Yesterday was a very fun food-centric day. Dan
came over for dinner, so a good chunk of the day was shopping and preparation.
My first priority was to get some real (i.e., not supermarket) tortillas; Dan gave me recommendations for two different Latino food stores down in Kitchener. I walked to both of them; definitely a fun experience. Good finds (besides the tortillas)included a big bag of dried chili peppers, and a jar of concentrated mole sauce (need to try that out--I love mole, but never bothered making it). I was amused by the fact that the cashier rang me up talking to me in Spanish, before asking me if I spoke the language ("Um, no I don't..."). I guess I might
be able to pass for somebody of Central or South American extraction, especially if I have a tan. Would be useful around Southwestern and Texan jobsites, especially if I learned Spanish--"Yo vato! Como estas?"
Kitchener has a large immigrant population, so there is a wide selection of restaurants downtown. I decided to try out a pho
place on the way back. This article from the East Bay Express
has recommendations for a few Bay Area pho
places, and describes the whole pho experience pretty nicely.
was very tasty, and just what was needed on a cold snowy day after a long walk. But it reminded me of one thing: it is definitely not good 'first date' food, unless you know off the bat that she is into hearing her lunch mate slurp noodles and getting accidentally splattered with broth.
Continuing my quest for odd foods, I decided to try pho with rare beef and tendon. I've often seen it on the menu, and wanted to give it a shot. Quoting the article above, "tendon is the most voluptuous, silky part of the cow -- strips of translucent collagen with little taste but the most marvelous texture."
Yeah, well, first of all, it looks like something left over from knee replacement surgery. I bit into it, expecting some exceptional and unique flavor that makes it a delicacy. Instead, it was kinda boring, and the texture was a take-it-or-leave-it affair. I think that the collagen was adequately cooked to gelatanize it, but it was not my thing.
Anyway, next time, I'll try pho with beef and tripe. Worth a shot.
On to dinner. First, Dan and Daniel are wonderful dinner company--it's nice being back with people (among other traits) that you can just throw out the phrase "Bummer of a birthmark, Hal,"
and of course
they get it. Also, they brought over a six pack of Unibroue Blanche de Chambly
. Second, it was an excuse to raise my kitchen's temperature to a nice toasty 65 F (i.e., I don't want to inflict 55 F indoors on anyone besides myself). Finally, I love cooking--red rice, black beans, sauteed zucchini, and Bobby Flay's fish taco recipe
. Turned out pretty well. I also got to try out my broiler tray in the piece-of-crap electric oven--worked ok.
We adjourned to have dessert at place just around the corner from my house--another spot I've walked by a dozen times but never went to. I ordered a cake called the 'chocolate bomb,' which quickly devolved into a discussion of "Somebody set us up the bomb," and its Wikipedia entry
--surprisingly informative (including a more accurate translation of the original Japanese).
A very fun evening. Now back to tooling.