Saturday, October 11, 2008

singles week: temescal restaurants

I get to be single for a week while the hubby takes a brotherly bonding trip to Washington DC.

In the meantime, I get to do a few things that I don't usually get to do while he is around: reorganize and redecorate a bit and try out a couple of hotspot restaurants.

I'm the kind of person that needs stuff out in the open when I reorganize. I like to spread everything out then try to regroup, but of course we don't necessarily have the room. The other thing I like to do, is try something out for a few days to see how it feels. Both habits mean that I don't finish redecorating projects or even start them if I can finish them in a day. As the hubby gets frustrated with clutter, especially clutter that falls along pathways through our place.

I've started changing out some of the photos we have up on the wall with ones we more recently took. And I found a wall space to put up more family pictures.

The other thing I get to do is try out some crowded bars and restaurants that I've been wanting to try. The hubby, again liking the space, doesn't like going into crowded bars and restaurants. Tonight I tried Pizzaiolo on Telegraph. It was crowded as usual even though there are ample tables that go all the way to the outdoor patio. It was a 30 minute wait to get a seat at the bar, which is fine by me.

I had a the spicy butternut squash soup (about as spicy as the sprinkle of dried red pepper garnish on it, so not spicy at all), one of their cocktails called the Derby, the squid pizza with aioli and tomatoes and the bread pudding with pluots for dessert. Yeah, I overate a bit as I hadn't calibrated my ordering for one person. The drinks are strong, and the paperthin dough on the pizza has just enough structure to deliver the delicious combination of ingredients to your mouth. The squid pizza was excellent, it wasn't too chewy and some of the tentacles had a nice crunch. The bread pudding was a nice light tasting dessert with a cookie crumb cookie and a slight tartness from the pluots that balanced out nicely. Overall I really liked the place and the food, though if I came with others, I would make reservations.

The other day I tried Bake Sale Betty. I bought a tray of their brownies and the fried chicken sandwich that alot of people rave. the brownies and the strawberry shortcake I got were really good! But I don't see what people are raving about in the fried chicken sandwich. I have to admit that the chicken is perfectly fried with a fine golden crunch batter, plus it's alot of chicken. But the rest of the sandwich didn't really support the chicken. I thought the cole slaw would bring more contrast: either a sour or tartness or maybe a creaminess to the crunch, but it provided neither. The thin slices of jalapeno pepper gave it a nice kick, but stepping back, it basically looked like an American version of a Vietnamese sandwich. And I can get 3 of those for the price of 1 of these in Chinatown. I think I like Vietnamese sandwiches better.

Tomorrow I go to Spenger's in Berkeley for a Crab Chef Challenge. All I know is that there's lots of crab and that's all I need to know.

Monday, I'm set to go to the City after work and meet up with a friend in town for a convention. She said she wanted seafood and that the place not be a dive. OK. Drop me a line if you have any suggestions.

Thursday, I may continue my trek of places the hubby doesn't like going to, by finally visiting the Trappist, a European style bar that specializes in lots and lots of beer. The place is barely up to fire marshal code in terms of aisleways to the door, but if you want to feel like you're in Europe without hopping a plane for 12 hours, this is the fastest way to do it. I might go there with a coworker, then also try the new tapas wine bar, Mono Restaurant in Jack London. They have Happy Hour on Thursdays. But we'll see if we make it that far.

Friday, I head to the City once again but this time to record a book review for an upcoming Filipino Roots episode for Filipino History Month that will air on KPFA. I'll reveal the books and the author when I get the air date and time.

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