Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dinner at Home

Grilled Tri-Tip
Giao did some grilling out on the patio. And he made a great chili-garlic rub for the meat. We marinated the meat for about 4 hours prior to grilling it. Yum.

-4 large cloves garlic
-2 tb chili powder
-1 ts salt
-1 ts cumin
-2 packets Splenda
-3 tb worcestershire sauce

Mash the garlic into a paste with the salt in the mortar and pestle. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and rub the paste all over the steaks. Store them in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few hours until you are ready to grill.

Green Salad with Balsamic Vinagrette
A BIG salad with artichoke hearts, avocado, tomato, onion and bell pepper.

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Breakfast from Costco, San Francisco, CA


Mmm. Hot dogs for breakfast. There's no better deal than the $1.50 polish sausage and drink from costco.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Dinner at Brick, San Francisco, CA

We got a recommendation from our cab driver for Brick, a place we hadn't even heard of. We were very pleasantly surprised. The food was great and well priced. The service was fast and friendly. And the bar seats were great. Usually Alexis is not a fan of eating at the bar, but this bar was wide and had real, swiveling seats with backs instead of the standard bar stool.

Salume Plate $10
Tuscano, Gentile, Tescanoe served with pickeled kumquats and jalapeno dice. The condiments were so interesting and flavorful, and you really can't go wrong with cured meats.

Hamachi Sashimi $9
Served with goma vinaigrette, shiso and ginger dust. This was subtle in flavor and quite nice.

Flounder Carpaccio $9
Garnished with pickled rhubarb, sea beans, basil and coriander, this was interesting and very thinly sliced, which is nice.

Herbed Fries $5
We usually don't order fries, but these just sounded so good. And they were. Covered with cilantro and garlic chips and served with a curry ketchup, the only problem was that they were a bit too salty for our taste.

Confit Buffalo Wings $8
These were more confit balls that used the bone as a handle, but they were interesting and very good. The root slaw, pepper gastrique and gorgonzola foam were innovative takes on the preparation of this classic bar food.

Food: 2
Decor: 2
Service: 2

Health Code Violations

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Snacks from Palace Cafe Catering, Sunnyvale, CA

We went to an art event at the Fort Mason Center and it turned out to have some pretty good food, much better than the standard wine and cheese (although there were these too).

Beef Skewers with a Citrusy Herb Sauce
Tender and tasty, if a bit big for finger food.

Chicken Skewers
This was our least favorite hors d'oeuvre. The chicken was moist enough, but there just wasn't much going on flavor-wise.

Mushroom Pastries
Flaky, tender and quite tasty.

Proscuitto and Fig Rolls
These were really quite delicious. The only thing that would have made them better was if a tangy goat cheese had been used instead of cream cheese. These were a great low-carb option.

Spring Rolls
The dipping sauce was tasty, and the rolls were decent. But since we try not to eat tons of carbs, we didn't eat too many of these.

Crab Cakes
These were tasty and had a high ratio of crab meat to filler, which is always a pleasant surprise.

Cheese Plate
High quality cheeses in many varieties.

Food: 1
Service: NA (catered event)
Decor: NA (catered event)


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

It was such a nice day today that we headed to the Ferry Building for a lunch in the sun.

Bacon Cheeseburger $8
A very tasty burger.

Double Bacon Cheeseburger $12
Same as above, but twice as big.

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dinner at Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Taste of the Town Event, San Francisco, CA

Giao found out about this great event hosted by Wine Enthusiast magazine. It was held in the Opera House and was 4 full floors of wine and food, which 500 wines and 30 restaurants. The ticket was a rather pricey $95, but we think we got our money's worth. Most of the food was amazing, the wine was plentiful and the event was just a lot of fun.

A little beef bite on a crispy cracker from Rivoli in Berkeley.
This was tasty, but not particularly memorable.

Shrimp and Grits from The General's Daughter in Solano, CA
The shrimp was overcooked, but the flavors were nice and the grits were creamy.

Some sort of sashimi bite from Fringale in San Francisco, CA
Fringale is one of our favorite places in the city, and they provided an out of character taste for us here. The chef also remembered that we sent him our SeeUsEat Award for 2006's Best Condiment.

Crab Cake
This was standard. Apparently we were more focused on the wine at this point than trying to note where the food was from.

Turtle Cheesecake Fudge
Very, very, sweet, but tasty if you eat a very small bite.

Lemon Verbena Chocolates from Recchiuti Confections in San Francisco
The lemon verbena was not very present on the palate, but the chocolates were very smooth.

Orange Creme Brulee from Etoile at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, CA
The brulee had an unpleasant chunky texture and was difficult to eat out of these soup spoons, but the pairing with the champagne was nice.

Preserves from June Taylor Jams in Berkeley, CA
These jams were complex in flavor, not too sweet and inspired in origin. The blood-orange marmalade was particularly noteworthy.

Campache Sashimi with Pomello, Peanut Brittle and Pickled Shitake from Postrio in San Francisco.
The odd addition of peanut brittle really made this dish into somethiing unexpected and truly delicious. The salty-sweet crunch was a perfect juxtaposition to the silky fish.

Duck Confit with Frisee and Rhubarb Gelee from Brix Restaurant in Napa, CA
This was ok, but the gelee, which seems to be so popular these days, was unnecessary.

Lamb Stew and Polenta from Bistro Don Giovanni, in Napa, CA
This was ok. A bit flavorless and there was no texture contrast, just mush.

Black Rice Crepes with Vietnamese Ham, Pickled Vegetables and Wasabi Mayo from Ana Mandara in San Francisco, CA
The black rice crepes were earthy in flavor and created a nice little package for the fillings.

Quail Egg, Pork Belly and Celery Root Puree from Pacific's Edge Restaurant in Carmel, CA
This was by far the best thing we had all night. It was perfect. Simple, beautifully plated and absolutely delicious. The pork belly was tender, the puree unbeleiveably creamy and the fried quail egg delicate. A wonderful play on "Bacon and Eggs".

Pork and Polenta from Joe DiMaggio's Italian Chophouse in San Francisco, CA
This was mediocre and not interesting at all.

The following 2 dishes were from Marnee Thai in San Francisco, CA:

Peanuts, Coconut, Red Onion and Tamarind in Spinach Leaves
This was an intersting little bite, bursting with flavor.

Fried Tofu and Chicken-Eggplant Curry with Rice Noodles
The curry was nicely spicy and quite tasty. The fried tofu was a little sweet, but had a nice texture.

Abalone Mushroom Ceviche on a Sesame Wonton with Avocado and Grapefruit Salad and Sea Vegetable Caviar from Millenium Restaurant in San Francisco, CA
This was citrusy and crunchy, and better than we expected vegetarian fare to be. Millennium is the only high-end vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco.

Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with Foie Gras, Meyer Lemon Confit and Black Truffle from Marinus Restaurant in Carmel Valley, CA
Giao liked this quite a bit, most likely because he LOVES foie gras. Alexis found the super-soft mono-texture to be a bit off-putting.

The following 2 images are from Bar Tartine in San Francisco, CA:

Savory Cream Puff and Avocado Chilled Soup
Giao liked this, while Alexis found it to be nothing special.

Lemon Bars
These were the best lemon bars Alexis has ever tasted. They were creamy and intensely lemony, and topped with a slightly bitter kumquat slice.

The following 2 images are from Kyo-Ya in San Francisco, CA:

This glorified california roll was uncharacteristically uninspired for this top-rated Japanese restaurant at which we have previously had very good experiences.

Cold Fish with Daikon
This dish was interesting and very simple, although it made the whole room smell a bit like fermenting daikon/kim-chee.

Wawa Cookie from Little Laura's Sweets in Sausalito, CA
This was kind of a mallomar that was trying to be high-end, but missed the boat. It wasn't very good, fairly dry and not at all innovative.

The following 2 images are from Mezze in Oakland, CA:

Lamb Tartare Crostini
You rarely ever see lamb raw, so this was interesting and surprisingly un-gamey.

Spring Pea Shooter with Asparagus Froth
This was smooth, frothy and very tasty for a chilled soup.

Sardine Crostini from Delfina in San Francisco, CA
Simple, and tasty, but not innovative.

Rabbit Rillette with Spiced Plums from Myth in San Francisco, CA
The plums were a bit sweet, but the rabbit was nice.

Duck Confit and Lentil Salad with Bacon Vinagrette on a Lavoush "Tart" from Angele Bar and Restaurant in Napa, CA
Can't go wrong with duck confit.

Steak Sandwich from Cole's Chop House in Napa, CA
The ratio of meat to bread was off, but the horseradish cream provided a nice kick.


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Lunch at Work

Leftover Chili
We froze this over the weekend and through the week, and it was still tasty when thawed.

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burrito
Bacon, egg and cheese in a low carb tortilla, wrapped up in a paper towel for easy eating on the go.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dinner at Home

Seared Scallops and Asparagus in a Lemon-Caper Butter Sauce
Delicious and quick cooking. Perfect for weeknights.

-1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut in thirds
-8 large scallops
-2 tb capers, drained
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-3 tb butter

Sautee the asparagus in a bit of olive oil until tender. Set aside. Sear the scallops for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and add too the asparagus. In the same pan add the butter, capers and lemon juice. Whisk for about 30 seconds and pour over the scallops and asparagus. I like to use a cast iron pan for this dish, as it leaves a great sear on the scallops.

Fresh Blackberries and Whisky Whipped Cream
The whipped cream is made with a bit of Splenda and a dash of whisky for flavor.

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Lunch at Work

From Mixt Greens:

Make-Your-Own Salad
Grilled filet mignon, cucumber, avocado, sun dried tomato on baby spinach in a blue cheese dressing. Salads from Mixt greens are mighty tasty, but I wouldn't go there often if I had to pay for it myself (this salad was catered in from work and was probably about $15).

From home:

Tuna Salad in Romaine Lettuce
A lighter version of a tuna salad sandwich.

-2 cans tuna, drained
-1/2 cup mayo
-1 ts each: pepper and dill
-4 celery stalks, diced
-1/4 onion, diced

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and serve in washed romaine lettuce leaves.

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