Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No mo' Fish and Chips at Culina

What is going on at Culina? The deli counter is downsizing their menu. The Fish and Chips are gone. What is next The Ripper Dog?

I wonder if the owner is concentrating on catering instead of a retail counter?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Team Edward or Team Jacob

The midnight showing of Eclipse tonight is quite popular amongst teens and young adults. I noticed many cars of youngsters driving around the movie theatre. I was able to watch the play by plays while having dinner at Angela's. For you movie lovers, there were more people wearing Team Jacob shirts than Team Edward!

Thank goodness Angela's made some modifications to their menu for Summer. I started with the Grilled Eggplant. The portion was two thinly sliced pieces with cheese and a light red sauce on top. The flavors were good and it was lighter fair than the original eggplant parmesan. I also tasted the Steamed Clams in a fennel broth. The broth was great with no fishy smell or taste and the clams were cooked to perfection.

My second dish was the Duck Confit with wild rice. I've had this dish before on a few occasions. The chef knows how to make a good confit. The duck was moist and flavorful, and the wild rice and mushrooms added more texture and crunch.

Due to the weak economy, Angela's has No Corkage Mondays and 50% off Wines on Tuesdays. The Happy Hour Bar menu has great food selections for reasonable prices. Whether one sits at the bar area or at the dining room, there are food options for everyone.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tired of Hearing Food Buzz Words...

I am tired of hearing the food buzz words of "organic" and "foodie". Both of these terms are overused and abused to some sense where there is no longer a standard of quality, freshness or reliability.

Just in the past week, I attended a few meetings for work and listened to people claim that they were "foodies". I should have inquired on what the term meant to them to get a better understanding of their comment.

For me personally, the word "foodie" implies great food, regardless of meat or vegetarian, with fresh ingredients, and at times a dish that is unique, bizarre or simple. The term can also imply an ingredient that is scarce or seasonal. Dollar amounts do not necessarily imply a "foodie" is someone who spends a lot of money on food; it is someone who appreciates the preparation, flavor profiles and enjoys the value and entertainment of food.

Even worse, the term "organic" has been pushed around for such a long time. Everywhere you turn, the word is loosely used in everyday items. It now seems that everything is organic, which may or may not be accurate. It is my belief that companies market their products as organic as a tool to get buyers to purchase their goods. That is why USDA certified organic farmers will inform you that they are USDA certified to eliminate confused consumers.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Want My Tacos Old School

A long time ago, I had tacos at Ramiro and Sons on Alameda Avenue. For some reason, I could not remember if I enjoyed the food, which is probably not a good thing since the incident was not memorable. I then decided to go back to Ramiro and Sons and taste their food once again.

I looked at the menu board and was slightly surprised at the cost of the taco prices. A Regular taco was $3.00 and a Supreme taco was $4.50. My first question was, why are the prices so high? The answer was that their tacos included rice and beans for the Regular, and sour cream and guacamole along with the rice and beans for the Supreme. Another surprise not on the menu ... Fish tacos.

Both the Regular and Supreme tacos had two corn tortillas, one steamed and one deep-fried for the crunch. It is a creative idea and does give each bite a crunch and prevents the wet ingredients from making the tortillas soggy. The Regular taco I ordered was Chile Verde and requested no rice in the taco. The taco was over loaded with shredded pork that was moist and flavorful. The crunch of the crispy tortilla added a great texture in my mouth. The other taco was the Carne Supreme taco with everything. This taco was huge! The taco had two scoops of sour cream and guacamole on top. The rice, beans, sour cream and guacamole drowned out the taste of the beef. The beef taco was bland due to the over abundance of ingredients. I was disappointed by this taco.

These tacos were small scaled burritos with all of the ingredients. I rather prefer tacos to be simple and flavorful without the fluff. I want to be able to taste each ingredient and not be bothered by bland volume.

The next time I return, I will taste their burritos.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Julie's Cafe

On warm, sunny days, a great place to spend time outdoors is Julie's Cafe on Park Street. They have a wonderful outdoor garden and patio in the back and cafe seating in the front of the building. This place is quiet, relaxing and comfortable. Another good reason to go is that they serve decent food (sandwiches, pizza, eggs, and desserts) and a wide selection of teas and coffees.

I ate two slices of mushroom and roasted garlic pizza. The pizza was fresh, good tasting and thin crust. The pizza was slightly soft in the middle because the crust was moist and not crunchy. I also believe the pizza was warmed in a microwave and not a toaster oven.

I would definitely come back for a sandwich or desserts and kick back in the garden.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Philly Cheesesteak at Burgermeister

Once in a while I get a craving for a Philly Cheese steak Sandwich. At the same time of my craving, there was an important hockey game was on the television and could not miss it. I knew my choices were limited for a cheese steak sandwich and TV access. I ended up at The Burgermeister.

I've had a cheese steak sandwich at The Burgermeister before and it was good. This time, the sandwich was a disaster. The sandwich was greasy, not much flavor of the meat, the bread was wet and coming apart, and unfortunately the french fries were cold. How much worse could it be! The saving grace of the meal was that the team that I was cheering for, won the game.

From now on, I will only order burgers at The Burgermeister and not order cheese steak sandwiches.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Santoro's is Finally Open

After several months of waiting for Santoro's Italian Deli to open, it is finally in operation. The store is a great welcome to the neighborhood that is use to cigarette and corner joints. The store uplifts and improves community spirit because the store draws more interest of the general public.

The owner makes fresh meatballs and cannolis. They make sandwiches to order on fresh Semifreddi's bread. The store also sells dry pasta, Italian red sauces, deli meats, fresh olives and a variety of desserts.

The store's interiors are clean, wide open spaces and the space is fresh and new. The residential area of the west side of Alameda is in dire need of a friendly and neighborhood hangout.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Grand Opening - Fruits & Chocolates

Fruits & Chocolates is finally open in the mall. They were giving out free samples of fruit with chocolate drizzle on top. The samples were not chocolate dipped.

At least there is another dessert option in Alameda. I was getting tired of yogurt and ice-cream.