Archive for the 'Restaurants' Category

Busy

It’s been a rather busy week in our house. Lots of errands over the weekend, three dinners out planned for this week. For now, a glimpse of a favorite meal from this last week, eaten at La Mexicana Bakery and Taqueria.

Quesadilla
Chicken Quesadilla – flour tortilla, marinated then grilled chicken, and cheese

Torta
Carnitas Torta – marinated and fried carnitas, lettuce, tomato, lime-flavored mayonaisse, black beans on fresh-made bread

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The Wife Speaks: Spitz in Eagle Rock

I do exist; Matt does actually have a wife who’s crazy enough to have her vegetable-hating ways publicized on his food blog. I hate cooking so it’s appropriate that my first post here is about a restaurant (insert joke about how the best thing I made is reservations). Prepare yourself for bad photos and even poorer writing.

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Spitz is a döner kebab restaurant located in Eagle Rock, a small town near Downtown LA. Döner kebabs are sandwiches/wraps changed for German tastes, starting with a Turkish version of the Greek gyro. When Matt toured Europe a few summers ago, he’d been told to try döners by his cousin who spent many years in Germany; he enjoyed their thin strips of meatloaf-like substance and cheap price (usually less than three Euros).

 

Located right off the 5 North, Spitz is the result of two Occidental College students who decided they wanted to open a restaurant. We visited yesterday (Saturday) for lunch and found the place the perfect business level: not so slow that they went slow, not so busy you had to wait half an hour for food. We chose to sit at one of the ten or so tables situated outside the small place. Matt ordered the Classic Döner Kebab as a wrap with all the usual trimmings plus a side of sweet potato fries and a soda. I, being the resident veggie-hater, got mine as a sandwhich sans veggies with yogurt and hot sauce on the side (plus spiced fries). I brandished my crappy student ID for the ten-percent student discount.

 

spitz wrap spitz sandwhich

The food was excellent though somewhat pricier than the German version (okay, so we don’t have döner kebab shops on every corner here). We’d happily make the short trip North some other weekend.

San Francisco Trip

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This past weekend, we went to San Francisco to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Now, perhaps I’m supposed to post some sappy pictures or talk about love, but I’m not really into that and I’m pretty sure that’s not why anyone is reading this. So congratulations to us and all that jazz (well, really to me as Angela hasn’t killed me yet).

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We didn’t a bunch of the touristy things (go to the Legion of Honor, Fisherman’s Wharf, and China Town) and, while they were interesting, I have no need to write about them here. Instead, I can talk about food (and bore you with that instead).

Our first meal of interest was for lunch on Friday. We went to a restaurant in China Town (recommended in the Lonely Planet guide book) whose name I can’t remember for the life of me (it was on Pacific near Sutter). At least where we live in Long Beach, good Chinese food is hard to come by and whatever we get is very Americanized. When we first walked in, it was about 12:30 PM and there were several good omens: the restaurant was crowded, most of the patrons were of an Asian appearance, and most of the languages spoken were Asian and the visible newspapers were written in Asian characters. And the food was excellent. They served us dim sum (although it looked like many of the Asian patrons received some sort of pork and rice bowl) which I had never had before (I’m hopelessly inept on Asian cuisine; I first had sushi about a month ago). The food was excellent. The pork dumplings were my favorite but all of it was quite good. We, uh, we’re too busy eating to take pictures of the first or last set of dim sum.

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Our first dinner was Thursday night at the Zuni Cafe. Now, the only reason I had heard of the Zuni Cafe, was because of their cookbook and their roast chicken but that was enough for me to get a reservation a month ago (and even then I could only get one at 6:15 PM).

Angela realized she didn’t have her ID when we got off the subway so I had to run back to the hotel to get it (and, of course, we didn’t end up getting carded; asking if a rosé is dry must imply you’re of age). When I got back, we were seated pretty quickly. My appetizer was the Caesar salad while Angela ordered the pappa al pomodoro. We split the roast chicken (of course) along with potato straws (which were probably the best fried potatoes I’ve had; I ended up eating most of the giant pile). For dessert, Angela had cappucino and I had a bittersweet chocolate pudding (I’m pretty sure it had a fancier name that escapes me at the moment). It was all quite good but ended up being too much food for the two of us (what else can I say about good food? it wasn’t a transcendental experience but I did enjoy it).
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Our final dinner was at the Chez Panisse Café. Who hasn’t heard of Chez Panisse? We (well, I picked it really) decided on the Café as opposed to the restaurant proper as Angela can be a bit of a picky eater (not really that picky but there are certain things she doesn’t eat) and having some choices seemed like a better idea. We were well pleased. What really struck me was the fact that the wait staff managed to be effective and pleasant without being stuffy and pretentious. Now for the food: Angela had, in order, squab broth with scallions, seared tuna, and panna cotta. I had a salad with goat cheese, roast pork leg, and an apple and quince tart with burnt honey ice cream. The food lived up their reputation and, in my mind at least, exceeded it.

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Our trip was fun and I hope to go back in the near future (Angela wants to move there now). And, really, talking about what food I had a restaurant isn’t all that exciting.