Thursday, February 14, 2008

vinh phat

Sorry to draw out this topic but...
I do think Midtown Monthly is rad, of course, and I want them to do well, but I also like other local publications, such as the news and review, which I think is apples and oranges to MM but is an invaluable resource for our area, which I read every week and frequently spend time discussing and analyzing, and Edible Sacramento is fun to pick up, and Alive and Kicking is an institution (and the Knock Knock cover interview is great!). I find the Bee to be very, very disappointing on many levels, Sacramento magazine is a joke, which everybody knows, and I think Sactown mag could do a lot better and it represents a whole attitude about Sac which I despise and yes, find very threatening to my way of life. There's the round up. It's funny to think that me taking taking the piss at (did I use that right?) Sactown could affect their ad revenue in any way. I never slant my pieces in any way to get ad revenue, and have never received the slightest pressure to do so.

BUT, I was thinking about Sactown's food coverage and thinking that I guess it's not really the place of a glossy monthly to do real food criticism. They have write-ups more than reviews. That's really the place of the news and review and more importantly, the Bee, which completely drops the ball on that. I didn't even read the writeup that Sactown had on Tuli Bistro, cuz the sunday morning, sweats clad jamband "Lovepile" was driving me out of Old Soul.

Man, Vinh Phat is a kerazy market. Yesterday I perused it and am making my first foray into the pre-seasoned frozen fake meat territory. I bought fake bbq pork and fake beef pepper steak. They also have beautiful bunches of pea shoots for cheap, which I sauteed with tofu, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil last night. Is this a seasonal type of produce or have you guys seen these year round? They're delicious, albeit a big fibrous. I skip the metamucil today.

Anyway, tonight-Lost!
Tomorrow-Knock Knock, English Singles, San Kazagascar show!

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pea tendrils! Maybe you can get "morning glory" there too, try it! We get pea tendril almost year round here, but it's a lot better in spring, along with the vast number of "choi" things that are flowery and that you never see after spring.

Are you trimming/cooking your tendrils enough? They usually just melt in the mouth without much chewing.

If fairys existed, pea tendrils and morning glory would be their preferred vegetables.

EC

beckler said...

i didn't trim them at all, i just threw them in the pan. i need to take more care next time. what does morning glory look like?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really look like our morning glory tendrils, but kinda. Smaller leaves. Dark green. The way we eat them in thai town places, they are sauted with garlic and oil and actually disolve in the mouth. In a good way. Fairy food!

I don't think I've ever seen them cooked with anything else. Always served alone in my limited experience. I bet it's cause they cook very very fast.

Come to the evil empire and we'll go eat so much food we'll die!

Ella

Anonymous said...

do you know when english singles are going to play? like, before knock knock?

anna

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure A&K cover stars Knock Knock are headlining this show. I don't know when we're playing. The flier makes it look like we might be playing second.

-miller

Anonymous said...

Vinh Phat is the best.

I'd highly recommend trying their vegan fish fillets. They are dark in color and shaped roughly like a small fish body. They come in clear packaging, so you can see the "meat." I took a cue from Josh Ploeg and made a couple of curries with them that were excellent.
~ Dani

beckler said...

the variety at vinh phat is truly amazing. their was this canned (in jars) fish sauce area that was blowing my mind. whole pink shrimps canned with all kinds of stuff, like bamboo shoots, pickles hot stuff, etc. the craziest was the fish sauce that looked like gray sludge. i can't even imagine how pungent that stuff must be. the whole store is pretty pungent. i got some pickled mangos from the phillipines that looked really pretty but tasted absolutely disgusting. they coated my mouth with a disgusting artificial tang and went straight in the garbage. all the exotic snacks i bought have been duds so far.

Anonymous said...

Where is this place Vinh Phat?

beckler said...

on stockton, where 86% of the goodness of sac resides.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the disappointing Bee, have you seen this latest boner?

http://www.sacbee.com/breton/story/708640.html

Is it really not bad enough to have to see his squirrelly face plastered on every news rack?

Anonymous said...

re breton:
They are under-30 urban sophisticates," Blewett said.

"They personify what downtown should be."

what is this, logan's run? after you are thirty you get expelled from the hipster sophisticate zone? urban sophisticates? possibly the most annoying term of the year.

and who can forget the big hearted genersity of our developers. always putting others before themselves. -ed c

Anonymous said...

The fake meat "chicken-ham" is really good. But some of that stuff I'm even kind of scared of because the cooking directions can be really vague. I bought some veggie steaks once that listed a scant "general cooking" under the serving suggestions. But it's fake meat, how hard can it be?

Oh, I think you want to take the piss out of something when you use that phrase.

Niki

beckler said...

omg, that article is the WORST!

Anonymous said...

I hate to interrupt this discussion with real creative class bizness, but could you blog about the Halloween party? You know, March 8th, my pad, the theme is smooth seventies. I think we have the Grateful Dead and America and The Carpenters, but obviously if one is creative enough to form their own smooth seventies band, then right on. Toto may be taken as well.

Oh, there is a strict dress to impress policy for under 30 sophisticates, but everyone else can just come as they are. I suggest everyone dust off those Seals and Crofts records and get to practicing.

gbomb

Basement Farewell tour 2008!

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise. Breton is the worst, therefore, his articles will always be the worst. douche douche douchebag.

But let's not paint parlare with the same brush-- it's pretty neat there, and the Capitol folks love it. It's not their fault that breton likes it....

Anonymous said...

Is everyone attending the Halloween show supposed to dress up in smooth seventies outfits? Please? Guph? High waisted jeans? silk shortie kimonos as shirts on dudes? Gosh I hope so.

Ella

Anonymous said...

Is someone bringing a yacht? I can help get it down there.

-miller

beckler said...

I'll bring the vitamin B shots.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet we can get the armeniac to wear a shorty kimono, but I honestly don't recall that look.

g

Anonymous said...

i'm bringing the yahtzee-ed

beckler said...

you don't recall that because you were way too 'luded up to remember anything.

Anonymous said...

Ludes were groovy. I can't believe I smoked the whole lid, man!

G

beckler said...

I remember hearing my parents talk about lids. What the hell is that? Also, they gave each other b12 shots.

Anonymous said...

OLD EyE order:
KnockKnock (headlining)
Deimos
English Singles
San Kazakgascar

-Jed

beckler said...

deimos what?

Anonymous said...

from what i remember of my childhood drug education (thanks mom and dad!)a lid was appx. 4 fingers deep of a baggie, or sometimes half a coffee can. that may or may not be entirely accurate, but i think it was in that neighborhood.whatever it was, it was a lot of smoke, bro!! -ed

josh said...

morning glory looks like little green tubes. at least on the plate in thailand, it does. and it's great. especially cooked in oyster/mushroom sauce.

my mom was visiting bangkok the other day and we went to a cooking class, which is the kind of touristy shit you do with your mom. but it was great. i was totally impressed with the whole setup at the Blue ELephant, and learned a lot of new things:

1. curry is essentially a meaningless term used by the english speaking world. in thailand curry is a bunch of fresh spices pounded with a mortar and pestle, sauteed, and then diluted with stock or coconut milk.

2. that mysterious flavor in thai food that you can never quite put your finger on is galangal, a pungent tuber that looks like ginger but tastes nothing like ginger.

3. thai cooks don't mess with onions, only shallots.

4. you can eat lemongrass if you slice it very thinly.

5. thai cooks don't use salt, but fish sauce. and palm sugar. and shrimp paste.

6. dude, who knew there's another coriander plant, "sawtooth coriander", that tastes a little like a more bitter cilantro?

http://www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/sawtooth-coriander.html

one dish we made contained count 'em three products of the coriander plant: cilantro leaves, coriander root, and toasted coriander seeds.

Anonymous said...

Can I add Linda Ronstadt to that Halloween show line up?

Brew

Anonymous said...

You're wrong about that--glossy mags can do good food criticism. Jonathan Gold (Pulitzer winner) used to write for Los Angeles Magazine. Sactown is horrible but it isn't the genre that determines that.

Charles said...

Christine and Charles call Toto.

Charles "Guffy says Black Flag isn't smooth enough" Albright

Anonymous said...

Shorty Kimono- think about Lindsay Buckingham. He totally rocked the shorty kimono as a shirt, with lots of chest hair and a white guy perm. Jeans optional. ooh la la.


Ella

Anonymous said...

a. Ronstadt is cool.
b. I want to emphasize that I didn't make the "Black Flag isn't smooth" decision lightly. I listened to hours of tape and read at least a dozen interviews and in the end I just had to call it. Black Flag is not smooth.


g

Anonymous said...

Pea sprout, pea shoot, pea tendril, pea pod leaf, are used interchangeably in a lot of Chinese restaurants.

Pea sprouts I've gotten at vinh phat; a lot of people call them pea shoot: http://www.marketco.com.au/upimages/100.jpg

Pea shoot/pea(pod) leaf/pea tendril are different parts of the same structure, which I used to get in Chinatown in New York all the time. The stems and tendrils can be tough, but they're great:
http://www.agrohaitai.com/images/bean&pea/snowpea/doumiao1x2.jpg

Water spinach/morning glory are two names for the same thing, which I've never cooked, but is delicious and tastes like a more tender pea shoot:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ipomoea_aquatica.jpg

Ben