Thursday, December 27, 2007

Real Pie Company: Seasonally Inspired Pastries

Real Pie Company
1201 F St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 446-2885

The Real Pie Company is great. How many other websites can proudly proclaim, "Our crusts are made with all butter..."? The other great thing about them is that, "...we follow the seasons and source most of our produce from local small farms..." Is there anything worse in the food world than eating food that is out of season or shipped from 1000 miles away?

I was watching Anthony Bordain on A Cook’s Tour the other day and he commented that we try to make food consistent across the US. Food should be local to ensure that it is fresh, high quality and supports the local economy. I could not agree more.
So local ingredients + butter = heavenly.

"Chicken pot pie
It’s hefty and loaded with chunks of chicken, oven-roasted carrots, mushrooms and potatoes (and sautéed onions, red bell peppers and peas!) -- all bathed in a creamy house-made gravy and encased in crispy pie dough. Weighing in at almost a full pound, it’s enough to satisfy even the hungriest of our customers. "

I had heard about these from other people and was interested in trying one out. I was pretty lucky that day. I ordered the last two chicken pot pies. First you have to try the crust. It was crunchy, tender, light, buttery and flaky all at the same time. These people have some skills and you could literally taste the care they put into the crust.

As you can see, there was just enough broth to keep all the ingredients moist without making the bottom of the pie soggy. The chicken was perfect; moist and tender. The carrots, peas, potato and chicken flavors complemented each other well. The little bit of broth at the bottom was delicious as well from absorbing all the flavors of the chicken and vegetables in it. It was by far the best chicken pot pie that I have ever had.

"Quiche of the Day
We fill our quiches with fresh vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes – the combination changes daily. The all-butter crust also contains chunks of ham, and feta and cheddar cheeses – and, it’s made with non-fat milk, not cream, so you don’t have to feel guilty eating it (plus, we think it tastes better that way). "

Sorry, quiche, I should have tried you first. The crust was similar, but not the same as the chicken pot pie. This one was a spinach quiche. Overall it was good, but it was not in the same league as the chicken pot pie.

Satsuma Orange Chocolate Tart

This was interesting. The tart crust was very crunchy tasted of bittersweet chocolate. The orange custard on the top was tart and not too sweet. The flavor combination was good, but not great. I brought this to a friend at work. I think it would have been better if I was able to heat it up and serve it warm with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Next time, I will have to try one of their pies.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Michigan Ave in Chicago

My old backyard

One of the lions in front of the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago

Palmer House Hilton hotel Christmas tree

Monday, December 17, 2007

House of Nanking

House of Nanking
919 Kearny St - Btwn Jackson St & Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
415 421-1429

If you look online there are a lot of mixed reviews of this place. Reviews either love it or hate it. Go figure? The trick I learned later is to do what some "higher end" places do; order the chef's menu. Basically you say, cook me something good! We ordered off the menu and from what I had this place has some real potential.

Alas, I did not know about that option until we were a good portion done with our meal. C'est la vie next time.

As you can see, the tea is pretty and different, but good. The first thing we started with was the won ton soup. Sounds pretty vanilla eh? I have to say that is some of the best soup I have had period. The broth has layers and layers of flavor. I could taste the soup stock, the vegetables that were added, lemon, and the spices. The broth had a perfect consistency (great mouth feel); not too watery and not too thick. That was just the soup.

The next thing we ordered was the sesame chicken and it came with sweet potatoes. This dish was good; the chicken was moist, crunchy and not too sweet. Like I said it was good, but not spectacular. The next time I will definitely let the chef pick and choose my meal for me.

Hot tea

Won Ton Soup
Nanking sesame chicken

Sunday, December 16, 2007

San Francisco Chinatown:Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company

Golden Gate Fortune Cookies
56 Ross Alley (at Jackson St)
San Francisco, CA 94108

This is just a neat place to see; not spectacular. I love commercialism! There is now a sign that if you want to take a pictures of the young women making the fortune cookies; it will cost you a $1. Well this is America. You can get regular fortune cookies, chocolate fortune cookies and unfinished fortune cookies. Just plain and round with not fortune inside them. If you have never been here before I would make sure that you map directions to go. I have been here a few times, but there are so many little alleyways that it is a little tough to find it just based on your memory.