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.
Tag: michael procopio
When I spent time in Morocco a couple of years ago, I found harira on nearly every menu. Traditionally, it is the food that breaks the month-long, daylight fasting of Ramadan, but I was told by more than one old geezer that it was also referred to as “Smoker’s Soup” because it helped purify the […]
San Francisco restaurants are suffering from what Michael Bauer at The San Francisco Chronicle called “another 1-2-3 punch to their already slim wallets.” The first hit: a minimum wage increase to $9.36 per hour. The second: a sick leave law which states that employees receive one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours […]
Why is this fish sweating? He isn’t. Fish can’t sweat. They don’t have sweat glands. But he does look rather distressed. Why does he look distressed? Because he was painted that way. He’s not real. If he did have the slightest understanding of human food ways, Fridays would be met with a great deal of […]
At some point in his motivational speaking career, Dale Carnegie uttered the famous, if misguided words: “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” The fault is not so much in the sentiment– making lemonade out of lemons is, naturally, a rather positive, productive activity. What bothers me is the underlying belief that there is […]
Typically, when I heard the phrase “Cordon Bleu”, I used to think in purely French terms. Mustachioed men in perfect white chef coats tasting expensive-looking dishes with silver spoons pulled from little pockets in their sleeves. Or I’d think of the literal translation, which is, of course, “blue ribbon”, which I might mentally attach to […]
The title says it all. There is a world of joy in Jell-O-making. I picked up this treasure written in 1963 at a garage sale years ago. I had always meant to prepare the recipes from it but, invariably, I’d just dust it off every once in a while to giggle over the saturated color […]
Always searching for a happy, late-night snack, I recently turned my attention to Welsh Rarebit, primarily because I’d never had it before. I’m not Welsh. I’d heard tell of rarebit, garnering sufficient information to know that rabbit meat was not involved, yet not enough to understand that this was not some vegetarian variation on S. […]
For years, I’ve driven by Russia House– it’s large, red letters and neon-framed windows staring me down every time I head south on highway 101. I’ve wanted to go there for a long time, but just never got around to it. This week, I finally stared back. Very little information could be gleaned from a […]
After a pre-shift service meeting at work the other night, a colleague of mine turned to me and said, “You know, when I go out, I don’t even expect good service anymore.” I found myself identifying with him. The following evening he came up to me with a revision– “Actually, I’ve come to expect bad […]
Are you as tired of 2008 as I am? The stock market is tanking as miserably as the housing market, winter storms have left us without power for days (and, in one case I know, without a roof), and I just might scream if I listen to any more caucus coverage. The general mood is […]
Last week, my friend Lyle invited me down to the Peninsula to have a big fondue dinner with him and our friend Jack at The Melting Pot. Why? What else can one do when one’s girlfriend is out of town except eat an enormous meal of melted cheese, bread, and hot oil-cooked meat? I took […]
This is a recipe taken (but is not exactly duplicated) from a cookbook I worked on several years ago called New England by Molly Stevens, which was part of a series called New American Cooking by the folks at Williams-Sonoma. I was the food styling assistant on this book and was initially disappointed that we didn’t photograph this recipe. Given the rather monochromatic nature of this dish, I now understand the wisdom of that decision. What this dish lacks in color, it definitely makes up for in flavor. It’s seriously good.