Saturday, October 27, 2007

Patxi's Deep Dish

My good friend PH said she liked my blog, but where were my disses—not dishes, she said, but disses. I want to know what to avoid my friend!

Trust me when I say I've had my fair share of not-so-tasty, forgettable and just plain nasty meals. The thing is, they don't usually make it to my blog because this here blog is about celebrating food, really good food. Plus, I'm not usually inspired to whip out my camera to snap away at dismally prepared dishes ...

However, with all that said, if it's a diss you want, it's a diss you'll have, albeit small in this case. Patxi's deep dish doesn't hold a candle to Little Star's rendition. The cheese, the sauce and especially the crust ... they're just not as good. Sure, they'll do when you're looking for a decent Chicago-style pizza, but if you want something grand, something that will make you clap your hands like a silly kid who's just been told she's getting the shiny red bike she's always wanted ... well then, it's always and ever gotta be Little Star.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lunching Lady

My ma thinks I'm nuts for saying I'd love to be a lunching lady. What would you do with yourself, she asked me. You'd get bored, she added. Not so, I said. How could I get bored when there's a whole city full of wonderful lunch spots to conquer? This particular shot was taken at Cafe Claude, at an outdoor table on a sunshiney day ... No, that's not my martini, but it would be were I a lady of leisure. Until that time, I'll stick to my diet cokes so that I'm properly caffeinated for the rat race.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bread Pudding


and AFTER ...

Mr. H. made many excuses for having made what he deemed was a mediocre dessert. Poppycock, I said. His bread pudding turned out delightfully well: crispy on top; moist and goopy on the bottom; with lotsa berries throughout. Ah, makes me jones for the delicious bread pudding at Tart to Tart. Haven't had that one in a while ... best get on up there to see if it's as good as it used to be.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Salt House Nuts

The best nuts in the city are at Salt House. Roasted and tossed with truffle honey, then sprinkled with little snowflakes of sea salt, they go perfectly with a serving of the modestly priced house wine. SS and I managed to snag a couple of seats at the window where we proceeded to scoop up the mixed medley with great gusto. We made quite a fuss over the nuts. So much so that the guy sitting next to us offered up his barely eaten order. I guess it wasn't his cup o' tea. No matter. We polished off our helping and his as well. Can't let such goodness go to waste, can we?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Underdog Is Overwhelmingly Good

I just moved back to the Inner Sunset and noticed a new and welcome addition to the hood: a sausage joint called Underdog. I've always thought highly of the wiener dog, having grown up eating them almost daily in place of breakfast sausages. Yep, mine was an Oscar Mayer kinda household; Jimmy Dean had no place in my family. So, after walking past Underdog a few times, I thought tonight was the night to give it a try. When I walked into the hole-in-the-wall eatery, I felt like I'd stumbled into a co-op in Berkeley—the walls were plastered with peace symbols, John Lennon posters and all manner of beatnik-meets-flower child paraphernalia. The smiling gal wearing beads and a bandana doorag who came out from the back to help me could very well have been working at a vegan cafe on Telegraph Ave. Reggae played softly as I perused the all-organic, partially vegetarian and vegan menu.

I settled on the Andouille sausage comprising organic chicken and turkey with Cajun spices served up on a (what else?) organic whole-wheat bun. I slathered the plump dog with organic stone-ground mustard, relish, diced red onions, sauerkraut and lotsa ketchup. And for good measure, I ordered the baked tater tots made of organic russet potatoes. For the modest price of 6 bucks and change, I had a fabulous meal. It was so good that halfway through, I had to stop just long enough to text my friend JP: "the dog & tots rock!" A juicy and, dare I say, healthy dog with super crispy BAKED tots? You just can't beat it, if you ask me.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Breaking Bread

No meal is worthy of my mom's notice without a bread basket on the table. And not just any bread, mind you. Three things will make my mom harumph in approval vs. disdain: a big basket (read: lots o' bread), a fresh and tasty selection, and refills provided quickly and often. Though she wasn't terribly thrilled with her main meal at The Girl & The Fig, my ma was in fact quite happy with the country-style loaf she's handling here, tearing it up with great abandon and asking for another springy wedge to satisfy her ever-present carb cravings. She and my dad often get into squabbles while dining out—my dad upset with my mom for ruining her appetite by single-handedly emptying the bread basket on more than one occasion while my mom continues to gobble a breadstick here and a dinner roll there, all the while glaring back at him in mutinous defiance. Pa has even gone so far as to swipe the basket out from under her, moving it out of the reach of her eager little paws. Now, though I agree with my dad that my ma's got no self-control when it comes to bread, I don't agree with a man getting between a woman and her carbs. Let a gal have her guilty pleasure, especially when it's as comforting as this one is.