Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last lunch of the year

As I post this, I realize that this meal was my last lunch of the year...decade actually!  Crazy huh?  It wasn't much.  My boyfriend and I couldn't decide on a place, so we went out separate ways.  He got Pasquales' Pizza on Irving, and I got Yellow Submarine on Irving & 6th.

Justin got the house special, which had mushrooms, sausage and pepperoni.  Looked pretty good, but I didn't try any.  He liked it though.

I wasn't too hungry, so I just got an order of french fries.  So yummy, I love these fries.  They always come out super hot, so hot that you take a bite into it and spit it out because of the temperature.  I love the shape too, so simple and big.  MmmmMM!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

E&O Trading

Went to E&O Trading tonight as a get-together with my cousins, aunt and mom.  I thought the food was alright, not terrible but definitely not a restaurant I would want to return to.  I didn't like the waitress I had, because she was pushy and not welcoming, nor patient.  Ambiance was pretty nice.

We ordered calamari and green onion fry bread.  I thought both were pretty good, as in decent.  No wows here.  Took terrible pictures, because I hate using flash at restaurants.  I find it really embarassing for flashes to go off in dark I take dark pictures that are blurry.

I ordered arctic char.  Didn't know what it really was until it was served to me at dinner.  It's pinkish like salmon, and it tastes like salmon, but it isn't salmon.  My fish was alright.

My mom got some other fish, I can't remember the name because it was some special for the night.  That was okay too, again, no wows.  Presentation was neat for hers though!

Koi Palace Dim Sum

Ate dim sum with my grandparents, mom and sister today at Koi Palace in Daly City.  Dim sum was great, really fresh.  I think that's the important thing about dim sum - it just needs to be fresh.  My family ordered a lot...never noticed until Justin told me, but we always over order and take home food, which is great too!

Fried Duck - yummy.  Tasted more gamey than usual though

Soft mushroom and other veggies roll. I was pleasantly surprised with this roll!  Didn't think it would be too spectacular, but it delicious.

Beef Chow Fun is one of my favorite dishes.  Isn't dim sum, but somehow whenever I go, I always order it.  I think it's because I can't eat shrimp...which cuts me out on about half of what you can get for dim sum.

Cha Seew Bao (steamed) - another favorite!

On the way out of the restaurant, I passed by the kitchen.  It was so neat!  I saw all the workers making the dim sum by hand!  In this picture the workers are making shiu lung bao (I think that's how you pronounce it)...which is a Shanghai dumpling bun.  It has pork, and when it's steamed, juices build up inside and when it's done and ready to be eaten, soup pours out when you bite into the dumpling.  Mmm!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pho Phu Quoc (PPQ)

Today I ate lunch at PPQ with high school friends.  Hadn't been there in a while, must've been over a year.  I like this restaurant because it's pretty close to my house and my friend's family owns it.  It's a pretty good Vietnamese restaurant.

The four of us shared imperial rolls...yum!  I think the imperial rolls at this restaurant are the best, probably my favorite.  But then again, I don't eat at many Vietnamese restaurants often.

Then I ordered the five-spiced chicken rice plate!  Also delicious!  At first I thought I didn't order enough...but I was full for most of the day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Naan & Curry and Polly Ann's Ice Cream

Ate some Naan n Curry with my boyfriend today.  I really wanted Thai food, but I chose the Chinese food it was his turn.  If you haven't been here before, it's a great Indian restaurant.  Naan is the bread, and curry is this spicy sauce, and you just dip/spread the curry all over the pita/tortilla type bread.

We ordered 2 regular naan's and 1 garlic, plus Baingan Bhartha (eggplant) and Paneer Tikka Masala (creamy curry)...yum!!  Service was bad again, but that's what happens when you go during an understaffed hour.

The garlic naan on top of the two regular ones.  Garlic naan was overdone, but the regular ones were perfect...super doughy, just the way I like it.

Chicken Tikki Masala on top, and eggplant on bottom.  Chicken was dry, but curry was excellent.  Eggplant is my favorite.  Sounds and looks disgusting, but it's always the best!

After lunch we ate at Polly Ann's Ice Cream.  Great ice cream place that has been there for years, I think even before my mom went to middle school around the corner.

I got mango & strawerry swirl, and my boyfriend got Banana Ripple.  Yum!  Both were great.  What I love about this ice cream parlor is that the flavors are unique, plus you can really taste the flavors - they're very distinct and strong.  This place is also great because it's not a commercial chain like Baskin Robins - it's a neighborhood charm.

Mango Strawberry Swirl!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Dessert

Ate lots of yummy desserts on Christmas Day!  Almond jello, peanut brittle, chocolate cupcakes, sugar cookies, fried ice cream, and mini fruit tarts.

I made the chocolate cupcakes.  I thought they were kind of crumbly, but oh well.  The sourbelt candy went pretty well with the chocolate though!
So one of my cousin's family on the other side has a professional baker/chef, and made those beautiful fruit tarts and sugar cookies!!!!  They were delicious, by the way.  Still pretty amazed that someone made makes sense that they are professional, because these cookies and tarts look store bought! *__*  Yummy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Brunch

Ate brunch at my aunt's house for Christmas Eve.  Pretty yummy, just hearty traditional brunch food.

From top to down:  Pillsbury buns with orange zest on top and glazed cinnamon buns, cranberry sauce, pineapple bread, really good bacon from Tennessee, oranges, salmon & capers over crackers

Homemade corn beef favorite for this brunch!!

With over-easy eggs

Snowman and Christmas tree pancakes!  Compliments to Aunt Jemima.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas cookies

Spent the whole day making Christmas cookies for my friends.  I think I made five batches in one day!  I have never done that many in one time before!

Christmas tree spritz cookies, made out of flour, sugar, butter, almond extract and vanilla extract..mmMMm!  Made out of my cookie press from Williams-Sonoma I got a few years back.  My model is different from this one...mine is made of metal.

Cute flower cookies, also made from the cookie press.

Raspberry Jam Thumbprint cookies.  I got this cookbook from my mom when I was a kid, and I found this cookie recipe from it in high school.  They're my family's favorite!

Thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies!  I got this recipe summer 2008...and I've gotta say, this is my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Always comes out perfect!

Sugar cookie recipe from my Williams-Sonoma cookie cookbook.  Fail, never ever gonna use it again.  I think it was partly my and my mom's fault the batch we made before these sugar cookies was at 375 degrees, but the sugar cookies were supposed to be made at 350.  They ended up melting!  Ugh!  You can't really tell...but they're supposed to be a snowman, star, and some other things...

Stacked up and ready to go!

Chow at the Park

For lunch, my mom and I went out to Park Chow.  Couldn't decide on a place for a while because my stomach wasn't feeling too well (probably from the terrible food last night!), then we decided on something local, an old favorite we knew we could depend on for great food.  It took a few minutes to get a seat, not that there weren't any, but because the waiters were pretty busy.  Took more than a few minutes to get our orders in, and even longer to have our food bussed to us.  Service overall was borderline terrible - staff was indifferent too.  We would make eye contact with them after sitting there for 15 minutes, and they would look at us and look away.

When food finally arrived, I was pretty disappointed.  It was cold, so it made me wonder how long it was sitting there before they had the chance or desire to hand it to us.  Well, my mom's porkchops were delicious (and hot) at least!  I was unfortunate in ordering the grilled mahi mahi...1) cold 2) overdone.  Rice tasted weird, bottom-of-the-pot lumpyness.

There were a few great things though about my meal!  The apple juice in the top right was delicious (as I had remembered from the last time I ventured here) - organic and freshly pressed.  Not sure if you can see, but the top of the cup has about a centimeter of frothy bubbliness!  Very tasty.  Also, the brussel sprouts were so right on too.  I think they boiled or steamed it, then grilled it, and tossed in apples, bacon and sweet onions.  Yum!  Will have to recreate one day.

Mom's porkchops were way better.  Super juicy, tender, fatty, and most of all releasing steam when arriving at our table.  Don't know whether I love the restaurant or not.  Hate love relationship.  Hate the service, love the brussel sprouts.  Hated the mahi mahi, loved the apple juice...this is tough.  Conclusion - undecided.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bette's Oceanview Diner & Sue's Mongolian BBQ

Ate at Bette's Oceanview Diner for lunch today out on 4th Street of Berkeley.  Pretty cute place, but the wait was unbelievable.  Considering it was a Monday at 11:30am, we had to wait 40 minutes still!  But I guess it's semi-understandable since everyone was probably Christmas shopping around that area.  It was raining too though!

I ordered the Maryland Breakfast ("house-made corned beef hash with poached eggs & raison scone"), which was a lot plentiful and delicious than I expected.  Poached eggs were yummy too.

And my bf ordered Lox Scramble ("scrambled eggs with smoked salmon & green onions, served with home fries, bagel & cream cheese").  Tried the house potatoes and they were great!

Tried Sue's Mongolian BBQ in Sunnyvale, which was a fail.  Or perhaps I just don't like Mongolian food.  It was an all-you-can-eat type place, with frozen meat, noodles and veggies, plus a sauce bar.  You basically have to put everything in yourself, including the oil, and you hand off your bowl to the chef and he makes it in front of you at this 3-foot diameter circle cooking grill. Great beacuse you don't really absorb all the grease in your hair, and also because it was $15 for stuffing your face, but I hated it because my bowl of noodles/beef/veggies was always bland.  I never seemed to put enogh sauce in to taste it, and by my second bowl I was already full.

Conclusion:  not returning, and I found out I like all-you-can-eat places that marinate your meat for you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sprinklesmobile & ad hoc

Hello world =)  This is my first food entry.

Last Monday two important things happened!

1)  The Sprinklesmobile came to downtown SF, at the Justin Herman Plaza.  It usually resides in Beverly Hills, where the Sprinkles cupcakes HQ is located, but it came up to the bay area to support the SF food bank by donating all its profit from delicious cupcakes. They had three flavors - red velvet, egg nog and peppermint...yumm!

After, I headed to the east bay, met up with my boyfriend, and we drove off to Yountville to eat at ad hoc and try the infamous fried chicken.  My boyfriend and I had been anticipating this fried chicken for a very long time, ever since last time we went to the restaurnt in September and the waiter told us that fried chicken was the most popular among customers, and the only item that stays the same every other week.

Menu 12/14/09

Winter Squash & Barley Salad - baby dandelion greens, spiced pecans, wild mushrooms, roasted onion and speck ham vinaigrette

Buttermilk Fried Chicken - marble potatoes, sauteed radicchio, k & j orchard apples, blue lake beans, meyer lemon gremolata

Jasper Hill Dairy's Hazen Blue - marshall's farm wildfarm honey palladin toast

Duo of Cupcakes - red velvet with cream cheese frosting, devil's food with chocolate frosting
  • Barley salad - pretty good.  I usually don't eat barley or really care for it, but this salad really surprised me in how well it could taste.
  • Fried chicken - excellent!  What I liked about the chicken was 1) It was so tender, 2) The crispy-ness was perfect, and went well with the tender chicken.
  • Cheese - I don't like cheese.  I'm lactose.  My bf said it was delish though.
  • Cupcakes - these were alright.  Best part was the cream cheese frosting on the red velvet.  Didn't care for the cake part much.
But overall, a great meal!!!  We will definitely be going back...but to try something else, not fried chicken again.