Friday, August 31, 2007

What If.. Fridays

If you could automatically be able to speak and understand another language besides English, which language would it be and why?

Sincemy parents are from the Phillippines then I would say Tagalog.

Tagalog (pronunciation: [tɐˈgaːlog]) is one of the major languages of the Republic of the Philippines. It is the most spoken Philippine language in terms of the number of speakers.
Tagalog, as its de facto standardized counterpart, Filipino, is the principal language of the national media in the Philippines.

It is the primary language of public education. As Filipino, it is, along with English, a co-official language and the sole national language. Tagalog is widely used as a lingua franca throughout the country, and in overseas Filipino communities. However, while Tagalog may be prevalent in those fields, English, to varying degrees of fluency, is more prevalent in the fields of government and business.

Being able to read and write just opens up other worlds for you to explore. Yes, you can travel to other countries and not speak the language, but I think speaking it opens up another layer of experience. You can just sit and listen other people in a cafe or watch local news and feel right at home. Also, I wish my parents taught me Tagalog so I could communicate with my older relatives easily.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chicago Ethnic Grocery Tours Part I

If you live in the Chicago area or are planning a visit from anywhere in the world, you should call or e-mail Evelyn to book an unique and exciting tour. As you stroll down the isle of any store, Evelyn will answer all of your questions about all of the exotic ingredients. Not only will she tell you how it is prepared but also it's discovery, cultural history and any unique properties. Be sure to bring an appetite, along w some extra change, because you will be sampling and tasting lots of things. Many people stock up on ethnic grocery supplies and/or plan to do some of their holiday gift shopping on the tour. It's sometimes hard to keep this page up to date about Evelyn. In addition to helping run her husband's computer consulting business, she now also teaches a course entitled "Food and Culture" at the University of Illinois (Chicago)in the Department of Human Nutrition.


The tour started with a bang; a heavy thunderstorm unusual for the month of August in Chicago. I was used to hot and humid, but sunny. We met Evelyn Thompson, a vibrant and knowledgeable young lady who teaches an ethnic food class at UIC so that future health care professionals and dieticians can be sympathetic to other cultures needs when planning food plans. We decided to stay in the Rogers Park area, but she said that she would do South side tours or Polish and Chinese grocery stores depending on what people were interested in.

Cactus Pears

Supermercado Chapala was the second stop of the tour. This Mexican grocery store sells fresh produce, memorable guacamole and specialty items such as Mexican sour cream. There is an eating area with about 10 little booths where you can eat some the best carnitas around and roast chicken. They also have a selection of tacos like cabeza tacos. The store was packed when we went in on a Monday morning, it might have been due to the heavy thunderstorm, but people looked pretty happy to be there.

to be continued...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Amarin Thai Cuisine

Amarin Thai Cuisine
6608 Folsom Auburn Rd Ste 9
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 988-8581

Tom Yum Kai Soup
Spicy eggplant
Spicy green curry with chicken

I have been here 3 or 4 times and the food is pretty consistent. As you can see we ordered the Tom Yum Kai with Chicken soup, spicy eggplant and green curry with chicken. The Tom Yum soup had a alot of flavor to it with just enough sourness (from the lemon grass?) to contrast with the slight saltiness and complement the chicken.

The next thing I tried was the spicy eggplant. Frying eggplant is not my favorite way to prepare it but my partner in crime wanted it. It was OK, I like the texture of the tofu where it is firm on the outside and soft on the inside when fried. It is kind of like a steak.

The green chicken with curry was next. My friend cannot handle any heat so we requested it mild. After the first bite, I noticed it was sweeter that usual. My guess is that they added more coconut milk to cut the heat. C'est la vie. Generally the curry is pretty good.

Then as we were waiting for the check I tried the candy for dessert (Kopiko). I was like WHOA! It was literally like a shot of brandy with coffee. It was very intense, but after the intial shock it was good.

Overall I would give this place a 13/20 = Good. I would recommend eating here. I would say it is probably just as good as many other Thai places I have eaten at.

Amarin Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 24, 2007

What if...Fridays

I just came back from Chicago and will have a number of Chicago food related posts soon, but for now:

If you had to choose between love and no money or money and no love for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

I can never answer these types of questions with a simple, "I choose A over B." For me there is always a way to beat the system or the question. I think I think like the devil in the movies. In those movies the character will say, "Make me rich and powerful." like in Bedazzled. So his wish is granted a he is turned into a drug lord with the US about to invade his property and take him down.

So to answer the question, I would choose love and stipulate that the woman would make a decent salary or all the money would be in her name. (IF we ever divorced then according to California law, I would get 50% anyway.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bobo's Cafe

I was all excited to try some of the "Best Vietnamese in Sacramento." It was ranked even higher than Lemon Grass.

So we went to the one off Marconi on Fulton for lunch. There were other Asian people eating inside, which is a good sign.

So we ordered a crispy crepe. It is a crepe with chicken, bean sprouts and some miscellaneous ingredients. That came first. The size impressed us as it was large. We had this dish many times from La Vie in San Francisco. My first bite...where the hell is the flavor? The crepe was sort of crunchy. After adding some hot sauce it was OK.

Next up on the menu was lemon grass chicken, but our server kept saying Kung Pao chicken which is #45. This went on for 30 seconds and we decided to trust the waiter. What we got was overcooked chicken in a sauce which was much too thick and a cross between Kung Pao and a cream with tomato sauce. No lemon grass to be seen or tasted.

Moving on the the last dish, beef, chicken, shimp, vegestables on a crispy noodles. Sounds more Chinese to me. Well the same chicken that was used to make the previous dish appeared again. Tough, dry, and had the same flavor as the previously mentioned dish.

I should have know something was wrong when the iced tea tasted funny.

Who in the hell voted this best of Sacto, not me. I would give this place a 3/20. I would not eat here if you paid me to unless I could take the money and eat somewhere else.

Bobo Cafe on Urbanspoon