Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dinner at Ajanta Restaurant, Berkeley, CA

We met Alexis' sister and brother-in-law for dinner in Berkeley at a place they really like. And it was quite good.

Crab Cakes $6
Indian crab cakes are certainly an interesting dish. They were a bit too potato-y, but the acidic sauce was quite a nice contrast.

Chicken Tikka Masala $12
They used white meat and it was dry, as is usual with white meat. The sauce was good though.

Saag Paneer $9
This was really good. The paneer was soft and obviously homemade--a delight. The saag was very smooth and had great flavor.

Garlic Naan $2
The naan was pretty good. The garlic was baked inside, which was nice because your fingers didn't get very dirty.

Food: 2
Decor: 1
Service: 1


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Snack at The Cheeseboard Pizza Collective, Berkeley, CA

Every time we make the trek to Berkeley we have to go to the Cheeseboard Collective for lots of great cheese at very low prices. The offshoot next door is the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective which actually has really good pizza.

Feta, Tomato, Mozzerella and Parsley Pizza $2.25
Very crunchy crust and flavorful ingredients. The best pizza we've had outside of NYC for a while.

Food: 2
Decor: 0
Service: NA (counter)


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Brunch at Home

We ran some errands in the morning and were hankering for a filling meal.

Caprese Salad
Tomato, fresh mozzerella and basil layered and seasoned with balsamic vinager, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Tuna and Olive Oil
This was canned tuna that was in Giao's x-mas stocking and that Alexis' mom claims is the best ever. It was far better than regular canned tuna.

Baked Egg with Tomato, Parmasean and Basil
Alexis got all these little ramekins recently and wanted to make some use of them. These little eggs were very tasty.

-2 eggs
-1 small yellow tomato, diced
-2 tb parmasean, grated
-2 leaves basil, shredded
-salt and pepper

Inside of each ramekin, arrange the tomato along the outside rin, creating a hole for the egg. Break the egg into the hole and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, or until the egg is almost cooked. Put 1 tb of parmasean on top of each and bake for another minute or so, until the parmasean is melted. Sprinkle with basil.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Dinner at Home

Pan Fried New York Strip Steak with Cheesy Pureed Cauliflower
Click here for the recipe for cauliflower. The steak is marinated in worcestershire and steak seasoning, then pan fried for a few minutes on each side in a combination of butter and olive oil.

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Snack at Gordon Biersch, San Francisco, CA

Giao's office had a little celebration at Gordon Biersch after work...

Garlic Fries
Very garlicky and pretty crunchy.

Appetizer Sampler
Wings were way too sweet, the eggrolls were boring, the wontons were not tried by Giao.

Fried Calamari
Average, but at least they had a lot of the tentacles we like so much.

Decor: 0
Service: NA (bar service)
Food: 1

Health Code Violations

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Lunch at R&G Lounge, San Francisco, CA

We'd been here for dinner before, but never for lunch. It was packed even with 3 floors after the normal lunch rush. A bit better than your standard greasy Chinese, but for lunch not sure if it is worth the price.

Salmon and Avocado Egg Roll $5
These looked way better in the picture. They were just greasy and had brown avocado in reality.

Seafood Lettuce Wrap $18
This was a rather large dish--about 8 of the above little cups. It was pretty tasty and contained the interesting addition of pine nuts, something you don't often see in Chinese cooking.

Hot and Sour Soup $3
It seems we neglected to take a picture of the soup, but it both looked and tasted like every other hot and sour soup you've ever had.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: 0

Health Code Violations

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Breakfast at Home

Low Carb Breakfast Burritos
Scrambled eggs and cheese in a low carb tortilla, lightly pan fried.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Dinner at The Slow Club, San Francisco, CA

After walking out of Inland Empire an hour before it ended, but a good 2 hours into the movie, we were hungry for a real dinner. On the suggestion of a friend, we went to Slow Club, a place that we'd never been. We decided to give it a shot. At about 10pm on a Thursday night we wait to wait about 20 minutes to be seated. Not bad, considering they have a nice bar at the back. The menu had very few items and the only thing that stood out as interesting to us was the steak we both ordered. The atmostphere is nice, and the food was decent, but they need more choice on the menu.
Grilled Flat-Iron Steak with Celery Root Puree & English Breakfast Radishes $21.00
Giao's steak was well cooked and tasty but Alexis' medium rare was more like medium well. The puree was incredibly smooth and silky and the radishes provided a nice crunch, although I think they would have been better if they provided a little more bite.

Food: 1
Service: 1
Decor: 2

Health Code Violations

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Snack at SF IndieFest Opening Night Pre-Party at the Castro Theatre, San Francisco, CA

When we got to Inland Empire we realized that there was a pre-party with drinks and free food for us to partake in...good thing since we hadn't had time to eat dinner between work and getting to the 3 hours movie.

Shrimp Cocktail (standard), Berries (fresh and sweet), Salami (decent)
We got enough food in our bellies to hold us over.

Lunch at Work

Leftover Quiche

Kielbasa and Sauteed Spinach

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dinner at Home

BBQ Pork Stirfry
A quick weeknight meal.

-1 lb BBQ pork, cut in strips
-2 eggs, scrambled and set aside
-1 package kelp noodles
-1/2 lb snap peas
-1/2 onion, diced
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tb rooster sauce
-1 tb hoisin
-1 tb soy sauce
-1 tb rive vinager
-2 tb grated galangal (or ginger)
-1 can baby corn, halved
-2 cans chicken broth

Sautee onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil until beginning to color. Add chicken broth and kelp noodles and bring to a boil. Simmer until noodles are tender and then drain the broth. In another pan, sautee the snap peas and baby corn with all of the sauces and the galangal until tender. Then add in the pork, scrambled egg, and kelp noodles, onions and garlic and sautee until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly and warm throughout.

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Lunch from the Cheese Steak Shop, San Francisco, CA

What's better than a cheese steak to break up your work day?

A cheese steak with bacon.

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Breakfast at Home

Leftover Taco Meat Scramble
So easy and pretty tasty, especially with a hefty dose of hot sauce.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Dinner at Home

Kielbasa with Sauteed Spinach
Quick and easy. We had some kielbasa leftover from a football playoff party.

-2 kielbasa, thawed and sliced
-1 lb spinach, washed
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 onion, thinly sliced
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add the spinach and sausage and sautee until spinach is just wilted.

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Snack at Norton's Vault, San Francisco, CA

Wings $5
Small but tasty.

Jalapeno Poppers $5
Not spicy enough, but crunchy and cheesy.

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Lunch at Julie's Kitchen, San Francisco, CA

The quiche from the other day was so rich we couldn't eat it twice in a row. We went to a slightly better than average by-the-pound salad and hot food bar. It was ok. We probably won't go there again soon. Also, oddly, the floor was shaking as we were eating and there was not earthquake going on. It was unnerving and annoying.

Alexis' Meal $8
Spinach and Gruyere Casserole (pretty good actually), Caprese Salad (not seasoned at all), Steak with Horseradish (overcooked, but tasty), Pork Meatball (not good), Short Ribs (tasty and tender), Sweet and Sour Chicken (too breaded and pretty inedible).

Giao's Meal $11
Pork Meatball (same as above), Eggroll (too breaded and soggy), Fish (a bit fishy, but the sauce was nice), Short Ribs (same as ablove), Steak with Horseradish (same as above), Chicken Salad (ok).

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Breakfast at Home

Leftover Taco Meat and Spinach Scramble
A filling and tasty breakfast that can be made in about 3 minutes.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

The Roti Round-up

As loyal readers of our blog know, we've been obsessed with roti prata since our trip to Singapore in November. In order to rationalize our sinfully carby snack, we have decided to scour the Bay Area and come up with our first ever round-up.

A roti prata dish is composed of two components, the bready, buttery goodness and the oft overlooked but essential curry sauce. Accordingly, we will rank the competitors on those two dimensions.

The Contenders:

Borobudur, San Francisco

Straits Cafe, Burlingame

Banana Island, Daly City

Straits Cafe, San Francisco

Singapore Malaysia Restuarant

The Rankings:
Best Roti:
5. Banana Island (too sweet and too thin)
4. Straits Cafe, San Francisco (too dry and too expensive)
3. Straits Cafe, Burlingame (too thick)
2. Singapore Malaysia Restaurant (pretty good, but also a bit thick)

and the winner is...
1. Borobudur
Borobudur won for the perfect ratio of flakiness to stretch and lots of butter. It is also fairly filling for the price.

Best Curry:
5. Banana Island (too sweet and too creamy)
4. Singapore Malaysia Restaurant (not enough depth of flavor)
3. Straits Cafe, San Francisco (decent, but not special)
2. Borobudur (pretty darn good)

and the winner is...
1. Straits Cafe, Burlingame
Straits Cafe in Burligame has superior curry because it contains the perfect ratio of creamy coconutiness to spice and depth of curry flavor. The consistency is also great, latching onto the roti, without overpowering it.

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Dinner at Home

Chupaqueso Taco Salad
Fast, easy, delicious, and the taco meat is great for leftovers. For a video demo on how to make the chupaqueso shell, click here.

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Lunch from Boudin Bakery, San Francisco, CA

Part of our lunch was from Boudin Bakery:

Chopped Cobb Salad
This is a very delicious salad has a nice addition of peas, and the chicken was very moist.

The rest of our lunch, we brought from home...

Bacon, Carmelized Onion and Artichoke Heart Crustless Quiche
We recently got a silicone muffin pan and it works wonderfully or these crustless quiche.

-8 eggs, beaten
-2 cups half and half
-1 1/2 cups grated cheese
-4 slices bacon, cut in lardons
-1/2 onion, diced
-1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

Sautee the bacon in a pan until translucent. Add the onions and sautee until everythingis crisp and brown. Drain the excess fat. Combine with all of the other ingredients. Ladel into muffin pan and bake on 350 for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden brown.

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl Party in San Mateo, CA

Good, but all salami is good.


My standard hummus recipe, times 3.

-3 cans garbonzo beans, drained
-3/4 cup tahini
-3/4 cup lemon juice
-1 and 1/2 heads garlic (yes, heads, not cloves), peeled
-1 and /2 cups olive oil
-salt to taste

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Done on the grill, this steak was very good.

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Breakfast at Home

An unconventional pre-superbowl breakfast...

Caprese Salad
Fresh mozzerella slices, tomato slices and basil layered into perfect bites and seasoned with olive oil, balsamic vinager, sea salt and pepper.

Fresh Strawberries

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