Hi. You've found mmm-yoso!!! the food blog. Kirk, ed(from Yuma) and Cathy usually write about food and things related to food. Today's post is about food and Cathy is writing because Kirk and ed(from Yuma) are busy.
This is the Clairmont Mesa Boulevard entrance to 99Ranch Market. The 'back' parking area is closer for me, since I exit from the 52 at Convoy Street, but the other day I decided to get out of my comfort zone and did things a bit differently. The fountain, with its oxidation, is quite beautiful.
99Ranch Market has undergone renovations recently and is a regular stop for groceries (and, like most other markets The Mister and I frequent, has an eat in area-there will be an updated post soon). Once inside the building, you are in a long hallway which has several businesses along with the Market. Three of those businesses are are sit down restaurants.
Yes, three. At the North end ('my' parking lot entrance), across from Sam Woo in the former Video Store space, E & Drink has popped up.
The Mister and I had passed E & Drink several times in the past two weeks, checking out the menu at the entrance and making mental notes to stop in. They seem to specialize in Taiwanese Hot Pot and boba-like drinks and snacks. It finally was time. (See that orange rice cooker in the above photo? Tea eggs are being sold for $1 as a grab and go snack.)
Once we were seated, we were given both a beverage menu and a food menu. The lady behind this counter is making beverages. I like the idea of a dual level additional seating bar area. There are about 20 two person tables that can be reconfigured for groups in the rest of the eating area.
The decoration is modern, with one television and overhead music, which was on pretty loud until someone complained. We were here at lunch, but the menu remains the same all day with one small difference.
The Hot Pot Lunch Special includes green or black tea (hot or cold); no beverage is included with the Hot Pot Dinner. That's the black tea on the right. It is slightly sweet and has a nice tannin 'bite' to it. I did not order the Lunch Special, so no beverage came with and ordered my usual, (because I can't decide) a coffee milk tea ($3.55). The beverage selection is extensive and I have plans to try other items. Add-ins, like boba and sago are 25¢ and I think the prices are reasonable, especially for the size. The coffee milk tea tastes of all three flavors-very refreshing.
When we first sat down, two small plates of a sort of appetizer were brought out- cucumbers and cabbage, both lightly pickled. A nice salty accompaniment which we 'saved' to use with our meals; there are no condiments on the tables. Our utensils, small plate and napkin were also brought out.
This was really good. The egg white took on the flavors of anise/five spice and the egg yolk took on the tea flavor. (As a side note, the eggs in the rice cooker at the entrance are in there longer and have more flavor that the ones from the kitchen, at least if you come in to eat closer to opening time. In any case, all are good.)
Since The Mister had ordered a Hot pot, he was given a choice of five sauces to go with and chose the peanut and the spicy bean sauces (the ones he did not choose were soy, hot chili and bar-b-que sauce). Not knowing what was in his pot, he added on a side of cuttlefish dumplings for $2.25. Below is the menu page of add- ons for the Hot Pots.
The seafood. Served in a mini wok on top of a nice stand which held a sort of sterno heat source which was lighted at the table, this didn't need any add ins and in fact, the dumplings could not be added in right away because the pot was filled. There were several pieces of a flaky white fish, some squid rings, two head on shrimp, fresh tofu, several types of mushrooms, fish cake, krab and an egg along with broccoli and bok choy. All in a very rich seafood broth which was not salty. There were also clear rice noodles on the bottom of the pot AND a choice of rice or noodles came with the pot. (The Mister chose the (very good) sticky rice) .
At first, I was going to try a few items from the "Small Dish" menu, then at the bottom, I saw the "E & Drink House Special" and had to for this first visit.
Quite a large serving of marinated pigs ears, marinated tofu, marinated seaweed and (raw) peanuts.($7.99) Wonderful! The marinade had sesame oil as well as the traditional marinade which includes cinnamon, anise, soy, pepper and garlic. This was a wonderful combination of flavors, a very large portion and in combination with the hot pot, a *lot* of food.
E & Drink 7330 Clairmont Mesa Boulevard San Diego 92111 *Cash Only* open 10:30 a.m.-midnight, seven days