Sunday, December 28, 2008

Food tour of MY VACATION: Part I

Hey everyone--

I have been bad about posting- mostly because I have been so busy with family and friends I haven't had the time nor inclination to talk about what I have been up to. Here is a quick roundup of my culinary experiences so far:

  • Senor Fish: Delicious fish tacos and shrimp burritoes
  • Manna Korean BBQ: My friends Andy, Chris, Konrad, his 3 buddies consumed a tremendous amount of food between the 8 of us. It was ridiculous. Probably my favorite meal by company of the break
  • Dim Sum: Nuff said. I love Dim Sum so much. Probably my largest culinary regret of living in Iowa is the lack of good dim sum.
  • Cafe Bariloche: A South American restaurant near my beach house in Ventura. We had 3 outstandingly different dishes, which is a new one for me. The amount of times a restaurant serves me a truly original dish now is so rare. Cafe Bariloche was a breathe of fresh air
  • HC Seafood: a little hole in the wall fish market near my beach house. My friends and I ordered all sorts of fried delights: scallops, calamari, fish and chips. You watch them dunk the pieces into the batter and fry. Please note: this is a very japanese place, they bread everything with Panko bread crumbs. Those are the japanese super bread crumbs.
  • Sushi Midori: My friends Andy and Chris return. The refrain between the three of us on this trip is "Are you hungry!". It is part battle cry, part query about the availablity of them for lunch. Anyway, we packed away a ridiculous amount of all you can eat sushi. Notable highlights: delicious unagi (eel), hawaaian king mackerel, some of the most tender salmon I have had in a while, as well as a delightful selection of hand and cut rolls.
  • Dish in La Canada: had a delectable belgian waffle with strawberry compote: a tradition of mine.
  • Apple Crisp. I am sinfully fond of a great apple crisp, and will eat the entire thing if not watched. We made a really fun one, which my family and I decoured while watching old episodes of Julia Child.
  • Home-made oatmeal with an apple-cranberry compote. As soon as I woke up and came upstairs to find a pot of oats simmering away, I immediately lept into action (clad only in boxers and glasses) to make a cranberry apple compote.
  • Venison loin with a raspberry vinegar sauce. I made this to take to a friend (Kyle's) party upon his return fron Copenhagen. It was called a Hyggefest, which is apparently a type of Danish party in which everyone brings loads of food and you sit around and catch up. It was a great party, with some incredible food, and I want to recognize the entire culinary lineup:

    • Swedish Meatballs with gravy (delicious)
    • Asparagus and potato salad (a welcome spin on potato salad)
    • Cheddar and pecan bread (great)
    • Chocolate and marshmallow bundt cake (this sounds really plain, but was in fact INCREDIBLE)

I think that is everything- one more anecdote before I leave regarding probably the best family dinner I have had. Yesterday night, my sister and dad and I went to a movie (Valkyrie) and then out to dinner at Cafe Bariloche. I want to tell this story to illustrate how my family does business. We walk into the restaurant, having already combed the menu online. We sit down, and order our three dishes, my dad ordering for all of us. The waitress compliments us on our familial togetherness, to which I reply with something like, "We don't mess around with food". We share all three main dishes, with my sister, who I should mention is 15, tucking into the food like a champ and discussing it right a long with us. She is already a gourmet with more distinction and adventurous habits than many will be in their entire lives (at sushi over Fall break she ate octopus- quite the feat for a girl her age!)

After eating dinner, we spend the entire car ride home discussing the three foods with which we could not live without. If you are curious, they were something like: pizza, good green salads, great cheese (my sister's selection), pasta, noodle bowls (either pho or ramen) and candy lands. For desert, I whipped up some candy lands, which are essentially ice cream with all the toppings. Quite the great dinner.

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