Recently in USA category

Citizen Cake Cupcakes

rocky road cupcake

I feel like I deserve a majority of the credit (or blame…depending on how you look at it) for the cupcake craze. I was eating them decades ago, when no one gave them a second thought. And now, as someone who teaches baking told me, making and selling cupcakes in America is like printing money.

I’m not much for trendy foods, but for some reason, mid-day yesterday, right in the middle of my Japanese bento box lunch of chicken katsu and seaweed salad, I was seized with the overwhelming desire for a cupcake.

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Joe’s Cable Car Restaurant

pile of onion rings

Stop the presses!

Although I think in this day and age of online publishing, what do we now say—stop the downloading? Somehow, that doesn’t have the same sense of urgency to it.

Still, this is important.

I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but my search for the perfect burger was not to be resolved in Paris.

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Bun Bo at PPQ

ppq

Is PPQ the best Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco?

I used to be in the camp of Vietnam II for the longest time, mainly because when I worked at a Southeast Asian restaurant, that’s where almost all of my co-workers ate.

That is, until I discovered Pho Phú Quôc, otherwise known as PPQ. Which is funny: I always guessed that they had to shorten their name since I’m probably not the only one that doesn’t know how to really pronounce “pho“.

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San Francisco, CA

david

After a couple of too-lengthy flights, I finally landed in San Francisco. I arrived with a full agenda of things to do, and fortunately got all the not-so-fun stuff completely out of the way by the end of Day #2.

So now I have nothing to do for a whole week here—except eat!

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Teo Gelato

Every time I go to Austin, it seems like I’m running into town, doing a class, then racing on to the next city. So this last time, I slipped in under the cover of darkness, and arrived a day early. Sure I wanted more time to gorge on Texas bbq and Mexican food.

But what I really wanted to do was spend some time at Tèo, lapping up gelato.

Teo Gelato

The Lee family has become, I’m sure much to their chagrin, part of my extended family. Or more likely, I’ve become part of theirs. I’ve known Matt Lee’s mom for years and when she told me her son owned an authentic gelato parlor, I dialed my lawyer and had him draw up the adoption papers.

Let’s hope they sign.

Teo cappucino

Matt, aka Matteo…aka, Tèo…learned his craft in Florence at Vivoli, and his gelato is the real deal. You won’t find him in the back dumping mixes into a machine.

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Kreuz Market BBQ

“Do you want Texas barbeque, or Mexican food?”

Honestly, have you ever heard such sweeter words?

When my friend picked me up by the airport in Austin, those were the first words out of his mouth. How did he know?

bbqribs

Since I’d never ventured out much into the outskirts of the cities in Texas (it’s hard when you don’t have a car, or time), here was my chance, and after much careful consideration—okay, maybe about four seconds of discussion, we floored it outta Austin.

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New York Noshing, Part 2

I think I need to move to New York City for a whole year to eat at all the places that were on my list to try. Although, honestly…I could certainly just go to Zabar’s everyday and die a happy man. And for all the scoffing that Whole Foods gets, I’d be thrilled to have a store with the range of fine products that they do. Sure it’s not all local, or organic. But it’s nice to find a major supermarket chain carrying healthy foods, unscented products (which I stocked up on), a huge selection of local cheeses, plus chocolates from all over the place, near and far.

And for anyone that wants to complain about ‘Whole Paycheck’, go out and pick a basket of raspberries in the blazing-hot sun…then figure out how much it’s worth if you were to sell it?

So I came back cranky, probably because I had to suffer the indignity of the flight attendants physically unhooking my fingers from the outside of the airplane door at JFK Airport so we could leave. Luckily I brought an extra empty suitcase and stocked it up with maple syrup, dried California apricots and sour cherries, and a few other odds and ends as souvenirs. But while in New York, I had plenty of delicious moments…

If I had to name one of my Top Ten foods of all-time, it would be the Black & White Cookie. Although it’s getting harder to find freshly-made ones that aren’t shrink-wrapped, in New York. But good things come to those who search…

Black and White Cookie

I once made them (from a recipe in here), and realized it was a dangerous proposition. The good thing about making them yourself is that you can make them slightly smaller than the jumbo 7-inch disks you normally find.

And speaking of abnormally-sized Black & Whitesholy mother-of-Black & Whites!

Black & White...Cake!

It’s a Black & White Cake!

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Shopping Like A Parisian in New York City (A video!)

Who says New Yorkers are pushy?

Although I couldn’t convince him to cut in line, watch me teach Adam Roberts how to Shop Like A Parisian in New York City.

(And yes, the camera does add 10 pounds…either that, or I seem to be sporting a Pinkberry-Belly.)