Things Just Because

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Is this a good idea? According to Mashable, KFC is bringing the Double Down back on April 21. The sandwich certainly received plenty of attention the first time it launched, but I wonder if it’ll still be as popular this time around. Maybe in eating competitions or for stunt value on the Facebooks/Instas/etc.

Would you eat it?

(image from flickr - M. Saechang)

Things Because They’re Tasty - Precita Park Cafe

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I honestly can’t count the number of times that we’ve visited this neighborhood place, Precita Park Cafe. It’s reliably good, and on this occasion, it was Beer Week in San Francisco, which means lots of tasty things. We started with a porky terrine with kumquats and peanuts. A delicious, rich way to start the meal. I went with the Champignon pizza, with tons of mushrooms, chèvre, parm and truffle oil. 

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Sadly, they had already run out of fish & chips [it was really sad because we both wanted it], so S had the roast chicken with a bbq glaze, spring onions and collards. It was still a delicious meal and we’ll definitely be going back again and again.

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I will probably regret it later, but they just look SO good!

Sambal Chicken Skewers (Culinary Covers)

I will probably regret it later, but they just look SO good!

Sambal Chicken Skewers (Culinary Covers)

Things Because They’re Tasty - Mission Chinese Food

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Like any good San Francisco resident, we eventually found our way to Mission Chinese Food. We started with the chili pickled long beans with carrots and daikon, and also tried the beer brined Sichuan pickles with roasted peanuts, cucumber and salt pickled cabbage. Starting with these two reminded me of the beautiful array of banchan you get from Korean restaurants. I loved both dishes.

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Next, we moved on to the thrice cooked bacon with rice cakes, bitter melon and tofu skin. Absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious. The melon cut through the richness of the bacon, to provide the perfect pairing with the soft rice cakes. We’ll definitely order this again.

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We also ordered the Chongqing chicken wings with crispy beef tripe and just about every chili they could throw in there. While there’s no denying that they are a bit spicy, they’re too good to stop eating. 

Admittedly, we also had the stir-fried pork jowl and radishes, but neither of us cared for it much. The pieces were a little too fatty, and after all the spicy/complex things before it, not terribly interesting.

I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other dishes. In the meantime, here’s an amusing take on someone else’s experience at Mission Chinese. He’s four and his name is Desmond. Enjoy!

Things Because They’re Tasty - Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter

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All S wanted during our trip was fried chicken. After doing a little research, we ended up at the Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter. Thankfully, they knew what they were doing, and it wasn’t just hype. We started with the fried okra because the Southern girl in me can’t get enough of it.

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I opted for the fried chicken sandwich and a side of mac and cheese. While the sandwich reminded me of the sort you can find in a Chik-fil-A, I would venture to say that this one was much better. The chicken was moist, the pickles added just enough tart and the bun was lightly toasted and soft. The mac and cheese was just that. Rich and tasty as I would expect it to be.

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S, on the other hand, finally got his hands on that fried chicken. Again, the chicken was cooked perfectly. Moist on the inside, with a crisp, non-greasy outer layer that didn’t just slip off when he bit into it. If we ever get back there, I’ll definitely get more biscuits so we can drizzle them with plenty of honey as “dessert.” 

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Things Because They’re Tasty - Mongolian Hot Pot

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Hot pot on a cold day is the best answer for any and all questions. I don’t know how we made it through all of the food, but it was incredible. We devoured chicken, lamb shoulder, Kurobuta pork belly, baby bok choy, broccoli, spinach and shiitake mushrooms. Get thee to a hot pot stat! Happy Friday!

Things Because They’re Tasty - The Table

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We visited The Table in the Willow Glen area of San Jose recently where we had some delicious food and cocktails. The grilled Monterey Bay squid above with avocado and potatoes was a perfect way to start. The seafood wasn’t at all chewy, and the char added a nice flavor to the tentacles. 

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Somehow they ran out of buns for the hamburgers by the time I ordered (admittedly, I thought it was pretty weird), so I went with the slow roasted pork belly served with winter greens, beans and Shishito peppers. This was far more rich than I was expecting, but the peppers helped a little to cut through some of it. I still wanted that burger, but maybe next time. Below, S had the hearty roasted chicken with zucchini bread. It was done well, and not as heavy as my meal. Granted, it’s winter. So neither of us feels all that bad.  

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To end, we had cups of the Canadian Pressed coffee and shared some sugar coated donut holes that came with a sweetened dip on the side. I think we’re still desperately trying to find a “neighborhood” favorite that we can call our own on Friday and Sunday nights, and this certainly made a strong showing. 

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Things Because They’re Tasty - Chicken Soup (Again)

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I’ve made this soup enough times now that I’m not sure how to make it much better. For a different version, however, I did add Rosemary rather than Sage. Both are earthy herbs that can stand up to the long cooking process. I also added Bell Pepper and Celery to this version, which made it even heartier than it was before. Naturally, I still reserved bacon to top it all off. 

Hope everyone stays warm this weekend. Happy Friday! 

Previous Chicken Soup Here

Things Because They’re Tasty - Mustard Chicken

With the abundance of produce, and plenty of free time on my hands, I’ve been cooking far more often each evening. For dinner recently, I marinated chicken for about an hour in a few dollops of Dijon mustard, onions, garlic, sliced jalapeno, cilantro and a little vegetable oil. I then used a grill pan to cook the chicken, which also browned it well. It was a simple recipe that I knew would infuse the meat with plenty of flavor, and also give the chicken a little tang and some heat. Besides, who doesn’t have mustard in the kitchen? On the side, I sauteed a few veggies and served over mixed greens. yum.

For more on chicken, I’ve also made soup and served it on skewers

Things Because They’re Tasty - Hot Pot!

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For one of the few winter days last week, S and I had the hot pot at Grand Sichuan (Lexington b/w 33rd and 34th). We went with the split bowls of mild (left) and spicy (top right) broth. Check out the bubbling cauldron of deliciousness above. You really have to be careful with the chilies in the top portion, so we generally fish some of them out right away to spare our taste buds a little. Remember - The intensity of the spice will continue to grow and build through the duration of the meal, and it’s just not something my stomach can handle.

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For the meal we had lamb, chicken, baby bok choy and broccoli. We also ordered rice and a side of a slightly spicy, salty chili mix that was great for the meat since the broth doesn’t have much by way of seasonings (other than the mix of chilies they dropped into one of the portions). Overall, it’s just a great time. Similar to the do-it-yourself style of Korean BBQ that we enjoy, this is perfect for when you’re willing to have a more interactive experience with your dinner.