Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.
On July 1, CHOW editors Lessley Anderson and Roxanne Webber are going to kick off a culinary tour that will go from San Francisco to Los Angeles and then New York, in search of "deliciousness with a twist: innovation." There will be blogging, there will be vlogging, there will be tweeting. In fact, there already is, at @lessleyanderson and @roxanne_chow. Check it out and weigh in on where you think they should go!
Discuss: Innovation: the CHOW tour
What are the odds that the only straight-up Sri Lankan restaurant in the Bay Area would be really, really good? Well, we must be really lucky because Kadupul, the offshoot of a catering company, is definitely worth a trek, in my opinion.
The tiny restaurant looks more like a Mediterranean café than a South Asian eatery. But the food delivers deep, complex flavors with the characteristic notes of sweet spices and coconut. Hoppers (a.k.a. appam) are bowl-shaped crepes made with fermented coconut-rice batter, fluffy on the bottom and lacy and crisp on the sides. They're perfect for sopping up the delicious prawn curry. The "prawns" themselves are just mediocre shrimp, but they're beside the point. A condiment of intense caramelized onions with star anise, on the other hand, was pretty great all by itself.
Lamprais is like biryani in a bundle, spiced rice and your choice of meat, chicken or mushrooms, and veggie croquettes wrapped in banana leaf. It's yummy stuff, and so is a side dish of okra, bathed in a light sauce.
But avoid the roti—it's like coconut-flavored cardboard.
Kadupul [East Bay]
8939 San Ramon Road, Dublin
Discuss: Hoppers, lamprais and other Sri Lankan fare at Kadupul
A to-go faux pas. READ MORE
When it comes to vinaigrettes. ... WATCH THE VIDEO
The Italian café Tootsie's is now featuring French macarons, made in-house by a moonlighting Stanford research scientist from Paris. Using ingredients imported from France, she's trying to reproduce the famous Ladurée confections. "They’re very good with intense flavors and lower on the sweetness than the rest of our domestic field," says Melanie Wong, who tried the salted caramel and lemon flavors. The lemon one is lip-puckeringly sour, though.
Tootsie's at the Stanford Barn [Peninsula]
700 Welch Road, Suite 118, Palo Alto
Discuss: Macarons, Breakfast Panino, Etc. @ Tootsie’s at the Stanford Barn (Palo Alto)
Taking a page out of Twinkie Deconstructed, photographer Dwight Eschliman has put together a stark photo essay on the "37 Or So Ingredients" that make up a Twinkie.
From wheat flour to folic acid to glucose, monocalcium phosphate, and monoglyceride, Eschliman's series of simple, striking images brings a sense of visual drama to one of the country's most iconically pedestrian desserts.
Image source: Flickr member Christian Cable under Creative Commons
However much we’d all prefer to whip up delectable meals each day using local ingredients and wash them down with fresh water gurgling from a natural brook nearby, sometimes it's easier to grab a can of soup off the shelf, a bottle of water from the fridge, and call it dinner. But that soup can and water bottle are riddled with bisphenol A, a.k.a. BPA. It's the main compound in epoxy resin linings, present in plastics and canned goods, has been found in studies to lead to cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and is especially harmful to babies and children. The FDA, after years of proclaiming BPA's harmlessness, is now on the bandwagon along with fearful consumers and researchers, committing $30 million in federal stimulus funds to investigate the consequences of consuming BPA; it will release a report at the end of next year. READ MORE
Game one: South Africa vs. Mexico. Kickoff is bright and early Friday morning (if you're on the West Coast, at least). Decisions must be made, but don't get your broekie in a bunch. You want to slurp down some dop and have some lags with your chommas, sure, but you know you'll be too gesuip to work after unless you can eat some boerewors while watching the South Africa vs. Mexico game. We've got you covered on the breakfast front. (Translation for those of you not hip to South African slang: panties, beers, laughs, friends, plastered, sausage.)
Consult our list of locations that feature soccer plus food and drink. READ MORE
This week's mission: Finally, Burger King fries you can microwave at home. But will you want to? READ MORE