Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dinner from Betty Zlatchin Catering, Calistoga, CA

We went to a wedding in Calistoga that was catered by Betty Zlatchin Catering. We were really impressed with the appetizers and had high hopes for the dinner itself, which fell a bit short. Overall though, this was much better than wedding food usually is.

Peking Duck Rolls
These tender crepes were packed with juicy duck and were so good. We wished there were more of them.

Tuna Tartare Cones with Wasabi Peas
Although we weren't totally sure how these two items went together, eaten alone, both were very good. The wasabi peas were the standard, out of a bag, variety, which are always good and the tuna was very fresh.

Pigs in a Blanket
These little bites of comfort food were served with tangy/spicy Mendocino Mustard.

Garlic Prawns
Perfectly cooked, which is all you can ask for.

Fish with Asparagus
A bit overcooked, but the tangy mayo was nice.

Lamb with Spinach and Eggplant Sauce
The lamb was well cooked. This was the best of the dinner options.

Cheese Ravioli
A dish to appease the vegetarians. It was ok.

Salad with Roasted Pears, Blue Cheese and Carmelized Walnuts
This classic combo was tasty, even if the dressing was a bit too sweet.

Orzo Salad
Another one for the vegetarians. It was standard and uninspired.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Cupcakes
We didn't try the cupcakes, but the strawberries were very ripe and juicy.

Chocolate Truffles and Mini Raspberry Tarts
Mmm. Chocolate...

Food: 2 (appetizers)/0 (dinner)
Service: 0
Decor: NA

Health Code Violations

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Lunch at Mijita, San Francisco, Ca

We were at the Ferry Building for the Farmer's Market and we were getting hungry, so we grabbed a nice lunch outdoors at Mijita, Tracy Desjardins, Mexican place.

Carnitas Taco $4
We get the taco and dump the meat into the soup below to fortify it.

Meatball Soup $7
This hearty soup is even better once we dump the carnitas, jalapenos and pickled veggies into it.
Unlike other items on the menu, the portion size makes the price a good deal.

Quesodilla $5
This looks more like a calzone than what one generally thinks of as a quesodilla. It's ok, but it's a bit too bready for us.

Eggs with Chorizo $8
This dish was actually a huge disappointment. It was bland and cold.

1 Ferry Bldg # 44
San Francisco, CA 94111

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Breakfast at Home

Fresh Figs, Watermelon and Nectarine with Plain Greek Yogurt
Add a touch of vanilla and Splenda to the yogurt, then top with whatever fruit you've got.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Dinner at Home

Cauliflower Salad
Alexis is becoming a specialist in lettuce free salads, as Giao's not too fond of lettuce and neither is Alexis' mom, who's currently in town.

-1 heads cauliflower, cut in flowerettes
-15 spears pickled asparagus, cut in thirds
-1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 1/2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
-5 baby cucumbers, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
-2 tb each balsamic vinegar, olive oil and grainy mustard

Boil the cauliflower until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Mix the balsamic, oil and mustard until emulsified and set aside. Combine all ingredients. Toss in the dressing you just made. Serve at room temperature.

Wild Rice
Our friend, K, brought over some great wild rice her mom had given her. We cooked it simply in water with a bit of salt.

Creamy Paprika Chicken with Beet Greens
A hearty dish made with what we had in the refrigerator.

-15 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered
-2 bunches beet greens (I had these left over from the beets we ate earlier in the week)
-2 cups plain greek yogurt
-1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
-10 cloves garlic, minced
-3 tb paprika
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken pieces and brown. Add the paprika, salt, pepper and greens, cover and cook for a few minutes, until the greens are wilted. Continue to cook, uncovered, stirring frequently until chicken is cooked through and beet greens are tender and the liquid evaporated. Right before serving, stir in the yogurt.

Fruit Salad with Mint
A light and refreshing end to a stick-to-your-ribs meal.

-10 figs, quartered
-1/2 baby watermelon, cut in bite size pieces
-3 nectarines, cut in bite size pieces
-1 pint strawberries, halved
-1 handful fresh mint, chopped
-juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine all ingredients and serve.

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Lunch at Good Earth Cafe, San Francisco, CA

We were in the mood to go out for lunch, so we headed to Good Earth Cafe, one of our favorite lunch spots, for a tasty bite at a great price.

Chicken Gyoza $5
Crispy, tasty, chicken dumplings.

Prawn Wantons in Tom Yum Broth $7
Of 4 broths you can choose from the tom yum broth offer a nice balance of sweet, salty, and sour. The wantons were really good today, very fresh and packed with meat.

Good Earth Cafe
835 Kearny Street
San Francisco, CA, 94108

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Breakfast at Home

Leftover Tri-Tip
We were happy to have leftover meat for a great morning meal of steak and eggs.

Fried Eggs
Simple and good.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dinner at A16, San Francisco, CA

Alexis' parents tasked us with finding a reasonably priced and utterly delicious meal while they were in town. We chose A16, an Italian place in the Marina that is not Marina-y and is named after an Italian highway. The young chef, Nate Appleman, turns our wonderful, slightly rustic food, in a loud, but warm and inviting atmosphere.

Tripe Neopolitana $9
This ulta-tender tripe is cooked with tomatos, onions and white wine. The texture resembled pasta more than tripe. This is a tripe dish that will turn even those who hate the idea of eating innards.

Mozzerella Burrata $10
This may sound expensive for a hunk of cheese, but this may just be the best cheese ever. It's packed with flavor, and melts in your mouth, It's served with crostini, but we like to eat it with a knife and fork.

Octopus Salad $11
This was one of our least favorite of the appetizers. Served with tomatoes, cucumber, breadcrumbs and arugula, it sounded tasty, but was a little bland tasting.

House Cured Salumi Platter $20
This plate was packed with all sorts of yummy salumi: head cheese, some sort of liver pate, dry salami, etc. Every bit of it was good. Although they don't have the combo platter on the menu, they are happy to make you a combo platter suited to the size of your table.

Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mozzerella $9
A rather flavorful eggplant dish, probably because of the wonderful mozzerella.

Roasted Beef Tri-Tip with Chiles, Meyer Lemon, Basil and Mint $22
This portion was enormous. We took half of it home. The flavor profile was beautiful and the meat was more tender than this cut usually is.

Long Cooked Green Beans with Lemon, Anchovy and Garlic (served with the above)
Although mushy green beans are sort of a love-it-or-hate-it sort of thing, Alexis found these to be very good. Like sides we've had here before, it was a bit heavy on the lemon.

Pizza Salsiccia $14.50
This pizza was packed with fennel sausage, roasted peppers, red onions, mozzarella, garlic and chiles. The flavors were great. The only problem was that the otherwise good, thin, crust got a bit soggy in the middle.

Chocolate Budino Tart $8.50
The salt and olive oil really make the dark chocolate pop. We were so stuffed at this point that the whole table shared this single dessert. A few bites were a satisfying end to the meal.

2355 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA, 94101

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Lunch From Left Coast Cafe and Catering, San Francisco, CA

Steak Caesar Salad
The steak was alright but the caesar dressing was oddly chalky.

Left Coast Cafe and Catering
999 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103

Food: 0
Decor: NA
Service: NA

No Website
Health Code Violations

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dinner at Home

Heirloom Tomato, Lemon Cucumber and Mozzerella Salad
Simple dressed in balasmic vinegar and seasoned with sea salt, this was sort of like a caprese salad in a bowl.

Garlic Shrimp
Alexis loves to make garlic shrimp because they are easy, and delicious and shrimp take very little time to thaw if you throw them in a bowl of water. The key to this dish is lots and lots of garlic. It you don't like to mince garlic, simply peel the cloves and put them in a mini food processor.

-1 lb shrimp
-1 head garlic, cloves peeled and minced
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee garlic in a bit of butter until beginning to brown. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Sautee a few minutes, until the shrimp turns pink. Squeeze in the lemon juice and serve.

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Lunch at Work

Leftover Zuchinni Lasagna
Still good. This is amazingly hard to get sick of.

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon, Egg, Spinach and Cheese Low Carb Breakfast Burrito
Packed with protein, fiber and iron, this breakfast contains all of the food groups and is a great way to start the day.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dinner at Ajanta Restaurant, Berkeley, CA

We were in the East Bay visiting Alexis' sister's new house and we decided to eat in at Ajanta, a great Indian restaurant in Berkeley we'd been to once before with Alexis' sister and brother-in-law. Although the portions are rather small, the food is delicious.

Saag Paneer $10
Velvety and flavorful, with just a touch of spice.

Galina Shakooti $11
This dish sounded really good on the menu, but it was really nothing special. The sauce was made with onions, tomatoes, lime juice and spices including coriander, white poppy seeds, fenugreek, and ajwain.

Eggplant with Tomatoes $8
This was an interesting preparation. Alexis' mom loved it. We thought it was OK.

Chicken Tikka Masala $12
The sauce is chunkier, but less fatty than we are used to. It's was a pleasant change.

Marzwangan Korma $12
This lamb dish was cooked in a sauce of pureed bell peppers and cream. The flavors were good, but the lamb was a little stringy.

Papadam $1
Served with a spicy, tangy chutney, these light, crunchy papadam were a great way to start the meal.

Tandoori Chicken Chaat $7
This was basically a Indian chicken salad. Shredded tandoori chicken in a lime based dressing.

Garlic Naan $2
Light and fluffy and a bit chewy, this naan rivals our favorite at Mehfil.

Keema Naan $3
This naan is stuffed with spices, juicy, minced chicken. It was very good and we'd certainly order it again.

Ajanta Restaurant
1888 Solano Avenue
Berkeley, CA, 94707

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Lunch at Work

Leftover Zuchinni Lasagna
Still tasting good. The flavors meld with age. This stuff lasts a week in the fridge.

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dinner at Norton's Vault, San Francisco, CA

Hot Wings $4
Tiny, but tasty. Football season started again, and that brings 1/2 price hot wings and other goodies. Icing on the cake for Giao, one of the few things that makes football season bearable for Alexis.

Norton's Vault
500 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA, 94111

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Lunch at Work

Leftover Meatballs (sans spaghetti)
Still pretty tasty.

Leftover Zuchinni Lasagna
This also held up well, although because of the high water content, it takes a long time to reheat once frozen.

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