CONFESSIONS OF A                                                                  
A San Francisco Girl's Down and Dirty Adventures in the Culinary Playground

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Party Like a Rock Star, Kick a Little Ass

Sunday was the food bloggers' picnic. Quite frankly, it was so fucking rad that I hardly knew what to do with myself. And, of course, the food was good.

Last year, at the first annual food bloggers' picnic, I knew nary a soul but Sam. This year I was on the mother fuckin' planning committee. How do you like them ta-tas?

Biggles kept all us planning folk on the same page by working his heinie off. And Owen graciously opened his home to us, which I thought was especially rocktastic considering what delinquents we are.

In addition to those sexy sluts I've already mentioned, I got to sweat (it was damn hot) with my homie, Shuna, who not only is a bitchin' pastry chef but also has the finest collection of music on her ipod that one ever did see (she had the Humpty Dance for fuck's sake).

Here are some more folks who were there:
  • Pim, who made me smile with her Paris advice accompanied by crispy rice covered in the Thai equivalent of a sloppy joe (and who should send me some Paris tips right now while she is reading this -- hint, hint)
  • Penny, another Thai sista who was sweet as could be
  • Laura, my Paris homegirl (did I mention she has GREAT hair?)
  • Garrett, and Rob, who may just have to tell Sacramento to go fuck itself so they can move down here and play with me.
  • Jen, who should also move down here. Now.
  • Cookiecrumb and crankycrumb, whom I've always loved but the picnic enabled me to force my love on them
  • Tea, who can accompany my cookies anytime
  • Amy, who is currently responsible for the fact that I ate THREE Trader Joe's chocolate caramel tartlet cookies yesterday
  • Amanda, who I now have three dates with. And, by the way, she is the shiznit.
  • Brett, my patron saint when it comes to all things Barcelona, and who made the yummiest crostini. Sadly, wife N stayed home and therefore, I missed her
  • Kim, Wendy and Davina, rad, rad and more rad
  • Sean, who I barely got to see (guess we'll have to have a winter picnic)
  • N S, who I was thrilled to finally meet, and who came to late for me to hang with him much (bastard)
  • Derrick and Melissa, with pate! And have I told them lately that I love them?
  • Alder and Ruth, and all manner of wine between them
  • Mistresses of the internet, Heidi and Elise
  • The Bunrabs, who I didn't even get to hug this year, leaving me sadly unsatisfied -- I loves me my Chubby
There are many, many more and I apologize for leaving anyone off. Conspicuously absent (for very good reasons so I may forgive them for now) were some of my dearest sweet ass bitches.

I brought a fruit salad with ginger syrup and mint. I had planned to bake but ended up occupied on Saturday so the fruit salad was my only contribution. And plates! I brought the plates. Go me.

I had such a good time that after the climax of hanging with all of these people who I love/adore/want-to-make-out-with, I had to go home and take a nap.

I could not be more proud to be a part of the community that holds all of these wonderful, funny, talented, quirky, delicious people.

Now let's start planning next year, my little chalupas!


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Back to School

Last night, I was treated by a rockstar by the incredibly fabulous Kelly & Greg, at one of my most favorite spots in the city. It also didn't suck that I had the company of a certain lovely lady, who is fabulous in her own right, and who has generously offered to hook me up when in Paris next month.

Jon was pretty pissed that he missed out on the whole evening due to a prior engagement. At least I brought him home some octopus bolognese, right?

In the afterglow of dinner, I spoke with my dearest darling (who, by the way, is leaving on vacation in two days. I'm not quite sure what I'll do without her yet...), who opined that I might just eat out more than anyone she knows. I didn't get my title for nothin', sweet tits.

In any case, part-time whoring is now going to be in effect, as I return to my teaching job TOMORROW. Where the hell did the summer go? I'm not really sure what I did all summer (although getting sidetracked by some unfortunate haps certainly occupied some of that time). I do know that having the summer off allowed me to wine and dine full time with some really fucking awesome people. Someone please tell me how I can do this forever and ever and ever.

It's not so bad, though, because I AM taking two weeks vacation right after school starts. I mean, a girl's got to have priorities and El Bulli is sure as hell one of those priorities. So is Paris. And apparently, Amsterdam.

Someone please stop me before I hurt myself.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Am A Dork

I have a spreadsheet going on up in here right now. Of what, you ask? Well, sir, this'n here spreadsheet is a restaurant spreadsheet (created on Google spreadsheets, 'natch). I'm making a list of where I want to eat on my Europe trip (which is still about a month away) and right now, the section on Paris is a little obscene. Like 87 restaurants long obscene. I'm guessing that's not going to be so possible in 4.5 days. But fuck that -- it's good to have goals.

It's so pretty, though! I have cities and restaurant names and addresses and phone numbers and neighborhoods and who recommended it and meals it serves and hours of operation and type of restaurant and metro stops and a little check for whether I have a reservation or not.

Now my question, that I pose to you all, is why the fuck don't these restaurants publish their goddamn hours? I mean, some of them I can't find anywhere. And I'm sure as hell not going to waste precious Parisian time trekking to a place that will be fermé.

As for Barcelona, my only day there will be a Sunday, where it seems, everything (especially Cal Pep) is closed. There are a few heathens around, though, I just know it, and I will trudge on and find a place that will feed me. Well.

Now if someone could lift the "no liquids" ban on the airlines, I'll be all set.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sound Bites

Friday night we celebrated our 6th anniversary at Coi. After leaving, we decided that every 3rd anniversary should be spent at home (See: previous anniversaries).

I am inclined only to write about things when I am extremely impressed or disappointed, and I felt neither at Coi. Mild disappointment might describe it best (the vote goes to underwhelmed on this one). There were things I would describe as good, but nothing (excepting their desserts) that I would call great. In any case, there will not be a full review of this meal, although I will present you with some sound bites from the evening:

ME: Alinea totally fucked us up the ass. I haven't been wow-ed by anything here so far.

JON: Yep.

ME: Dude, we are going to be so fucking screwed after El Bulli next month.

(Said after our third or fourth course, in reference to the fact that if you are claiming to bring it, then you best bring it; when you are promising alchemy, you need to deliver. And, dude, stop blaming Alice for the fact that you are trying and not succeeding at making truly innovative cuisine).


JON: Why have I been pouring all of our wine tonight?

(Note: this was the case for our water as well)


ME: Is the goat cheese very goat-y? We're not usually crazy about the chalkiness characteristics of most goat cheeses.

SERVER: Well, do you know what a quenelle is?

My inner monologue: Are you fucking kidding me? I am at your goddamn restaurant, right? And what does the shape of the item have to do with ANYTHING I asked you?


ME: Daniel Patterson should be a pastry chef.
(Said after realizing the desserts were my favorite courses all night, asking about a pastry chef and being told it was all done by DP. This, I found out later, was wrong, as their desserts are done by Jake Godby).



"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Friday, August 11, 2006

Crazy Love

CAUTION: Sap Alert!

Today I get to go the hubby's company picnic, also known as the most fucking rad event of the year. It's so bitchin', in fact, that I often mistakenly refer to it as "the carnival."

Then tonight, for dinner, I am going to Coi, where I expect to be either wow-ed or underwhelmed. The hype machine has been in full effect since this place opened, which usually means one or the other for me.

But still, pretty much the best day ever, right?

You have no idea.

Because today, my friends, is also the 6th anniversary of when I made Jon my bitch. That's right, we've got 6 years of wedded bliss (and 4 years of un-wedded bliss before that) going on up in here (and lest you think I am the Crypt Keeper, we met in college).

As you probably remember
, figuring out where to go to celebrate this most fabulous of occasions can be daunting since we are such gluttons.

In fact, figuring out how to celebrate at all proves a bit challenging because no activity ever seems quite as incredible as what it is that we are celebrating.

Now what you know about Jon is that he:
What you may not know, however, unless you are one of the lucky few who can count him as your friend, is that my husband has an incredible heart and the kindest of souls. Plus, no matter what, he can always make me laugh. He is, in short, a total fucking rockstar.

So, on this 6th anniversary of the day that I trapped him into marrying me, after a year filled with so much joy and our fair share of pain, I'd like to just say how much I love him. Because with him, those joys are in technicolor, and the pain isn't quite so unbearable.

And I'd also like to say how glad I am that he allows me to make fun of him in my blog.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Oh, and also...

My pet peeve of the day (well, every day, really) is people, especially servers, who pronounce "foie gras" as "fwah gwah." Please, for the love of God, just stop trying because you sound like a fucking idiot with that shit.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Lucky Bastard

If I've said it once, I've said it again. My husband is a lucky bastard.

Seems that Harold McGee himself has joined the dining team (albeit only one day a week) at my husband's company.

Jealous, jealous and more jealous.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld

Monday, August 07, 2006

Enchilada Mama (Pastores -- San Francisco, CA)

I am a complete and total fuckin' loser for not having written about Pastores prior to this. One would think that having found a delicious and cheap non-taqueria Mexican restaurant would send me running to the keyboard. My apologies, I always seem to get side-tracked by Mitchell's on the way.

In any case, it was about three hundred and forty-seven years ago that the lovely Amy encouraged me to go there. Actually, it was on the entire drive home from my lover's New Year's Eve party that she gushed about Irma's dope creations.

Not long after, I tried Pastores and you now cannot keep me away. I bring friends there, I send strangers there and I mow down like only a whore can when I, myself, go there.

Sweet Chef Irma Calderon is at the helm of this outer-Mission paradise. As Amy put it, it's like having your very own Mexican Mama. She cooks everything herself and throws in nice little touches like free coffee with breakfast (crappy coffee, but still, it's free!). Her homemade salsas, served with chips when you sit down, are the perfect foreplay for what is to come (so to speak).

The menu isn't huge, but it's big enough to find something you like. Once you do, you will not want to stray because you will love your choice so much. Jon almost always gets the mole enchiladas with chicken. These are not on the menu, but if you order enchiladas, Irma will offer you the mole. This is hands down, the best mole I've tasted. It's absolutely perfect, and has a depth of flavor that I find lacking in most moles.

I prefer the chilaquiles con huevos so much that I will finish my plate no matter how full my belly is. Irma's green sauce really lights my fire. Plus, any dish composed of a spicy sauce, onions, tortilla strips and eggs will get me going. Of course, we have friends who swear by the flautas. And the chorizo con huevos. So really you can't go wrong.

You get a hefty serving of beans and rice on the side with everything you order. You also get a side of warm fuzzies from Irma. AND the last time I was there, with Amy, we saw Irma was putting in a cold case for desserts. Yee-haw! AND there is beer. What more do you want?

For the life of me, I cannot understand why the fuck this place is not busy all the time. Besides the fact that it is so tasty it's sick, this shit is cheap. My chilaquiles are $6.50, Jon's enchiladas are just $7.95. I mean, come on, that's almost cheaper than Muni right there.

Please go to Pastores and give Irma and your belly some good lovin'.


"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld