After crossing above the freeway you come across Mercado Surquillo No. 1.
And while we didn't intend on spending much time checking out the market we just couldn't help ourselves. I'd forgotten how much we loved the Mercados in Peru. Though it looks like things have changed up a bit as the largest crowds here were for the "Bioferia"; the tents selling organic items.
The rest of the market was also fairly busy; especially the food and drink section.
Though we were almost waylaid by the "Festivo Gastronomical".
Which had a neat "food court" kind of feel to it.
Where some of the smells were just plain intoxicating.....
We were tempted but the Missus had Cebiche on Her mind and there was no stopping Her.
It was nice being back in Peru. It had been too long.
Mercado Surquillo No.1 Paseo de la Republica block 53 Surquillo, Lima, Peru
And there was some Cebiche calling our name from behind the market!
On our last full day in Seville we got a bit of a late start. But it was Sunday after all. As we stumbled out of our apartment over to the Plaza del Salvador we could hear the crowd before we actually saw it.
Good lord, all these young people, many having beers, at 830 in the morning! On a Sunday! I guess Saturday night just wasn't enough.
We decided on something a bit more suitable for breakfast. I mentioned my growing fondness for the simple tostada de aciete (toast with olive oil) in a previous post.
We just stopped at a corner shop and got our tostadas and espresso and were ready to go.
As we passed the very humble exterior Capilla de San José (Chapel of San José), which was open as we passed. The interior however, was a whole 'nother story. As you can see by the elaborate Baroque altarpiece.
From here we headed back in the direction of La Alameda where we had passed the night before.
This park was originally built in 1574 and was once the oldest public garden in Europe. I really like the Roman Columns. Hercules stands on the left and Julius Caesar on the right.
We saw tents set-up. Apparently there's a Sunday Market in the Plaza. So we decided to check things out.
It was a charming little "Mercadillo", full of locals.......
We even bought a very nice bottle of olive oil from one of the vendors. Then had a seat at one of the cafes to enjoy some espresso and watch the world pass for a while We even saw a character from the previous night; the "Smug Pug" making his way around; as smug and oblivious to all who gave attention as the night before. As we strutted from tree to tree, I again automatically started Overture to the Barber of Seville. I should have taken a photo, but we were just having too much fun.
Hard to believe that in the late 80's and 90's this area was a drug infested neighborhood that was once home to 35 brothels. Yes, gentrification, now it's one of the most trendy neighborhoods in Seville.
The "Weeping Virgin" has tears made of crystal, real human hair, looks down upon you with a handkerchief in her right hand and a rosary in her left. She wears five emerald brooches donated by The famous Bullfighter "El Gallo". In fact, I read that after Joselito El Gallo was gored to death, La Macarena was dressed in black for the only time in history.
And she moves many. I saw a couple of women start weeping at the sight of her. We saw women give up their babies to the staff to be brought in front of the statue.
You can actually walk in back of the statue as well. I gotta say; for some reason I really felt kind of spooked.
Still, this is pretty impressive. So impressive that many babies in Seville are named Macarena. Which does of course have ties to this song.
So yes, we've come from the Virgin Mary and Semana Santa to Human Hair to El Gallo the Bullfighter to Los del Río in a few sentences.
mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog with some 'regular' people who post. Today, Cathy is posting while Kirk is working and Ed(from Yuma) is out and about (in Yuma).
I saw an advertisement that Tip Top Meats (whichI've postedaboutmany times) was going to serve Thanksgiving dinner for $12.95 beginning at 1:30 that day. Trying to keep with our now non-tradition of going out for our Thanksgiving meal, The Mister and I planned our day around this time, but so did many other people; the line was to the door when we walked in. We turned around and did something non-traditional ( same as Kirk's Thanksgiving Day). A few weeks later, we drove North to Tip Top for breakfast. The breakfast menu is to the left as you approach the cash register, where you order and pay (food is brought to your table; you get your own beverage and water). The Mister chose the 'Big John' breakfast($7.98). Three eggs, potatoes, toast (rye) and -all you can eat- meat. Bacon is a choice, but because some people have been overly greedy in the past, now you can only have a single order/it's not all you can eat. Because we like but don't go crazy over bacon, the breakfast sausage and ham were part of the first order, with a return trip requesting the Polish sausage (bratwurst is also a meat choice). The sausages are made here; the breakfast sausages are large and have a hint of spicy red pepper as part of the ingredients. The thick slice of ham is quite wonderful and the Polish sausage is garlicky, peppery and smoked. All in all a great tasting meal. My 'Continental Breakfast' ($8.99) consisted of two thicker slices of cheese along with two quite large, crusty fresh fluffy rolls and two slices each of liverwurst, an in-store deli meat made in aspic with ham, mustard seeds and peppercorns (it's not head cheese, but a milder flavored, pleasant deli meat), two types of salamis and two thin slices of a wonderful Black Forest ham. This was a perfect breakfast for me. Walking through the store, we checked out the refrigerated section, countertops filled with fresh breads and pastries and the freezer area. Then, there were shelves just past the cash registers where you pay for the store purchases. That rack is for the Tip Top brand baked items. Mincemeat- made with beef suet-realmincemeat!The fresh, buttery and flaky pastry filled with the mixture of apples, raisins, currants, lemon and orange peel, sherry wine, brandy, citrons, spices and beef suet just tastes like Winter. Only made until December 31, it's a favorite holiday treat.
Tip Top Meats and European Delicatessen 6118 Paseo Del Norte Carlsbad, CA 92009 Website open daily 6 am-8 pm
If there was one thing I missed during our last trip abroad, it would be noodle soup. That's the first thing I wanted when we got back. After a pretty warm start to November, we finally got some cooler weather, then even some rain.
So, having to work that weekend morning; I dropped by Mien Trung on the way to the office.
The place was empty and would stay that way for my entire visit. Except for three sets of customers coming in, to get pots of Bun Bo Hue for catering. I hadn't seen the young man at the counter in ages; it was nice seeing a familiar smiling face.
Then he told me that "Mom and Dad are on vacation"....uh-oh. In the past this was a bad sign. I be certain that the quality and the flavors of the food would be sub-standard.
I'm happy to say that this was not true.
The broth wasn't overloaded with MSG and the distinct lemongrass flavor came through. The spicy buzz of chilies on my tongue lasted through the entire meal. The broth was scalding hot, a must when it comes to these type of soups since, if you're like me, that entire pile of greens and sprouts will end up in the bowl. The noodles were firm and slippery, and the meat, which is usually rustically cut thick and rather tough seemed a bit more tender. Granted, it's not the same bowl I first had over a decade ago, but I think it's still the BBH in San Diego.
I left the place, having built up a nice sweat......not having spicy food in a while had kinda lowered my tolerance. But that nice little chili pepper buzz kept on going.
So perhaps I'm not worried about the day that "Mom" retires any more.
Mien Trung Restaurant 7530 Mesa College Dr San Diego, CA 92111
Pho Hiep and Grill - Linda Vista:
Along with all of these weather changes comes some side effects. In my case, my biennial raging sinus infection. After stopping off at the nearby drugstore to get meds I decided some hot soup might help clear things up a bit. And Pho Hiep and Grill was right around the corner. It had been almost a year since I last visited.
Anyway, I went with #4 - small sized.
The broth was a lot more clear than what I'd had on my previous visit. It also wasn't overloaded with MSG this time. It was however, pretty darn bland, lacking in beefy flavors, anise, or a even a slight sweetness. Perhaps my olfactory system was on the fritz, but I'm usually pretty good with regards to tastes even when I have a sinus infection. I added a bit of lime and I could clearly taste that.
The herbs and sprouts were turning brown, something I often see during the winter, but the portion size, something that has been quickly shrinking at most places was decent.
The brisket and tendon were quite good, though the fatty flank was very rubbery and there were but a few shreds of tripe.
The noodles fine and decently stretchy.
Kind of a mixed bag, but definitely not as good as I've had here before.
Pho Hiep & Grill 6947 Linda Vista Road San Diego, CA 92111
Thanks for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! We (Kirk, Ed(from Yuma) and Cathy) try to keep things interesting, with musings about meals enjoyed in San Diego and elsewhere in the USA and world. Today is a quick post about a worldwide chain that has one location in San Diego.
So during my rather unsuccessful romp through all those new "poke" places; and those are truly hard quotation marks, I really didn't have anything I truly enjoyed, anything that would make me forget places "back home". During that time, I heard Zarlitos mentioned twice. Once by a fellow Ex-Pat Kama'aina. Zarlitos? Poke? Digging a little bit I read that Zarlitos won both the San Diego and Orange County "I Love Poke Contests" in 2015. I hadn't been back to Zarlitos in almost five years, so I thought why not....perhaps there's some changes in store there.
Arriving and walking into the place, it was evident that this was still Zarlitos. The sticky tables and even more sticky menus; no poke in sight. Until I saw the small greaseboard on the pillar, with four varieties of poke written in red. From there, it was easy to order.......
The "Mini" (again, it's all relative) Crispy Pata and Shoyu Poke...pata and poke, that's music to my ears. The pata was over-fried and dry and though the skin came off in a nice little strip, much of it was hard versus crisp, more like leather than the best chicharones. It was pretty bland as well. For this, I'll stick with Villa Manila.
The garlic rice was decent; moist and the garlic wasn't burnt and bitter.
I actually sent some friends back home the photo. They thought I was back home and went to Fresh Catch. The fish was decent quality, not too much "suji", no off flavors, good texture. The flavor was perhaps a bit too sweet and I could have used a tad more saltiness; but this was by far the best poke I've had recently. It made my day.
Most of these "chi-poke" places I've been to are just a concept, somewhat high on style, low on good grindz. At Zarlitos, there's none of that. I wanted and got, decent poke. How's that for innovative?
Zarlitos Family Restaurant 505 East 8th St. National City, CA 91950
I haven't done one of these posts in a while. To be totally honest, work has been crazy busy, so I've been making the same thing over and over for the Missus.
The weather has also been kind of wacky.......95 degree weather in the middle of November had us eating stuff like this.
Salads with pickled eggs; charcuterie and cheese plates.....tomatoes, radishes (though the Missus still can't figure out the deal with radishes and butter), and the like.
Sometimes with a nice glass or two of wine. Our visit to Burgundy really ramped up the Missus's love for wine and I really enjoyed the whites from that area. One in particular that makes an interesting story........more on that in a later post.
Then overnight we got rain and now it seems like fall. Which made the Missus want some Suan Cai Yang Rou. The cooler weather means it's time to start making Suan Cai.
At the end of my smoke session; smoking tri-tip for the Missus's Thanksgiving potluck, I looked through the fridge and found some tofu and cauliflower, which I love smoked. I'd recently purchased some La Rou and decided to do a simple stir fry with vegetables.
That smoked tofu tasted really good in this one. I'll be doing that again the next time I use the smoker.
We recently tried some roasted duck from a newer place....that too will be a future post. It wasn't very good; but for some reason, the drippings had some nice flavor. So it was duck fried rice time.
Funny thing, the Missus wanted all of this for lunch this past weekend. After I returned home from working half a day to catch up on things.
So the Missus got Her wish and I got all of this done pretty quickly, most of it is prep.
Other than that it's been pretty routine. Except for maybe this thing.
One evening I really didn't want to go out and eat....strange, I know. I picked up a chicken breast on the way home....even stranger because, other than for chicken katsu, I'm not a big fan of chicken breast. I could have gone for the easy out....Katsudon, which the Missus would have surely enjoyed, but I decided to just cook whatever. I made a balsamic reduction and did a simple, brined, then pan seared chicken breast with a balsamic sauce.
The thing that was fun was the other "stuff". Having broccoli and cauliflower on hand; I ended up ricing the veggies. I then rendered lardons of bacon using the fat to cook the riced vegetables, with some shallot, garlic, and scallions. Sort like funky fried rice.
It was delicious....though what do you expect......there's bacon in this, right?
So returning from my trip, I needed a haircut....you know where this is going right? Well, Haircut Guy was now working in Spring Valley! Spring Valley? Like I said before, his moving around allows me to visit areas of San Diego I'd usually not explore. But where to go after my haircut? My first thought was Ranas, since I hadn't been back in years. Instead, having to get back home rather quickly; I saw this place in the same parking lot as a gas station.
I knew of Pho Minh in PB, but didn't know they had a location out here on the fringes of Spring Valley.
So I decided to drop by and have a bowl of pho.
The restaurant is quite tiny, though things are not crowded together. The two women who I've dealt with here are quite friendly and it seems they have a nice regular clientele.
Of course I went with the Pho Dac Biet.....just to see what was up. For some reason, I decided to order the large size ($7.99).
My order actually took a while, but the bowl was huge. I liked that the rare steak, in spite of being the usual rather tough top round, was still rare when the bowl arrived. Most of the proteins; the brisket, et al, were pretty bland, though the textures, especially the tendon was pretty much spot on.
I expected the sprouts and basil to be fairly sparse and it was.
And while the noodles were in the usual clump on the bottom of the bowl, it wasn't soft and mushy, and not cold.
The broth wasn't terrible, a bit too defatted for my taste, and while not very beefy, had a mild sweetness and wasn't too salty. So I didn't need very much lime to help balance things out. I've had much worse in Kearny Mesa.
I've worked every single day since we got back from our trip. Such is the biz. Still, my hair doesn't stop growing, and I needed a fresh trim....I had consultants coming into town and meetings with our customers. So, it was back out to Spring Valley for a rather quick turnaround haircut. So, as is the norm, I returned to Pho Minh. I'd seen Bo Kho on the menu, but when I ordered it, I was told that they don't make that at this location any longer. I had to make some quick choices. I quickly went with the standard spring roll, Goi Cuon ($3.95).
So when I said standard issue; I mean standard issue. Man, look at all that lettuce. Basically a salad in rice paper. And the shrimp was overcooked and rather chewy. Very generic and not something I'd order here again.
I noticed that there was a sign that listed Chicken Wings ($7.40), so I decided to get those as well.
So these were deep fried, then topped with stir fried onions and peppers to give it some umph. These were fairly small wings; which doesn't bother me because I'm more about the ratio of skin to meat. However, half of the wings were slightly burnt, making the exterior bitter, not good eats. Also, these were overcooked and rather dry. The flavor of the wings, the parts that weren't charred, was fairly bland, which explains the need for the "topping". Not my favorite rendition of chicken wings to be sure.
So in the end; possibly passable pho. Really nice folks, though perhaps a stop-gap, but not a destination for my pho-fix. Though I'm glad to have had the chance to visit a locale I usually wouldn't have on my list. As my haircut was complete and I paid my barber, he mentioned that he'd probably be moving on....business here was too slow. So who knows where he'll pop up next?
Pho Minh & Grill 2615 Sweetwater Springs Blvd Spring Valley, CA 91978