Friday, August 31, 2012

Welcome Nopalito

PH and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch at newly opened Nopalito in the Inner Sunset. The blustery grey day could do nothing to dampen our spirits as we celebrated PH's birthday with the bright flavors of lime, cilantro and tomatillo in the scrummy ceviche appetizer, not to mention the other well-made Mexican dishes we ordered today.

The ceviche: tender morsels of marinated fish and squiggles of calamari tossed in lime, tomatillo, jalapeño and cilantro with a generous fan of avocado on top and a pile of tortilla chips by its side.

The chicken enchiladas came doused in a richly satisfying sauce of chiles, chocolate and nuts topped with a tangle of onions and a crumble of queso fresco, plus a mound of refried pinquito beans.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Best Find This Month: El Sur's Empanadas

I've gotta say, I've had some really fancy food, Korean BBQ, tacos off a food truck, you name it, this past month, but what I'm most excited about is discovering El Sur at the pre-party to the SF Street Food Festival put on by La Cocina. Thank you, AB, for getting me in as your plus-one. I'm much obliged. Especially since we got to enjoy El Sur's heavenly Parisien empanadas.

The pretty round pastry pockets, which sport the most perfect buttery, flaky exterior, boasted a beautifully moist interior comprising chopped Prosciutto and country ham swimming in a melting pot of five cheeses and spiked with the sharp bite of scallions and chives.

The chef Marianne Depres' Cordon Bleu and French Laundry training clearly shines through.

Besides the Parisien, she's got a few other empanadas on her menu, including a traditional beef version and a chicken one as well. Though I didn't get to try those, I hope to soon.

Bonus points for the enchanting vintage Citroen van, which carries El Sur's precious cargo. I'll be sure to seek it out when I finally get over to SOMA Streatfood Park or Off the Grid.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Me love you long time, Locavore

To celebrate JA's birthday, I decided we should take a trip back to Locavore—after all, our first visit last year to the cozy Bernal Heights eatery had left such a good impression.

What we found was a brand new line-up tailored against the season's bounty and an enthusiastic server who steered us through the menu with great aplomb.

I inhaled the insanely sweet and juicy cherry and heirloom tomato salad with mellow pickled red onion, grassy cilantro leaves, fresh cucumber rounds and crunchy home-made chicharon in about 90 seconds flat.

Since I'm a sucker for the savory-sweet combo, I pounced on the pork osso buco, which was an especially honkin' big portion, said our server (woohoo), and came on a bed of honeyed apple sauce, with a healthy helping of grilled broccoli rabe and scallions.


Friday, August 24, 2012

In Season: Stone Fruit

Peaches and plums are in their prime this month, so what better way to showcase these sweet, juicy fruits than in a crumble.

Give me a crisp, crumble, betty, buckle or plain old piece of pie served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream any day of the week. I'll take that over chocolate every time.

This particular recipe comes out of Food and Wine and calls for both tahini and black sesame seeds. I had regular roasted sesame seeds so opted to use that instead, throwing in a healthy couple of tablespoons into the crumble. The substitution worked just fine and added a really nice almost-savory dimension to the dessert.

A pound of plums plus a pound-and-a-half of peaches, and what you've got is a whole heckuvalot of summery goodness that you can scoop out and then promptly smother with some really good ice cream or a large helping of whipped cream.