A fairly large collection for a SoCal winter Wednesday.
Pho DaKao and Grill Closes:
I drove by and noticed the parking lot was totally empty so I drove in. The Eviction Restoration Notice was posted on the door. Man, this place didn't last very long. I think I visited soon after they opened....so they pulled the plug pretty fast.
I'd driven past a couple of times and the place looked closed so I stopped by earlier in the week.
This former Balboa Avenue institution moved to this location back in the summer of 2013. It's too bad that the renovation and creation of chain restaurant hell drove them from their old location and it seems that they barely made it past a year here. Though never a destination for me, I'd eaten at the old location a couple of times and thought it decent.......
So hopefully I'm mistaken? But it sure looks like they've shut down....
4344 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
So here comes the "New" Dumpling Inn and Shanghai Saloon:
While never great shakes, the place really "jumped the shark" in my opinion after the owner got involved with The Dragon's Den and Del Mar Rendezvous, both of which have been sold. So now we get this........ I'm told he has a taste for "fusion", which is great, remember, I'm from the home of Pacific Rim Cuisine, so I love fusion.....but it's a thin line between fusion and "con-fusion".
In the old First Korean Market location.
4625 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
We had some much needed rain over the last two weeks........and we're kind of enjoying the nice sleeping weather, which would be great if I wasn't working so many long hours.
Still, I actually saw a double rainbow while driving to Target on the way home yesterday. Pardon the bad photos.
Seeing a rainbow in San Diego is rare enough....a double rainbow, well I don't ever recall seeing one here.
So I took a photo....then took photos of other folks taking photos of the double rainbow.....like I said, this is like an event.
Or maybe a celebrity? This guy is having his picture taken "with" the rainbow! No selfies here....though I did pass two couple taking selfies with the rainbow.
We got back from Seattle fairly late in the evening. I had the following day off, but the Missus had to work some pretty long hours early the next morning. I'm the one that usually goes straight back to work.....we got home after midnight from Japan and I was off to sleep at 3am, then at the office at 6. So I guess I shouldn't have felt as bad for the Missus as I did....She did get a whole night's sleep and all; yet I still felt guilt to have the day off. The Missus had requested, "something good to eat for a change...." She wanted Smoked Shio Koji Chicken, just not wings. She also wanted me to try it prepped three different ways.
While out grocery shopping I had an idea; since the chicken would be a two step process; smoking then deep frying; why not start everything in the smoker, then prep/cook them in different ways....I had all afternoon......
Of course everything started off with the chicken, marinated for in my Shio Koji Marinade for three and a half hours; then smoked for 1 1/2 hours over cherry wood.
While the chicken was going, I sauteed some hickory smoked bacon lardons...removing the crisp bacon and setting my trusty cast iron pan aside. A half hour before the chicken was done, I started some baby white potatoes in a pot. These were done in about 15-20 minutes and immediately plunged into ice water for 5 then drained. I then used a skewer to prick several holes in each potato and set aside.
I removed the smoked chicken from the smoker; recharged some of the charcoal, added one piece of hickroy; I wanted a more assertive smoke flavor for what was up next.
It would be potatoes and cauliflower..... The cauliflower was simply seasoned with coarse Maldon Sea Salt, fresh ground pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.
These I smoked at a pretty high temp for an hour and a half. Meanwhile, I had some brussel sprouts on hand so I sliced a good number of them in half and finely shaved a couple.
I then divided the chicken into three "groups", the first got dredged in some potato starch.
I then removed the potatoes and cauliflower from the smoker....man, it really took on a nice smoky taste. I took a small piece and tried to match it with some flavors....I settled on mint and white balsamic....so I made a sauce.
I threw the sliced brussel sprouts into the smoker, I figured the Missus could use them in salads or other dishes.
I started the oil on my Big Kahuna, almost ten years old and a little worse for wear, but still going strong. First, I fried up the shaved brussel sprouts, it takes a few seconds; then the plain chicken, then the potato starch chicken. The last set was just plain.
I then removed the wok with the oil and put my cast iron pan on the fire to heat up that bacon grease. We'd just had some delicious smashed smoked potatoes at Sitka & Spruce and I wanted to get something close. I put a couple of potatoes in the pan, smashed them down and got both sides nice and crisp.
The rest was just plating. Chicken three ways, smoked cauliflower with a white balsamic-mint sauce, topped with fried shaved brussel sprouts, smoked, smashed potatoes with creme fraiche, bacon, and scallions. And a couple of smoked brussel sprouts and some Japanese pickles.
The Missus just loved the cauliflower and potatoes......
I keep looking at all these photos of Rome and thinking, well one of these days. There was so much we saw, but it also seemed so hectic. I usually will look at a set of photos and the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, pop out and just like that; I have a post. This one had to really pared down......in the end, I thought this would be a nice description of what a typical vacation day with the Missus is like. It makes a nice C(learing) O(ut the) M(emory) C(ard) post.
As is the norm, we woke quite early on our first full day in Rome. I actually got up at 5am and did a post from our room. The Missus woke a bit later and we were headed out before 7. The Missus had a basic list of places to check out and we'd be walking to them all.
So we headed off from Termini Station down the street.
Pst the Colosseum and the Forum......
Skirting Palatine Hill and the Victor Emmanuel Monument.....
And we ended up at Saint Andrea della Valle, Piazza Navona was just a short walk from there. It was pretty quiet at Piazza at that time.
The Missus was determined to get to the Pantheon when it opened. So we walked on over and found that we were still quite early. So we walked over a block to Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
First thing on my mind was....what's up with the Elephant Obelisk, what does it represent? Well, apparently, this obelisk was one of two brought to Rome by Emperor Diocletian from Egypt sometime during his reign between 284 - 305AD. The obelisks were built during the reign of Pharoah Apries around 570BC. The Elephant was designed by Bernini and sculpted by Ercole Ferrata, completed in 1667. The Missus has a thing about obelisks....I'm really afraid to ask really. I will say, this is my favorite one...though I'm still not sure what it all really means.
The church itself is built over the ruins of a temple to the Egyptian Goddess Isis.
As with many of the various churches in Rome, of which there are over 900, most with a rich history, and tons of relics. Santa Maria sopra Minerva was once the center of the Dominican Order, so it makes sense that Saint Catherine of Siena is buried here....well, not all of her. Her head is interred at the Basilica of San Domenico in Siena.
We returned to the Pantheon, which still wasn't open, and decided to just have a cup of coffee and chill. There seemed to be quite a few "locals" walking their dogs, chatting, and generally giving the place a very relaxed feeling.
And yes, that's a obelisk and fountain the front of the Pantheon. This one was built by Ramesses II and was taken from the Temple of Ra in the ancient city of Heliopolis.
Soon enough, folks started lining up in front of the huge doors......
Anyway, here we were, standing in front of the huge bronze doors of the Pantheon. A little gentleman comes out to open up...and can't budge the doors. He recruits a bunch of us to push open the doors. Which we do. Oh man, talk about a thrill....I helped to push open the doors of the Pantheon! I immediately asked the Missus if She got a photo; "oh, I was so excited for you....I forgot!"
Click on the photo above to enlarge....this is one of the few places that really impressed me more than what I had read.
A few minutes later the place started getting crowded. It was time to leave. Outside, all the locals had disappeared as tourists descended on the Pantheon. I'm glad we had arrived early.
We headed back to Piazza Navona which was starting to pick up.
There are three fountains which grace the square, this is the one on the North, the Fountain of Neptune.
We decided to back track and headed to Campo de Fiori, literally translated to "Field of Flowers". I read that in the Middle Ages, the area was actually a meadow. It now houses a daily flower and vegetable market....kind of touristy. pretty pricey, but still fun.
Right on Campo de Fiori resides a place that is pretty much legendary, Forno Campo de Fiori, a little bakery and shop.
The Pizza Bianca was good, initial crunch, a bit too chewy for my taste, very soft interior.....kind of bland though. The pizzas, were, well, kind of disappointing, hard, greasy....probably because they seemed to have been laying out for a while.
Forno Campo de' Fiori Campo de' Fiori 22 Rome, Italy
Since it was now my turn for the time being, we headed off down Via dei Giubbonari, one of the side street off of Campo de Fiori. A little street lined with shops and cafes. Along the way we passed a little cul de sac, which had....what else, a church.
This little church is Santa Barbara dei Librari - the church for booksellers!
I loved this little three panel wooden painting, called a triptych. I later read that it dates back to the 15th-16th century.
When we hit the cross street of Via dei Chiavari, I found the other place I wanted to try. My good buddy Candice told me that she preferred Antico Forno Marco Roscioli.
About this time I figured out that pizza bianca would make a perfect sandwich....which it did.
I did notice that the pizza bianca here was less oily and had a better crunch.
I thought the marinara pizza was pretty good as well.
Antico Forno Marco Roscioli Via dei Chiavari 34 Rome, Italy
As you notice....these were the days before the Missus really clamped down on carbs. And yet, with this walking, I still lost weight!
Bolstered by carbs and caffiene we headed off to find the Missus's next target....where was that darn Trevi Fountain?
Back in July, having just returned from Belgium and the Czech Republic, the Missus sent me a text. Something along the lines of "let's go to Japan." To which I replied, "great, so next year, we'll go to Japan". Her response? "No, I mean let's go to Japan in October, after seeing my parents." And so it came to pass....
For some strange reason; I'd never really been motivated to visit Japan. But now, the wheels set in motion, I just couldn't wait. Though busy at work and time was short, I did some research, and found things I needed to know; the somewhat confusing address system, making sure I had photos of the storefronts of the places we needed to be at. I got us apartments in Tokyo and Osaka, and even a Machiya in Kyoto. Had friends make reservations at two places in Tokyo. We don't really plan much in the way of activities; mostly just broad outlines. The Missus likes to do most of that when we reach our destination. This can be a challenge, but She does it based on where we need to be.
All in all, Japan turned out to be one of the easiest places we've ever visited. It's amazingly orderly, folks at the worst are polite and everyone we met was helpful. That the Missus could read Kanji proved to be a major plus as other than the hiragana and katagana, and Japanese pronunciations, She could cull out meaning. I know a handful of words though my phrasing is (sometimes hilariously) woeful. When it comes to food though, I understand much more.
Well, enough of that....I'll get more into it in future posts.
As things turned out, all you really need is a Japan Railpass, Suica Card, the Hyperdia App, addresses both in English and Japanese, the word "sumimasen", and a little patience and you'll do just fine.
I really thought Tokyo was going to be a bear and was prepared to be overwhelmed, and in a way we were, but not exactly in the way we thought we'd be. First off, getting around in Tokyo was very easy for us. Finding exact locations weren't. Tokyo itself is made up of 23 wards.....think of it as 23 cities packed into one mega-city. Yes, it's busy, but also very quiet. The train/subway can be packed to the gills and yet, there's not a single word uttered in anything above a whisper! Folks line the stairs and escalators...all to the left in Tokyo, letting folks pass to the right. They walk...a lot...they eat tons of carbs and are very thin...folks do not eat while they walk, it's bad manners, even though there are very few public waste receptacles, the sidewalks are extremely clean.
We arrived in the neighborhood of Yotsuya and found the business of the person we were renting our apartment from with rather minimal problems. She was in the middle of teaching a class, so we dropped off our luggage, we travel super light, and set off to get something to drink, and to do some exploring. We walked down one of the side streets....
Seeing the sign above we walked down the alley like street and were totally over whelmed by all the restaurants and bars......which led to the big question. How does one actually make a choice here? There are so many places and options. I'm sure Tabelog and Gurunavi would help, but man, there's just so much. The Missus made the comment, "man, there are more restaurants in this little street than all of Clairemont Mesa!"
Luckily, I had reservations taken care of for the next night, had a plan for this evening, and had an outline of where to eat in the area for our last evening in Tokyo. In fact, we went looking for that Izakaya and actually found the place....using my really, really bad Japanese, I uttered one of the few phrases I know, "Yoyaku wo onegaishimasu".... actually getting reservations.
We finally got settled into our apartment, which ended up being in the Yotsuya Sanchome area. A bit more residential, busy main streets, but quiet side streets.
We were meeting an old friend of mine; Reiko for dinner. nothing major, I wanted some ramen, and it would be great seeing Reiko, who used to work for one of my friends several years (actually more than several) back. Reiko was born and raised on Tokyo, so I thought getting to where we wanted to go to would be a slam dunk...well, not quite. You see, first we had to get to Shinjuku Station, claimed to be the busiest in the world (according to Wikipedia, the station was used by over 3.6 million people a day and has 200 exits).
Shinjuku itself is a popular business, entertainment, and shopping area.... lets just say popular is an understatement. Tons of younger folks gather outside the station, just milling around, as it seems to be a popular meeting and socializing area.
The place I'd ask Reiko to find had several locations within Kabukichō, the red light district and the Golden Gai, so it goes to figure that Reiko isn't really familiar with the area. After passing the Robot Restaurant (if you really gotta know, you can read about it here.) and missing the photo op of a large group of business men taking a photo with one of the "Robot Warriors", she needed some help and got a bit of direction....
This was sensory overload....after a while, things started looking like this.
I was seeing blurred outlines by now...all the blinking lights, the neon..... the punk-goth Japanese girls, good god, I was ready to fade to black.
Just in time Reiko pointed and said, "there it is Kirk-san.... Nagi Ramen."
Yes, all this effort for ramen. Would you expect anything less from us? Of course, not just any ramen....
Then of course, there was navigating the ramen ticket machine. You enter in your money and press the buttons for the various options you want.
The tiny shop has a single counter with a few seats. Behind the counter, two guys do everything..... it's hot and hard work.
Nagi is famous for their hardcore niboshi broth. Vast quantities of dried anchovies are simmered for over 12 hours to come up with a heady broth.
The broth is hearty, thick, savory, packing a huge punch. Pungent and full of flavor, it's not eveyone's cup of tea. Indeed it was a bit too strong at first for the Missus. That first sip of the broth will do that to you. We both ordered the combination of noodles, the regular, kind of doughy-chewy noodles and the wide and flat "hirauchimen"noodles which the Missus preferred. The egg had that perfect bright orange orb of a yolk. I had ordered extra green onions which helped balance out the flavor of the broth. My only issue was with the chashu which looked medium rare and was very tough and chewy. Otherwise, this was love at first bite....though perhaps not for the Missus who was a bit overwhelmed by it all.
Leaving the restaurant, things seemed to slow down, everything felt like it was slowing down, all was right in the world, things were starting to make sense.... though I still didn't have an explanation for the Robot Restaurant!
Well, it's 730pm and still super hot and muggy, so I thought I'd do a quick post as a follow-up to having dinner at Wrench & Rodent. Yep, that swordfish spinal fluid was still on my mind, so on my visit to Catalina Offshore the following week, I asked Tommy about it. Now I knew about Vesiga, the bone marrow of the spinal cord of the European Sturgeon....basically because, my mind being that cesspool of useless information, I recalled reading that it was served during the last meal on the Titanic. I asked Tommy about some background.....he explained that Norwegian fisherman used to consume the stuff to give them "energy".....well at least he didn't tell me, "no worry....it make YOU STRONG!"
Which is how I ended up unwrapping the spine of a swordfish on my counter.....
Harvesting the stuff was totally brainless....I took a heavy knife; a cleaver actually and sliced through the seam of the spinal column. I then proceeded to scoop the wonderful gelatinous stuff out.
And by golly if it didn't taste wonderfully refreshing; slightly of the ocean, with some very faint sweet hints to it. Still, the flavor alone felt a bit incomplete....I felt it could use the most gentle touch of citric acid, so I added two drops of fresh squeezed lime juice.....which just made it perfect. It just kind of slides on down.....
The Missus watched me removing the gelatinous material from the psinal column and had Her doubts...until She got Her first "shot".....and then She was hooked!
And I think you would be too.......get your hands on a fresh swordfish spine and have at it!
Poor Hana Mart. I recently heard from two very reliable sources that the former U Mart will be changing hands again soon.
I find this kind of sad. Even though I believe the produce, meat, and other items are better than what Zion Market sells, the place just can't seem to get any traction.
Bummer. I did ask if the place was going to go through another name change, but no one knew..... I hope they eventually find their way. Competition is a good thing.
Hana Mart 4611 Mercury St San Diego, CA 92111
We're growing mutant okra:
Our recent crop of okra kind of freaked me out.
We let them go for a couple of extra days and they went crazy. The plants that we're using drip irrigation on are doing much better than the ones being watered conventionally, in size and flavor as well.
These were a bit tougher, but super sweet and moist. Here are a few photos to give you some perspective.
It's been mostly lighter fare.......
On the top is a pork-jalapeno sausage topped with a stir-fried okra - ghost pepper relish on top of lettuce from our yard. On the bottom is a smoked scallop "roll". I quick smoked some smaller scallops from Catalina Offshore, finishing with a quick sear. I made a stir-fry for the Missus (see below), and put the rest in the fridge. The next day I chopped up what was left over, added in some scallions and celery from our garden, mixed in some mayo, and seasoned to make a nice refreshing dinner.
And then of course, we're really enjoying our latest batch of Utopenci. Nice and refreshing with a beer on a hot day.... which seems to be everyday over the last couple of weeks....
Thanks to FOY (Friend of Yoso) "Jess", I found out that The Noble Chef was finally reopening on September 3rd.
Imagine me walking in to a menu full of Cantonese dishes facing a case of Chinese BBQ. I decided to just try out the roast duck; I needed time to look over the menu to see what new and maybe promising, and also to see if my old favorites were still there. So I got a half roast duck ($12). Getting home and opening up the styrofoam container, I felt like there was bait and switch going on. The ducks in the case were a nice, lacquered brown....this was a rather beige looking beast.
Skin like rubber, meat moist, but lacking flavor...skin almost without flavor, where was the five spice, the salty, the sweet? I also question the cooking temp/technique as this seemed greasy, not rich with oil, but greasy. This has got to be the worst Chinese Roast Duck I've had in quite a while.
Let's add insult to injury, it seems that many of the dishes I thought were decent at Noble Chef are no longer on the menu; Shrimp with XO Sauce Fried Rice, Shrimp Tomato Sauce, Shrimp and Egg on Rice....in fact, it looks like there aren't very many shrimp dishes on the menu. To make things even worse; one of the lousiest dishes I'd ever had at Noble Chef, the Hainan Chicken Rice is on the lunch menu.
So what to do? I'm not sure....I guess I need to check out some of the lunch specials at the least. Lunch is served until 4pm, which is great......but I'm not so certain about the food. Really nice folks, they seem to be trying hard, but this just didn't do it for me.
The Noble Chef 6159 Balboa Avenue San Diego, CA 92111
Hello there. You have found mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog that shares random food-centric posts. Today, Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are relaxing and researching. Cathy is writing.
According to the calendar, Summer is less than three weeks away from becoming Autumn. The Labor Day weekend is sometimes considered the end of summer, but food-wise, the stone fruits, ears of corn and tomatoes on the vine are still growing and available in the stores.
At some local and mostly chain restaurants, there have been some Summer-only treats which will be slipping off of the menu soon. We enjoy trying the seasonally special treats, enjoying the 'rare' rather than the 'usual'. Here's a small compilation of what was found this year.Stopping at the oldest operating McDonald's Restaurant, in Downey, which has a museum of McDonald's memorabilia, to try the fried apple pie once a year is a Summer splurge. At any McDonald's, the baked peach pie was a special item this Summer. Not only peaches, but a layer of cream cheese, which cuts the sweetness and adds a richness. A great treat.
Another note- ALL McDonald's have "Filet o Fish Friday" all year (not just during Lent) with reduced prices ($1.50) on those delightful sandwiches on Fridays. It's not advertised but usually the bottom item on the 'Value Menu', or just ask. Website The Starbucks Window decals this Summer have been concentric circles, symbolizing bubbles. They have been advertising not only adding carbonation to ANY beverage (for a mere fifty cents) but also have had "Fizzio" beverages available in three flavors (root beer, ginger and ginger-lemon). All three flavors are caffeine free, hand made with a combination of syrups and the carbonation and contain cane sugar. The flavor is very close to Vernors Ginger Ale in taste point (not like Canada Dry or Schweppes at all). The root beer- you can almost taste each ingredient, from the cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses and anise to the vanilla. Very different and refreshing on some of our warmer/humid days. Also this summer, the San Diego area Starbucks were 'retrofitted' to display and sell (Starbucks-owned) La Boulange pastries. The stores just North of us began serving La Boulange more than a year ago. Some of the pastries are excellent. The ham and cheese and egg breakfast sandwich on this croissant-like bun is very good and different from the 'artisan' ham and cheese also available. Website In honor of it's 50th anniversary, Del Taco brought back their 'Classics' this summer, and the **Bun Taco** revived a craving. I remember we purchased both a Bun Taco and a Taco Salad and ate those on the floor of our new home when unpacking from our cross country move...a 'California Meal', we said... Website
A new item available at 85C is a lemon iced tea, which is made with a whole sliced lemon. Ordered without any added sweetener, this is really tasty; both the tea and lemon are standouts. WebsiteJack In The Box had a few new items available. The 'croissant donut', made to order was so promising. As you can see, the texture is nothing like the ad. It was pretty much the churro dough fried into another shape, topped with the churro cinnamon sugar topping. Disappointing. The banana sundae though was very nice. A layer of banana puree topped with soft serve, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry was refreshing. WebsiteAnother cinnamon-sugar flavored dough was at Carls, Jr. The 'cinnamon pull apart' seems to be made of balls formed from biscuit dough (which is very good) rolled in cinamon sugar then baked into a large roundish shape. It tastes like something mom made at home with leftovers. websiteRita's, an East Coast frozen custard-Italian ice franchise has finally made it to San Diego, opening five locations as of this date, with more slated. We've stopped at the Chula Vista location and have tried various daily-made ices as well as custards. So far, a gelati (layers of custard and Italian ice) made with Florida orange ice and vanilla custard is a favorite. The Swedish Fish flavor is really good too. I first found out about Rita's from cc , who has visited here many times since April. WebsiteParis Baguette has been having mid-month deals for a while now. The 11th of each month is interesting in that you get a fairly large container of pastry cream when you purchase a baguette. This summer, banana and pineapple pastries were available in a few variations; a change from mango everything I've seen around town. If it were the 12th of the month, pastries and desserts are 20% off. If here on the 13th of the month and purchase $10 of items, two slices of multigrain bread would be the bonus... Website
Waffles are becoming a 'thing' now; I could do a week of posts about waffle sandwiches. Vons grocery store has been selling 'Waffle Donuts' this summer. Kirbie and Mary each wrote a whole post about these waffle shaped, not donut dough-ed items which have been on sale, two for $1. The Mister brought these home...the glaze has the vary-ing flavors, the size was dependent on the glaze, the dough is not waffle, nor is it a doughnut...it confused me. WebsiteTastee Freez, located inside most Weinerschnitzel locations, has had daily specials for almost a year now. Since you never know when that might end, we tend to drop in for a snack. The pink dipped flavor is cotton candy, and it is surpsisingly accurate. The part carmel part chocolate dip is excellent. Mary mentioned the Tastee Freez items in her recent Weinerschnizel post. WebsiteNorthgate Gonzalez Market added a small booth in the center of the 'Deli' section, making Tostilocos and Raspados to order. For $1.99, ice is shaved and topped with your choice of concentrated, fresh toppings (prune, strawberry, pineapple, coconut, apple, jamaica and mango). I chose jamaica and coconut- there were fresh coconut shavings and the jamaica was not too sweet. Another refreshing treat. Website
It's been fun trying some new and limited items. I hope you've had a chance to partake before Autumn choices and coolness sets in.
On Monday, FOY "TFD" sent me a text telling me that Tan Ky Mi Gia had closed down. This came as a bit of a shock to me as the place always seemed to do a steady business. I drove down (up?) and took some photos....it was indeed closed, with eviction papers posted. Earlier today Sandy was kind enough to also post a comment on this post announcing the same thing. Too bad, I always preferred the place over Luong Hai Ky and have done many posts over the years. It was an old stand by......
Tan Ky Mi Gia 9330 Mira Mesa Blvd #A San Diego, CA 92126
Noble Chef Still Hasn't Reopened:
When the renovation started in July, there was a sign announcing August 1st as the grand reopening. I thought that was being a bit optimistic. I guess it was since that sign is long gone; the new signage is up, but the place still hasn't reopened.
It does look like any day now though....
The Noble Chef 6159 Balboa Avenue San Diego, CA 92111
Here's more signs........
And of course, that chain-fast casual arms race going on near the corner of Genesee and Balboa.
I've often mentioned what a great bunch of friends I have. We all get along and always have great time. These guys are up for anything; like the "Amazing Graze" and our Porcine Party. Sadly, I haven't been to help plan or attend many of the recent events, work has kept me busy over the last year or so. So when one of our gang said she wanted to do karaoke for her birthday, it was naturally a "yes, of course." But there was a catch, she also wanted a whole roast pig as well! Not a big deal, right? I mean, I see folks dragging swine into karaoke rooms all the time....yeah, right? Anyway, it was easy enough to get the assignments done; YummyYummy with her connections and persuasive manner would talk the place into letting us bring an entire hog into one of their rooms, I swing the swine, and the rest would be gravy, or is that sauce.
Anyway, after polling some of my acquaintances, and my "Filipino Mom's" in the office next door to us, one porker rendered its way to the top, Porky's Lechon. Now, I gotta say, based on my visits and meals at the place this was a major leap of faith. But I gotta say, this was a very moist fifty pounder.
In case you don't believe that we actually brought a whole pig into a karaoke room, here's "Xiang Jiao" doing the honors as the disco lights dance around it's roasted body...... To paraphrase the lyrics on the screen...."This pork has taken its toll on me......"
Thanks to JohnL for sacrificing his van to transport said swine.....I hope it doesn't still smell like pork heaven. Big thanks also to TFD and MrC for getting the Hen Xuc Banh Trang and baking the cake, and of course "YY" and Quanito for coordinating the room.
Thanksgiving in August:
Recently "XJ", "YY", and their family moved into new digs. they've been wanting to do sort of a house-warming type of thing. "XJ" had also gotten a Weber Smokey Mountain...she's really BBQ Grrrrl I guess, and wanted to put it into service. So I brought my WSM over and we did a little BBQ kinda thing for the gang.
Of course BBQ takes a while and needed our strength, so their mom was nice enough to make us a delicious breakfast.
We timed things pretty well and everything was ready by 2pm as we had planned.....tri-tip, salmon, ribs....
And a whole lot more.....charcuterie and cheese board, TFD's mom made a delicious pork and jackfruit salad, roasted vegetables, salad, and of course dessert.
Around the time we were setting up, someone said "this is like Thanksgiving, but better!" And so it came to pass, Thanksgiving in August. I think we'll make this a tradition. A pretty good idea, don't you think?
Nothing like the power of pork to bring people together!