Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Archive for August, 2009
The trick, I realized, was to pick one long line–like the one for Seoul Food’s Korean tacos– and then send your friends out on recon missions to the shorter lines, so you’d have something to eat while you waited in line for something to eat.
Where the recent SF Street Food Festival skipped actual street food for slimmed-down restaurant eats, Eat Real did keep it real, with taco trucks, soul food ribs and the Sexy Soup Lady in a pink apron straddling her three-wheeled soup cart. And the prices were right, too, with nothing over $5.
I decided to make ketchup. Why I chose ketchup is rather hard to say. I may have thought a lot about it, but I never said that my thinking wasn’t fundamentally flawed.
While discussing the possibility of making this condiment that the Reagan administration legally defined as a vegetable with my friend Jay, I was wondering aloud about how it was made. “Well, Mikey, ketchup doesn’t just happen, you know,” implying that somebody has to make it. Well, sometimes it does just happen. I decided to become that somebody who happens to make ketchup.
You know how that lovely yellow curry served up at your favorite hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant turns your napkin, the tips of your fingers, even your plate completely yellow? Congratulations, you have had a swift, yet definitive introduction to turmeric.
Turmeric has been turning everything yellow for eons. Originally it was not used as a spice for cooking, but as a dye, primarily for coloring holy robes.
Like Hollywood actors, some chefs will claim that they don’t pay attention to the critics. The reality, of course, is that they do.
A good review, in a prominent publication or media outlet, can help launch an upstart restaurant or attract new customers to an old one. A bad one can sink the newcomer or spell trouble for a venerated establishment.
For five years now, Manivanh, a smallish place on 24th Street near Hampshire, has been one of my very favorite neighborhood restaurants in town. It’s a completely unremarkable-looking Thai joint unceremoniously dumped at the grimiest edge of the Mission District, out of step with the strip’s bevy of taquerias, hair salons, and, more recently, art galleries and hipster donut stands.
Imagine Julia Child in her 80s, all six-feet two inches of her, standing in line to get tamales outside a dilapidated white shack with teal trim in Santa Barbara. If you think of Julia Child as the grand dame of culinary sophistication in the United States, this may seem hard to imagine. But if you think of Ms. Child as a true foodie, ready to seek out and experience cooking in its essence in the most unlikely of places, this image makes perfect sense.
A terrible song has been going through my head for the past few days. I have absolutely no idea how it got there. I have some theories, but nothing concrete. I’ve been humming it at work and singing it in the shower, but it won’t go away.
So I thought the best way to get rid of it would be to share it with everyone I know.
It’s called “The Tapioca,” from the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing.
Forum takes to the streets to find out what mobile food vendors are dishing up in the Bay Area. From creme brulee carts and escargot on a stick to taco stands and tamales, street food is becoming more and more popular. Forum previews upcoming street food festivals in San Francisco and Oakland, and welcome listeners’ “pavement cuisine” picks.
Spinach, alfalfa sprouts, peanut butter, beef…almost weekly, FDA and USDA alerts fill my inbox with notices about food recalls due to Salmonella or E. Coli. How does our food supply get contaminated? And what safeguards exist to ensure that the foods we eat are produced in safe and sanitary conditions? In response to concerns about the food supply, President Obama called for tougher food safety measures, and in May of this year launched a Food Safety Working Group to update the system of food safety in America.