts of baked goods, sandwiches, cupcakes, and pretty much whatever it is that you hadn’t thought existed but once you do know- you need it.IMG_7074

For instance, macarons. I have heard of macarons. What I had not considered was making ice cream sandwiches out of macarons. what I had also not considered was a lime hibiscus and  clove soda. I now love both of those things.IMG_7062

Going to MILK every day is not an option for me, and not recommended for anyone. Not recommended in the same way that gluttony, overindulgence, and food abstinence are not recommended.

Of course taking recommendations is not recommended… unless it involves macaron ice cream sandwiches and lime, hibiscus, and clove soda.IMG_7079

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Credit Where Credit is Due: Pop ‘n Sweets

I have not been know to look for nice things to say about Provo Utah. Not wanting to be a generally negative person I have often kept my mouth shout when wanting to say bad things about the place. I find myself now in a position where I have no choice… I must praise the place. Or at least I must praise one place that is in that place.

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They have nice story about how they came to be and who owns the place but that doesn’t mater much in this case. This candy and soda shop could have been founded by the devil and it would still be worth the visit (incidentally the devil has been outlawed in Provo so it couldn’t have been founded by him).IMG_6304

Long story short, they have soda. All kinds of soda. Soda on tap, Soda from Austria, Soda that’s funny, soda that is sophisticated, a lot of soda. I like that. They have candy too but I’m not so much into wasting calories on that when there is a red capped Blenheim ginger ale to be had.IMG_6339

Or perhaps a mate mojito? A birch beer maybe? Whatever your flavor grab one and have a seat at the counter or in a booth.IMG_6318

This place was good enough that I wanted to hang around… in Provo. I want to go again… to Provo. I can’t believe I ‘m typing this. I’m being forced to shift my fundamental belief system. My foundation is crumbling.

Crumbling into a sweet, fizzy, bubbly, wonderful pool of soda.IMG_6320

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Pigs and Cheese in San Francisco

The Ferry building in San Francisco is in some ways, exactly what it sounds like. You can ketch the Ferry to Sausalito there, or if you are like me, you can catch lunch.

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Crowded, yet surprisingly sterile, the hungry masses are provided a wealth of options. Tacos, burgers, and bears Oh my. I did see tacos and burgers, I got carried away with the bears bit, ya know, alliteration and all. With so many choices one can pretty much do as they please, and what pleased me, pleased me in a big way.

First, How can anyone pass up a sign with the tagline “Tasty Salted Pig Parts”?IMG_5705

I did not know that other word but it did not matter. It may just be a stall in a glorified food court, but in the case of Boccalone, the glory was well deserved. I have not been to any other food court vendor that had a locker in which it was aging its own meat. Besides, any place that can stay in business only doing one simple thing (salting pig parts), is likely doing it rather well. They are doing it well.IMG_6022

Having obtained a pile of prosciutto carried like a snow cone I walked around the corner for part two of lunch. Cheese. Good cheese.

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Faux western kitsch normally repels me like a cattle prod, but this bucking bronco logo-ed shop had aged Gouda in the isles. Aged Gouda fixes everything. So does brie, Gruyere, and Stilton. The Cowgirl Creamery is better than their logo shtick implies. IMG_6020

There was a line full of the lunch crowd standing at their window and I joined them. The chalk board told me I had my choice of brie and apple, ham and Swiss, or any variation of cheese and bread. I went with a grilled cheese and fig jam.

I chose correctly.IMG_6024

 

 

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Raising Funds Once Again: for a good cause of course

We got our tickets second hand, but when those hands are clean and the food is good, who cares how you get the tickets?overview

My employer supports good causes, including employing ne’er-do-wells such as myself, but in this case said support entailed attending a charity auction. I’m beginning to like these types of events. I say beginning not because I’m learning or adjusting, but rather because I’ve finally begun being invited.IMG_1363-XL

They called the event “Chocolate Fantasy”. I called it “Black Tie and Bacon”. My name was better. Not only was my title alliterative but it had bacon. Everything, including the chocolate, is better with bacon.how funny

I know, I know… I’m hilarious.

Despite my irreverence, my tongue in cheekiness, my tendency to joke before I appreciate, this event did deserve actual appreciation. All proceeds went to give scholarships to young people at the Boys & Girls Club. The local sampling of desserts and appetizers was top notch, and the band, the band was good.trumpet

She made me dance. She did not have to make me eat. And I did eat.cakes

Chocolate covered bacon, raspberry truffles, fondue, and free champagne. I of course do not drink champagne, but there at the bar, at this adults only event, were bottles and bottles of Martinelli’s. Those bottles were like a carbonated token that I was indeed welcome here.glasses

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Little Plates, Guy Smiley, and Marching Dimes

“What do you mean its a dinner but you don’t sit down till dessert? So what you really mean is its hoursdevors and then cake. Maybe we should eat before we go.”

These words before the event proved what my wife always thought, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. This has never stopped me from talking, and once we arrived at the event, no one stopped us from eating. We ate a lot.lottaplates

We were the guests of Miss Amanda who was the guest of the March of Dimes. They invited her because she is kind of a big deal. Her husband is a big deal in his own right, but since he is off on an aircraft carrier saving lives he was appropriately ignored. Why she is a big deal is a story for another time but for this story we will stick with the event itself.
I have decided I like swanky events held in museums.eatingmeat

Why?
Perhaps it is the architecture, maybe the implied importance, but probably I just find it amusing to be in the presence of amazing things with a bunch of people who are completely ignoring those amazing things. That night the giant flying shark was trumped by Root beer glazed ribs. Root beer glazed ribs trumps most things.rootbeermeat

There was also macaroni and cheese with chunks of crab, lox on sesame seed macaroons, and pork cheeks in some sort of magic sauce. Positioned between displays of rocks and taxidermy stood chefs and bartenders giving out samples of what they do best. Eating is what I do best so I was well placed.us

This was a charity auction, not just a dinner, so after we all swanked and ate, we were shown to our tables. What happened after we sat down was unlike anything I had ever seen before and something I would have never considered till sitting there that night.

The auctioneer had henchmen.

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It makes perfect sense having seen it, but while seeing it, it was all I could watch. Henchmen might be the wrong word, assistants, hype men, support staff, whatever they were called was drowned out by what they do, which then drowned out the cause for which they were raising funds. Fascinating.

The man up front was the human version of Sesame Street’s Guy Smiley. His jaw was chiseled, his part was lasered, and his voice projected pure cheese through peroxide teeth. As he stood at the podium talking fast and canning jokes, two more of him appeared standing among the tables. The man up front spoke, and spoke quickly, while the other two were silent. Silent but not sedentary.pastry

As numbered paddles raised to signal bids these two young men ran around pumping fists in air, clapping, pointing, and above all else, smiling. They wore fitted black suits with white shirts, the cuffs of which showed just a little too much below the coat sleeve, making them all the more visible as they pumped in the air, swung around to point toward a bid, or waived in the air causing the crowd to cheer. Which we did.plating

Occasionally the cuffs would disappear as the voice up front would slow, quiet just a little, and talk of premature birth, childhood disease, and the tragedy of death come early. The voice sounded as if it were masking tears. So sincere. So important. Till a paddle moved the bid for a vacation package up to $7,000 and the voice exploded with energy, rapid fire numbers, and calls for applause.guitars

Amazing. It would be more amazing if the people in this man’s life ever took him completely seriously. He may be sincere, I’m sure he can be, and no matter how much I could ever doubt him, there is no arguing he was a professional. He was the ringmaster of this circus and he had two dancing bears sporting perfect hair. Well, perfect hair if perfect hair is defined by being completely fixed and immobile without being the least bit shiny. I found that the most amazing part of the whole night.

Did you catch the pun?

Waiting for the valet to bring the car around I realized I had eaten far too much. Over to my left was henchman number two with the well sculpted facial hair. There was nothing like a smile on his face or flashing cuff while he checked his watch impatiently.

Amazing.

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