Sunday, June 13, 2010

Let the eating begin!

Hey all! I hope everyone is having a great weekend! My camera bursting full of tasty week/weekend eats and sights so I thought I'd give you guys a quick photo recap :)

Jamie's welcome home meal took us to nearby Aux Delices for some Vietnamese food. I've passed this place a few times and read about it on Yelp, so I threw it out there as an option for Tuesday night dinner. We split an appetizer of Banh Cuon (steamed rice flour filled with ground pork & mushrooms served with fish sauce), which had a great gooey texture, but was lacking in overall flavor. Jamie went with his belly and got a bowl of Pho, which I sampled and thought was really bland (more on this later) and I went with my trusty standby of Bun Thit Nuong (charbroiled pork over thin rice noodles, shredded lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts In our vinegar dressing sprinkled with ground peanuts). In my opinion, you can't really f up Bun. The pork was deliciously savory and had just the right amount of char to it. Not bad.

Final verdict - I might visit Aux Delices again if I have a Bun craving, but that's about it. It's close and the service was pretty fast...not bad for a weeknight quickie.

Wednesday night, I introduced Jamie to Nick's Crispy Tacos. I know, I know, we missed Taco Tuesday, but whatever. Remember my first visit to Nick's when friend and I sampled the two different fish tacos? I got the Pescado again, but this time around I got it Nick's way (crispy with guacamole and jack cheese) - AMAZING. I was a little nervous since I thought crispy meant crispy taco. Nono. The inner corn tortilla was just a little crisper at the bottom. DELISH. Totally recommend it!
I also tried the Camarones taco (grilled tiger prawns with tomatillo and pico de gallo salsas, cilantro, cabbage & onions in a corn tortilla). I thought it was ok, kinda bland next to the Pescado, but I'd try it again next time I'm craving shrimp.

Jamie ventured into the world of burritos at Nick's. He got the Carne Asada burrito (grilled steak rolled in a flour tortilla with pico de gallo and pinto beans) that looked like a whole lotta meat and beans with just a touch of rice. Apparently his burrito had shredded meat in it, which makes him think that they gave him carnitas instead. Oops. Perhaps the tacos are the way to go at Nick's.

Thursday night (o, you thought the food stopped there? HA) we met up with Selin for dinner at Bocadillos in the Financial District. The location was perfect for all of us since it was walking distance from my office and sort of walking distance from our homes ('sort of' factors in the hills to my home). Selin suggested Bocadillos based on Jamie's tapas craving and I was sold the minute she said they serve calimochos! Wooo!

Jamie and I got there first and grabbed some drinks at the bar. I watched the bartender make my calimocho (or to get the proper spelling down: Kalimoxto). He got the red wine going, then some Coke, and then he grabbed something else. WHAAT? ORANGE JUICE. I thought that was weird, but I went with it...especially since the menu described it as 'Basque sangria'.
DELICIOUSLY refreshing. Even more so than the trusty ol' red wine and Coke mix. Who knew?!

We split a bunch of tapas family style (duh) and started out with some Patatas Bravas with Romesco Sauce
Perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. As I was eating them, I thought they were more french fry-like than what I'm used to (rough chunks), but they were still yummy :)

Next up were some Baby Artichokes with Lemon and Saffron Herb Aioli
Um, fried artichokes? Hello! These were pretty rich and the lemon was a fried (maybe?) lemon slice. I think it could have used a lemon wedge to squirt on the artichokes.

Then these little guys showed up on the table
O yes, Crispy Garlic Prawns. Have I mentioned my fear of food with eyes? I tend to get a little woozy when my food looks at me. One time in Malaysia, I was served a soft shell crab facing me...beady eyes and everything. I got lightheaded and didn't know what to do. I didn't want to offend our hosts so I turned it around and tried not to think about the eyes. I know, very strange. I'm trying to get over it, but it's a slow process.

I love me some garlicky grilled shrimp so I tried not to think about the faces on these puppies. Totally worth it. I also sucked on the shrimp head and it was delicious. Yay, me! :)

Then came what may be my favorite plate of the night:
Corn Fritters! I can't find the exact details about this dish, but I know they were cheesy, crispy, slightly smokey with a hint of chorizo, corny balls of goodness! Highly recommend these guys.

After that came the meat portion of our meal...
Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and

House-made Chorizo with Cabbage and Peppers

The steak was pretty good. The ends were a little over done, but that can be expected. I won't judge. The chorizo was fantastic. Just the right amount of spice and the cabbage and peppers gave a nice tang to the dish. Loved it.

It was a great evening and we ended up walking home in the wonderful weather. In fact, I didn't even mind the hills...too much ;p

Since we had a few days of spendy meals, Jamie and I did a quick 2 mile run (with a mapping fail - super steep downhill we had to walk) ending at the grocery store. I grabbed some ingredients for a tropical dinner and we bussed it back. Hooray for full fridge and cabinets!

On the menu - Tropical Pork Chops with Coconut Ginger Rice

Tropical Pork Chops
3 pork chops
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 c pineapple, chopped
1/2 c ponzu
1/4 c peach mango orange juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp Maggi seasoning
1/2 tbsp salt

Combine all ingredients, except pork, in a shallow baking dish. Add pork and let marinate for 15 minutes on each side. Preheat oven to 425. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Serve with Coconut Ginger Rice.

I ended up overcooking the pork chops, so this factors in that little oopsie. I'm a big fan of A Taste of Thai Coconut Ginger Rice. I came across this a few years ago and always keep a box on hand. Instead of water, I use 1 1/2 c chicken broth and 1/4 c milk.

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