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January 16-23, 2008
|Wednesday, January 23, 2008
... suggests that customers of this establishment will experience an escalated level of enjoyment that will result in their death - not a sound business plan unless you are making Sweeney Todd style chow. I did not let this or their scary Rorschach ink blot logo (that resembles a silly-puttied Mike Huckabee) keep me from ordering a sashimi special lunch ($13.00):
The chow was a step up from what you get from a supermarket sushi case (since the rice didn’t sit in a fridge) and to be fair, it was about the same price (so what could I really expect?) Although I was thankful not to be pronounced DOA at DAI, I don’t think I’ll relive my visit. Sushi Ran isn’t getting kicked out of its Marin sushi throne anytime soon.
What are your thoughts on Joe's Cable Car Hamburgers? And of course I really mean Chubby's thoughts. No offense, but I think he has a better grip on the burger universe.
Chubby here, I like Joe’s Cable Car burgers and think that they are a fine stop if you are in the nabe.
|Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I dried out meringue nests made with 4 egg whites and a half cup of sugar in a low oven for a few hours, toasted and candied some slivered almonds, heated up some hot fudge sauce that I had made previously and it was seriously good (although next time we have grown-ups I will make it with the coffee.) I will definitely add this to my dessert rotation.
|Monday, January 21, 2008
... was one of the specials for lunch at our favorite chaat corner. We don’t like these plastic versions of mess hall trays since they will be languishing in a landfill after a moment of use, but this twinge of guilt did not prevent us from tucking in the green polka-dotted ground lamb. We have yet to have a special that we enjoy as much as their chaat. This passable but dull tray of basmati, raita, dal, achaar, chappati and roti was reinforcement for us to stick with the snacks.
... is a bunch of cold lentil dumplings in a spicy bath of yogurt and chutney. Cilantro, mint and tamarind meld to make this one of our standard orders.
These wheat bubbles are meant to be filled with the accompanying chickpeas, potatoes and a gulg of mint water.
The bhatura cholle ($5.50):
... is like one of those cocktails that comes with dry ice smoke trailing off the edges. This non-leaden zeppelin of wheat slowly deflates as it cools after its visit to the fryer. It comes with a chickpea curry, chopped onions and a spicy, salty pickle.
This warehouse of an eatery uses sporks as their puri hole transport method of choice, but for many of the dishes, we just use our mits.
Although ornate, we have never been tempted to eat one of the many Play-Doh Fun Factory sweets in the display case:
Maybe next time…
|Saturday, January 19, 2008
They cleverly create needs that you never knew existed while simultaneously shaming you for leading your sinful, loosey-goosey, container-free lifestyle. They get all Radio-Shackey during check out by asking for your phone number and I am astounded by the large number of people who turn over their digits - it must be part of the fill-in-the-box compulsion that is in the air.
What visionary drew up a business plan for a chain of stores to sell stuff to put your stuff in? Were they stoned? Were they eating Doritos and searching for something to maintain the freshness of the rest of the bag? Were they frustrated by the way cupcakes would get smooshed in transport?
And speaking of cupcakes, it looks as though Corte Maderaians will soon be able to make their container purchases and cross the mall to a new Teacake Bake Shop:
You may be familiar with their shop in Emeryville, which has good brownie bites and serves Mr. Espresso Coffee. Even though this mall is the home to many places that I could happily do without like P.F. Changs and a store called Noodle Soup (which sells no noodle soup):
... there are now a few places that make it a worthwhile stop like Sur la Table, REI and Bryans. We are happy that the coffee situation is about to improve with this new addition (Tully’s is not our cup of tea…or joe.)
|Friday, January 18, 2008
M and Z gave us lemons from their tree so we got out the salt to preserve them using this adaptation of a Paula Wolfert recipe.
Other recipes that I have tried have not involved blanching:
... which sounded as though it would both kill any surface cooties and soften the rind to make it more receptive to the salt:
As I was jamming them into jars:
... I ran out of lemon juice so I turned to my limes. We love the flavor that chopped, preserved lemon adds to anything that needs a kick in the rind.
|Thursday, January 17, 2008
The universe seemed to mock us in our previous attempts to visit Levende Lounge but we were happy to arrive when there was no private event keeping us from taking a seat in their dimly lit, techno-pulsed room.
A friend of ours told us that we must try their burger, but the server clarified that it is a brunch only option so we went with the de-calf-innated mini lamb burgers ($12.00):
... which were capped with yogurt and an onion chutney alongside thinly sliced pickled cukes. These Indian spiced sheepwiches were good, with soft buns and flavorful meat, but nothing we would be cumin back to order.
The asparagus ($9.00):
... was given a balsamic glaze and shower of blue cheese. We both liked these but a more concentrated balsamic reduction would have been even better.
Baby back ribs ($18.00):
... were meaty and tender. They were Lincoln logged together over a smashed sweet potato foundation studded with soy beans. The daikon sprout and enoki mushroom thatched roof added an Asian flavor to this mandarin orange glazed food hut. Both of us would have been happy to dispense with all of the architectural accents in favor of a plate of these unadorned, meat sticks.
I asked if the Bay bridge traffic video:
... was a live display for the benefit of those who needed an excuse to have another drink until the rush hour subsided, but it turned out to be a DVD. I don’t know about you, but watching traffic isn’t my idea of relaxing lounge viewing. Perhaps they know this and cleverly put a tension inducing visual up so you will drink some tension dispatching cocktails down.
The service was friendly and efficient and the kitchen was alarmingly quick. We will have to visit on a weekend to sample their elusive cow-based burger.
From today’s Bunrab email, Sarah writes:
I was at the "Ask a Scientist" event last evening as well, but it was so crowded I didn't see you fuzzy folk! I had grabbed a tofu burrito beforehand in anticipation of the crowd at Axis and, despite the rice and cold-cheese-laden lump of mediocrity, was glad I did. Some people outside on the lovely patio didn't get served until well-into the second-half of the show. I liked the cafe and the menu looked good, but those poor server-folk who had to push through us overeager intellectuals must have had a hard time. You and cuteoverload keep me going strong!
Please keep it up! Sarah
I’m no scientist, but if Axis made a ready to grab meal for these mob scene events, they would sell a gagillion, the lines would move faster and not have to Marco/Polo through the SRO crowd trying to balance big plates and bowls. Cold salami or veggie and cheese sandwiches on baguette would move fast and be easier to eat (especially since most of the attendees don’t have the benefit of a table.) If they keep on their current path, more people will bring in their own tofu-rittos and Axis will miss a vector for income.
|Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Chunks of tender lamb in a curry scented tomato sauce needed a kick – I should have requested this “spicy” instead of “medium.” That’s what I get for my sheepish ordering.
Chubby got the Miloni Sabzi ($6.50 plus .50¢ for brown basmati):
String beans, cauliflower, peas and broccoli swam in a spinach and coconut milk pool. Chubby regretted his “medium” heat designation but polished off his veggie bowl and rice nonetheless.
Even though the chow wasn’t mind blowing, the serene dining room was a fine place to catch up during this wallet friendly meal.
It was already a packed house when we arrived at the Axis Café:
... for this evening’s Ask a Scientist lecture. Not only were there more attendees than ever, the press:
... was represented as well.
Professor of Biological Anthropology and Linguistics, Terry Deacon, peppered his power point with plugs for his book in the same way recipients of church meals get a sermon as part of the bargain.
The first half of the talk was a giant set up to answer the question of where language came from. His discussion included his animal research as well as biological and physical influences and concluded by informing us that we were a bunch of degenerate monkeys. Fair enough.
Most of the modified chimps were well behaved:
... there were the usual “look how smart I am” questions, but there were also genuine ones mixed in and all of them had interesting answers.
Juliana Gallin hosts this free series:
... which is always worth checking out. I just wish that the Axis Café would sell ready made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ditch their regular menu. This would get rid of the horrendous delays and the need for servers to make their way through the cramped audience as they deliver their monkey chow.
Ask a Scientist
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