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March 22-31, 2007
March 31, 2007
Okay, the reason that we're here is that we're attending another film fest, this time the "NexT" fest in Bucharest...
The cafés and bars next which are part of the theatres are perfect for post-viewing conversations.
If you are a starving, carnivore filmmaker this is the place to be. The chub makers are liberal users of garlic and there is plenty of head cheese to go around.
If you think of these:
... as fish flavored Cheetos, you get the idea of the habit forming nature of these salty, crunchy sardines.
I don’t understand why people compare themselves to chopped liver when implying they can be easily overlooked. These filtration organs:
... may not be cosmetically appealing, but my other organs enjoyed these offal nuggets.
Farmer John’s stubby little meat tubes are put to shame by these foot long (or in the land of the metric system, “royale” sized) spicy pork sausages:
When I saw these manky looking ribs:
... I thought they were going to taste fatty and, well, disgusting. To my amazement, they were incredibly delicious. A spice rub permeated these gnawable, rich caveman treats. I thought it would be like eating scoops of lard but appearances can be deceiving. This dish was the winner and proved that when in Romania, things are not always as they appear.
March 30, 2007
Bucharest and relaxation
Bucharest is called “the Paris of the East” which seems diminishing to me. I don’t mean this as a put down. It’s just nothing like Paris.
Sure, there’s a Arch of Triumph, but every McDonalds has at least two of the same and we don’t call it “the Paris of the eats.”
The Bucharestians are friendly and helpful in my quest for chow:
...and I tucked into a plate of cabbage rolls with mamaliga (cornmeal mush):
The predominant flavoring in these leafy cigars was salt. I think that they were heavily sodiumed to balance out the blander counterpoint of unseasoned mush. Together, they combined into a balanced bite.
I have shed my Bay Area assumptions of ample internet access and limited smoking (actually, I just swapped their places) and am getting to know were the internet sections are located. The smoking hot spots seem to be everywhere – including the cinemas.
My memorized phrases have been going over well, but most of the folks that I have been hanging around speak fluent English (which is good since I only know how to say about 10 things in Romanian.)
From the bunrab email bag, Kate asks about our Bay Area absence:
Why so much time in L.A.? tell me this isn't a permanent Bunrab relocation...
Nope, we’re just taking care of some bunrab business on the road and we will be back in the Bay Area very soon.
March 29, 2007
I've got loads of excuses for why these last two entries of this blog are tardy, but the best one is that I've decided that L.A. isn't enough of a change for me so I've taken a transcontinental hop for a few days to someplace 10 timezones away. Suffice to say that internet access in this new place isn't totally universal.
But I've moved to new digs that has a wifi signal, so I'm back. Today's post is from the Daily Feed L.A. archives, but tomorrow will be reporting from the new location.
...was quick, peppy and satisfying.
I went with a bagel and cream cheese with lox ($12.95):
These hand cut scosh of Nova was tasty in its fish fatty glory on a toasted onion bagel with a slice of tomato pinned down with a Greek olive speared pick. The red onion was cut thicker than I prefer when they are as aggressively flavored as this specimen. Its subtlety was only rivaled by Britney’s new haircut.
Chubby got the hot pastrami sandwich ($9.45) which came on soft, fresh, rye bread and wasn’t at all hot (which didn’t bug him.) It was thin sliced and pretty good, (but not in that When Harry met Sally New Yorky way.)
A side of coleslaw ($2.75) had a nice crunch to it’s nicely balanced, not overly mayoed, green cabbage stack.
Greenblatt’s is both a deli and shop with free parking in the rear of the building. They are open every day (even major holidays) and they deliver.
March 28, 2007
It was hot enough to attract a long queue at Tutti Gelati. I actually like to wait when faced with a glass case:
... filled with options (to allow for a reasonable period of deliberation.)
Whenever I come here I get a piccolo ($3.75) with half lemon ice, half something else. Today that something else was strawberry sorbet which went well with the puckery lemon.
Chubby went with half lemon, half blueberry which was tongue discoloringly good (but not as good as the strawberry.)
They also have gelati (as you may have gathered from their name). The chocolate ice cream is good, but not good enough to steer me away from my refreshing, cooling, citrusy standard order.
March 27, 2007
When we saw a little converted house called Grub, we had to stop for some of the same.
The menu is surprisingly sassy with descriptions that do not worship the god of political correctness. The B.L.T. says that it's not "an acronym for bottoms, legs and tatas" and the Vietnamese rolls are called "love you long time rolls".
Instead of a bread basket, there is a cruidite and pretzel arrangement:
.. which is a fun change from the expected.
I got the Mediterranean w-RAP ($10.75):
...with couscous, hummus, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, feta, tomatoes, and lettuce. The dominant flavor was the tangy cheese (which I like, but in moderation.) The spinach tortilla was cold and stiff around this flavor intensive filling. I enjoyed the wrap guts scooped out and mixed in with my salad, but I don't think that I would order this again.
Chubby went with the white truffle burger ($10.95):
... which he requested medium rare, but due to the nature of their patty fabrication, they were unable to meet his request. The waiter explained that they precook the meat "like a meatloaf".
Hmmmm precooked "burgers"?
The resulting sandwich was not very meatloafy, it was like a very cooked burger that was heavy on the bread. Chubby modified his poppyseed embedded roll to create an open-faced sandwich in order to better balance the flavors against the melted Gruyere and caramelized onions.
They attract a large local crowd. I understand the draw of this place. It feels homey with a welcoming and friendly staff and they have one of those menus that tries to have something for everyone.
We weren't blown away by our lunch. It's not that it was bad, it just wasn't our thing. However, we did appreciate, was the unisex bathroom decor.
March 26, 2007
We thought that a Thai vegetarian restaurant:
...sounded like an interesting dinner alternative but what we didn’t know was that this option translated into simulated meat. Many of the dishes served at Busaba contain soy beans impersonating chicken, beef and shrimp. We asked the waitress which did the best job of animal simulation and she said “chicken” with an emphatic certainty.
This faux fowl turned out not to be our thing. It’s not that it was horrible. I would choose to eat it before I would consume human flesh, but it had a funny synth taste and texture that kept us from embracing these nuggets.
My soy-ken was served with asparagus ($9.00):
...and shitakes (made from 100% mushroom) The spears of ‘gus were cooked to a pleasing crisp-tender and went well with my bowl of brown rice ($1.50.)
Chubby got the mixed vegetables ($7.00):
...with his beanbird. Broccoli, bok choy, bean sprouts, carrots and celery took a wok together and made for the better of the two dishes.
The people who work at Busaba are very friendly and welcoming.
I can see how there would be carn-nay-vours who seek out this sort of place. It’s just not our particular preference.
March 25, 2007
Poker at D’s house is always fun.
This rowdy group likes to play and likes to eat. D. fired up the coals and grilled the most delicious asparagus spears. They were so good that we ate them before they had a chance to make it to the table. Grilled Burgers and a mesclun salad (C. is the salad queen) with beets, lentils, goat cheese and almonds refueled us for more betting.
We snacked on Fatted Calf Sicilian Salami al’Arancia:
... (whose orangey perfume and buttery fat bits made this chub disappear quickly.) We also didn’t pass on square of beautifully textured Pâté de Campagne from the F.C. stand at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market which we spread over Acme epi segments to up the ante.
Good chow with our poker buddies is definitely worth the drive from L.A.
March 24, 2007
The cold, foggy morning didn’t seem to thin the crowds at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers’ Market today. It was completely mobbed.
We decided that our best strategy was to forgo the Blue Bottle wait (which appeared span into the next millennium) and stealthly acquire some regular (complimentary) Peets coffee while buying a pound of beans (thus bypassing the queue that went outside and around the corner.)
...before our coffee side trip and returned well before our meal was ready.
This sausage intensive sandwich was filled with a melted cheese topped, fried egg:
The soft Acme roll was grilled before it became home to its protein components:
Think of it as a high falutin’ Egg McMuffin done right.
Prather Ranch at the San Francisco Farmers Market
March 23, 2007
We made our regular L.A. to S.F. pit stop at the Kettlemen City In-N-Out Burger.
We get them wrapped in iceberg lettuce leaves a.k.a. “protein style” (for taste rather than Atkiny reasons) and we split an order of fries "well" :
Strangely enough, we prefer the In-N-Out Burger in Mill Valley due to their deeper understanding of extra crispy fries and for some reason, the burgers taste a little sweeter in Kettlemen City (which isn’t a quality we look for in a burger.) Even with these minor issues, it is the best quick and peppy meal that we have found on 5. Also, since it's the only one of its kind on the stretch between L.A. and the Bay Area, it is always hoppin!
Check out what Chubby has had to say about this popular burger emporium.
March 22, 2007
J and L took us out to the Little Ethiopia district of Los Angeles for dinner this evening. They chose Merkato:
... which is a combination restaurant, gift shop:
... and apropos of it’s name, a market:
Our feast included lentils, collard greens, peas:
... beef and chicken which were scooped up with injera:
and washed down with cold beer. All delish as well as fun. We ate this massive amount of food because you don’t want to offend the chef by adding insult to injeray.
Our visit reminded us that we have to make it back to Café Colucci soon.
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