Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vacation Roundup

Tracie and I went into Mezbaan one night after having a few drinks. (If you read the last post, you realize that isn't all that rare for us.) I didn't have my camera but I used my phone: we had mixed chutneys with papadums, garlic naan, onion bhaji and shrimp pakora. (And the classic Indian lager Kingfisher, which, it turns out, is made in Saratoga Springs, NY.) All of it was good... it just wasn't as good as the meal we had at All India.

Barbecue #1
Some of the most enjoyable afternoons/evenings of my life have been spent at my friend Dave's house in the San Rafael Hills, so when he invited me over for a barbecue, I didn't hesitate.

Everyone likes chips and salsa.

Bread, cheese, the chips, and cold beers were all enjoyed on the deck at the top of the property. There were grilled sausages and salmon later on, but the pictures didn't turn out as well.

Duck Sliders at King's Row
The sliders were delicious but the fries were terrible: soggy, oily, and heavily salted. Within ten minutes I was dying for water.

Mini Wontons
The bags of mini wontons that I get at Whole Foods always hit the spot when I can't decide what I want. Boiled for three minutes and then tossed in a sauce of orange peel, vinegar, and chopped fresh cilantro, they turned out great.

Three Pizzas
A broccoli, red onion and mushroom pizza at 72 North.

I've always liked Tombstone Pizza so I decided the dipping bites were worth a try. I hated them. The sauce and pepperoni were decent enough, but the thick crust was not enjoyable, the dipping bites were even worse, and the included marinara sauce was sweeter than ketchup.

My parents asked me to make pizza one night so I did, my usual roasted garlic and basil. 

Barbecue #2
My parents' Wisteria didn't look as beautiful as other years, but it was the most pleasant-smelling year yet. So I had a few friends over to sit beneath it and enjoy the sunshine.

Our beers of choice for the afternoon.

My first experience with the Shift Pale Lager was a good one.

I wrote about the Unie Kaas Parrano the other day; here is the 6-month Gouda, which is also awesome.

Everyone likes chips & salsa.

There were two bottles of Sunshine Wheat left in the fridge so I drank them before anyone else showed up... you know, so I didn't have to share them.

Years ago at the Deschutes restaurant in Portland, I had a delicious honey mustard made with Black Butte Porter. Using a couple of internet recipes as a guide, I tried to make a clone.

It was fantastic and everyone loved it, especially when I poured shots of Black Butter Porter to sample with pretzels and the mustard.

Grilled "Sierra Madre Caliente" sausage from Taylor's, citrus-jicama slaw, roasted potatoes with bacon and mustard vinaigrette...

... and grilled corn with lime and queso fresco. Everything was great, except the corn, which was just average. ("It's not summer corn yet," Tracie added, correctly.)

I slow-cooked a four-pound pork butt when I made sliders, and there was plenty left. So we made very basic enchiladas with the leftovers. Not anything that will blow your mind, but still pretty good.

Venezuelan Hot Dogs
I once, many years ago, saw a chef on Food Network make "Venezuelan hot dogs." I'd never heard of them before but they looked good, so the other day I made my attempt: Angus beef dogs with cabbage, potato chips, mustard, ketchup and mayo. They were fantastic.

Chipotle "Catering"
My brother asked me to come by his work to help out with something. He said I should come around noon because that's when they were getting lunch catered. It ended up being Chipotle. I wonder if he did that intentionally. I have a guess. At any rate, he got me a carnitas burrito with all the fillings I enjoy, and it wasn't bad at all. So after having gone more than 12 years without eating at the place, I had it twice in less than one month. Whatever.

Empress Pavilion
As always, my friends wanted to visit Empress. I've written about it enough times; you don't need a full review. (I didn't even bring my camera.)

Back to Brooklyn
I texted my Dodgers-loving friends that this was the plane I was taking. (It was not.)

I got to watch old friend Ervin Santana while on the plane. He picked up for KC right where he left off for the Angels last year - 3 HRs in 6 innings.

I got home about 9, picked up Five Guys for me and Elizabeth, and doused mine with the Habanero ketchup that Tim gave me the other day, which was outstanding. 


Anonymous said...

I love that Melinda's Habeneros Ketchup , real cane sugar makes a difference.

Michelle said...

It all looks good.

marinko said...

Drooling fest every time I visit your blog. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Looks so good (apart from the soggy fries...). What flavour potato chips did you use for the Venezuelan dogs?

Anonymous said...

great post, pp.

lazylibra said...

black butte porter mustard sounds good. maybe a black butte porter mustard based bbq sauce next time.