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Dave MP's Profile

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Favorite Ice Cream 2015

Tried the soft-serve blueberry (vegan, cashew base) the other day and it was even better than the vanilla. Bright blueberry flavor, very pretty color.

Favorite Ice Cream 2015

I finally tried Shakedown last week. I enjoyed my taste of the strawberry balsamic beet, but opted for the banana cookies and cream (made w/ gluten free cookies). The banana base was very nice -- smooth and creamy, with a strong banana flavor. The texture of this ice cream reminded me of places in Boston (JP Licks in particular).

I had my ice cream in a waffle cone, which I really liked. As others have mentioned, it's made with buckwheat and also gluten free.

Location isn't super convenient for me, but I'd definitely return if in the hood. It's only a two block walk from Ha Nam Ninh, so that's a good lunchtime combo.

Favorite Ice Cream 2015

I was in Santa Rosa last night and we tried Frozen Art on Sebastopol Road. How had I never been here before?!?! I loved it.

Sampled several flavors of ice cream, including: lucuma, chongos, dulce de leche, coconut, passionfruit, mamey, nance, pinenut, and pistachio. All of them were good, ESPECIALLY the lucuma (best I have had since being in Chile in 2003, and way better than Mitchell's in SF) and the passionfruit.

One friend also tried a watermelon paleta, which was great, and they had about 20-25 flavors of those available too. Probably 30-35 ice cream flavors, including those I mentioned.

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos, but will definitely return next time I'm in Santa Rosa. Apparently there's a location in Sonoma too?

Any other reports on this place?

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Yeah, the meal at Kotohira was really nice. Also quite relaxed since the hotpot took a while, but this was a nice treat.

Thanks for the Marugame Monzo recommendation. Will perhaps check that out on my next visit to SoCal!

Dave MP

Aug 05, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Snack and Drinks section is all in here. Photos are from Hwa Sun Ji Tea and Afters Ice Cream.

Puzzle Bar, La Mirada. This relatively new whiskey bar made for a great weeknight destination for cocktails. Prices are reasonable considering the care and attention put into each cocktail. Two friends tried two different types of Old Fashioned (there is an entire Old Fashioned section to the menu), and two of us (including me) had non-whiskey cocktails, both of which were interesting and excellent. I think mine had gin, dragonfruit bitters, lemon, cucumber..and I can’t remember what else. The other had basil and watermelon, and some sort of homemade bitters as well. It seems like the cocktail menu is still changing or maybe changes seasonally. My friends say it gets busy on weekends, but weekday was very chill. Worth a try.

Tastea, Garden Grove. I don’t really love this place compared to other boba spots, though the honey boba itself is good. We got a drink with pieces of mango that I thought were too unripe, although I was told by my DC that this is how it’s supposed to be. He liked it.

Tom N Toms, Koreatown. Served its purpose as a coffee shop with free wifi and air conditioning. We were there in the afternoon and spent about 1.5 hours working and drinking iced tea. Nothing really special about this place, though.

Hwa Sun Ji Tea, Koreatown. We met up with friends here for an afternoon snack, and then stayed to hang out/study/work. I was really impressed. In an otherwise busy and somewhat sterile neighborhood, this place felt very relaxed, and was filled with plants. I tried a quince tea which I found way too sweet, but I really liked the two dessert options: the shaved ice and the cookie platter. The shaved ice comes with a pile of ice, topped with red bean, fresh fruit (half watermelon, half honey dew, both really ripe and delicious), mochi, and strong (and very flavorful) green tea ice cream. It was plenty to share between 4 of us, and came with a small plate of slightly sweet seaweed cookies. The cookie platter contained four different types of Korean cookies: one was like a sweet, crunchy rice cake, while another was like a puffy, light rice cake. Another was sweet and soft (almost donut-like) and the last was persimmon (very sweet for me, reminded me of gulab jamun). Complimentary barley tea served after we finished eating. This made for a lovely place for a weekday afternoon get-together, and I’d highly recommend it.

Cake House, Koreatown. Had dessert here after eating at the Backhouse. It was a mistake. The sweet rice cakes with honey that I bought were already too hard and not fresh. Service was indifferent. Should have gone elsewhere.

Coffee Connection, Mar Vista. We spent a few hours at this coffee shop working and playing games, and I really liked it. It feels like a chain, but I believe it’s not. The space used to be an Italian restaurant, and includes an air-conditioned inside, a big outdoor courtyard (shaded) and more sitting rooms/game rooms that didn’t have AC. They were out of iced coffee at 2 PM, which was odd, but they made iced americanos for the same price. Iced tea was made using any of the loose teas, and I really enjoyed the mango iced tea with some added simple syrup. Very busy on a Friday afternoon.

Caffebene, Gardena. I hadn’t tried this chain before. Bought a few macarons, which were mediocre. Also got a strawberry mojito drink (non-alcoholic) which was a bit too sweet but otherwise refreshing. I definitely prefer this chain to Starbucks, though.

Honey Boba, Gardena. I went to this location twice during my trip. Both times, line was somewhat long, but the folks working there were very efficient. Drinks come in only two sizes: big and bigger. First visit I had an almond milk tea with taro pudding and tapioca, and it was too sweet despite ordering it 50% sweetness! Didn’t love it, though the pudding and tapioca were great. Friend’s jasmine milk tea was better, another friend’s strawberry milk tea was quite sweet and tasted like strawberry Quick. On my second visit, I got passion fruit green tea (no milk) with boba, also 50% sweet, and the sweetness level was perfect. A friend tried the banana chocolate milk tea that I thought was super artificial tasting.

101 Noodle Express, Culver City. Barely ate anything from here, but I am mentioning it because a friend brought three orders of the beef pancake rolls to the beach. They made for good beach food, and the chili sauce added a nice kick without being too spicy.

Afters Ice Cream, Fountain Valley. My last stop before heading to the airport. We decided to go here partially because it was national ice cream sandwich day (thanks Melanie Wong for alerting me to this), and my friends recommended the donut sandwich with jasmine green tea ice cream. I thought this was a great flavor combo, though we also tried the banana walnut fudge ice cream that was excellent as well. The donuts were a tad too greasy, so this was a heavy dessert. I probably would return for the jasmine tea ice cream and get it without the donut.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area
1

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Somunnan, Cerritos. We had an earliesh dinner here on Saturday, and there was no wait. Ordered both types of cold noodles: spicy and regular. Not a huge difference between them, but I probably preferred the spicy ones. Quite refreshing for a hot day, though the arrowroot noodles were slippery and chewy and were a bit tricky to eat! The mandu (dumplings) were filled with kimchi and I liked these a lot. The main attraction of the meal was another hot pot: this time pork neck stew (gamjatang jeongol), which had lots of meat (on the bone), potatoes, sesame leaves, mushrooms, scallions and bean sprouts. Served with purple rice, and various side dishes (radish, kimchi, shredded potato, fish cakes). A very affordable meal (I think the bill for 6 of us was about $64 before tip) that was filling and pretty healthy. This is a no-frills place, but I really enjoyed it.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area
1

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Kotohira, Gardena. This was my kind of place. I really like udon, so I was excited to try a place that specializes in these homemade noodles. I was not disappointed. One of my dining companions used to eat there regularly, so he advised us to order the hot pot. We ordered this for 3 people ($23 per person, IIRC), and then also ordered one bowl of the simple dry udon as a starter, and also got agedashi tofu (excellent) and grilled squid (mediocre). We started with all of these and then out came the hotpot. This consisted of a hotplate on the table, plus a big bowl of broth (similar to what I eat with tempura udon). Then came out a huge plate of chicken (partially cooked), raw shrimp, tofu, and lots of veggies (cabbage, spinach, and another vegetable that I wasn’t familiar with). Then later came another plate of snow crab legs (cooked, frozen) and enoki mushrooms. We cooked all of these in the boiling broth, and it was really delicious. We made sure not to overcook the shrimp, which paid off, since they were fresh and tasted amazing. The chicken was on the bone, and had been boiled, but it had a really great flavor. After everyone had had their fill of the meats, seafood and veggies, they brought out a big bowl of udon to finish the meal. This went into the soup. The woman who served us was very kind, and we (along with all other tables) were served complimentary potato salad as a starter and ice cream as a dessert. I noticed food on other tables which looked okay, and since the udon is homemade, I imagine most dishes are great. The noodles had a light texture which I really enjoyed. The hot pot made for an extended meal, but I thought it was unique and special, and I’d definitely return for it someday in the future.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

The Backhouse, Koreatown. Four of us had dinner here. Making a reservation was easy. Based on Chowhound and Yelp, I had only medium expectations (one of my DCs chose this spot), but I was pleasantly surprised by the food quality. Raw oysters were good, served with non-remarkable cocktail sauce. Tuna crudo didn’t have much depth of flavor, but others liked it. Agedashi tofu was surprisingly good, and the fried pumpkin was good too. The sauce was more tart than I’m used to (maybe it contained yuzu?) but the soft tofu had a great, crispy exterior. We also shared a variety of skewers, including steak (very good), sausage (meh), chicken (okay), bacon wrapped scallops (good), bacon wrapped tomatoes (great), bacon wrapped asparagus (meh), enoki mushrooms (meh), and maybe something else too. Skewers were somewhat small, and not super cheap, so total bill (with 1 pitcher of beer) was $140 for 4 of us, before tip. I left feeling full, but not super full. We got dessert at Cake House, in the same mall. Service at Backhouse was good (contrary to complaints on Yelp), and their balcony was nice (though we didn’t sit on it). I probably wouldn’t return or recommend it, but I wouldn’t dissuade someone from going either. Might be better at happy hour, when many items are cheaper.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Ngu Binh, Westminster. Came here for Sunday lunch, and we only had to wait about 20 minutes for a table at 11 am. Could have been worse! Mi quang was the best I’ve tried anywhere. I think we got the spicy version, but there’s a non spicy version available too. I actually didn’t think the spicy one was too hot, but there were occasional sips of the soup that made me cough from the fresh chili heat. Bun bo hue was also good here, although I didn’t love it as much as some of my dining companions. Served with lots of herbs, banana blossom, bean sprouts and lettuce. The soup included some homemade meatballs, which I really liked. Also blood pudding, thin brisket, and pieces of meat on the bone. Bánh bèo and banh lot lac were good though nothing super special, in my opinion. Fish sauce served with them also had fresh chili which made it spicy. The banh it ram was the biggest I’ve ever seen. Large pieces of fried rice dough, topped with more non-fried rice dough. I love the chewy consistency, and I liked how big these were, but the fried part was fairly greasy. Still, I really enjoyed them.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Giuliano’s Delicatessen, Gardena. I found this spot on Chowhound (thanks elnav!) and we ordered sandwiches to pick up and bring with us to the beach. This ended up working out really well, and I thought the store and the sandwiches were great. Classic torpedo was a substantial and nicely balanced Italian sub. Meatball sandwich had a bright, homemade-tasting tomato sauce and melty provolone. Muffaletta sandwich was also tasty, though I can’t remember the details of it at this point. My friend who had a chicken parm sandwich also really liked it. We were able to cut the subs into quarters to share them amongst friends, since a single sandwich was more than I could eat. We also bought some of their chocolate chip cookies, which were excellent. A lot like homemade, but with a slight Italian bakery flavor to the dough.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Z Garden Mediterranean Cuisine, Santa Monica. We ate at the Pico Blvd. location, at the outdoor tables which had a nice breeze and were pleasant despite being right next to the road. Very nice falafel with crispy exterior and soft inside. Hummus was good too. Salad was fine. Chicken kebab plates were also good, and I loved the garlic sauce. Chicken kebab sandwich was less exciting (not much filling) and the fries were average at best. This was not a destination worthy place, but it fit our needs.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Quan Ca My Van Restaurant, Garden Grove. My friends call this place “Dumpster Fish” because you used to have to walk past a bunch of dumpsters to reach the restaurant on the second floor above the grocery store. We went midday on a weekday, and it was not crowded. Ordered one fried catfish (regular size) which came with a heaping plate of herbs, rice paper for wrapping, rice noodles, and two dipping sauces (tamarind base and mam base). A bit greasy, but very tasty, and total bill for 2 of us was about $23 (including some good fresh lemon soda!). Seating is in a hot, stuffy food court area.

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

Coffee Stop, Buena Park. We came here for breakfast after exercising and stayed for about two hours to do work (free wifi worked well, and there were comfortable tables for studying/working). I chose this place based on Yelp reviews, and was pleasantly surprised by both the service and quality of food/drinks. We tried one of the thick toasts with peanut butter, banana and chia seeds, which was delicious. Also had an acai smoothie with coconut, banana and almond milk (so I think it was vegan), which was delicious and filling for a post-workout meal. Dining companion also had a soy latte that he liked. Probably not somewhere I’d go out of my way to try, but definitely worthwhile for breakfast if you’re in the area or if you love acai.

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area

4 Day Trip to LA/OC - Summer 2015 - Report

I just spent four days in the LA/OC area, and had a number of great meals and snacks all over LA and Orange Counties. Here is a table of contents, followed by my reports and some photos. As usual, it was a fun trip with lots of good eating. We also spent a lot of time in cafes this trip, doing work and hanging out in between meals!

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Breakfasts:
Coffee Stop, Buena Park

Lunches:
Quan Ca My Van Restaurant, Garden Grove
Z Garden Mediterranean Cuisine, Santa Monica
Giuliano’s Delicatessen, Gardena
Ngu Binh, Westminster

Dinners:
The Backhouse, Koreatown
Kotohira, Gardena
Somunnan, Cerritos

Snacks and Drinks:
Puzzle Bar, La Mirada
Tastea, Garden Grove
Tom N Toms, Koreatown
Hwa Sun Ji Tea, Koreatown
Cake House, Koreatown
Coffee Connection, Mar Vista
Caffebene, Gardena
Honey Boba, Gardena
101 Noodle Express, Culver City
Afters Ice Cream, Fountain Valley

Aug 03, 2015
Dave MP in Los Angeles Area
1

4 days in Santa Fe - Report on what I've eaten so far, plus advice sought!

Thanks all for the advice.

Here are some updates:

Our group ended up splitting up for dinner one night, and four ate at Tune Up and two of us (including me) ate at Pho Kim. All had good meals. The folks who ate at Tune Up said that there was good green chile, good (but a bit on the sweet-side) mole, and great chile relleno. I was pleasantly surprised by Pho Kim—we had some Vietnamese food in Salt Lake City recently, and this blew it out of the water. Nice broth in the pho, and good grilled meats in the banh hoi.

This morning (Tuesday) we checked out the farmer's market. I tried a bread with rhubarb and apple filling, which when heated tasted like apple sauce in toast. Tasty! Also had a kimchi pancake, a chicken and green chili tamal (really good green chili here), and a breakfast burrito. Sampled various sauces too, and bought a raspberry ginger chili jam as a gift for friends in CA. A pleasant market overall, and lots of samples.

For lunch we ended up getting two takeout pizzas from the Rooftop Pizzeria near the main plaza. We ordered two 14 inch pies, which was great for 6 people. We created our own. 1st with blue corn crust, roasted garlic base, cheese, green chile and applewood smoked bacon. This one was awesome. Crispy crust, nice spice to the chile, and a good combination with the bacon. 2nd was regular crust, tomato sauce, cheese, olive and mushroom. Also a nice pie, though less special. But again, crust was thin and crispy, which I like a lot.

In less positive news, we tried gelato last night at Ecco, which is about 1.5 blocks from the main plaza. It was icy and too sweet. My takeaway from spending an evening sitting in the plaza is that Santa Fe could really use a nice homemade ice cream spot. Haagen Dazs seems like the best (only?) option.

Jul 28, 2015
Dave MP in Southwest

Where to buy a large cutting board/butcher block?

Thanks everyone for the advice. I ended up checking out options at both East Bay Restaurant Supply and Williams Sonoma in Union Square, and they both had several choices. I ended up buying from Williams Sonoma since they were having a sale, but I'm really glad to now know about East Bay Restaurant Supply and the other options listed here.

Thanks again,
Dave MP

4 days in Santa Fe - Report on what I've eaten so far, plus advice sought!

I arrived in New Mexico yesterday—we flew into Albuquerque. From there, we drove up to Bernalillo for dinner before continuing on to Santa Fe, where we'll be until Wednesday.

I'll report here on two meals so far, but would love advice about where else we should go!

The Range in Bernalillo is clearly quite the institution, and while we liked our meal there, nothing blew us away. Chips and salsa (advertised as hot) were decent. The chips were freshly fried, the salsa wasn't hot at all. Combo plate came with two beef enchiladas (good), one chile relleno (very good, with great oozy cheese), one chicken taco (dry and mediocre), and beans and rice (solid but nothing special). We also had the Hoosier sandwich: fried breaded pork cutlet with some other toppings on a bun. Not bad, but not super amazing, though the pork cutlet itself was freshly fried and tender. Iced tea refills were complimentary. We got one slice of key lime pie to-go, and ate it later, and I thought it was very nice. We ordered the combo plate Christmas style (red and green chile) and the red overpowered the green, which was too bad, since I think the green was better here.

This morning for breakfast, 6 of us went to Pantry Restaurant on Cerrillos, and I thought it was a great (albeit heavy) meal. My favorite item was the breakfast burrito with chili verde. Fluffy eggs inside a burrito, topped with sauce, and served with excellent homefries. Huevos rancheros and the chile relleno omelet were also good, although the chile relleno at the Range was better. Biscuits and gravy were nice--fluffy biscuits, thick gravy. Grits were nothing special but good. Blue corn and cinnamon pancakes were a bit too dry for my liking, and didn't have a strong cinnamon flavor. I liked eating these with the apple butter (Smucker's) that's on the tables. Friendly, efficient service and reasonable prices made this a great breakfast spot for our crew.

We have a few more meals in Santa Fe, so any ideas about must-try spots would be appreciated, especially for more casual New Mexican food. Thanks in advance,

Dave MP

Jul 26, 2015
Dave MP in Southwest

Mien Tay [Oakland]

Does the menu actually have Miên specialties? Miên refers to the people, while Miền means "region" (so Miền Tay = West Region/West Restaurant). The website and FB page don't have any accents on the letters...

Where to buy a large cutting board/butcher block?

I'm looking to buy a large butcher block-type cutting board as a wedding gift. I know that I can buy one at Williams Sonoma, but I'm curious to hear about local options (East Bay preferred, but SF might be okay too) where I could buy these. I'm looking for a large, thick board, but am flexible about color, wood-type, etc.

Thanks in advance,
Dave MP

Mexico City - on a Monday night in July!

Incidentally, the wikitravel page also recommends the taco stands under the highway, north of Coyoacan. They write: "El Chupacabras, Close to Metro Coyoacan (Under the highway at the intersection of churubusco and universidad). Open 24 hours. These are some of the most famous street tacos in Mexico City. Their speciality is the chupacabra taco, a combination of pork, beef and a 'secret ingredient'."

As we were taking the taxi back to the airport, our taxi driver also pointed out these taco stands and said they were really good. Now I know what to try on my next Mexico City layover.

Jul 22, 2015
Dave MP in Mexico

Favorite Ice Cream 2015

I tried the soft-serve vanilla (vegan, cashew base) at Curbside Creamery in Oakland today, and I was impressed. Strong vanilla flavor and really nice texture (i.e. not at all icy). Friend had the vegan peanut butter chocolate (hard "ice cream") which was also good.

While there, I sampled the nectarine sorbet, which I didn't really like. Didn't have the fresh nectarine flavor I was hoping for, as it tasted more like cooked peaches or plums.

Korean Panchan in Oakland/Berkeley?

When I lived in San Francisco, I would frequently shop at the First Korean Market on Geary, and I particularly liked the self-service panchan selection. I generally found the panchan and kimchi inexpensive and delicious. I also shopped sometimes at the Korean market in Daly City, Kukje Market, which was a good second-choice option for panchan.

Now that I live in Oakland, I'm wondering what my options are for panchan to take home. I was at Koreana Plaza today, and have been once in the past as well, and I don't think their stuff is as tasty, and it's definitely not as cheap.

Are there other places I can try? What about restaurants/delis that have takeout options?

Curious to hear if anyone has other ideas in the East Bay, especially Oakland or Berkeley.
Thanks!
Dave MP

Trip to Ecuador: Report with Photos

Glad you enjoyed the photos!

I hadn't been in Ecuador since 2006, and the area around Pifo looks so different now! It's hard to imagine how it was back in the 1960s.

Dave MP

Argentina Salta Northwest region - Restaurant recommendations

I was in Salta back in 2005, so probably a lot has changed, but maybe this post will help you if you haven't seen it already: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/266522

I imagine at least some of those places are still around since they were such institutions.

Trip to Ecuador: Report with Photos

We also tried a number of fruits and fruit juices on the trip. On one of our days in the Oriente, we did a hike/swim trip down as far as Liana Lodge, where we ate lunch that included a whipped-cream-filled babaco for dessert. I liked the acidity of the babaco with the sweet whipped cream. Lots of tomate de arbol juice --- when it's combined with pineapple, I like it, but when it's plain, I think it's gross. Also guava, taxo, melon, naranjilla, pineapple, bananas, oranges, araza, and several others that I am likely forgetting.

More on araza: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenia...

More on taxo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_...

Trip to Ecuador: Report with Photos

I just got back from a 2 week trip to Ecuador. Our itinerary avoided all major cities, and included: Latacunga --> Quilotoa --> Riobamba --> Baños --> Tena --> Archidona --> Papallacta --> Yaruquí

On this trip to Ecuador, I ate more street food than I ever had before, and most restaurant meals were at very casual set-meal places. We had almost no meals that cost more than $6 per person.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip

Mexico City - on a Monday night in July!

Hi all,

I wanted to report back on what happened two weeks ago in Mexico City.

We arrived in the mid-afternoon as planned, and since we had a 10 hour layover, we took a taxi to Coyoacán. There was very little traffic getting there, and the ride was about 20 minutes, so soon we were busy eating churros and chocolate from Churreria Coyoacan, which was just as great as I remembered. We sat in the plaza for a while people-watching (so many couples on coffee dates, sitting in the plaza and drinking El Jarocho!) then headed to Cafe de la Selva, where we stayed for a while, drinking juices and using the free wifi.

We found out about Cafe de la Selva on the Coyoacan wikitravel page, which actually had a number of helpful food/drink recs: http://wikitravel.org/en/Mexico_City/...

After this, we eventually ate dinner at the small taco/flauta stand mentioned on the Wikitravel Page, Taquería Aguayo 1. We shared an order of flautas (very good) and a torta (also excellent). After this we walked around a bit more, then went to another cafe (whose name I now forget) and rested/drank some tea, and then at about 9:00 pm, we headed back to the airport in a taxi (we hailed it on the street, and cost was almost equal (but slightly less) using the taximetro as it was pre-fixed coming from the airport).

It was a pretty uneventful afternoon, but Coyoacan was a nice place to hang out. It was quite on Monday (compared to weekend when I went last time), but I'd definitely return if I ever have another long layover in MEX.

Dave MP

Jul 20, 2015
Dave MP in Mexico

Quick visit to Salt Lake City - Report

Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Salt Lake City (I live in the SF Bay Area). I was there for a wedding, but had time to do some exploring as well. Here are some interesting things that I ate:

Bocata: Located in the food court in downtown SLC, so I didn't have high expectations, but I actually liked the sandwiches, especially the lamb one. Served on nice homemade flatbread, it had yogurt sauce and overall flavor profile of a gyro. Also tried one of the pork sandwiches (not the cubano, but the other pork based one) and I was less impressed. Definitely a good choice compared to other options in that food court, though!

Publik Coffee Roasters: This place reminded me of something I'd find in Oakland, only bigger and less crowded. Good coffee drinks, but iced tea was not my favorite (no warning provided that it was earl-grey flavored). The toasts were really good, especially the one with goat cheese and tomato jam (I think that's what it was?)

Pago: Came here for a late brunch (around 1:30 pm) and I really liked the food. My favorite dish was a salad with lettuce, romanesco, pickled green strawberries, raspberries and a crumble of some sort. I really liked the texture combo here. Also tried the scone (not that special), fried chicken (I liked it a lot), burger (excellent), beet salad with yogurt (I liked it, but it seriously lacked salt, which we added), and the kale caesar (good). Nice service, and a nice place. Brunch menu was significantly less expensive than the dinner menu.

Gossip Tapioca: Came for the bubble tea, and then we ended up ordering some takeout Vietnamese food too. It was hopping on a Sunday afternoon, with lots of folks ordering smoothies and other drinks. Passion fruit green tea was very nice, and boba was decent. Not as good as what I can get in SF, but certainly better boba than I would have expected to find in Utah. Fresh spring rolls were decent, bun was okay but needed more herbs, and Hu Tieu didn't have much flavor. Broth had MSG flavor, but was served on the side for the to-go order, which was a nice touch.

ChowTruck: This truck was hired for a private party the night before the wedding, and I thought the food was quite good, especially the chicken tacos. http://chowtruck.com/

Overall, it was a nice visit. Not sure when/if I'll make it back to SLC, but I'm glad to know there will be plenty of nice food to try when I do

NOTE: First four photos are from Pago, and the view from above is at Publik

Jul 20, 2015
Dave MP in Mountain States

ISO celtuce AKA asparagus lettuce or wosun

Saw it today at several of the small vegetable markets in Oakland Chinatown. I felt them at one place and they were firm and fresh, and pretty large in size.

Dave MP

Are my coffee beans too dry?

Hi meshane,

Yes, the ideas were helpful. I tried using the beans again a few weeks back, and ground them even more finely to use to make Vietnamese coffee. Because I ground so finely, it dripped through very slowly, but the resulting coffee was better than what I had made before.

It's still not my favorite coffee beans, and I probably won't buy them again, but the Vietnamese-style coffee was definitely enjoyable.

Dave MP

Jul 20, 2015
Dave MP in General Topics