Jul 232006
 

The Dresden Dolls have become so popular that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to enjoy them at a small-medium sized venue again. They will be performing at The Warfield, but alas, it is sold out. Sadness. Though I am willing to drop $40-50 to see them perform, dealing with scalpers takes so much effort. One the one hand, I’m really happy that they’re moving up and such, but on the other hand, THIS SUCKS SO HARD!!!

And dude, The Rauconteurs for $80 a person? WTF. Their one album is nothing spectacular. I don’t think I have any understanding of what is ‘cool’.

I have tickets for: The Velvet Teen (July 29 at GAMH), Zero 7 (Aug 30 at The Fillmore[btw anyone know what happened to the fillmore and why it directs to live nation now?]), Less Than Jake (Oct 17 at Slims), and Ratatat (Sept 18 at GAMH).
I also _might_ have 1 extra of each (except for Velvet Teen) for anyone who may be interested in joining, though I am perfectly happy picking up tix for anyone. I work close enough to Slims.

Last night Dennis and Erin and I went to Catch To start with positive things, the food was decent. We started with kumamoto and malpeque oysters. I can’t remember which one I had but it was light and sweet. After having gotten over the ‘omg it’s still alive while I’m chewing it’ aversion to oysters (which took me a good 2 years), I’ve found that they can be very tasty. The crab cakes with the apple/raisin chutney was very good. The chutney provided the necessary tartness for the dense meaty cakes. We also tried the butter leaf salad with (fuji?) apples, candied walnuts and pecorino. It also tasted very pleasant, but I won’t get into how no one in the restaurant knew from what region the pecorino came, and the waiter told me ‘from his knowledge of working at an Italian restaurant, that the cheese comes from the northern region’. (Jack must be cringing at this…) My chosen entree was monkfish with a spinach/corn risotto. I liked the sweet corn in the creamy (not overpowering) rice, but Dennis thought it was ‘quite horrible’. The cut of fish was beautiful, but it was a touch more cooked (medium-ish) than I prefer it. Dennis enjoyed the halibut with pea-sized bits of crispy potato, broccolini, and asparagus. I had a bite and it was yummy happiness. Erin had a variety plate that had 3 types of fish; mahi mahi, tuna, and something else I can’t remember. It hit her spot.

All that being said, I don’t think I’ll go there again. I don’t want to be a snob, but being seated 20 minutes after the time that the reservation was made is a big no-no (especially if others are being seated). It shows that the restaurant is not well organized and does not respect their customers. The waitstaff is not horrible (as they are at Citizen Cake), but it was not friendly either.

This afternoon we all went to Maverick’s for brunch. I have written about this place before, and it continues to please. Who could resist $1 blackberry mimosas? (only the 1st one is $1, but that’s usually plenty of alcohol for me). The texan migas is goooooood- crispy tortilla strips, scrambled egg, fresh salsa with a nice bite of cilantro, and cubed garlic/parsley potatoes. It was exactly what I needed to pep me up. Erin’s beautifully made plate of sliced d’anjou pears and strawberries, toast and cheese also looked very appetizing. Andy’s salad was over-dressed, but it wasn’t much of a loss. The chips that came with Dennis’ bbq sandwich were perfectly crisp. After devouring our food, we further stuffed ourselves with dessert. The thought of the bing cherry crisp makes my mouth water. It comes warm, covered with sliced almonds and granola and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cherries cannot be from a can because they were so flavorful. We also had cinnamon-sugar donut holes which were light, fluffy, and not oily at all.

May 092006
 

Last Saturday, Dennis and Adam and Katie and I went to the fabulous Moroccan place in the Mission. I can’t remember what it was called (I think it starts with ‘A’), but it was on Valencia between 16th and 17th near Bombay Ice Cream.

The place is very comfortable–low light, cushioned seats and benches. It has a nice loungy atmosphere. The center of the restaurant is dominated by a small stage, where musicians play what I can only assume is Moroccan music. All attention focuses on the belly dancers when they begin their performance. The music becomes pretty loud and you can’t help but watch the dancer as she sways seductively (be sure to have some small bills to tip her).

For starters, we ordered the appetizer sampler for 3. The pita came out warm and fresh. I absolutely loved the falaffel. It’s crisp, not-too-oily crust gave way to blended chickpeas and yummy spices. The walnut spread was also very good. It is a little more textured than hummus, and just the tinist bit sweet. I thought that the hummus had a little too much lemon, and not enough tahini. There was another spread which may have been baba ganoush, but it didn’t strike me as memorable in any way.

They then served our meat platter sampler (they all have prettier names than that), and apricot chicken. The lamb kebabs were pretty good, and so were the grilled shrimp. The shells are left on so they don’t dry out on the grill. I thought that the zucchini needed salt, but after having it with the meat, I realized they were meant to be eaten together. I didn’t particularly care for the apricot chicken. The jam/sauce was great (contained non-mushy chunks of apricot), but the chicken was dry. Everything is served over round-grained (saffron?) rice.

The Turkish coffee is amazing. (As in, you _must_ get it) It is thick, almost like melted chocolate, and already sweetened. Service is not a reason to come here. They are understaffed, but think of it as an opportunity for you to enjoy your food at a leisurely pace. It’s all about the ambiance and the food.

Update: It’s called Amira

May 062006
 

Last night Dennis and I went to Maverick’s for dinner. The place is tiny–seats maybe 30. The food is very ‘american’ (vegetarian unfriendly), but the service is excellent. Dennis is very fond of this place for that reason. (It is also within the allowed 4 block radius of our home).

I started with an apple and celery soup, which, in the classic french style, was pureed and had cream. Taking a slow, long, sniff I was reminded of Thanksgiving. The flavors were very subtle, with only a hint of apple, but well balanced. Dennis had clams with bacon and shallots sans bell pepper butter. He seemed to really enjoy it, but I found the bacon-clam combination a little odd. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I have only lately begun to consume bivalves. When I was young, I absolutely hated them.

My second plate featured halibut with some sauteed greens. I found the greens to be a bit too tart and salty, which would have been a nice balance to the halibut, except that the greens had too much cream in them. The fish was not overcooked, though, and had a very nice texture. It was accompanied with sliced fingerling potatoes (the trendy new thing in cuisine it seems. Really, I don’t understand why anyone would pay $2+/lb for potatoes) and fresh peas. The peas were sooooo good. They were barely cooked, and so retained their natural sweetness and crunch. Dennis had lamb which he didn’t comment on. I can only assume he enjoyed his rare chunk of meat.

We didn’t have dessert this time, but I remember the last time we went together I enjoyed the apple crisp much more than either the strawberry-rhubarb cake or the chocolate bread pudding.

May 062006
 

Last night Dennis and I went to Maverick’s for dinner. The place is tiny–seats maybe 30. The food is very ‘american’ (vegetarian unfriendly), but the service is excellent. Dennis is very fond of this place for that reason. (It is also within the allowed 4 block radius of our home).

I started with an apple and celery soup, which, in the classic french style, was pureed and had cream. Taking a slow, long, sniff I was reminded of Thanksgiving. The flavors were very subtle, with only a hint of apple, but well balanced. Dennis had clams with bacon and shallots sans bell pepper butter. He seemed to really enjoy it, but I found the bacon-clam combination a little odd. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I have only lately begun to consume bivalves. When I was young, I absolutely hated them.

My second plate featured halibut with some sauteed greens. I found the greens to be a bit too tart and salty, which would have been a nice balance to the halibut, except that the greens had too much cream in them. The fish was not overcooked, though, and had a very nice texture. It was accompanied with sliced fingerling potatoes (the trendy new thing in cuisine it seems. Really, I don’t understand why anyone would pay $2+/lb for potatoes) and fresh peas. The peas were sooooo good. They were barely cooked, and so retained their natural sweetness and crunch. Dennis had lamb which he didn’t comment on. I can only assume he enjoyed his rare chunk of meat.

We didn’t have dessert this time, but I remember the last time we went together I enjoyed the apple crisp much more than either the strawberry-rhubarb cake or the chocolate bread pudding.