Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dinner at Home

Hot Pot
Mmmm. It's been a while since we had hot pot. This was a good dish for tonight as well since Alexis wasn't feeling entirely well. She ate a small portion and Giao cooked as much as he wanted. This was a standard hot pot with beef broth, onions and garlic as the base and shrimp, steak, mushrooms and brocolli for cooking fondue style. In addition to a variety of condiments found in the fridge we also usually make a little wasabi mayo and a soy-sesame-chili sauce.

Lunch at Home

The following is an incredibly unhealthy lunch...

Kraft Mac and Cheese
How can something so processed be so good? Or is it not good at all and it just reminds us of childhood.

Fried Chicken (from Whole Foods)
The skin totally separated from the meat, which was kind of good because then you could eat the meat without the skin and it was at least a bit better for us.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dinner at Sparrow, San Francisco, CA

We decided to try out Sparrow, a restaurant that was participating in Dine Out San Francisco this month. As per usual, we didn't end up going with the Dine Out menu, but we were pleasantly surprised with our overall meal. The menu offered several appetizers and entrees, a tasting menu and "Kaiseki" menu, in which you let the chef choose a variety of small plates to serve you based on your preferences and choice of wine. We chose the kaiseki menu ($80 per person) and chose a dry Reisling from Oregon, which was very good. Sparrow had a great wine list on the inexpensive side.

Homemade Focaccia
These seemed more like quickbreads than yeast breads, but they were pretty good. They could have been served warm though...

Poached Beet with Creme Fraiche and Roe on an Udon Cracker
Simple flavors and a nice texture profile.

Seared Ahi with Avocade and Pine Nuts in a Spicy Beet Sauce and Carrot Sauce
The sauces were pleasantly spicy (they weren't afraid) and had a hint of truffle oil. The ahi was very fresh and barely seared. Overal this dish was more than the sum of its parts.

Tempura of Himeji Mushroom with Saffron Risotto in a Truffle Ponzu Sauce
The tempura was great, the mushroom very meaty. Even Giao, who isn't a tempura fan, enjoyed this dish. The trouble with the risotto was that it contained so much citrus that we couldn't taste the saffrom or the truffle oil.

Butter Poached Lobster with Sturgeon Caviar and Udon with a Tomato and Tarrogon Compote
If the tomato tarragon compote had been left out, this dish would have been much better. The flavor of tarragon just didn't meld well with the other flavors and was totally unnecessary. The lobster was also not as tender as it could have been. The star of the dish was certainly the generous mound of caviar.

Watercress, Frisee and Watermelon Salad with Ginger Lime Vinagrette
This was good, but not special. Watermelon seems to be the IT ingredient this season, so what once was original is now a bit mundane.

Venison with Watercress Salad
This was amazing--the best venison we've ever had. It was as tender as any meat I've ever had. It was cooked perfectly and was very flavorful. The watercress was beside the point.

Sweetbreads with Cucumber Salad
We ordered these after the rest of the meal because they were on the menu and we had wanted to try them. The chef had good reason to leave them off our kaiseki menu, as they were nothing special at all. They were ok, but we've certainly had better.

Sesame Chocolate Truffles with Honey
These gratuit petit fours were quite delicious. The sesame was a nice twist to the standard truffle.

Flowering White Tea
This tea was quite beautiful, in addition to being tasty.

Food: 2
Decor: 1
Service: 2

Health Code Violations

Lunch from Mehfil Indian, San Francisco, CA

Saag Paneer and Chicken Mahkni
Yum and Yum. Both were very good today. Creamy and delicious, Mehfil never fails us.

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Breakfast at Home

Cheesy Scramble Eggs.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dinner at Bong Su, San Francisco, CA

Giao had been to Bong Su once before, but Alexis had not been there yet. It was very good, better than Slanted Door, the go-to high end Vietnamese place in SF. Much better. The decor was beautiful, elegant, yet casual. The staff was friendly and the bathrooms smelled good. What more could you ask for.

Shaking Beef $23
Tender beef with lots of fresh herbs.

Carmelized Black Cod $19
Barely cooked, perfectly flaky, wonderfully complex flavor.

Chicken Clay Pot $17
The chicken was tender and the mushroom spiked rice made Alexis actually want to eat rice...

Fried Tofu with Crispy Basil $7
Deep fried basil may just be one of the best ingredients ever. And added to a slightly sweet, cripsy tofu, it is simply transcendent.

Tamarind Prawns $25
These were HUGE and the tamarind sauce really shined.

Duck Mustard Wraps $9
Tasty and minty.

Kampachi in a Chile Lime Fish Sauce Dressing $13
Very fresh and refreshing.

Nem Sausage Wraps $12
The apple slice was unnecessary, but these were quite good. The dipping sauce was a bit sweet.

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Lunch at Taylor's Automatic Refresher, San Francisco, CA

It's always hard to decide where to go with a whole group from the office. But Taylor's is usually a crowd pleaser.

Beer Battered Onion Rings $4
Indulgent and heart attack inducing, but delicious.

Bacon Cheeseburger $8
Fresh ingredients, lots of flavor.

Bacon Cheeseburger with Extra Blue Cheese $10
Too much blue cheese this time. But the burger itself was good.

Chicken Fingers $7
We don't eat the fries it comes with, but the chicken fingers are crunchy on the outside and made of real chicken.
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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dinner at Chez Papa Bistro, San Francisco, CA

It's time for Dine Out San Francisco again, meaning $35 3 course prix fixes at a slew of restaurants in the city. We always end up going to restaurants we've never been to for the prix fixe and then end up ordering off the menu, mainly because we don't get dessert that often.

Seared Foie Gras with Figs and Pears $13
Good preparation, nice piece of foie.

Ahi Tartare with Avocado Mousse $11
Nothing to write home about. The avocado in the tartare is becoming all to common.

Baked Figs with Gorgonzola, Crispy Proscuitto and Greens with Balsamic Vinagrette $10
The figs were very ripe, as was the gorgonzola. Fried proscuitto sounds better than it is. Overall, this was a very tasty dish.

Mussels Provencale $12
Great, rich broth. Fresh mussels.

Lamb Daube $20
A HUGE portion, this lamb was very tender and well flavored, but it tasted more like beef than lamb. Not really gamey at all.

Food: 2
Decor: 1
Service: 1

Health Code Violations

Lunch at Work

Salmon Salad
A very easy work lunch.

-3 cans drained salmon
-3 tb capers
-juice of 1 lime
-1/2 onion, minced
-1/2 cup mayo

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Romaine Lettuce
For eating the salmon salad in.

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dinner at Home

Last night's dinner was actually much better as a soup. I just added 4 cans of chicken broth and 2 beaten eggs.

After Lunch Snack from Fatt Dogg, San Francisco, CA

Chili Cheese Dog $4
Very cheesy.

Dog with Saurkraut $4
Also a decent, juicy dog.

The lunch from Pancho Villa wasn't filling enough for Giao, so we went on an outing to get some hot dogs.

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Lunch from Pancho Villa, San Francisco, CA

Another catered in lunch at work...

Chicken Salad
Pretty good chicken and the pickled carrots were kind of nice.

Shrimp and Carnitas Platter
Kind of overcooked. The braised leeks were too long and stringy to figure out how to eat with the rest of the meal.

Shrimp Cocktail
Very light and fresh.

Avocado Salad
The only part worth eating was the avocado.

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dinner at Home

Stuffed Zuchinni
This was more bland than it sould have been. Maybe it just needed more salt.

-3 zuchinnis, halved and scooped
-1 lb ground turkey
-1 onion, minced
-8 cloves garlic, minced
-2 hot peppers, minced
-1 ts cumin
-1 ts cayenne
-1 ts paprika
-salt to taste
-1 cup grated cheese

Sautee the onions, garlic and peppers in a bit of olive oil. Add the turkey and brown. Fill the zuchinnis with the meat mixture and bake on 350 (covered in foil) for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.

Lunch at Work

Leftover Sausage with Ratatouille.

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dinner at Home

Sausages with Ratatoullie
This slowly simmered dish is easy to make and tastes great. Most of the cooking time is hands off.

-6 Italian sausages
-2 cans diced tomatos
-3 bell peppers, thinly sliced
-3 hot peppers, minced
-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
-1 lb brocolli flowerettes

Brown the sausages, sliced thinl and set aside. Sautee the onions, garlic, and peppers until lightly carmelized. Add the tomatos and the sliced sausages and stir. Cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes. Add the brocolli, cover and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir and serve.

Strawberries and Honeydew with Plain Greet Yogurt
A yummy and healthy dessert. Make sure to use the full fat yogurt though. It is well worth the extra fat.

Breakfast at Home

Cheese, Salami and Artichoke Heart Scramble

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