Hope everyone had a nice holiday full of lots of delicious food. We got a pizelle press for Christmas, so we plan on going on an Italian cookie bonanza in the next few weeks. Also – Thanks to Gapers Block for the shoutout. We will be posting a recap of our 2010 Eatign adventures in the next few days – it was quite a year!
Monthly Archives: December 2010
Thought everyone might get a kick out of this crazy 19th-century British postcard entitled “A dead heat for the plate,” found through the Liverpool National Museums Blog. Happy Eating!
Of all of the places to get a crepe – the Mission District of San Francisco is probably not the first place that comes to mind. But truth be told we were not really feeling a burrito – so crepes it was. We arrived at Ti Couz just as the rain was about to fall, and were instantly welcomed in by its warm, cozy wooden interior and candlelight.
We have to say, Ti Couz is proud of its Breton heritage! The signs are in Breton, and there are pictures of old Breton ladies in their signature white starched hats (coiffes) everywhere. The menu at Ti Couz is primarily crepes – especially the heartier buckwheat crepes from Brittany. We each, naturally, got crepes – one mushroom with chipotle crème fraiche ($6.25), and the other with cheese ($4.5).
The crepe itself was notable for being a thicker, square buckwheat crepe, native to the region. These aren’t any flimsy paper-thin crepes. Once our orders were taken, we sat back as our crepes were prepared right out front, and arrived at our table, piping-hot in no time flat. The mushroom crepe was delicious and light, while the cheese crepe oozed a blend of mozzarella and gruyere. For those so inclined there is also an ample list of sweet crepes. For an after-meal treat Breton hard cider “cidre” is also sold by the bowl “bol” or pitcher “pichet.” Ti Couz is an eclectic gem in the Mission, perfect for a relaxing lunch when you don’t feel like wolfing down a burrito.
Little known fact: One of the Eaters is partially Swedish – and though we are not particularly keen on Swedish food – there is no denying the appeal of the delicious cookies and pastries served on St. Lucia’s Day. One of the most traditional are the Lussekatter – saffron sweet rolls. The name means “Lucy’s Cats” – but these leavened yeast rolls are figure-8 shaped. And here are even some Gluten-free versions of traditional St. Lucia items – something for everyone.
The ever-impressive food journal Gastronomica published a history of the origins of Pad Thai. While considered THE quintessential Thai dish by many Americans, Pad Thai’s origins are significantly murkier, and is much less common in Thailand itself than in Thai restaurants in other countries.Within Thailand we had our only Pad Thai experience on Khao San road, an area notorious for its amounts of European and North American backpackers. The Pad Thai vendors there were definitely catering to an audience! The full name of the dish, Kway teow pad Thai even indicates Pad Thai may even have Chinese origins. Check out the Gastronomica article for a full history of Pad Thai.
Our picture of some stateside Pad Thai
The eaters are Italian – so we pretty much avoid Italian food out unless it is something special. We heard that Pollaio’s chicken was indeed special. We headed up to North Beach, a long-standing Italian enclave that borders Chinatown in SF. The signs literally turn from Chinese characters to Italian in the course of one block. The streets are lined with Italian and Italian-American Trattorias and Cafes catering to locals and a fair share of tourists.
We arrived at Pollaio on a Friday night with no reservation (potentially dangerous) – but were welcomed right in. The ambiance is that of a cozy neighborhood cafe, and the service should not have been friendlier. It is truly a mix of Argentine and Italian in there (not surprising since many Argentines have Italian heritage) with Italian advertising and Argentine soccer paraphernalia.
As previously stated, Pollaio specializes in chicken, so we barely had to hesitate with the menu. I suppose you could order other things, but WHY would you?!? We ordered a whole chicken ($13) along with a side order of fries. The chickens, which seemed to account for most of the orders in restaurant, came out of the kitchen quickly. The whole chicken that arrived at our table had an amazing char and a delicious but not overpowering flavor of garlic and oregano. Even the white meat was tender and juicy. These people were truly experts. M and I polished off the entire chicken – save one drumstick. The fries were good, but paled in comparison to the chicken.The entire meal topped only $20, and we were really pleased with our meal. While Pollaio may not be a single menu-item restaurant, it might as well be one since it does this single item so well!
IKEA has chocolate-filled calendars for $2.49 – it’s not too late!