Down the Aisles 0 – Happy Thanksgiving

Appetizer: green waffle The batter is flavored with pandan leaf (lá dứa) extract and coconut milk. Mudpie first discovered them at Century Bakery in Little Saigon, San Jose, and that’s where we’ve been getting them since, in increasing amount. The most recent deal is buy 10 get 1 free, warm and prepackaged in a nice paper box. Then I had green waffle for breakfast for 3 days straight. Each waffle is about $1-1.50, rather costly if you think about how a banh mi costs only 2.50. But it’s delicious, fluffy and sweet. Main course: Mo’s Bacon bar You can have bacon with breakfast pancakes, and in BLT (bacon-lettuce-tomato) sandwich for lunch, so might as well stuff it into your chocolate for a late night snack, right? The lady who discovered the magic of bacon-chocolate combo had 6 years of culinary study, and she got it right: chocolate goes with everything, and so does salt. The bar isn’t a slab of bacon coated with chocolate (which is kinda what I hoped for). There are only tiny bits of bacon, even more scarce than in a simple salad. An […]

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After a pleasant Turkish dinner at Turquoise Grill in Houston last year, followed by countless shawarma lunches at a cheap cafe on Durant this semester, I figure I should venture eastward and attack Iran, with a fork. The first target is 5 blocks away: Alborz Restaurant. Take a look at the old menu to get an idea, but there are more items on the real menu, and the actual price is roughly two times higher. Being carnivorous as I am, I couldn’t resist the sound of a lamb shank with baghali polo (green rice with dill and lima beans) (pictured above). Ignorant me, I didn’t know the lamb shank was so little. It’s just about the size of a big turkey leg. Slow cooked in a vegetable stew, it’s more tender than deep fried turkey (which I had for an early Thanksgiving dinner). According to the far-eastern tongue, the stew fell short by at least a teaspoon of sodium chloride and a tablespoon of sucrose, per lamb shank. The polo (basmati rice), however, tastes slightly salty. It makes a dish alone. Each grain is slender and bare, the miniscule fibrous […]

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Ice-queue at Ici

There is this little ice cream store on College Avenue. Somehow everyone knows about it, and forms a line from the cashier inside all the way out to 30 feet of sidewalk from the door. On a Thursday night, at 9:30 sharp, an employee went out and stood at the end of the line, kindly preventing more customers from queuing up. We felt guilty sitting on the bench nibbling at our treats while people patiently hunched their neck into layers of scarves and collars, ignored the chilly wind, waited for their turn to get into the store. Life’s rough to some. The menu changes daily to whatever the chefs’ hearts desire. That day’s popular affairs seem to be orange-almond-nutmeg and cardamom-rose, which we got. We also couldn’t resist those little crème-fraiche-Amarena-cherry-and-chocolate at the bottom shelf. (The innocent employee later revealed that those 5 cute things had sit idly there all day, and that he’s glad someone finally got one. Guess we did the chefs a favor.) The cherry flavor was oddly artificial. The chocolate shell was a major challenge for a plastic spoon. The best […]

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