Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Juniors Pumpkin Cheesecake

Well hello everyone. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Speaking of my favorite turkey related holiday, I will review something we ordered via the interwebs: Juniors Pumpkin Cheesecake. For those of you who are familiar with it, Juniors happens to make one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had. Even my sister who doesn't like cheesecake likes it.

The cheesecake is a little on the pricey side, but to a glutton such as myself, it's money well spent. The pumpkin filling just tastes like Thanksgiving: rich, creamy, and smooth. What's different with this cheesecake is the crust. Juniors uses a spongecake as opposed to graham crackers. So as opposed to the crunchy goodness of the graham cracker, you get a velvety sponge cake. Ahhh yes, first world problems. Either way, people seem to like it and we usually order it every Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can check it out at: http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/. Our order came close to $40. The packaging comes in a heavy duty cardboard box with dry ice. Unfortunately for us, our address is usually last on UPS's route, so the dry ice created a little moisture and the box was a little soggy. Though the cheesecake is a little pricey, it's definitely worth it.

Here's the fancy schmancy packaging.

A couple slices in. We're still working on it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gunther's Restaurant and Catering (San Jose)

I was in the mood for a Pastrami Rueben and didn't feel like going to Togo's. Nothing against Togo's, but I wanted to try something new. Anyways, Gunther's came up on the ol' Yelp search and I decided to give it a go.

I'm glad that I did. My overall experience at Gunther's was pretty cool. The clientele was on the older end of the spectrum. The funny thing is that I could totally see myself eating here if I was retired. Anyways, the Rueben was pretty damn good with a Doc Brown and cookie on the side. The pastrami was juicy and was freshly cut. As for the surprise, that cookie was super tasty. It almost felt like it wasn't cooked all the way. On a related note, make sure to check in using Yelp. You can get a free cookie by doing this. Overall, money well spent. Though it was a little pricier than I expected (Pastrami Reuben+Doc Brown Soda+Potato Salad+Cookie=$20)

Highly recommended and I would definitely swing by again.

Pardon the Delay

Totally slacking for the past week or so. I've been busy in the good sense. Hopefully I will be gainfully employed fairly soon. In the meantime, back in the saddle again. Some of you might notice that I changed the name on the blog to "The Food Court". I think this one will stick. For some reason I remembered my younger days and just hanging out at the food court. It was just fun to do and plus there was a sense of comfort here. Welcome to "The Food Court".

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Results from Operation Beef Bourguignon

Well, here's the results from my first attempt at making Beef Bouruignon. Since I have nothing to compare it to, I would say that it tastes like beef stew. I rarely cook with wine, so it nice drinking it as well as cooking with it.

Luckily for me, the dish was relatively easy, but it was a little time consuming. Here's the first process, browning the meat: my favorite part of the process. The house had the lovely smell of meat, never a bad thing.
Here's the end result. Overall, I'm somewhat happy with how it turned out. The meat was soft, though I could have browned it a little more. As for the broth, it came out flavorful though it wasn't as dark as I wanted it to be. We had some French bread to go along with it, so it was a good meal on this chilly night. A couple more attempts and I think I should get it down. Score 7/10

Home Cook Corner

After watching the last episode of, "Anthony Bourdain:No Reservations," the other day (pours one out for my homie), it made me sad, but also gave me a chance to reflect on this journey we had with our fearless leader, Anthony Bourdain. I really enjoyed his honest, no BS style of storytelling during his travels. He didn't just travel to the Emilia-Romania region of Italy to eat pasta, he showed us the painstaking process to make the best balsamic vinegar in the world. Anthony Bourdain took the viewer behind the scenes and let the family talk about the generations who made this vinegar before them. On a related note, check out, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," on Netflix, highly recommended.

Most importantly, No Reservations introduced me to world renowned chefs such as Joel Robuchon, Michael White, and Thomas Keller. Besides being a huge fan of going out and eating all sorts of food, his show inspired me to actually cook (Gasp). On Thursdays and Fridays, I will post my triumphs and failures from attempting to make dishes from these chefs, Chef Bourdain and Keller more specifically. The dish I will be making later tonight will be Boeuf Bourguignon. I purchased, "Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook," several months ago and now is the time to dust it off and put it to good use. I have never had this dish before. Spelling out the name was hard enough. To be continued...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Taqueria La Taquiza (San Jose)

Well, here's my first food related post. Just a disclaimer, the same review will appear on my Yelp page as well. Here we go:

On this somewhat uneventful Monday, I decided I needed to try something new. Not in the food sense. I'm too structured for that. I love tacos and I have it at least twice a week. After several hours of scouring of the job boards for HR work, I needed a break. In a big shocker, I decided to go on Yelp to select my lunch destination. On my random selection, I picked Taqueria La Chacha. Got there, it was closed (Sad trombone*). Being a fan of contingency plans, I wanted to check out Taqueria La Taquiza. I had seen this restaurant after grabbing some pizza from Bibo's a couple spots down.

In continuing with the crappy luck theme, when I wanted to order my beloved meat (Al Pastor), the friendly gentleman behind the counter told me they just ran out. To the back up plan again (boo). Borrowing from the same glorious animal as Al Pastor, I decided to go with a chorizo taco and as per standard operating procedures, I got a carne asada taco. As for the tacos, I gotta say, I've been missing out on chorizo. The chorizo taco was everything I liked about chorizo. Fatty, tasty and oily. Me likee. As for the carne asada taco, it was darn tasty as well. Both tacos were hot and fresh off the grill, topped with cilantro, a mild salsa, and red onions. I used to slather my tacos with hot sauce. Not so much recently. In this case, I left it as is and I'm glad I did. Total bill came out to less than $7 with my mandatory Mango Jarritos included. I'll definitely swing by again if I'm in the area.

*For any failures during your day, please visit www.sadtrombone.com. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hello World

I've finally joined all the cool kids and decided to start my own blog. Next thing on the list: MySpace. That's still cool right? Anyways, being recently unemployed, I've been bored out of my mind and need a creative outlet of sorts. What better way than to utilize a free service here on the interwebs.

Ever since I was a young lad, I love eating good food. To me, food is the great unifier. Seeing an eating establishment cater to all walks of life, can sometimes be a surreal and humbling experience at the same time. What a sight it is seeing the Toms wearing hipster, or an old money Brooks Brothers suit type, or a paint soaked day laborer wait in line for the same thing: food that sticks to your ribs after a long day. Even better, I'm fortunate to see this all in the great melting pot known as the Bay Area. Very few regions can claim to have killer a Vietnamese Noodle House on one side of town, an authentic Italian deli down the street, or a deceivingly face melting Thai Mango salad on the other.

I don't claim to have a refined palate, nor do I consider myself a food snob. I just go by what my gut tells me. I give credit to those individuals who have the guts and poured their hearts and souls to open their own restaurant. This page will chronicle my experience from such establishments, as well as my own thoughts about food related items, and sometimes non-food related topics. I'll drop some random knowledge on sports, Simpsons references, and other bon mots. Thanks for reading this intro. Let's see how this goes.