Monthly Archives: May 2012

While at Bodega Bay…

Beautiful ocean view and marine landscape, soothing sights and sounds of flora and fauna, soft and amazing sandwich rolls, and BEST CLAM CHOWDER EVER – my Sunday afternoon getaway in a nutshell.

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Trying to be Cultured

Eating at Ethiopia Restaurant has made me feel a little bit more cultured.

This was probably one of the few meals that I have had in the States that did not involve any utensils whatsoever (with the exception of sandwiches and pizza). I was initially amused at the novelty of tearing off pieces of injera and using them to pinch entrees from the large plate. As stupid as this sounds, eating with only my fingers made me attain a temporary illusion of culture.

I walked into Ethiopia Restaurant thinking that I was going to go for the $6.99 vegetarian buffet but my friends and I ended up ordering three different dishes; the vegetarian combination, the meat combination and yebeg alicha (lamb stew). The different components of our dishes were laid out on a large communal plate covered with spongy injera bread. Our meals also came with unlimited injera on the side! I love the soft and porous texture of this traditional Ethiopian bread — however, I must warn that it is deceptively filling for a “light” bread.

In general, I liked most of the components of the meat and vegetarian combination. A few of my favourites include tekil gomen (cabbage and potato), yemisir w’et (red lentils), yebel alicha (mild lamb stew) and t’ibs w’e’t (spicy beef friccassee stew). The beef stew was the one I liked the best, mainly because of its spiciness.

Ethiopian food tastes rather similar to Indian food because they both incorporate the same type of spices in their dishes. If you are a fan of Indian food, you do not have to worry about Ethiopian food  being too adventurous of a choice. Even if you find Ethiopian food to be somewhat mild compared to Indian food,  the momentary thrill that you experience from eating with your bare hands will make up for it.

Razan’s Organic Kitchen

The Jordanian Wrap, stuffed with falafel and cauliflower and lettuce and tomatoes and tahini and grilled onion, was simply delightful. I am always very impressed when an eatery manages to deliver  healthy vegetarian food that is appealing to the taste buds too. The other vegetarian options at Razan’s also looked very tempting, such as their Garden Burrito, Spinach Melt Burrito, Egyptian Wrap, Jerusalem Wrap, Lebanese Wrap and Mediterranean Plate. So many vegetarian food that I would order on my own volition!

I also had one of their non-vegetarian options, the Chicken Shish Kebab Wrap. It was deceivingly very savoury and contrasted quite greatly with the relatively light Jordanian Wrap I had earlier.

Regardless of whether you are a vegetarian or not, you will like what Razan’s Organic Kitchen has to offer!

Fake Chinese Food

Do you like fake Chinese food? Well, I do!

I am perfectly okay eating Chinese food that has been modified to suit the Western palate. Sweet and Sour Chicken? Mongolian beef? Cashew Chicken? Bring it on.

Sometimes I do wonder what exactly makes a dish American Chinese because some American Chinese dishes actually originated from China. I have had people whine when I suggested ordering sweet and sour chicken because it is supposedly a fake Chinese dish but it is something that I have pretty frequently in Asia. Then again, I do not exactly live in the most oriental part of Asia so I may have spent eighteen years of my life living under the illusion of eating legitimate Chinese food. Oh the shock, the horror!

Anyway, P.F.Chang’s satisfied my cravings for fake Chinese food. The Chengdu Spiced Lamb was tasty and I liked my chicken and shrimps smothered with honey.

IT’S SO FLUFFY!

Bette’s Oceanview Diner was featured on the Food Network for its souffle pancakes. Reviewers on Yelp had strongly divided opinions about Bette’s souffle pancakes. Some believed that they are simply meh given the hype surrounding them while others think they are the bomb. If I had to choose a side, I would be amongst those group of people who perpetuate the hype, and this is based on the banana-rum pancake I had.

This was the first souffle pancake I have ever had and I absolutely love its fluffiness and lightness!  It also had a strong egg taste to it, reminiscent to that of Asian egg tarts. Due to its plainness, the souffle pancake did not stand out on its own but it tasted pretty damn good with maple syrup. I ended up paying about $15 (including tax and tip) for this but I do think it is worth trying if you have never had anything like it  before, and don’t forget the maple syrup.

Something Southern

I have always wanted to try Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen because I have never had Southern cuisine before, and the place also seemed really popular judging from the long lines that I always see outside this restaurant. Hence, I decided to celebrate the end of the semester with something Southern.

The Voo Doo Shrimp was cooked really well and I loved the sauce! This dish is also one of the more highly recommended ones on Yelp. After having this, I went online to look up the recipe for Voo Doo shrimp here. The steps seem pretty doable so I might attempt making this next semester, although I am slightly deterred by the calorie counts for this dish. I really hope I did not consume 1041.9 calories eating this dish.

I tried some of their Shrimp Creole too and it was good but Voo Doo Shrimp beats this hands down.

Choosing which dessert to order proved to be quite a dilemma for me. I was torn between Angeline’s warm Banana Foster Bread Pudding and some New Orleans pastry called Beignets. Even the waiter could not help make a decision for us because those were the top two desserts in Angeline’s. In the end, I went for the bread pudding.

The rum caramel sauce that came with the bread pudding was tasty. However, I was expecting bigger portions having paid $6.50 for this dessert. The people who sat next to us ordered the beignets which looked really good with all that powdered sugar goodiness. Definitely going to try them the next time I come to Angeline’s. 

All in all, I had a really good dining experience in Angeline’s and it was a good way to celebrate the end of the semester. Great atmosphere and great food!

Corn on the Cob

I don’t know about you but I love digging my teeth into corn on the cob. Which is why I could not walk past the barrel of corn in Trader Joe’s without buying one, and for only $0.39 for that matter. Oh summer, why are you so awesome?

I do not usually attempt to cook anything remotely complicated and this was no exception. I like the simplicity of making oven roasted corn on the cob. Wash it, butter it, pop it in the oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes and voila — there you have some warm and juicy corn on the cob waiting to be eaten.

Celebratory Brunch

Yes, this was how I started the Summer of 2012.

Dessert Delights

Masse’s Pastries — the little patisserie sandwiched in the middle of a row of stores on Shattuck and Vine St — houses some of the most heavenly gastronomic pleasures. With each bite, I experienced a momentary detachment from my sufferings incurred by Dead Week and was transported to a place that only knew of immense delight.

The macaroons are also a huge hit in Masse’s Pastries but they are not quite my cup of tea. They were not as delicate as I imagined them to be, given all the hype surrounding them. You could say that I am some sort of macaroon elitist — it would take one heck of a macaroon to actually sweep me off my feet.

That aside, everything else about Masse’s is simply amazing. I have been dreaming about walking back into that patisserie literally every day ever since the day I had their caramel cake. I have even considered making ritual weekend trips to Masse’s. One day, I will try their famous mango mousse. And strawberry cheesecake. And opera. And well, everything else that they have.

I Like Rice Noodles

Dang, the filters in instagram make my food look so good.