24 February 2014

Gluttony 8 Years Ago

I've always loved food, but 8 years ago, before getting married and having kids, gluttony was a frequent experience. A lengthy entry on my old blog on tribe.net captured one such period of overindulgence.

Originally posted Monday, January 16, 2006

The past few days have been another period of gluttony!!

Part of the reason was because for just over a day, my gf had a friend from out of town visiting, so we did a little food exploration around the city.

But mostly, I just went out and ate a lot!

Let's see, starting last Thursday night, I worked very late at the office, so I ended up at Ozone Thai on Polk at Sutter. I've read elsewhere that they serve authentic Bangkok style Thai food, so I gave it a try. The rice porridge with a side of Chinese broccoli and slow roasted pork was quite tasty. I was surprised how well they had decorated and expanded the space, since the previous tenant of the location, also a Thai place, was quite drab.

Friday morning, before work, I stopped by Mexico au Parc at South Park for a breakfast burrito, the mushroom and egg variety. It ended up being a rather large burrito, since they stuff it with rice and refried beans by default. With their spice salsa, it was quite a start to the day.

Friday lunch, with little time for a lunch break, but also with a previously scheduled lunch with a friend, we ended up at Mexico au Parc for my second consecutive meal there. The grilled chicken burrito with avocado (not guacamole) was pretty good.

Friday happy hour, I grabbed a few beers with a former colleague and also some buffalo wings (ordered extra extra crispy) and a plate of fried calamari over at Nova bar on 2nd Street at De Boom St.

Later that night, my gf and her friend picked me up to go to a late dinner, as we had reservations at Isa on Steiner at Chestnut in the Marina. The food was quite good - we had the dungeness crab salad, then the endive and escarole salad with blue cheese, then the grilled calamari, then the seared foie gras with huckleberries and a port sauce, the risotto with wild mushrooms, and finally the roasted rack of lamb. Service was friendly but not exactly attentive. The place was packed and quite loud. It's worth a visit for a semi-special dinner, but I'm not sure I'll be itching to go back, given the availability of similar quality food elsewhere in a more comfortable atmosphere.

Saturday morning started with a trip to the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, despite the light rain. Unfortunately, about 1/3 of the booths normally present decided to not show up, including one of the dried fruit purveyors that we hoped to see. Within minutes of arriving, we had a multitude of baked goods in our hands and mouths (sugary bread stick, peanut butter cookie sandwich, croissant), and then a spicy Aidell's sausage in a bun (three of us shared one). A quick taste of the durian flavored smoothie from the hippie smoothie guy did not turn into a sale (I usually buy one vegan sushi roll from him, but not today). We spied the mushroom sellers as well as the Cowgirl Creamery for all the cheeses on display. I sampled some olive oils and vinegars with sample pieces of bread. In the front, we shopped for some fruits and vegetables, while sampling some blood oranges and regular oranges. I picked up a bottle of fresh squeezed, unpasteurized orange juice - quite good. We also picked up some unpasteurized apple juice and some broccoli and organic fuji apples. There was surprisingly few people around, especially for a Saturday morning, but I guess the rain kept a lot of people away. Closer to 11 am, we picked up a roast chicken from the Roli Roti truck and munched away while watching the crowd get a little bit bigger. We saw Martin Yan and a video camera person and a show producer walk by - he as wearing a bright blue shirt and just looking around. One passerby stopped him to shake his hand. We wandered back out through the booths but the rain had started back up, so we ended up leaving, to find a hefty parking ticket on the car at the 30 minute meter! Ooops!! The ticket was issued almost 90 minutes after we had parked, guess they really were checking!!

While heading towards Golden Gate Park, we stopped by the KK Cafe on Divisidero Street at Haight to say hi to Jack and Margaret who serve up a product they invented, called Signs & Wonders peanut milk. We enjoyed a peanut milk smoothie (include blended apple and banana), a peanut milk coffee, and a bottle of fresh peanut milk. It was nice to see how busy the small place was with local regulars, coming by to enjoy lunch or just a coffee.

After an enjoyable but lengthy visit to the newly opened de Young art museum, we drove through the outer Richmond and made a quick, entirely unplanned stop at Shanghai Dumpling Shop on Balboa and 34th to pick up some freshly made xiao lung bao (steamed pork dumplings) to go. Since it was so cold and breezy, the steamed dumplings were a hit as we munched them in the car.

We then attempted to get Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches from Le Cafe on Clement and 31st but they were closed, apparently still shut for the holidays.

So instead, we headed to the commercial area of Clement Street, first to pick up three live dungeness crabs from the New May Wah Asian supermarket, and then to grab a few pieces of dim sum from Good Luck Dim Sum on Clement at 9th. At this point, our friend from out of town thought we were quite nuts going all around town for so much food.

Still, we made a stop at Trader Joe's to pick up some snack foods and other items.

We drove back to my gf's place where we proceeded to cook up a hearty meal of Singaporean Chili Crab (using two of the live crabs), simple steamed crab using the one remaining crab, plus some steamed broccoli and brown rice, and some easy to drink chardonnay (Indian Wells). OK, even though this meal was relatively light compared to much of the other food already consumed, we were thoroughly stuffed. We dropped off our friend at the airport and retired for the night totally exhausted.

Sunday, we thought would be a bit of a break from all the consumption, but after attempting to locate a Vietnamese noodle shop in "downtown" Redwood City and instead finding a ghost town on a Sunday morning, we stumbled upon Naranjos Taqueria on Broadway near El Camino Real. It was the only place that was packed at lunch time on Sunday, where every place else, including a more modern and spacious place called Mexquite that was nearly empty. There were almost all local Mexicans packed into this narrow taqueria, mostly eating soft tacos. My gf and I felt we had discovered a place we would have never heard of on our own. We ordered up soft tacos with carne asada, al pastor, and lengua, as well as a burrito with lengua. The food was excellent, flavorful, sizeable, and the pastor was spicy and greasy-good. OK, it was another heavy meal, but after strolling through a ghost town trying to find a non-existent noodle restaurant, a tasty taqueria is just fine in my book!

Later, we shopped for a few special food items from Draeger's and Suruki Japanese Foods.

Finally, for a late Sunday dinner, we ate a light meal, putting together a salad with mixed field greens tossed in a Japanese soy and sesame sauce, with home toasted sesame seeds, some unsalted roasted cashew nuts, some Trade Joe's pomegranate seeds, some TJ's blue cheese, thinly sliced fresh organic fuji apples, and some dry roasted sunflower seed kernels. We also ate some spicy bean curd skin which came from the soy stand at the farmer's market the day before.

Wow! What a weekend of gluttony!! I'll try to take it easy this week...