Friday, November 01, 2019

grab bag post

The food writing world is all abuzz this week about Pete Wells' one star review of Peter Luger steakhouse in Brooklyn, which has been around since 1887. It was a moderately fun read, not that crazy. The best line was about the shrimp in the cocktail tasting like latex. I've never been to Peter Luger, at first because it was way out of my budget, and now because I only go to NYC every couple of years. It sounds like the kind of place that is right up my alley as far as being old and crotchety and having grumpy servers.

Eater Podcast had a discussion of it, and I felt very validated for my love of old places, as I wrote about in Eater (plug, plug) (which I still have not been paid for BTW). They talked about all the reasons they love Peter Luger that are not just about having the very best steak in the world.

For Halloween I watched 1 1/2 scary movies, the half was The Cell. I saw this movie when it came out and I forgot about how bonkers it is, and how repulsive as well. I have a newfound love of J Lo from Hustlers but she is so ridic in this, and it's not her fault. The director's leering gaze permeates how she is filmed. She literally has on pink lip gloss in bed alone!! Gross.

The other scary move was Insidious, from the Conjuring dude. I like all his dumb movies. And as a lady, I like Patrick Wilson.

Smiller and I saw The Lighthouse at Tower. I find it very amusing that he was getting The Nurse (directed by conjuring dude) and The Witch (actual high quality movie) mixed up and thought we were seeing a Nurse-related movie. He also did not realize that it starred Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe until the end credits rolled. Nevertheless we both enjoyed it a lot, and I'm so glad I saw it on the big screen as I 100% would have fallen asleep watching it at home. The guy working the ticket booth was very nice and told Smiller that all the Hitchcock movies have been selling out, which is cool. I'm stoked Parasite came out today and will see it soon for sure.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Best lunch dish

In an Ouroboros-like loop, I was reading an article on Chuck E. Cheese robots, which made me think about Pizza N Pipes in Sacramento, which made me start googling it, which quickly led me to this post from almost 9 years ago where I was thinking about the same thing. Alas, the "amazing photo" I linked to is no longer available. This was clearly before millenials killed the word "amazing" for me.

Speaking of amazing, check out this amazing (terrible) food photography. I am thinking about getting an iPhone 11 for the better photos, but my 8 is FINALLY paid off, so I am hesitating.

 Anyway, it ain't pretty but this is the saaj chicken shawarma wrap from Tanoor Halal (on Arden). DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS BURRITO-LIKE DISH. It is currently my #1 fave lunch dish. I had to go twice in a week.
It looks exactly like a Jimboy's burrito, no? It has a tangy pickly sauce in there with the meat and it is ADDICTIVE. Is saaj the name of the bread/wrap? The regular shawarma is served on samoon bread, which is also good, but this is the king.

I reviewed this place as one of my later SNR review, but they changed their super cute sign since then, and also eliminated the breakfast item that I raved about.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Restaurant closure

I LOVE Co Do Deli, especially their Mi Quang noodles. I consider these to be an iconic Sac dish, and the best example of this in Sac that I've had. The place is usually crowded, and a lot of folks are getting this dish.

HOWEVER, when I tried to go the other day it had been closed by the health department. Looking on line it may still be closed right now. It was inspected on 9/13 and closed, and reinspected the next day and still closed.

The culprit? Cockroaches. In April they got a conditional pass, but then cleaned up for later in April. In that case it was some minor improper temp. items.

I wonder if I can go back?? I want to but I don't know how I can not think about this.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Restaurants we've lost

It's been about six months since I posted, and, by coincidence I just watched a Mads Mikkelson movie the other day. I watched the 2006 Danish version of After the Wedding. I don't really want to see the new version with Michele Williams because it's not getting good reviews. The Danish version is pretty soapy! Lotta implausible twists.

I'm on deadline for a new writing thing that I can't share yet, but it's got me thinking about restaurants we've lost. There's a lot. I know that change is inevitable and businesses close but jeez.  I thought I would start a list just to share memories. Add yours as well! With Biba's passing (RIP) who know if it will stay open or remain as good. I know she hadn't cooked there in a while. The son wants to sell Zelda's too so I wouldn't be surprised if it got bought by some bland restaurant group
  • Ha, I use bullets (some would say overuse) so much at work. I'll use bullets on the blog too!
  • It seems like June's Cafe might be closed. I am hoping it will reopen but Mike C. keep checking by for me and it keeps still being closed. This is tragic.
  • Market Club. Had breakfast there with Natalie the day I got married (2012). Only ate there a couple of times, but it was charming.
  • Italian Importing Co. I don't think I ever ate there honestly, or maybe once? I am pretty picky about sandwiches
  • 524. This one hurts. I should make it out to the remaining one on Northgate but man the Yelps are bad! I ate there one millon times when I was a poor student
  • Pho Bac on Broadway. That was my introduction to Vietnamese food and it used to be hella good! It got hella bad. Saigon Street Eats (not good) is closed and now it's empty and slated to be demolished.
  • Luigi's: the Stockton Blvd. one was never a big fave of mine (I prefer Roma's for that kind of cheesy pizza) but now it's sold to investors. Haven't been since it was sold
  • New Canton. Used to be the best dim sum. Now my pick is Asian Pearl 2000
  • Nationwide Freezer Meats. This one hurts too. It was never the same after it moved.
  • Squeeze Inn. I only went to original one once. 
  • The Rubicon. No love lost for me on those Cisco waffle fries. I'm glad Alaro seeems to be bumpin'
  • The original Luis'. Ok, that was not that great either, but all those pictures of Luis were the best
  • Trails, then became Shoki, now burned up. Sad
  • I'm sure I will think of more!

Friday, March 15, 2019

It's a Mads world

I am 100% going to see the new Gaspar Noe movie at the Tower tonight even though it is probably trash. I loved the trash that was Love. I like Noe movies better now that they are not so violent. Tower has been on a good run lately and it's making me happy. Arctic was really good and I'm happy I caught it in the two weeks it was there. Madds Mikkelson is one of my favorite actors.

I went to see Dolls House Part 2 at B street last night. The acting was very strong but the popularity of that play escapes me.  in 2018 is was the most produced nationally. I think it could possibly because it makes people feel smart because they understand the reference to the original Doll's House? People love to feel smart (me included). Other than that, it's pretty damned slight.

The truly remarkable thing about last night is that I heard activity from six different phones during the play. Two different  phones rang, two phones received pinging texts, one near me did the full vibrating ring-to-voicemail and someone's iphone alarm went off for quite a while! Totally outrageous. I've never seen anything like it. Dave Pierini intro'd the play and he didn't tell people to turn their phones off so that probably accounts for it. In 2019 I guess you have to tell the Boomers (ok, one young girls phone went off, too) explicitly to take out their phones and turn them completely off.

Oh, the Bee. I fear you are not long for this earth. Not only do I miss deliveries probably once every couple weeks, even though it's quite expensive to get delivered, today an entire section was missing from the paper. I have been seeing frequent typos, sometimes on the front page, and recently they reran an entire food article that they had just run two week prior, as if no one would notice.

The Bee ran a piece today on local activist Berry Accius' quest to eat at a black-owned restaurant every day in Feb for Black History Month. The article had this quote,

'There were some judgment calls, too. Rob Archie owns Pangaea Bier Cafe and co-owns Urban Roots Brewery & Smokehouse, but Accius said he forgot about them because neither feels particularly “black.”

You can kind of feel the residue that it’s black-owned. You can feel it from the vibe, the music, the people, the food,” Accius said. “More than likely, if you go to a black restaurant – whether it’s Caribbean-style or African American food, which is considered soul food – there’s going to be some staples. You’re going to have mac and cheese, you’re going to have greens, you’re going to have a fried chicken, you’re going to have some kind of barbecue.'

I can't comment on that judgment call of course, but it would have been appropriate to ask Rob to comment, and also calls to mind the delicious mac and cheese and BBQ that I just had at Urban Roots the other day.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Tuesday ramblins

I have at least 12 minutes to kill so I will write a post. I am about to leave work but leaving right at 5 is a fool's errand (fool's journey?) because that is right when students all leave class so you will be stuck waiting for them to cross and they will all be on bikes and hoverboards and motorized skateboards and whatever and looking at their phones so you will be there a WHILE.

It is so dorky and good that the UCD Chancellor is having William Shatner speak on campus and also screening Wrath of Khan at the Mondavi. I would go, but it's on a Saturday (I avoid Davis on the weekends) and it's 55 bucks. But still, cute!

I don't have the steam right now for another Laos post because blogger still makes it pretty hard to upload photos. I'm going to Puebla and Mexico city in late April so I'm excited about that. I was just looking at the fancy architect-designed museum of the baroque in Puebla, which I will definitely go to. And eating mole obviously. Other than that, not too planned yet.

It's kinda cheesy that people are getting excited about the Michelin guide coming to Sac. That thing is so musty and dusty it should come with a sneeze guard (don't think about that too hard). But if chefs are excited to get a star, that's cool.

I've been seeing all the Instagram posting about Billy Ngo's ramen popup. I will wait for it to open on K street. All the ramen looks really good. I was skeptical about expensive ramen until I ate at Ramen Shop in Berkeley. If it can be that good, I'll pay close to 20 bucks for it. Hopefully that price will be hearty enough to be mostly a full meal, though. Those bowls at Ramen Shop are pretty light. But that gets into the debate on what types of dishes diners expect to be a bargain and what they will pay for.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Vientiane in November!

 I waited so long of course I'm already forgetting stuff about my trip. Vientiane has a ton of temples. That's mostly what there is to do, besides eat and go to the night market. All of it is interesting.

A variation on these dragons were outside pretty much every temple.
 This was the first thing I ate after a 27! Hour! Plane! Ride! Lot's o lemongrass. Tasted perfect with a beer Lao too.

 That same restaurant had pretty decent Lao sausage. Not as good as Spicy Joi Lao makes, or the super affordable sausage at Longchang market on Franklin.
 So many cool looking monks! I didn't want to be a jerk and always be snapping them but the colors of the robe were a feast for the eyes.
 This one is funny because if you zoom in on the plaque you see they are dissing this cement monument. It was somewhat ugly, true. You climb it to get a view of the city and the inside is packed with souvenir stores with wonderful old tshirts. It was hot AF the entire time I was there. In the 90s with killer humidity. I remember climbing to the top of this (Patuxai) monument to be particularly brutal as far as heat.
 One of my fave dishes ever! Nam Khao Tod, crispy rice with sausage. So good
 I tried to capture that these walking guy signs never ever turn green.
 A just ok version of papaya salad.

 Here's Patuxai again

Delicious noodle soup with blood cake, crispy garlic, "napa cabbage" (as I know it)

 More temple finery