Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Corn Pops

Grilled cheesey spicy yummy finger-lickin corn on a stick ... Washed down with a glass of Cafe Habana's deliciously sweet homemade limeade, it makes for the perfect snack on a hot summer's day. Note: at least 6 nappies per person required.

Also note my cousin's great delight in her introduction to Habana's Mexican-style treat.

Ah, I love New York.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More on Mission Beach

(Continued from "ooh la la, lapin" below ...)
O' course, my venison chop with al dente potatoes plus edamame and wilted greens was nothing to sneeze at. Nor was my other mate's honkin' braised lamb chop with a heaping side of veggy lentils. We oohed and ahhed all 'round. The lamb was falling off the bone, and the venison was grilled to a wonderful rare. Mission Beach Cafe's chef certainly knows what he's doing with his meat.

And so does its wine director, who suggested three big-bodied wines that weren't on the list. We chose Napa Valley's Brown 2005 Zinfandel ... and OMG did it kick ass.

When I took my first sip, all I could say was, Wow. It's a wow kind of wine, agreed the super-friendly, super-helpful cafe's wine guy. I want to buy a case, I said. It's that good. This zin is the kind of rich, velvety red that you want to roll around on your tongue for EVER. It's delicious all alone, but also the perfect partner for any meaty dish, especially in this case, rabbit, lamb and deer.

Ooh la la, lapin

It won't be long before folks start coming in droves to the newly opened Mission Beach Cafe. But until then, I'll be more than happy to "hog" the place with a few friends and dive into the truly divine rabbit pot pie, a generously portioned dish with all kinds of buttery goodness swimming just beneath its delightfully flakey crust. We were lucky enough to snag the last pie the night we dropped in. Have a gander. At the modest price of $15, it's a steal; by far the best pot pie I've ever had (OK, I didn't get to have it all to myself since my buddy was the lucky bugger to have ordered it.) But no matter. There was plenty to go around. And how.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Berry Good

Every Saturday morning after my marathon workout, I head over to La Boulange de Polk to treat myself to a breakfast latte and chausson aux pommes (apple croissant not pictured because I gobble that sucker down before I remember to take a shot). If I'm feeling especially gluttonous, I'll pick up a brioche au sucre or prosciutto, parmesan and fig baguette too. While I wait for my latte, compliments of Jose, I always peer with great pleasure into the refrigerated display window at the various tarts for the taking ... red berry (pictured here), fruit, lemon, goat cheese and pear ... I'd love to take them all home with me. The red berry tart made an appearance at a recent dinner party, where it scored high marks. How could it be otherwise? You can't really go wrong with the combination of crumbly crust, sweet creamy custard and juicy tart fruit.

Friday, May 18, 2007

More K-Mart Goodies

I always get a kick out of strolling up and down the aisles of the Korean mart (probably because I rarely get to do it these days). This time, I had my camera ready and started snapping pictures—to which the proprietress responded both with curiosity and good cheer.
My folks also thought it was funny and strange that I felt compelled to take photos of stuff I've after all been surrounded by and exposed to my whole life. Shrimp chips, onion crisps, squid jerky anyone? Pungent and even stinky to some, these are the kind of snacks you'll find in Korean stores everywhere. They never fail to bring a smile to my face and a tingle to my lips (thank you, MSG).

K-Mart Pit Stop

A trip to see my folks isn't complete without a pit stop at the Korean supermarket. During last weekend's visit, we headed straight to the K-mart (read: Korean mart) right after they picked me up from the airport. As always, we went a little nuts with the amount of sweet dduk (rice cakes) we had to have ... although I did immediately wolf down a good third of a pack of the little nugget-like dduk (glutinous rice balls filled with lovely little blobs of sweet bean, honey and sesame).

My fave type of sweet dduk is injulme (in-juhl-mee), bite-sized chunks of glutinous rice rolled in various types of bean powder or ground black sesame. They're harder to come by because, according to my mom, they're harder to make. So, I almost never get to eat them anymore. *Sigh* ... the cross I must bear ... It's a good thing, I like the half dozen or so variations that rotate through the K-mart in my folks' hood.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mijita Mighty Good

Had dinner with a few friends on Monday, and one of 'em asked me where she could take her brother from out of town for some good eats in the Ferry Building. Well, if you're in the mood for Mexican, I said, try Mijita's fish tacos. My other friend pooh-poohed my rec, but I stand behind it. Yes, it's a bit pricey for Mexican street food. But that Baja fish taco runs circles around Nick's rendition, prolly because Mijita's fish is super fresh—not a hint of stinky fishiness and just the right kind of flakey. After all, this is Traci Des Jardins we're talking about and she's all about local, seasonal, fresh ingredients.
And while you're at it, make sure to have an agua fresca, I told her. I had the pineapple, and it was DeeeRISHous. I'm a sucker for these fresh fruit waters ... watermelon, canteloupe, strawberry; you name it, I'll drink it. OK, I'm going down a rathole. Back to the subject at hand: my friend took her brother and they loved it.

That's 1 point for me, none for the pooper scooper friend.