October, 2009

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Tomayto, Tomahto: Amato’s Cheesesteaks, San Jose

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

What does this have to do with tomatoes?  Well, nothing really.  You’ve probably been looking for a cheesesteak sandwich in the Silicon Valley that makes you feel like you’re back in Philly cheering on the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, or 76ers.  Though it was somewhat difficult to find while driving on Saratoga Ave., it is not difficult to find a person who knows or a website that talks about Amato’s.

Amato’s is the not-so-secret secret place to find un-PC piles of meat, served in belly-busting sizes sure to satisfy even a Mr. Creosote in your posse.  There are three sizes, the shorty, the half and the whole.  Do not fool yourself into thinking a shorty is small, it is described on the menu as 7″ long, yet it is nearly the size of a Subway foot-long (with way more meat).  The “half” is 12″ and the whole is 18″.  The bread is fresh and tasted like it was baked the day we ate it.  There are a few different condiments you can order or grab for yourself; we indulged with some cherry peppers, but decided against the “whiz” on this trip.

www.amatoscheesesteaks.com [this link did not work when we tried it]

Click to continue »

Spicy C Cocktail: An Oakland Original

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

You’ve heard of Gin and Juice right?  Have you heard of Rum and Jalapeño Juice? It sounds a bit rough for the girls to stomach right?  Well, I’m happy to say that I hung with the spicy hot and enjoyed the Hot C Jalapeño and Juice cocktail.  It was much more than bearable; it was the best new, restaurant worthy, home-made cocktail I’ve tried.  It was the perfect mix of hot, sweet, and sour.

The “Hot C” is a cocktail that was invented and refined by two Oakland friends.  One Saturday afternoon they were looking through their kitchen and liquor cabinets and these are the ingredients they found! Click to continue »

International Kabob House in Campbell

Monday, October 5th, 2009

We originally wanted to try out the Golden Falafel Ball for some Israeli style Falafel but we were surprised to find that they closed at 6:00pm!  Luckily we had another option in mind.  We heard the Kabob House had some good cheap food and we needed a Middle Eastern fix.  The place was nicer than expected as I thought it would be an order at the counter kind of joint, but they had table service and a nice atmosphere.  The menu here is extensive with many tasty options to choose from. The prices are very affordable and a great deal considering the portion size.  The food came up quick and the owner was there to check each order before they went out. Each table also had a shaker of ground Sumac berries which is a tart flavorful spice that goes great with meat or just about anything else. It’s probably best to leave the food descriptions to each present member, but we were all VERY impressed with the food and service.  If you like Middle Eastern food this is a must try.

http://www.kabob-house.com Click to continue »

If You Can’t Join ’em, Beet ’em: Beet Ravioli

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

When are too many cooks in the kitchen a good idea?  When you’re making ravioli, of course!

This past weekend, we picked up beets and sage at the Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo, and a Pasta Machine from Ross: Dress for Less for $18.  When I attempted to make my own ravioli in the past, it was pretty much a disaster.  This time around, I discovered that making your own pasta is definitely a team effort.  This is one of the only times when you might say that two to four people in your kitchen is actually helpful.

We had six for dinner and all agreed that it was a great dish. The presentation is just beautiful with the juxtaposition of the red beet inside inside the yellow ravioli, and the black poppyseed sauce covering it all.  The poppy seeds were also great because their texture added to the overall eating experience.  My best friend suggested putting fried sage on top of the pasta right before serving.  That was a great idea that added a savory crunch!

Improvements for next time:

Some thought the butter sauce needed salt.  Our pasta was a bit too thick and overpowered the beet filling flavor a bit, so next time we would make the pasta sheets thinner.  Although, thinner pasta sheets may be difficult to keep the filling inside of the raviolis while they are boiling.

Recipe after the jump Click to continue »