Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dinner at Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto, Berkeley, CA

We had a $20-off coupon for Spenger's that we got from Alaska Airlines for some reason. It expired today so we figured we should use it. As we expected, the food was not very good, but at least it was $20 cheaper than it would have been otherwise. The service was also sub-par--a runner delivered our main course about a minute after someone else had delivered our appetizers.

Kumamoto Oysters $12 for 6
Very large and plump for this type of oyster. These were good and fresh.

Shrimp and Lobster Bisque $5
Decent but not special. Better than Whole Foods' bique though and it did include lots of shrimp chunks.

Cioppino $17
More of a broth than a stew, this was passable. It should not have been labeled "cioppino"...

Mixed Grill $19
The salmon was not over cooked, but was flavorless. The "prawns" were really just medium sized shrimp, but they were also pleasantly not overcooked. The crab cake was actually pretty good, and had a nice spicy sauce. The other two sauces were sweet and weird.

Food: 0
Service: 0
Decor: 1

Health Code Violations - Berkeley's search is still broken.

Mid-day Grazing at Home

We had many errands and chores to get done today, so our sustenance ended up being of the stand-over-the-sink-picking-meat-off-a-Costco-rotisserie-chicken variety.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Dinner at Le Charm, San Francisco, CA

After a few St. Patrick's day drinks we decided to have dinner at Le Charm, a restaurant that Alexis had never been to, despite the fact that it is literally around the corner from our apartment. It was better than Alexis expected and Giao remembered.

Pre-Dinner Munchies (gratuit)
These warm breads were very good. The breadsticks were incredibly flaky and the the goat cheese and tomato round was quite flavorful.

Blue Crab Soup with Crouton and Saffron Remoulade (below) $8
The soup was both flavorful and full of crab meat and the remoulade was thick and tasty.

Mussels $11
The mussles were plump and fresh but the brothy sauce left something to be desired.

French Onion Soup $8
A truly classic preparation that did not disappoint. The onions were perfectly carmelized and left not a trace of the bitter aftertaste that can exist when this dish is not well-prepared.

Roasted Pork Shoulder with Hand Made Spaetzel and Black Currants $17
Although the meat was a tad salty, the tart flavor of the juicy black currents balanced out the flavors perfectly.

Rib Eye with Bone Marrow and Potato Fritters (shown below) $28
The steak was good and Giao loves marrow. The light and fluffy yet crunchy potato fritters were a nice little surprise.

Food: 1
Service: 2
Decor: 1


Health Code Violations

Munchies at the St. Pat's Block Party next to Kate O'Brien's, San Francisco, CA

There was a St. Pat's block partying happening in the parking lot adjacent to Kate O'Brien's. We headed down there after work to meet up with K and J. There was a little food stand set up in the back that had suprisingly good chow for $8.

Generally served in a bun, Alexis opted for no bun but lots of the home made condiments. The whole grain creamy mustard was especially good.

Boiled Cabbage and Corn Beef

Lunch from We Be Sushi, San Francisco, CA

We are always a bit wary of delivery sushi, and Giao will tend to stay away from things that are a bit more violatile. Alexis ordered this time though, and decided that ami-ebi and uni was a good idea. Giao had some of it and felt oh so slightly ill, and warned Alexis away from it. She didn't eat any of it. Even the safer selections of hamachi and tuna had a bit of a fishy smell.


Hamachi and White Tuna


Seaweed Salad
Although the styrofoam cup was a bit funny, the seaweed salad was definitely the most palatable part of this meal.

Food: 0 (BANNED! at least for delivery)

Health Code Violations

Breakfast at Home

Chupaqueso with Onion, Tomato, Salami, Avocado, Sour Cream and Hot Sauce

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dinner at Home

Chicken Wings and Tofu with Spinach
We hadn't been grocery shopping in a few weeks and the pickings were very slim, so Alexis threw some chicken wings in the oven and then threw together this tofu dish, which ended up being quite good. Too bad the picture doesn't do it justice.

Tofu and Spinach:
-1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed for 1/2 an hour to reduce water content
-4 cups spinach, washed
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 soy sauce
-1 Tb sesame oil
-2 tb hot chili powder
-1/4 cup rice vinager
-2 packets splenda

Press the tofu between two towels and place a heavy book on top for a 1/2 hour or so. This will press out the excess water allowing thr tofu to develop a nice crust when sauteed and to not break apart as easily. Cut tofu into one in cubes. Mix all ingredients except tofu and spinach. Pour mixture over tofu and let marinate for 15 minutes or so. Drain the marinade and reserve. Sautee the tofu until golden on all sides. Add the spinach and the reserved marinade and cook until marinade is evaporated.

Lunch from Gambino's, San Francsico, CA

Another catered in lunch at work...Gambino's is reliable.

Side of Artichoke Hearts


Caesar Salad
Previous Post

Breakfast at Home

Good old Bacon and Eggs.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dinner at Home

Steak with Tarragon Garlic Butter and Grilled Asparagus

Tarragon Garlic Butter:
-3/4 stick butter, room temperature
-a handful of fresh tarragon, chopped finely
-1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-salt and pepper to taste

Smash the above together until fully incorporated.

Lunch at Work

Ricotta Meatballs with Celery Root Puree and Fresh Tarragon

Celery Root Puree
-1 large celery root, rough chopped
-2 small turnips, roughly chopped
-1 onion, roughly chopped
-6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
-3 cans stock

Sautee the onions and garlic in a bit of oil until starting to brown. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer, covered, until root peices are soft. Puree. Add some puree to a bowl, put some meatballs in it, and sprinkle some freshly chopped herbs over the top.

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Eggs

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dinner at Aperto, San Francisco, CA

A colleague from our Argentinian faction was in town so we went out to welcome him at Aperto, a place we had never heard of and turned out to be decent, but not amazing. Our waiter was extremely enthusiastic, which was not really a bad thing, but he did need to check his notes to tell us the specials...

Oven Roasted Mussels with Housemade Sausage, Shallots, Tomato and Shellfish Broth $9.00
These were nothing special, but ok.

Baby Spinach with Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Proscuitto, Egg, Shaved Machengo Cheese and Truffle Viniagrette $7.75
This was actually quite good. Fresh tasting.

Fish of the Day $16
Some kind of baked sea bass--the fish itself was good but what it was sitting on was tasteless. The braised leeks were crunchy and in my opinion anything braised should melt in your mouth.

Slow Braised Lamb Shank with Fresh Shelling Beans, Butternut Squash, Mirepoix and Jus $16.75

Good texture but tastless.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: 1

Heath Code Violations

Lunch at Work, Hot Dog stand at Sacremento and Battery, San Francisco, CA

Leftover Chicken, Noodles and Chinese Broccoli

Leftover Cream of Spinach Soup

Hot Dog from stand at Sacremento and Battery, NE Corner

Breakfast at Home

The usual, Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Dinner at Home

Chinese 5 Spice Chicken with Yam Noodles and Chinese Broccoli
You know, this really was not super flavorful and I wouldn't make it again, so there is really no point in writing out the recipe.

Lunch from Park Gyros, San Francisco, CA

Park Gyros was another catered in work lunch. It wasn't actually that bad...would have been better if warm.

Chicken Kabob
The chicken was nicely flavored, if a bit dry.

Prawn Kabob
This was actually pretty good. The prawns were not overcooked and were nice and plump.

Mixed Grill
Chicken, and other meats, were nicely flavored but dry.

Feta and Olives
The olives were juicy and the feta was fresh.
Food: 0
Decor: NA
Service: NA

Health Code Violations

Breakfast at Home


-1 big handful of cheese, any kind, shredded
-1/2 and avodaco, chopped
-2 thick slices of salami, diced
-1/2 tomato, diced
-1 dollop of sour cream
-hot sauce, to taste

How to:
1) Place the cheese in the center of a non-stick pan on medium high.
2) Wait until the cheese has enough structure to flip it over--you will be able to tell...
3) Flip it, fry for a minute or so, and set aside on a plate.
4) place the rest of the ingredients on top and eat like a pizza.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dinner at Home

Leftover Cream of Spinach Soup

Chicken Gouda Apple Sausages with Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinagrette
The sausages are from Costco and are quite good. We cooked them on the George Forman Grill.

Low Carb Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes
With only 3 carbs each, these cupcakes satisfied a sweet tooth, but were nowhere near amazing. They were adapted from a cake recipe from the Moosewood.

-1/2 cup soy flour
-1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
-1 egg
-1/4 cup butter or oil
-1/2 cup sugar substitute
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 ts baking soda
-1/4 ts salt
-1/2 ts vanilla

How to:
1) Mix all ingredients together.
2) Pour into capcake tin.
3) Bake on 350 for about 25 minutes.

Serves: 4 cupcakes (we made a very small batch)

Midafternoon Snack

Leftover Meatballs in Artichoke Sauce

Brunch at Home

Bacon, Cheese and Carmelized Onion Scrambled Eggs

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