Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dinner at Lacroix, Philadelphia, PA

Foie Gras with Candied Radish
A gift from the chef, this was quite good.

Crispy trout with gnocci and roasted tomatos. Very tasty.

Parsley and Lily Soup with a Lobster Ravioli
This was was very subtle in flavor, best eaten before other saltier dishes.

Hamachi Pave
Roasted tomatos, scrambled egg, hamachi, beignet. Odd, yet yummy, combination.

Don't remember the details, but it was good.

Diver Scallops with Veal
Perfectly cooked. Very good.

Beef Tenderloin with Omelet and Gravy.
The beed and the gravy were great, and although tasty, I am not sure the omelet added anything to this dish (save a reason for the eggshell gravy boat).

Lamb T-Bone
Very good, although the small side of miniature zuchinnis and a cake like structure soaking in au jus left something to be desired. Lamb itself was excellent.

Cheese Plate
I don't remember all the names, but there was an aged Gouda with a parmasean-like crystalline texture and tremendous flavor, a very smooth chevre, a sharp blue, a hard cow's milk and a camembert.

Accompaniments for cheese:
Carr's water crackers, pear compote, rhubarb compote and a sweet fennel relish.

Flourless Chocolate cake with coffee ice cream
Very good.

Huckleberry Tart with Mango Sorbet.
This was really more of a blondie with a few huckleberries than it was a tart, but it was tasty.

Food: 2
Service: 2
Decor : 2


Lunch at Pat's Steaks, Philadelphia, PA

While in Philly, of course I had to bring Alexis to the birthplace of the cheesesteak, Pat's King of Steaks. Frankly, Pat's has seem to have sold out with its national exposure. The portions are too small, the prices to expensive. Worse, the default cheese is whiz. Better cheesesteaks are to be had at any corner pizza shop.

Food: 1
Decor: N/A
Service: N/A

Breakfast at Joe's Place, Wayne, PA

Joe's Place was a a hole in the wall, with a gruff staff, a high school clientele and lots of college sports paraphenalia from local schools I had never heard of.

Cheese Omelet with "Scrapple" $4
Scrapple is apparently a meat mash, only available in Philly. A little too gooey for my tastes, but Giao seemed to like it.

Cheese and Mushroom Omelet with Sausage $4
The omelet was a little runny, but they did put it back on the grill for me. Not a bad meal for $4.
Food: 0
Decor: 0
Service: 0

Friday, October 07, 2005

Dinner at ... Philadelphia, PA

Immediately after picking us up at the airport, Giao's parents whisked us off to a friends birthday dinner. The place looked like a wedding reception with big pink bows on the chairs. A Katrina fund raiser with a very loud band was in the next room.

Shrimp salad with pork strips and assorted vegetables.

Bird's Nest with Assorted Seafood and Chinese Brocolli

Shark's fin soup.

Deep Fried Quail Legs and Thighs

Lobster in a somewhat gelatinous sauce.

Peking Duck

Fried Chicken

Fried Rice

Orange Slices

Lunch at Vintage Texas, Dallas, TX

Chicken Fried Steak $9
Nothing special.

Barbequed Brisket $9
Offered as a sandwich, I opted out of the bun. This was merely edible, the barbeque sauce tasting more like ketchup than anything else.

Buffalo Wings $8
These wings were actuall pretty good. Crispy skin, nice and spicy.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Dinner at Mehfil Indian Cuisine (Take-Out), San Francisco, CA

Mehfil Indian Cuisine is our favorite Indian take-out or delivery place for many reasons. First of all the food, but this place gets points for their website too. You can order online for take out or pick up.

Saag Paneer $10
Their version is creamier than most, and their paneer is less spongy and therefore, better.

Chicken Tikka Masala $12
Creamy, tart and delicious. The only drawback to this dish is that I always find the chicken chunks a bit dry. I wish they would use thighs rather than breasts.

Aloo Gohbi $8
Since we don't like to potatos, we always ask for this dish without the "aloo", and they are always happy to comply.

Food: 1
Service: N/A (We have never actually eaten in the restaurant)
Decor: N/A (Ditto)

Health Code Violations

Lunch at Work

Leftover smorgasbord.

Chicken salad, miso soup, turnip/celery root mash, steak.

Avocado dressed with balsamic vinagrette.

Breakfast at Home

Fried eggs and Bacon. Looks the same as usual.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Dinner at Home

Roast Beef
I was so happy because I finally managed to cook something rare (I usually get it medium at best), but, I learned that cheap meat is cheap for a reason. It was not tender at all. It was marinated overnight in dijon, balsamic, olive oil, crushed peppercorns and corinader seeds, salt and pepper.

Celery Root and Turnip Mash
This is the closest (in consistency) low carb version of mashed potatos that I have managed. And it tasted great. Boiled turnips and celery root were pureed with butter, cream, and a mixture of sauteed bacon, onions and garlic was folded in after. Seasoned with pepper and salt, then sprinkled with fresh parmasean and baked until golden.

Lunch at Work

Same as yesterday.

Breakfast at Home

Fried eggs and Bacon. Looks the same as usual.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dinner at Marketbar, San Francisco, CA 94107

I had previously banned this place twice before, so it was with trepidation when I came to it for dinner. I was not my pessism. Perma-banned.

Crab cocktail salad $8
The crab was ok, but that was it. The lettuce was soggy and there were underripe grapefruit slices mixed in. I ate the crab off the top.

Cheese Plate ($8) - The blue was good, the others average.

Rack of Lamb for 2 ($34) - Well prepared, but way to small for two people. The side of ratatouille was flavorul only when the olive tapenade was mixed in.
Food: 0
Service: 1
Decor: 1

Health Code Violations

Lunch at Work

Chicken salad with red onions, anaheim chiles, cumin, coriander and paprika.

Leftover chicken and fish from previous nights' dinners.

Breakfast at Home

Fried eggs and Bacon. Looks the same as usual.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dinner at Home

Chicken thighs pan fried with crushed coriander and mustard seeds, served with green salad.

Lunch at Pier 23, San Francisco, CA

Cobb Salad with Shrimp and Crab $15
How can a cobb salad be bad? Well, with very little blue cheese and a dressing that was far too watery, not to mention the overwhelming "fishiness" of the seafood, which should have been fresh.

Deep Fried Artichoke Hearts $8
Would have been better if the artichoke hearts were marinated, but still pretty good when dipped in the creamy dressing.

"Spicy" Chicken Wings $8
This was a total misnomer. These were sweet, not spicy, and totally not what we expected. A dissapointment, to say the least.

Fried Calamari $10
Much better than usual for Pier 23. Tender, crunchy, delicious.

Whole Crab $20

Food: 0
Service: 1
Decor: 1 (It gets a point for having a patio)
Health Code Violations

Breakfast at Home

Fried eggs and Bacon. Looks the same as usual.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Lunch at Tony's House, San Mateo, CA

Sunday is football and barbeque day.

More Korean style short ribs. These were from Safeway rather than Ranch 99, and were thicker. I like the ones from Ranch 99 better.


Steaks--A little over done, but having been marinated over night in a chili rub, it was good.

Dinner at Home

Miso soup with scallions, tofu and seaweed.

Tilapia marinated in rooster sauce, pickled ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil, pan-fried. Served with green salad.

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