I’ve never eaten there with the grill option before, it’s quite pricey but they actually do it for you. And the quality of the meat is pretty decent!
One mistake we made was going in with a lack of man power, or stomach power. Our first stop at Cafe LaTTea kind of killed us for the rest of the trip, considering we stuffed down the whole strawberry honey toast. That thing was designed for 3-4 people, not 2.
Still, the show had to go on, so we went for Hello Desserts and tried their coffee tartufo which was lightweight and not very sweet, perfect for people dying of too much sweetness. The cream puff was also pretty good, had vanilla custard inside it.
Thankfully, this did not completely destroy my sweet tooth, however I am somewhat scarred for life on taking on massive desserts in small parties.
Anonymous said: Hummus is not Israeli. It comes from the ARABS. The Israelis stole Hummus, and everything else from the Arabs. Just a little fun fact for you :)
Thanks for the correction, Anon! I just read on Yelp that the Israeli version is thicker/creamier?
Queued entry from way back at Lime Tree in San Francisco. I took my lady friend here while we were visiting Golden Gate Park, specifically Strawberry Hill. I was slightly disappointed that the hill was not full of strawberries.
Anyways, this is my go-to place for malay/singaporean/southeast Asian food, mostly for their laksa and roti. Both of which were pretty amazing. Even my the lady’s basil tofu was really good! This time we tried their black rice dessert. It’s basically black rice with….milk? condensed milk? coconut milk? poured on top (it’s been awhile, I just remember delicious, not details).
And look at the price! So good. Definitely coming back when I get an opportunity :D
Today’s adventure brought to you by Oren’s Hummus Shop in downtown Palo Alto. If you like Mediterranean food, do check this place out. The hummus is slightly thicker/creamier than other places, but apparently this is an Israeli thing. Special mention also goes to the marinated beets, it definitely makes a light summer side dish with it’s lemony zest. Another special mention goes to their babaganoush, with its smokey eggplant flavors.
The entree I ordered was Mozy’s rice bowl, which is basmati rice, with tomato, some herbs I’ve forgotten, grilled chicken, and tahini on the side. I’ve had something similar at DishDash in Sunnyvale, but I might like this one better. It’s a lot lighter without all of the yogurt sauce covering it, and the chicken is grilled deliciously.
Queued entry from a bit ago. Went to the Counter in Palo Alto. The one thing that really stood out to me was their service. I ordered my burger (or steak strips…) medium well, and it came out kind of medium->medium-rare and the lady just packed that one up for me and got me a new one. Ridiculous service.
I’ve decided I’m going to be lazy, so now each post will have significantly less text.
This past week I took my mother on a mini-vacation to Yosemite and SoCal since a) she never goes on vacation and b) I will be working full time for the rest of my life soon, so basically went down to visit some of her old friends and to eat.
I’ve been to Mama Lu's before, but a different location. This one is just as good. Ordered the house special fillet fish which was pretty good, green onion pancake, and sauteed…green onion pancake. I've never had this, or heard of it before, but it was awesome.
The other day I had the privilege of visiting Asteria Grill while the owner was around to introduce some items. The experience was so awesome, I’m gonna go more in depth for this post to give the place more credit.
If you’ve ever enjoyed Athena Grill in the past few years, and been wondering why the quality is no longer the same, it is because Vaso left to retire. Except she got too bored and couldn’t stay away from the kitchen, and decided to open a new restaurant. How awesome is that? Supposedly, Vaso was opened one of the first Greek restaurants, and soon many others began to copy her format. But anyways, onto the food.
I’d have to say my favorite thing about this place is the Kalamatiano dip. In case you’re wondering, it’s that purplish cream. I’ve had it at other places, such as Athena Grill, but this place definitely takes the spotlight. Really strong and rich olive flavor that you don’t taste anywhere else. I’m wondering if these olives are also from Vaso’s olive trees in Greece; she was telling us that her olive oil was from olives from her own trees in Greece, which is pretty legit.
The fries here are also pretty legit, fresh and cut pretty thick. My only complaint is that they’re not super crispy when they come out, however their taste is not dependent on time as they were just as delicious even an hour later. If the fries were just crispier…they would be perfect. But then again, I know nothing about making fries, and only about eating them. Vaso has buckets of cut potatoes soaking in water (to remove the starch to prevent them from sticking during frying), maybe that affects it?
I think the gyro also deserves special mention. Some Greek places have been getting lazy and start serving frozen gyros instead of the legit vertical broiler with a chunk of spiced meat. Last time I went to Athena Grill, it was unfortunately the frozen kind, so I was glad to see Vaso didn’t cut corners. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed once I took a few bites, flavors were just right. Also ventured a bit and dipped it into the Kalamatiano a few times :D Here’s a blurb from Wikipedia in case you’re wondering why the vertical broiler makes it so much more legit:
The purpose of the vertical layout is to keep the lower parts of the rotating cone always doused in the flavourful liquid fat drippings from higher up. This and the standard top-heavy conical shape of the gyros assures two kinds of cooking: the higher parts are more directly grilled by their closer proximity to the heat, whereas the lower ones are partly fried in the resulting drippings. The hot metal-plate collector beneath the spit serves to collect the shavings and give them the finishing touch as they lay in sizzling drippings. A good serving of gyros contains shavings from all parts of the roast, top to bottom, thus offering a variety and richness of taste.
Another special mention goes to the baklava. Usually I stay away from baklava at Greek places because it’s usually too sweet for me. However, I felt okay here. The baklava here is slightly different in that Vaso uses more cinnamon/nutmeg than other places I’ve had, also, she only uses crushed walnuts. I got to ask how they were made, and it’s amazing that each sheet of baklava has about 80 or so layers. Would definitely get this again. The only other place I’d get baklava is Wally’s Cafe. So good.
Today I picked up my nicer half from the correct airport (I’ve been to the wrong one, it was sad) and took her to Greens, this fancy vegetarian restaurant in Fort Mason, San Francisco. Now, generally I despise vegetarian restaurants because they just lack flavor and are overpriced. One time she managed to convince me to take her to Millenium, this famous
terrible vegan place also in San Francisco. And while it wasn’t that bad…it was just way overpriced for the food we got.
So I went into Greens somewhat skeptical of what the experience would be like, considering the menu is just a four course prix fixe set.
First served was this andante dairy picolo (cheese), Mediterranean cucumbers with spring herbs, olives, and Acme pain epi (cool shaped bread). I’m not a fan of cheese, so I’m biased against it, ladyfriend liked it though. The bread was a bit tough, but was good overall.
For appetizers, I ordered the Thai potato croquettes, which also came with red curry. This was actually pretty good, although the curry flavor was much lighter than what I’m used to, more heavy on the coconut, less on the spices. The potato croquette itself was pretty awesome, light crunch on outside, mushy inside. Note to self: potato retains heat very very well. Ladyfriend got some salad thing so I didn’t bother to take any photos :D
For entrees, I ordered this toasted cumin filo which was served with coconut tamarind sauce and grilled serrano salsa verde. The coconut tamarind sauce was pretty awesome, flavorful and super creamy, which balanced out the spice kick from the salsa verde. Also on the side were coral lentil dal, which was also really good. Although for awhile, I couldn’t really tell what I was eating and I just kept putting food in my mouth. Other half got sweet pea ravioli which is the green ravioli thing pictured. Also good, I thought the sauce was similar to my salsa verde, but I guess I’m wrong.
For desserts…it was beautiful. I got this strawberry rhubarb galette, other half got blackberry upside down cake. Both were served with a scoop of ice cream, and in retrospect, the cake was supposed to be served with meyer lemon ice cream, and mine was supposed to be served with creme fraiche ice cream…I think we both got vanilla. But nevermind that. It was beautiful nonetheless, both of the desserts were super tart, so if you’re into that, you’ll love it like I did. If I were still teetering on the edge on what I thought about this place (which I wasn’t, the entrees were good), the desserts sealed the deal.
Oh yea, and for drinks, she got this black currant lemonade, and I got blood orange ginger brew spritzer, which was recommended to me by the waiter. Super good.
While waiting for dessert, I got bored and started playing with the drink cup and candle.
Also to note, it’s right by the docks, so you get a wonderful view of the water and sunset. Decided against taking photo since I wasn’t sitting by the window. Also to note, when Yelp said casual…I may have went too casual in flip flops.
Overall, excellent place. Would actually go back.
I’m going to be lazy and just group a bunch of assembled food types together.
Saw Out the Door in the Ferry Building and decided to try it. I heard about Charles Phan in an interview on NPR a bit ago, so was pretty interested to see what this express version could produce. I ordered the special of the day (or week, I don’t remember), forgot the exact name, but it’s basically a Vietnamese sandwich with Asian style meatballs. Would definitely get again, the meatball was plenty flavorful, and so tender (can I describe meatballs as tender? It’s just ground meat…). The preserved veggies complemented the meat very well, lightweight and doesn’t overpower the meat. Lastly, the cucumbers added a nice touch by neutralizing anything too intense, along with a slight crunch. My only complaints are: a) they need better bread b) the meat kept falling apart and onto the ground for the pidgins c) steep price of $9 or so for a fancy Vietnamese sandwich. Oops, forgot to mention my friend ordered…I forgot what it is. It was kind of spicy. I think it was chicken?
Despite snobbish about what I eat, I do get desperate some times. During finals week, I resorted to eating at McDonald’s since I was just too exhausted/lazy to cook anything. So I got fries (no salt, so that usually guarantees a fresh batch) and chicken nuggets. Both of which I cajun’d up when I got home :D If anything, McDonald’s really knows their fries.
The other day, Mogo stopped near my work place. I hadn’t been to Mogo’s in long long time since they were usually too far away, so it’s been over a year since I’ve last been to Mogo (or any food truck). Surprisingly, their burritos are now $8.50…($9+ with tax). Compare that to $6 or so when they first started. The spicy pork burrito was decent…but not worth the amount paid. The value from food trucks just keeps dipping and dipping since the novelty factor has worn off…
And finally, Freshly Baked Eatery. Their name is lacking, but the food is definitely not. If you like sandwiches, do come here. Note that they’re only open from around 10:30-2:30 during the weekdays. For me, a sandwich just doesn’t work without good bread. You can brag about your meats, drench it in sauces (I’m lookin at you, Ike’s), but you can’t substitute for good bread. Not just good bread, but fresh bread. The stuff is so good I could eat it plain, if only they sold it separately…(I’ve asked, but they said no). The sandwich I usually order is the herb and garlic turkey with thousand island dressing instead of the standard mayo/mustard combo. Not to belittle their meats, but it’s still just deli meat. If you do want something different, try their special, which is some sausage they keep in a slow cooker. Downside is that they run out of that pretty quickly. But yea, go here. It’s amazing.