Well heeey there, it's Friday. Haven't done a ridiculous/embarassing round-up in awhile, so here goes. I'm gonna arbitrarily start this round-up from last Saturday. IDK, this month has been insane with parties/openings/panels/whatever so I have no real sense of the day of the week/life/anything. Slash, slash, slash.
Mushroom pho rolls and fried daikon cakes from Rice Paper Scissors (Eat Real Festival)
I lasted about an hour at the annual Eat Real Festival last weekend. The event stretches over three days and is basically an excuse to day drink and get sunburned while watching professional cooks break down animals and/or make pickles on stage. It's all pretty fucking absurd but there's some decent food to be had. I also got free drinks because I am special. (On that note, I was sad I didn't make it in time to have some Crooked City Cider, which I think is some of the best new Oakland-made alcohol around.) Anyway, I had some strange but not terrible mushroom-tofu-rice noodle wrap things (mushroom pho rolls) from SF-based Rice Paper Scissors that I wanted to to drench in extra fish sauce and lime juice but couldn't because my hands were occupied with my free beer. Also I ate some of their far more interesting daikon cakes, studded with dried shrimp and served with some kinda stir-fried green. These were perfect drinking snacks — hot, creamy, funky. More please.
Wood oven kale sprouts, Brussels sprouts, pizza, focaccia, chicken, sourdough, peach cobbler, and probably more things in Pac Heights. Almanac beer, Matthiasson wine, homebrew for drinking
I went to a fancy-ass neighborhood for Kenji's book release party on Sunday and ate a lot more food and drank a lot more alcohol than I can remember. Highlights: kale sprouts with some kind of funky, spicy, Thai-ish sauce; Kenji pizza with squash and honey and smoked mozzerella; my cuppa cuppa sticka peach cobbler, obviously;* fucking delicious Golden Gate Gose from Almanac; and a rose wine from Matthiasson that I can't remember the actual name of. Also the party was fun.
Shrimp, asada, and carnitas tacos from Tacos Sinaloa in Berkeley
The East Oakland-based taco truck company just opened its first brick-and-mortar spot in Berkeley, which I found a little confusing but also exciting. It's right in the middle of all of the bullshit college food crap (Fat Slice, Pappy's, Chipotle, etc), so let's just say a little thank you to the taco gods for giving those of us who work in downtown Berkeley a new place for lunch that doesn't suck. I liked the carnitas a lot; they smash the braised pork into a pancake, which gives the final taco a high ratio of crisp bits to tender, juicy bites.** The asada taco was fine. The meat was a little dry, but serviceable. Skip the shrimp taco, though. It was rubbery and overcooked. Next time I'm planning on trying all of the offal tacos. Also probably the carnitas again.
Nonsense yum yum noodles, home
Here's what happens when I come home late from the yoga studio and haven't eaten since like 11:30: rice noodles, leftover miso-kale-carrot stuff, sauerkraut, a lot of shallots and garlic, chile-soybean paste, sesame oil. It was delicious, so back the fuck off Asian food police. I made up that dumb name explicitly for Instragram.
Sous vide squash casserole, home
IDK this was pretty weird but I thought it mostly worked out well. It's full of butter and topped with Kettle chips and the custard part is perfectly cooked. Thank you 176-degree water bath.
More weird noodles: whole wheat pasta + pumpkin puree + peas + onion + garlic + lots of chile flakes. 21st Amendment session IPA for drinking
Another curious post-yoga meal. The pumpkin was leftover from another sous vide project*** and worked surprisingly well as a pasta sauce base. I fed some of this to a date later that evening and he liked it so I guess I'm not crazy. Also, I had leftovers cold the next day topped with blue cheese. Tasty.
Swiss chard empanada and Fancy Pants Pale Ale, Woods Brewery. Lots of snacks and Lagunitas IPA, Josephine @ Oakstop
I'm at Woods now almost as much as Missouri Lounge. Not sure what that says about my priorities. I skipped the ginger pale ale this time for the less-boozy fancy pants pale, which is mostly just an extra floral pale ale. Pretty good. The empanadas they sell as $5 bar snacks there are enjoyable; the crust is crazy-buttery and salty, which works well with beer, obvi. I have historically preferred the mushroom and ham and cheese to the swiss chard filling, but wanted to be "healthy" or something on this visit. This was all a pre-event snack before going to a film screening/panel discussion at Oakstop with Josephine. Had some nibbles and more beer there while I watched a group of local food justice activists basically tell white people like Dan Barber to fuck off. It was great.
This weekend, I plan on eating a lot of pork products. Headed up north to visit a new pig-chicken-etc farm that's being run by a family friend WHO IS 23. More on this to come, probably.
This has nothing to do with food, but I enjoyed this piece on writing by omission (clearly not doing that here) by John McFee.
Not too much to read here, by one of my Berkeleyside freelancers took some gorgeous photos of Sho Kamio making a cured trout dish at Iyasare. I love Iyasare, btw. Who wants to buy me a meal there?
Kenji's book is pretty fucking epic. He's been putting excerpts on Serious Eats, and this one is an important, informative, and clear explanation of heat vs. temperature.
I fucking love Anna Roth's new cheap eats column at the Chronicle. This piece on Geneva Steak should be required reading for anyone who thinks Valencia Street and mid-Market are the only places to eat.
Judith Jones is a badass. Thank you, Eater.
*The recipe is included in Food52's Baking book, which means you should probably buy it. Yes, you can also get the recipe online. But, like, support real books! Please!
**Sinaloa still does not best my favorite carnitas, from Tacos El Autlense in Albany. El Autlense has the advantage of frying its tortillas in a shit-ton of meat grease and also its proximity to the Hotsy Totsy (it's in the parking lot). Also their carnitas themselves are fucking delicious and anyone who says otherwise is just plain wrong.
***Yes, I made sous vide pumpkin bread. Sue me.