Whether you enjoy a rich mole poblano alongside a zesty mezcal cocktail or a fresh shrimp ceviche with a refreshing chavela, there is a broad and vibrant flavor spectrum in Mexican cuisine. This Bay Area Bites guide highlights ten South Bay restaurants worth visiting for their South of the border specialties.
Archive for June, 2010
But don’t eat fava beans because they’re historical; eat them because they have a lovely verdant sweetness that is perfect when cooked in olive oil. Or eat them because they are rich in vitamins and minerals. Some researchers think they may even be used as a natural alternative to Viagra. They’re not sounding so bad now, are they?
For the longest time, I never really knew what to think of cherry tomatoes. Or what to do with them. Though I might have regarded them as more interesting and Barbie-sized than the usual, boring (and most often flavorless) Beefsteak tomatoes I’d normally encountered, I left them where I felt they rightly belonged– at the Sizzler salad bar, carelessly splashed by a variety of commercial salad dressings.
The vendors and their loyal customers will have one major concern for sure — that the efforts required to Whole Foods-ify the products will strip away flavor and authenticity. Crafted on a larger scale, sold from case, not cart, might some of the City’s better-known traveling eateries end up, in Whole Foods’ hands, becoming the edible equivalent of elevator music — familiar, well-loved melodies with their songs’ souls sucked out?
While a good rosé is worth drinking any day of the year, there’s no denying that their strawberry hues and Jolly Rancher bouquets are best enhanced by long, sunshiny afternoons that postpone the twilight until deep in the evening. Sparkling or still, French or domestic, rose is summer’s prettiest and most versatile drink.
He sat next to her on a long bench. He complimented her outfit, saying something to the tune of “I really like your skirt. It’s so… Third World.” When this failed to win her over, he stepped things up by making a comment about the food on her plate:
“Ahhh, keen-waaaah,” he said with deliberate flair. “That’s an ancient grain, you know.”
Frankly, if any man said this to me, I would have been automatically intrigued. Was he kidding? Was his field of study ancient grains? Was he really that interested in my diet?
My adventure began with a bumper crop of sweet red raspberries in my backyard. The little thornless raspberry plant I purchased four years ago has turned into 15 feet of lush vines laden with berries. There were too many to just eat out of hand (although trust me, we did try). So, with literally a bucket or more of ripe raspberries about to go bad, I decided to try my hand at making raspberry jam. Little did I know my jam adventure would take two days, two recipes, and two trips to the store.
There’s nothing like leaving a place to make you want to make sure you know it before you go. For some people, that means tearing through favorite shops, haunting beloved beaches, and catching up with old friends. For me, that means eating. To that end, I’ve made a list of a few things I need to eat between now and September, dishes I associate with the eight years I’ve spent here.
Ryan is the butcher/chef/teacher and front man of the 4505 venture, and his wife Cesalee does much of the administrative and logistical work. The two also have an eight month old son, named Tanner, who may soon try Fatted Calf liverwurst (more on that later). Cesalee & Ryan Farr answered Bay Area Bites questions via email and phone interview.
I used to think chili was a mishmash of ground meat, powdered spices, and chopped bell peppers. This is, after all, how everyone made it when I was growing up. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized chili is really a stew. Historically, it’s more like Beef Bourguignon than a sloppy joe in that it’s made of chunks of meat, vegetables, and a simmering liquid. Sure, the vegetables are chilies, but the core starting point — slowly braised hunks of meat — are what make chile and other stews not only similar, but appealing in the first place.
So how do you make a great pot of meat chili? Let’s break the process down into easy categories.
By calling their enterprise a “general store” though, founders Christopher Lee and Samin Nosrit (well-known East Bay chefs I first encountered reading through Novella Carpenter’s Farm City) are actively trying to evoke the sort of life-sustaining community-generating apparatus that came to my mind the moment I saw Ness’s headline — while selling boudin blanc for $14 a pound. While such a project might draw attention to certain sections of the community — producers, chefs, growers — and bring together others — hungry food writers, people with money — the vibe — however delicious — doesn’t quite jive with the handle.