Category Archives: Central / South American

Munch Time with Munchery

 It was within the walls of my department’s computer lab that my friend discovered the existence of Munchery, another food made order and deliver company that was gaining popularity in the Bay Area. After trying it once, he has pretty much been evangelizing this company and convinced me to give it a shot.

My first impression of Munchery was that it targets customers who are too busy to cook but want an healthier alternative to regular restaurant food. Most items on the menu seem to have good balance of protein, carbs and vegetables. It also caters to people who are particular about their food being organic or wheat-free and all that jazz. Another one of their selling points is how exotic and clean the items in the menu looked, ranging from things like Peruvian chicken soup to Chashu ramen.

Munchery

Under my friend’s recommendation, I got the pollo cubano and I was pretty impressed. The chicken was oh so juicy and tender, and the sauce it was doused in was delicious and foreign to my palate in a good way. It made me felt like I was discovering a taste from a different part of the world and I think that was probably the kind of cultural experience that Munchery wanted to deliver with its food. However, the chicken was lined with a lot more fat than I expected (which probably made it taste so good) for a company that seems to give off the impression of serving healthy food.

Having tried it once, it made sense to me  why Munchery and other similar companies have been getting good reception in the area. That happened to be the only time I ordered from Munchery because I was not quite willing to pay full price for their food (I got a discount the first time). If cost isn’t a deterrent and you are itching to try some of their exotic selections, I’d say why not 🙂

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Something Salvadoran

The last ‘exotic’ cuisine I had with my friends who are constantly on a quest to try new things was at the Ethiopia Restaurant somewhere down Telegraph Ave in Oakland. As mentioned in my older post, we had a pretty good experience exploring Ethiopian cuisine. This time round, we decided to give Salvadoran cuisine a try.

Platano @ University Ave, Berkeley 

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One of the lunch specials at Platano consists of two pupusas and a chicken tamale. When I ordered the pupusas, I was under the notion that they were like tacos and but it transpired that pupusas were more like quesadillas or savoury pancakes. The pork and cheese pupusa was tasty but the cheese and Salvadoran vegetable pupusa seemed devoid of any cheese or vegetable. Not sure if I was eating them right but the pupusas were delicious when topped with the restaurant’s pickled cabbages and ‘hot’ sauce.

The first time I had a tamale was at Cal’s dining common and I did not enjoy it at all. Needless to say, I decided to give the tamale another chance to redeem itself because I thought that perhaps the dining common made severely subpar tamales. After today, I can officially say that I am not a fan of tamales — I am unaccustomed to the taste of corn dough and the dish was just too starchy and bland for my liking.

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Plantain and cream — more appetizing than it looks. I liked the plaintain on its own but not so much of the sour cream.

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The small avocado salad was not that small after all. Tried some of my friend’s salad and it tasted pretty good to me. Gotta love avocados.

Conclusion?  Salvadoran food is somewhat exotic and is definitely not for everyone — here in Platano I had the very last tamale that I will ever have in my life, and my friend will probably never step through Platano’s door again because she did not enjoy lunch here even though I thought it was quite similar to Mexican food which she loves. I would not mind coming back for the cheese and meat pupusa and the pickled cabbage. Yes, the pickled cabbage in the jar.