To get this out of the way. Yes, today we had record high temperatures, and yes, I'm still going to post on pho......
It's been a good three years since I last visited, so when the last storm system moved in, I decided to drive on over and see what was up with Pho Fusion. Apparently I wasn't the only one as the place filled up pretty quickly.
I was quite hungry so I started with the "Popcorn Chicken"
The batter t meat ration slides on over to the batter side on this one. If you like that kind of thing, you might enjoy this, as it's very crunchy. The "spicy mayo" was typical. It's not overly salty, but does get a bit crumbly as it cools. The would be pretty good beer food.
The Pho - #14, was decently priced for the area (small - $6.49.)
The sprouts and herbs were minimal, but like previous visits, a request for more was nicely accepted. The broth was slightly cloudy, but not heavy in MSG, the flavor was light, not veering too much in anise nor sweet flavors, though rather light in the beefiness department. It was rather light in protein, of which there was shortage of tendon and tripe. The noodles were in the typical clump, though not over cooked. This was "pho not to offend" on the right side of the scale as was quite evident from the crowd.
The service was nice.....even when that D-Bag of a customer knocked over a glass of water and while the guy was mopping it up told him, "don't forget to get me another glass of water".
Pho Fusion 8038 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92111
Pho Xpress - Mission Gorge Road:
Man, it's been five and a half years since I last visited, though Cathy's been here about four years ago. I was in the area on a recent morning with some time to kill. A bit hungry, I decided to drop back in to Pho Xpress. The whole strip mall was undergoing an exterior refresh at the time of my visit. This being around 0900, I had the place to my self.
As with our previous visits, the pho was decent, though it's not as rich, nor quite a beefy as it used to be. While the herbs and sprouts were lacking, the basil was especially fresh. The rare steak was presented nicely, not yet overcooked and dry and as a whole everything else was quite good. Not amazing, but quite solid if slightly heavy in MSG. The noodles were perfect.
A decent bowl of pho overall. The service here is still "A-B" - all business.
Pho Xpress 6533 Mission Gorge Rd San Diego, CA 92120
While leaving the strip mall on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard after my visit to Pho Fusion I took a quick look at the strip mall sign and was quite surprised. Take a look.......
Most of the restaurant listed are gone; some of them have been closed for quite a while.....
In fact, we've posted on the three places listed on the sign that are no longer there, Cathy has done Sushi Hut and I've posted on Aria and Mercury Grill, places that have been gone for years! I think Sushi Hut is not Hielo, Aria is now Chaba Thai and has been for almost three years, and Dumpling Hut took the place of Mercury Grill last June.
What's up with the sign? Could it be the mall owner is being cheap? Could it be that being on the sign is a curse....and they're hedging their bets by just saying "Mexican Restaurant"? Or....perhaps...maybe we're the curse since we posted on those three places and they closed? Hmmmmm.....I think some of the other businesses are gone too......strange.....
This was pretty good, Better than what I had the last time around. The broth was light, pork-chicken, with just a touch of oil, savory, and not overly salty this time around. The charsiu was on the bland side and the two won tons were on the tough side, the 4 dumplings were also kind of chewy. The egg noodles were quite nice, good chew. Nice and simple, a nice breakfast. This got me wondering if this might be better than the version at Minh Ky.
Tim Ky Noodle 9330 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92126
So yesterday, before the storm moved in; under the overcast sky, I headed up to Minh Ky.
And while I usually order the Beef Sate Noodle - Dry here; I went with the won ton and dumpling egg noodle soup. Which, while packed with stuff, looked quite light.
The differences were quite striking. The egg noodles here were not quite as yellow as the version at TimKy and also thinner. It was also nice and al dente, the noodles probably went to MK as did the charsiu, the dumplings, and the won tons which were much more tender that I ever recalled having here. Perhaps getting here before the crowds descend (0830) makes a difference?
I think the broth at Tim Ky was slightly better, mainly due to the richness, but overall, I still think Minh Ky is better overall.
Minh Ky Restaurant 4644 El Cajon Boulevard San Diego, CA 92115
It was fun doing a nice simple comparison which started with going to my haircut appointment. My hair didn't fare so well. The guy who's been cutting my hair for ages; I'd followed him all over the place, Mission Valley to Serra Mesa to El Cajon to College to his uncles house (during a bad spell he was pretty much homeless) to Rolando, to Oceanside, then most recently Mira Mesa. Unfortunately, he had just quit the day before....and I needed to get my hair cut, so I had one of the other guys cut it.....so I now have quite the buzz. The Missus gasped when I got back home....but hey, it's hair, it'll grow back. One of the guys at work asked me why I just didn't shave my head.....looking at him (balding), I just said, "hey, I get to prove that I actually have hair...."
Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, primarily a food blog. Now that Christmas is over, Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are relaxing. Cathy is switching into overdrive, because she's been following traditions which continue until the 12th Night after Christmas Day.
It was a day of preparation of dried flowers (so they could be pulverized in blenders and then the powder glued onto the floats), 'beaning' and 'seeding' and various jobs involving glue. More soothing and meditative, not the frenzy of fresh flower preparation (including the filling of thousands of vials with water) which begins today and continues until judging on the 31st. Taking a break, Dennis and I climbed to the catwalk (where the general public can also walk, for a fee) to take some photos... The parade will be on television, kicking off at 8 a.m. on January 1. If you'd like to follow along and know the Order of the March, this link to the Pasadena Examiner lists each participant in order. There is also an app (it's free), mentioned on the the Tournament web site of the 2016 Parade Program. Beginning on page 39, there is a short paragraph explaining each participant and a photo of the band, equestrian unit, or the artist rendition of the float as it will appear in the parade. The Theme of "Find Your Adventure" combined with the co-sponsorship with the National Park Service (and the beginning of the NPS 100th year) is sure to make this parade one to remember!
Since this is a food blog...our meals that day...since we didn't have to leave the house at our usual 5 a.m., we had some breakfast at home then stopped in Tustin for cheesy delights; my most favorite version of ham and cheese baked into a bread and, on the left...a sort of cracker-cheese with a bit of flour; just the right amounts of each for a lightly salty, crispy pastry. Once again, we didn't purchase the delicious strawberry confections that Cream Pan is famous for.Cream Pan Bakery website
We did bring our own lunch, some sandwiches, and had those with coffee at the nearby Starbucks.
On the way home, there was one stop and then we saw horrible traffic, so ended up taking side roads to try to avoid, eventually stopping at the Etiwanda Avenue (in Mira Loma) location of Farmer Boys Where I ordered my 'usual' breakfast sandwich (this time with bacon) and The Mister tried some sort of chicken/cheese/avocado/bacon sandwich... I have no description, except it was good as always; we were exhausted. Farmer Boys Website
Leaving the decorating barn, we had stopped at Orchard Supply Hardware in Pasadena to pick up the first of 2016 business giveaway calendars.Orchard Supply always has a train themed calendar and this year is the first time (in 85 years of calendars) when an artist's work has been featured two years in a row. The artist, Ken Muramoto, is extremely talented (and the youngest artist who has contributed to the tradition of OSH calendars). You can read about him HERE.
I enjoy the Vallarta Market calendar, because it lists the Days of the Saints in a format I can look at randomly. The Nijiya calendar is always beautiful. The Vietnamese Market Thuan Phat's calendar is HUGE and beautiful. The calendar from Lucky Seafood was...um...interesting this year. I know there are alway several designs chosen for the printing. This one we received well...I just never thought of a cartoony Asian man taking a selfie...but this calendar will be in my kitchen and I am sure it will make me smile every single morning in 2016.
The Mister and I also went to Fort Rosecrans, just after the annual volunteers from Wreaths Across America had finished placing wreaths in memoriam of our fallen military. Not every grave was covered, but each year a different section is completely filled. Volunteers will be needed for cleanup the second to last Saturday in January. Once again, before our trek to the Cemetery, we stopped at P.L. Bagels for a buttered, toasted (available on weekends only) bialy and a (similarly prepared and available every day) everything bagel. Reasonable size, fresh made daily, seeds on the top AND bottom and sold until they run out. This family owned and run San Diego institution is great. P.L. Bagels 3704 Voltaire Street, Suite 107 San Diego 92107 (619) 223-4788 open daily 6a.m.-1 p.m. Finally, one last local institution (more than 50 years in the same location) is closing and moving, because the land on that corner is more valuable than whatever rent the owner can get from the gas station, car wash and Mary's Donuts, combined. I've briefly mentioned Mary's in only two posts over all these years, but it is walking distance from home and since it is open 24/7...it is very much part of our 'rotation'. The new location is even a bit closer for us, but the ambiance just won't be the same...I hope the donuts are.
Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, food blog. Today, Cathy is writing a short post, not about any particular restaurant, but about some particular food items. Ed (from Yuma) has a nice post coming up tomorrow. Kirk is still out of the country and enjoying his international vacationing.
In 2011, Kirk wrote a great post about fried animal skins, quite a few were -ahem- less than common and difficult to find unless traveling internationally. I thought that writing a short post about commonly found chicharron would be nice. Dropping into any Mexican Market, you can probably find a variety of both pork and beef fried skins, some with meat attached (the far left) and some just the skin (second from left). Those are sold by the pound and can simply be eaten while wrapped in a corn tortilla, with or without some hot sauce.
The above is the counter at Northgate Gonzalez, a family owned and run Mexican grocery chain which I haven't posted about yet. Sometimes, in this same Mexican Markets, there is a steam tray area with stews and there is usually a choice of rojo (red) or verde (green) chicharron stews called guisados, which can be served taco style. Because the fried skins have been stewing, they are softened and not crispy, but still flavorful. The above are from Krist Liquor and Market. You can always order fresh made chicharrones by the 1/2 pound at Carnitas Uruapan.Long ago, I had mentioned fried chicken skin, dilis and bulaklak sold by the pound at Kababayan Market, which is now located in Spring Valley (I'll have a post about the new location soon).Fried chicken skins are my weakness and backup snack for just about every situation. I have also mentioned purchasing fried chicken skins at Chic-Boy in National City, because I know where to find fried skins when the craving strikes. Then there was the day we were at TJ Oyster Bar and I noticed the 'Starters' section of the menu while waiting in line at the newest location (again, I have a post forthcoming)...the second item, 'Chicharron Fish'.Hoping it would be a plate of these (above) fried fish tails, I was disappointed to see...this gigantic plate of more or less fish nuggets. But, oh what wonderful, meaty, lightly breaded nicely fried nuggets these were. The dipping sauce- umami- a deep, fishy, tart, lime-vinegar mix which went perfectly with the sliced raw onions. Not really skins, but fried and tasty.
I hope your long weekend is going well. It's not over!
It was nice of some of you to notice that out 10th year "blogga-versary" came and went back in May. I guess we'd celebrate....but it seems that we're never home and I kinda stopped all that stuff a few years back. I did notice however that we were coming up to post #3000 soon. Considering that I started this little blog with no objective in mind....it was the suggestion of Reid from Ono Kine Grindz (we miss you man). His blog really hit home for an expat Kama'aina....the things I missed, the food mainly. So I just started typing...and we haven't stopped since.
With that milestone in sight, I decided to finish something I started back at the end of 2012....yes, 2012. I call it the "Big List". It's a listing of all the restaurants (I might have missed a few) that we've done posts on going back to the beginning. I completed it a few weeks ago. It's an interesting list and you can find it under pages on our sidebar. I've also included photos that were sitting around in folders that for some reason I forgot to delete, or have posted only to my Flickr account. For me, it's the listing of places that have closed (at the bottom) that brings back a nostalgic feeling..... Thanks to the folks who have already noticed it and commented. Please check it out and let me know what you think. I'll try to create pages for our travels as well.
I can't go further without thanking Cathy and Ed from Yuma. Without their help, this blog would not exist. It is as much their blog as mine. Much has changed over the years; social media and instant delivery (and gratification) has taken over....we just keep chugging along. Just think, we started in 2005; the first iPhone was released in 2007, Twitter was launched in 2006, remember MySpace?
Anyway, I decided to celebrate and went to Sushi Yaro and had some sashimi.
This is after all, still a food blog.
I'm not sure if anyone has been with us since the beginning, but a really warm mahalo to you if you've been here all these years.
And just to go off on one of my usual digressions, Sammy and Frankie have been along for the ride the entire way. And this gets me thinking about when they first became part of the family.
As always....thanks so much for visiting, reading, and commenting....all these years!
Just a couple of things for a beautiful San Diego Saturday....
It seems that the recent hot weather really helped our peppers.
For some reason; like last year the peppers aren't as "hot". Don't get me wrong, the ghost peppers were still pretty darn hot....but it wasn't anything like our first years. I thing there's some cross pollination going on with our Padron Peppers.
Speaking of Padron Peppers. A couple of times a week we get a pretty good haul....
Like everyone else in SoCal, we've been reducing our water usage....so far so good...drip hoses and such....it seems the okra don't really mind.....
And it seem we have cut our water consumption by 30% or so.... Our front lawn is taking a beating though....
Some stuff from the beer vault:
I won't bore you on descriptions and such....but here's a few more beer photos.
I wonder if I'm the only one who thinks that Stone is kinda just resting on their laurels?
As Tony Montana said....."Say Hello to My Little Friend".....
A few weeks back, I went into the back yard to check things out before heading off to bed. I noticed this hard working little fellow....building what seemed to be the world's most ambitious web. Since then, I'd check every night to see if the spider was out there spinning his web. If I saw a work in progress, I'd grab a beer from the fridge and just sit and watch.....
Sort of like the "fish tank effect" I guess..... Impressive work ethic.... I'll enjoy it for as long as he's around.
The Missus's favorite cheese:
I've never really posted on it before...it's been something we've kind of enjoyed inhouse. But we do love our cheese. We usually have a variety on hand, 5-6 for a light nice spring-summer-fall meal. Anyway, the current favorite of the Missus who enjoys a fairly ripe cheese is the Harbison by Jasper Hill Farm.
The flavor is pretty ripe. And it's quite unique in terms of cheeses we've had in that's it is wrapped in strips of spruce.
Bread is a must and it's quite good with a nice "sour".......
It took us 21 hours to get back to San Diego. The next morning it was time to restock. Among the stops was Nijiya. I was shocked to see truffles in the produce case. I probably shouldn't be surprised as over the years Nijiya has had seasonal items like fresh chanterelles.
So no, that's not a turd. It's not super fragrant, not like what we came across in France. It was 8 bucks for something that works grated on the microplane over eggs.
Which gave me the idea of doing a locomoco....but it couldn't be just any loco....
Sooooo.....long story short, ground wagyu from Bristol Farms, I have frozen veal stock in the freezer, dried porcini in the cabinet, shallots on the counter.
And all those basic skills everyone who cooks should have; how to cook an egg, how to make a burger, and how to make a simple pan sauce. Shave truffle on egg and...say no more.....
So it was time to "go loco, or go home"! Or maybe....go take a nap?
Speaking of Candice. We decided on grabbing a beer a few months back and she suggested Half Door Brewing Company.
Located on Island Avenue in East Village....I really wasn't too sure
But I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the slightly sour, not too dry Berlinerweiss. A nice middle of the road version. I loved the set-up...in an renovated older building...I gotta find out a bit more about it. The place is owned by the family who owns The Field, so I may drop by and have the Fish and Chips one day.
In other words; I'll be back.
Half Door Brewing Co 903 Island Ave San Diego, CA 92101
Speaking of Beer:
We were speaking of beer, right?
The Missus's current favorite is the Chili Pepper Spicy Ale form Six Rivers Brewery. It's actually quite good with rich, gamey, stuff like duck rillettes or confit. It's no lightweight, you get a bit of citrus, then boom......nice serious heat. It's not that great with spicy food as the heat from the food nullifies the beer.
The Missus has also developed a fondness for Lays Creamy Forest Mushroom flavored potato chips. I got this as an impulse buy from Balboa Market. It does have an interesting cream of mushroom flavor......nice and savory and the Missus has taken to it.
What we didn't take to was the Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout. We like our chili beers and this one; while a decent stout, good coffee flavors really wasn't true to Sriracha.
Kind of weak and wimpy. Too bad, the Missus loves the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar with Chocolate.
Can't win 'em all.
I often have folks send me...ummmm...."interesting photos". Like this one.