Posts Tagged ‘food’

Recipe theft: Cafe Madeleine’s butter lettuce salad with goat cheese

April 28th, 2015

Butter lettuce salad

Every now and then you eat something at a cafe or restaurant that’s so good, you have to reverse engineer the recipe and make it yourself. Such is the case with San Francisco mini-chain Cafe Madeleine and their excellent butter lettuce salad.

Don’t know what butter lettuce is? Sometimes it’s called butterhead, Boston lettuce or bibb. You can find it at farmer’s markets, Whole Foods, Rainbow, etc., sold with the roots still attached. It’s kind of like romaine lettuce, except it’s actually good. Fuck romaine.

Vinaigrette:

  • Two parts olive oil
  • One part red wine vinegar

Do you really need directions? Pour it in a bottle and shake it up!
 

Salad:

  • Half a head of butter lettuce, washed and stems removed
  • Small handful of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
  • Half a radish, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • A couple spoonfuls of goat cheese

Put everything in a bowl and drizzle some vinaigrette over the thing. Salt and pepper to taste. Boom, done!

La Cumbre’s new paint job boldly stakes claim to Mission-style burrito’s origin

April 20th, 2015

La Cumbre's new paint job

Recently Taqueria La Cumbre on Valencia got a fire engine red paint job. But far more bold than the color scheme is the claim painted on the building: “Birthplace of the Mission Style Burrito.”

As with any such claim, it’s a hotly contested one. As Wikipedia notes it’s not clear if Mission-style burritos were invented in San Francisco at all. Further adding to the confusion, La Cumbre’s “birthplace” claim refers to the building rather than La Cumbre because the burritos were originally sold there when a meat market occupied the space.

The truth is out there, but until someone invents a time machine we’ll never know for certain where Mission-style burritos came from. If anyone reading this happens to have a time machine and wants to research this, please give me a call — especially if it’s around lunch time.

Pica Pica applies for outdoor seating permit

July 15th, 2011

Pica Pica Permit

Everyone’s favorite Pokemon themed Venezualen eatery, Pica Pica has applied for an outdoor seating permit. By eating outside their establishment, one could combine the intoxicating smells of a delicious arepa with the intoxicating smells of intoxicating substances.

Sounds like a swell idea, although it’s not terribly clear where these tables would go. I’m assuming the only space to squeeze six tables would be along 15th, though the sidewalk there is not terribly wide.

Has Safeway gone too far?

May 29th, 2011

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While trapped at the Market St. Safeway during the rainstorm today, I made a shocking discovery: Safeway carries not one, but THREE brands of frozen chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.

Does this alarm anyone else?

Why do we need to make food shaped like extinct animals? Are there children out there somewhere who refuse to eat nuggets not shaped like dinosaurs? “No mom, I can’t eat this, it’s not shaped like a dinosaur.” Clearly, such a child needs to be loaded with ADHD medication and spanked repeatedly, not indulged in his absurd food preferences.

Sure, Safeway has four isle-long freezers, but there has to be a better way to fill them than this.

What do you think, has Safeway gone too far this time?

Coffee roasting at home

February 10th, 2011

Coffee roasting

You’re looking at me like I’m crazy, but roasting your own coffee is where it’s at.

It’s pretty damn easy and it doesn’t take much to get started. I tinkered with roasting for years using nothing but a $3 electric popcorn popper I got from Goodwill. But you don’t even need that — Blue Bottle’s James Freeman got his start roasting coffee in his oven.

I got this particular roaster because it has a catalytic converter to reduce the smoke output. I also like the humor of the word “Professional” written on the plastic housing. It’s great for home use, but professional? Please.

There’s a number of places to buy raw coffee beans. Oakland-based e-tailer Sweet Marias is the best.

Anyway, I’ve been using the Nesco roaster for almost a month now, and give it two caffeinated thumbs up.

Eat your fractals

December 31st, 2010

On Monday I was acquiring sustenance at Rainbow Grocery when I came across an edible fractal in the produce section.

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The label described it as romanesco broccoli. I immediately whipped out my iPhone and looked it up on Wikipedia. Sure enough, Wikipedia describes romanesco broccoli as having “…a visually striking example of an approximate fractal in nature.”

Yes, a fractal you can eat!

But then it gets stranger. The following day my family was in town for a visit to Golden Gate Park. For lunch we headed to Park Chow. My order came with a side of — guess what? — romanesco broccoli! I was surprised to say the least.

As for the taste, it’s got a broccoli flavor with a denser texture, a bit like cauliflower.

Fast forward to the following morning, when I was reading BoingBoing. And guess what? They illustrated their post about vegetarian diets with nothing other than a photo of romanesco broccoli.

What would Carl Jung say about all this? I wasn’t alone in my ignorance, a dozen or so friends and family I quizzed had never heard of romanesco broccoli before. Could it be the ghost of the recently deceased Benoit Mandelbrot is contacting us from beyond the grave with edible fractals?

Yellow limes

May 18th, 2010

I was just at Bi-Rite where they have what appears to be lemons for tasting. I asked the cashier why you’d want to taste a lemon.

Turns out they aren’t lemons, they’re “SWEET LIMES.” Yes that’s right, a yellow lime.

Mind = BLOWN.