Monday, April 20, 2009


My favorite box is from Ichiban. Since I love the eel I always get whatever box has eel, and I'm not fond of sashimi, so I try to avoid boxes with that.

Where is your favorite box made?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mr. Pio Pio

Mr. Pio Pio on Quail Street is a happy discovery with not only deliciously marinated and grilled meats, but Spanish tv and Spanish speaking fellow customers, so you can practice your Spanish (or feel right at home if you speak it). It's between Western Ave. and Washington Ave. near State - close to the Last Vestige record shop.

Besides an interesting selection of sodas, there are several fruit juices. I enjoy the mango.

Ok, it's true, I forgot to take a photo when the food arrived. So here's at least a photo with most of the foods involved in "Bandeja Tipica" still on the plate: steak, crackling, avacado, egg, sweet plaintain. Very generous portions of beans and rice arrive with most entrees - the rice is exactly my favorite kind of rice, long grain, sticky and somewhat al dente and the most wonderful complement to the savory beans.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Free form BBQ

Lately I've been considering prepared bbq sauce as a starter point, so recently I used Annie's and had some very good times.

I'm fond of very complex bbq, so over the weekend I braised a small chicken, flavored with a lime cut in half inside, a little red wine and garlic, plus thyme, basil, fresh ginger and bay leaf, and then shredded it.

For the sauce I began with the basic Annie's Natural, plus a wonderful sweet chili sauce that I found in Lee's grocery. I thought a little bit of sesame oil might add a certain something, so I put in a few drops. Finally I added a half teaspoon of chili garlic sauce for some high-note type zing. I simmered everything together until the sauce was sufficiently infused.

Spicy, tender and juicy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tacos at El Mariachi

In order to resist going straight to the pollo San Marco (chicken simmered in sour cream, poblano peppers, onion and mushroom - the proverbial little bit of heaven on a plate), I decided to try something I had never tasted before last night. So I tried the carne asada and carne enchilada (marinated port) tacos. The plate comes with a salad, so I ordered lots of sides. The beans and rice were seasoned in just the way a like them and both were the perfect texture. It was a fabulous dinner! The double tortilla wrap was not only the exact texture I like them, but the double layer kept everything perfectly together until the last bite. And plenty big, with the side of sour cream and guacamole to smear over everything at whim.

I took home four little boxes and the salsa verde remnants so I can make juevos rancheros today.

Lorre Bob size El Mariachi was in peak form - check 'em out.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bagel with smoked salmon

In the middle of building the second bagel half, I've started with the cream cheese so that the capers and onions will stick to it. That way they won't be slipping, slipping, slipping on the lettuce and tomato.

The wonderful fish and saltiness mixed with the pumpernickel almost sweetness makes it mondo tasty.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Albaraki mezza

Albaraki is a teensy place, just down from the corner of Lark and Washington (185 1/2 Lark), and also in downtown Troy. I have been completely seduced by the batata with garlic sauce. But Tuesday when I was looking for something nice and not fried I decided upon the mezza platter, small size.

One stuffed grape leaf, olive, hummus, babaganouj and tabouleh comprise this beautiful mezza. The lemony flavors and the perfect roasted flavor of the babaganouj provide a good deal of enjoyment, plus the chewey bread and different textures. I decided to spread out the flat bread on a plate and put the treats on top of it, thinking I could tear off pieces and dip them and then munch the last of the bread with all the good juices and bits rolled up inside.

Bella! Bella! Bellissimo!! Lorre-Bob sez check it out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Daily Grind desserts

I confess to being a regular at the Daily Grind cafe with no shame. They have great food and coffee (I'm enjoying a cup as I write). Last night I had desserts with a pal from the hood.

"Companion" had the pecan pie and claims it is thoroughly delicious.

I'd never sampled their tiramisu, so I gave it a try and found it to be both creamy with the right amount of coffee and cocoa.