Food has always been a passion of mine. Please join me as I hit spots around the world in search of great meals.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Back to the kitchen

It has been some time since I have taken the time to cook. Some of it had to do with the fact that I just didn’t have time…or for that matter make time. Yet, John “The General” Lee has been pushing me a bit to get back in there. Although he may not know this, his little nudges have helped me. For instance, when at Evelin’s x-mas tree decorating party I was in the kitchen with Marissa. It was fun and cooking with Marissa and being under the gun was an adrenaline rush. On a side note, Marissa reminds me of the redhead in Desperate Housewives. The General went on to mention that we have to throw a dinner party soon where we both cook.

In any case, The Generals’ always looking for Mexican places and even goes to this church on 14th St. to eat. It might sound odd, but I have been and the food is really good!! In any case, I have wanted to get back into the kitchen because there is a place for the common homemade meal here in NYC. So I went and bought some starter things to get some pasta with sauce going. I know, I know, not a hard meal to make, but it’s a start and I’m at that point now where I’m trying to master my sauce. So that was the first meal back and I have my week planned out already. By the way, my sauce missed this time but it was damn close to where I wanted it to be.

1. Hit the farmers market this weekend to pick up some fresh produce. Not sure what I’m going to get but I see these huge lines for fresh eggs so I will probably hit that.
2. Gather up some chiles to make salsa with. I will probably try to perfect one salsa and try a new one. The one salsa that my mother taught me to make (who she learned from her mother and she learned from my great grandmother) tends to vary too much so I’m going to try and perfect it. Side note, both of my grandma and great-grandma are still alive. Second chile will be green with onion, parsley and avocado…will see how that one turns out.
3. I’m also going to play with some diff. sauces for my enchiladas. I’m tired of the old sauces I make so I have some new one’s that my folks passed me and I hope that those work out well.

O.K. I will keep you all posted on how things are coming along. I cleaned the kitchen and moved some things around in hopes that it would help me get where I wanted with the cooking assignment at task.

In closing, may all your meals be fun and tasty.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Saigon Grill

It’s been a while since I’ve written in my food blog and for that I’m very sorry. There is so much to write and I don’t have my note pad so I will freestyle as always.

Saigon Grill:

I started going to Saigon Grill again! It was some years ago that Beto “San Antonio” Puentes turned me on to this place. At the time they were located on Broadway and 84th or somewhere around there. Since then they have moved into bigger digs up on Amsterdam and 91st St. In any case, this place use to be a small little place on Broadway and now it’s this huge place with nice interior. I kind of miss the old hole in the wall, but I’m happy that you don’t have to wait an hour to grab some good grub. Looking back, I suppose I find it odd that Beto turned me on to this place. I suppose I never have taken note (until writing this) that Beto has a diverse palate. He eats a lot of different styles of food. But now the poor kid is regulated to the cafeteria at work. Hey, I didn’t make him the investment banker. In any case, I really liked the place back in the day and it had been some time since I had visited…I think two years or so…thus, I decided to pay a visit.

The service at this place isn’t the worst and it isn’t the best. The one thing I can say is when the owner is at the front door to greet you it’s a good sign. I notice that about Asian restaurants compared to other places. I suppose it might be an Asian culture thing or something, but often you can find the owner at the door. It’s almost like him saying, come on into my home to eat my food. I like the welcoming mat that is laid out here. The bus boys are a bit stretched so you don’t always get water right away…but the service is fair.

The prices have stayed low for the most part, but they have gone up since they were on Broadway. But a good meal for some 30 dollars for two isn’t bad.

I have kind of killed this place and have gone about three times in the last two weeks, but I was doing it in the name of my blog. Twice I went with Beto and that was cool because we got to talk about old times and just how much things have changed for both of us over the years and it reminded me of how crazy we were and how we had taken our friendship at times for granted, I would like to think that these meals made us realize the importance of our friendship. I suppose food can do that from time to time.

On another note, I went there with a friend who just got off of work from a commercial. Note to self: Friends who work long days with movie stars should have some time to unwind (don’t make a point to meet them after work) and make sure and ask them where they want to eat when they have had a long day. Don’t push anything on them…my bad. Yet, the conversation was nice and easy.

I suppose the one plate really worth eating there is the Barbeque Beef. This stuff is really super good and when you put their house hot paste on the meat….good stuff. I would also suggest the chicken curry soup in a little bowl. Perfect for an appetizer and only like $3.50 which is really a steal for the amount they give you. But that Beef is just da’ bomb, kid. Serious, it’s one of those foods that you can probably eat all day and not get tired of it. Oh, I don’t have my notes with me of when I went solo, but the Beef is the first one on the list of Beef dishes.

In closing, I hope all is well and may all your meals be enjoyable.