Saturday, January 14, 2006

Dinner at Home

Pad Thai
This was my first attempt at Pad Thai, a dish I have eaten more times than I can count but had never ventured to make. As with most items I've never tried to make before, I first read about 25 recipes from various sources and then made up my own amalgamation. In the end I used more fish sauce and less sweetener than most recipes called for, and I used tofu noodles instead of rice noodles. It ended up tasting like the real thing.

Lunch at Home

We picked up a rotisserie chicken at Costco this morning, so I shredded it and made a nice chicken salad on mixed greens. The dressing was made with mayo, rooster sauce, lime, miso and splenda.

Breakfast at Costco, San Francisco, CA


Friday, January 13, 2006

Dinner at Fringale in San Francisco, CA

We took advantage of "Dine About Town" again and went to one of our favorite French places, Fringale. Although the quality of the food never falters, we both felt that this time was actually better than times before. Not sure why. In any case, Fringale proved itself again to be a standout, serving classic and unfussy French food in an intimate yet relaxed atmosphere. I also like that their entire waitstaff is French.

Calamari a la plancha with chorizo and jalapenos $10
This dish is truly incredible and such a welcome trangression from the standard breaded and fried calamari available most everywhere. The calamari was also perfectly tender.

Pureed Onion and Roqueforte Soup $7
This soup was unexpectedly subtle. We thought that the cheese would overpower the onion, but the roqueforte was more of an aftertaste, rendering the soup delicate rather than robust.

Black Angus Rib-Eye Steak with Red Wine Butter and Steamed Vegetables $22
The steak was a perfect medium-rare and was crunchy on the outside and juicy in the middle. The red wine butter matched beautifully. And they gracefully honored my request for veggies instead of fries, providing me with spinach, carrots, green beans and brussel sprouts.

Steamed Mussels with Fried Garlic, Herbs and Sherry Vinegar $15
Very good.

Pommes Frites (served with the mussels)
Crunchy and cut from potatos--no pre-frozen fries here.

Real Mayo
Giao asked for mayo for his fries and we were given a small dish of real, homemade mayo-lemony and delicate. This mayo was so good even Alexis ate some.

Creme Brulee $7
This is consistently the best creme brulee I have ever had outside France. Perfect consistency every time.

Apple Tarte $7
Rather bland actually. It was beautiful though.

Vanilla Ice Cream (served with the tart)

Food: 2
Service: 0 (they spilled a glass of wine on our friend)
Decor: 1

Health Code Violations

Lunch from MacArthur Park, San Francisco, CA

Another lunch catered in at work, this time from MacArthur Park, a mediocre classic American restaurant that would like to think of itself as an upscale eatery.

Mixed Grill $25
The shrimp was edible as was the salmon, but the tuna was not fit for cats.
(Guest Photographer: Eric)

Cobb Salad $16
This version of the classic cobb salad is pretty good, but no salad should cost $16--ever.

Decor: NA
Food: 0
Service: NA

Health Code Violations

Breakfast at Home

The usual, Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dinner at Home

After our big late lunch Alexis was not hungry for dinner but Giao needed some sustenance in the form of chicken wings and leftover fennel soup.

Lunch at Butterfly in San Francisco, CA

It's "Dine About Town" month again in San Francisco. That means that many restaurants in San Francisco are offering 3 Course Prix Fixe menus--$25 for lunch and $35 for dinner. We decided to try Butterfly, located in Pier 33 on the Embarcadero. In the end, we ended up ordering off the Prix Fixe menu and it ended up being about the same price anyway. Also, while the waitress was nice, the service was incredibly slow considering we were one of three tables in there at the time. Another strange thing about Butterfly was that the differentiation between appetizer and entree was arbitrary at best. The two categories were equally priced and sized.

Fire Fried Calamari with Toasted Garlic with Ponzu Marinated Cucumbers $8
This was very weird calamari. Not only was it a bit rubbery, the batter was starchy, but not crunchy.

Caper and Chili Remoulade (for the calamari)
This sauce was the best part of this dish.

House Smoked Salmon Carpaccio with Crème Fraiche Whipped Horseradish, Wasabi Crackers and Fried Capers $8
This was rather good, but the creme fraiche tasted suspiciously of potatos.

Caramelized Maui Onion Soup with Chinese Smoked Bacon with Cabot Cheddar and Swiss Cheese $7
This was the same as any other french onion soup. But the bacon was nice.

Shaking Beef Cobb Salad with Grilled Green Onions,Proscuitto, Maytag Blue Cheese and Apple Wood Bacon $10
This was a marriage of ingredients that sounded good at first but turned out strange. The shaking beef was sweeter than normal creating an off-balance flavor in the salad as a whole. The proscuitto was of good quality, but also lent a strange off-kilter feeling to the salad.

Hoisin Glazed BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Toasted Cashew Nuts and a Cucumber and Pineapple Relish $12
The glaze was slightly sweet and the ribs were certainly decent. Although nothing compares to the ribs from Oola.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: 0

Health Code Violations

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dinner at Home

Oven Roasted Brocolli with Melted Cheese
All I can say is yum. I will certainly be making this again.

Baby Back Ribs in a Chili Rub and Chili Lime Chicken Wings
A very meaty, very satisfying combination. The ribs were cooked on the Ron Popiel "Set it and Forget it"--a technique that never fails us for succulent juicy on the inside/crunchy on the outside ribs.

Lunch at Work

Salmon Salad with Scallions, Capers and Dill

Assorted Leftovers
Chicken Apple Gouda Sausage, Salmon Salad and Fennel Soup

Breakfast at Home


Poached "Scrambled" Eggs
I tried a technique I read about in the New York Times Magazine last Sunday for these eggs. Basically, you beat the eggs and them poach them in boiling water for 30 seconds or so. When you drain them they are the most delicate scrambled eggs you can imagine. The only problem is that adding salt to the egg mixture prior to cooking makes the egg proteins les delicate and not adding it makes the eggs rather tasteless. Not sure if I will do it again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dinner at Home

Creamed Spinach with Carmelized Red Onions and Bacon
I gave this a bit of a tang by adding cream cheese.

Fennel Turnip Soup

Chicken Apple and Smoked Gouda Sausages
Grilled on the George Forman. These sausages from Costco are quite good, if a bit salty.

Lunch at Work

Leftover Miso Soup
For whatever reason this miso seems to have less flavor than normal. My suspicion is that the miso paste from Whole Foods is somehow less miso-y than the kind I usually buy at Ranch 99.

Chicken Salad with Miso/Mayo/Lime Dressing

Leftover Catfish and Broccoli
Pan-fried fish just is not as good the next day. Period.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dinner at Home

Shrimp Scampi with Kelp Noodles and Steamed Broccoli
The fresh basil and copious amounts of parmasean cheese made this dish fresh and rich at the same time.

Lunch from Tokyo-Express, San Francisco, CA

Tokyo Express is yet another mediocre delivery joint that we suffer in the name of free food (when the office is paying). This place only serves to validate our notion that there are no decent sushi places in the Financial District.

Edamame $3
Easily the best thing at this place.

Hamachi Sashimi $10

Miso Soup and Salad--Served with all Entrees
The miso was pretty good and the salad was abysmal. An iceberg salad lettuce that didn't even come with the requisite creamy miso dressing.

Salmon Sashimi $10
Again, just OK.

Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box $5.59
OK. Would have been better if it were not cold by the time it got to me.
Food: 0
Decor: NA
Service: NA

Health Code Violations

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dinner at Home

Homemade turkey meatballs and zuchinni baked in homemade tomato sauce and cheese with a mixed green salad.

Lunch from KFC, San Mateo, CA

Alexis had a craving for popcorn chicken and the football crowd was all to quick to oblige.

Hot Wings $5
Crispy and good.

10 Piece Thighs and Legs $8
Too salty, as always.

Apple Turnover $0.50

Popcorn Chicken $3.79
A seriously guilty pleasure.

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