The Weekend E.A.T. – Back to Basics

Combine food, technology, and a little bit of luck and you have the gist of the big-city culinary world. Pop-ups pop up faster than under-toasted waffles; everything is so focussed on the next big thing (S4, I’m looking at you), that the food-inclined youth often forget where the future of food came from – the basics of the past.

Philz that killz – been caffeinating off this one since Berks

I spent the last few days visiting revisiting said past with family and friends, walking away with a key piece of advice that my old pastry co-worker imparted: Learn the basic shit before you get cute.

While we were talking meringue and panna cotta (more on that later this week), this holds true for most things in life. And after last week’s roller coaster, I’m excited to delve back into the basics of my desserts/job/life goals.

You can’t think ten steps ahead if you don’t know what the first three were.

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Beautifully seared trout with pumpkin seeds, serrano chile, chard, and butter beans from Nopalito. This restaurant is all about the classics of Mexican cuisine (read: Not burritos). I only wish they took reservations, because I don’t fancy waiting an hour in the blustery SF weather. But then again, they do have fudge paletas that make the wait worth it.

L to R: Nate Appleman, culinary manager of Chipotle and my former boss/chef at A16; sofritas tacos (for some reason, sofritas sounds like it could fit into the Harlem Shake song if you say it right); the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck makes an appearance all the way from NYC!

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival (seriously, there are way too many festivals in  Golden Gate Park during summertime). A surprisingly educational experience, the event touted Chipotle’s sustainable farming techniques and broke down their menu to demonstrate how much healthier it is versus a McDonald’s cheeseburger. With my old chef at the helm of culinary manager, this QSR has won me over.

Chili paneer samosas are good and all, but DAMN Ranbir Kapoor you just about did me in with that dancing and extra-skinny tie suits

At the end of the day, nothing is better than a good masala Bollywood movie and some equally spicy Indian-Chinese food. I can’t tell you how many times this film-food combo has occurred, but it never disappoints me. And Ranbir Kapoor, you’re pretty damn good to look at.

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Introducing The Weekend E.A.T. – Eats And Treats

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This past (long) weekend, I aimed to rest and resuscitate my eating habits/house/exercise regime/sleep cycle. None of that happened. I did, however, partake in the following:

  • Reunite with my badass college roommate over Burmese food and espresso (more on both of these places later this week)
  • Confidently conclude that stores in the Upper Haight have the best soundtracks (Daft Punk x Matt & Kim, sound familiar?)
  • Shoot Bulleits (see what I did there?) and discover new friends in some awesome people
  • Frolic Roll around on the luscious Presidio grass wishing I were a dog

My one effort at organization comes in the form of this new blog feature – the Weekend E.A.T. Since I end up with so many restaurants and recipes to share with you after the weekends, I will now aggregate them into a post at the beginning of each week along with helpful (I hope!) links and tips to get you as psyched about food and eating as I am.

My lovely girlfriends, who also wish they could be a dog

Sometimes, you don’t get anything done that you set out to do. And sometimes, all the plans you didn’t make somehow come together in perfect harmony.

It’s tempestuous, it’s calm, it’s summer.

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Upper Haight explorations. I never quite know what’s going on here, but it sure as hell is spirited. The obnoxiously large drink is from Coffee to the People. With a bumper sticker wall and a mint matcha mocha with rice milk, it screams hippie and tastes of protests past and afternoon caffeination.

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My true love, the Creme Brulee Cart. I’ve traveled far and wide from Oakland to SF for a taste of this creamy goodness. It often runs out, so buy it first and save for later. Or eat it right away, whatever.

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Scenes from Picnic on the Presidio. This Off the Grid goes down every Sunday and is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. After more caffeine, courtesy of Ritual Roasters, I opted for tilapia tacos from Cholita Linda. A worthy taco indeed.