We visited one of our favorites just before moving out our our former space, Precita Park Cafe. We’re really going to miss this place for their Saturday/Sunday brunch offerings. The food is always fresh, and more often than not, locally acquired. The chef even forages for some of the greens!
To start, we shared the antipasto platter, with hummus, house-made mozzarella, salami, pumpkin seeds and served with a flatbread. We were hungry, and it was so tasty, that I failed to take a picture of it. oops.
For dinner, I had the Summer Harvest Plate, which is quite literally summer on a plate. There was roasted corn, radishes, beans, mustard greens, quinoa and a piquillo aioli. As with the antipasto, this was polished off in minutes. S had the Salty Crispy Chicken with a corn mousse and herb vinaigrette, which he also enjoyed. Sadly, we didn’t have room for dessert, but no matter. I’m sure we’ll continue to visit Precita regardless of where we live.
While we were still in the old place, I did manage to make one last delicious meal (or two). Inspired from a previous post (seen here), I opted to make a spicy, satisfying chicken curry. The best part about this dish? It can be made in advance, and probably even tastes better the next day once the flavors have intensified even more.
To start, I heated up a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot then added a chopped medium onion and garlic/ginger paste. Once the onions soften slightly, I added a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, a couple tablespoons of garam masala, tablespoon of turmeric, salt and red chili flakes. After that, I added a can of light coconut milk and the same amount of water then stirred and let sit while it thickened slightly. After this simmered for about 15 minutes, I added the chicken to cook for another 20 minutes or so. Once complete, I added in 4 diced tomatoes, a handful of chopped cilantro and an additional serrano pepper (cut large so no one bites into them). Finally, once this had simmered for a few more minutes, it was ready!
The process sounds a lot longer than it really is to make, but if you do your chopping and dicing ahead of time, I can assure you that the flavors and pay-off are well worth it. One note, you can use ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, but I didn’t bother and was still impressed with the result.
It started with a Ziploc bag full of serrano peppers from my mother-in-law’s garden. I did the only thing I could think of to do, and that’s make a marinade.
I blended 4-5 of the small peppers, packed with a fair kick of heat, three scallions, two cloves of garlic, a handful of cilantro, lime juice and a small drizzle of oil to create the sauce. After letting the chicken sit for about 20 minutes, the flavors had the chance to permeate the chicken and it was grilled up before serving.
Considering how robust the flavors are, I’m not sure if I would use this on fish (maybe salmon?), but I would definitely use it on lamb in the future.
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)
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.
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.
I will probably regret it later, but they just look SO good!
Sambal Chicken Skewers (Culinary Covers)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.