Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sardine Factory

I went here with my wife and my 11 month old baby for my wife's birthday last Saturday. I heard great things about this restaurant from Rachel Ray's favorite Calamari puffs and their "famous" Abalone Bisque. I was amazed by the layout of the restaurant. As you enter the restaurant you'll be at the lounge/bar area. The bar will be at your left and the lounge on the other side. It was pretty neat. There's a fire place and the couches look very comfy. Our table is at the conservatory where it's like dining in a garden with a huge glass dome with a naked lady statue in the middle and a huge chandelier above. The ambiance was great. Going to our table, we passed by the Captain's room which is a more formal room, no windows but is very elegant and intimate. Check this link to view the rooms of the reastaurant.

The conservatory room
We did their 3 course prix fixe menu. For my course, I got the Caesar Salad with garlic anchovy dressing, Sand Dabs with creamy risotto, veggies and lemon butter sauce and for dessert I got the Creme Brulee with fresh berries. I loved my food. You know you are in a fancy restaurant when they serve your salad with an ice cold fork. The Sand Dabs were seasoned well and cooked perfectly and the creme brulee was just amazing.

The Salad
Sand Dabs

Creme Brulee

My wife had their famous Abalone Bisque, seared Salmon with garlic mashed potatoes, port demi sauce & hollandaise sauce (it's supposed to come with a filet mignon but since we can't eat meat for now they gave us 2 pieces of salmon). For dessert, she got the Vanilla chocolate Ice cream sundae. Of course we both shared our dishes. The Bisque was okay but we both enjoyed the Salmon. It was tender and very juicy. The sauce was really good. The ice cream was good too but we enjoyed the Creme Brulee more.

Beautiful Salmon dish
Ice cream Sundae
Overall, we had a great time. The food was delicious, the service was great and they were very accomodating especially since we have a stroller and an 11 month old baby that kept on banging the table! :) I definitely recommend this restaurant when you are at Monterey. Take advantage of their specials, especially at the lounge where you can get a two course dinner for $20.

Sardine Factory

701 Wave Street
Monterey, CA 93940-1016
(831) 373-3775

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quinoa Champorado

It's Saturday morning and it's pouring rain outside. The solution? Champorado. Champorado is a Filipino favorite breakfast. It is a chocolate rice porridge. I kinda think of it like an oatmeal. Instead of milk, chocolate is used. I used the same principle with quinoa. Instead of water to cook the grain/seed, I used chocolate tableta. Usually you use 1 cup of water with 1 tableta of chocolate. Here I used 2 cups of water and 2 tabletas so that it will be soupier. 1 cup of Quinoa is usually cooked with 2 cups of water. Here I used 1/2 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water. Here's the breakdown:

Champorado (Makes 2 servings)

1/2 cup of quinoa
2 cups of water
2 chocolate tabletas
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Chocolate tabletas - Look for it on your Asian supermarket

Quinoa - bought it at Costco for less than $10.


Condensed milk (2 tbsp. per serving)
Sliced almonds

1. Boil 2 cups of water. Add 2 tabletas of chocolate. Stir until dissolved.
2. Add the Quinoa. Make sure you've washed them.
3. Cover and Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Mix in the Cinnamon.
5. Serve immediately with 2 tbsp. of condensed milk. Add more or less depending on how sweet you like it. Add the almonds and the Anchovies. Enjoy! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Taste Marketplace - Foodie Underground

Another underground foodie experience in the bay area. 

I love going to this type of food market because I know that what I'm going to see and taste is something different plus you are helping the local businesses in the area. Like ForageSF's underground market, this event takes place once a month.  New Taste Marketplace is a fundraiser that helps out The Food Pantry and St.Gregory. This is another reason for you to go to church since the location is inside one. I'm not really familiar in this area so when I was driving around I was looking for a church. I saw some smoke coming out of this huge metal grill like gadget and when I smelled it, I knew I was on the right spot. Somebody is smokin some brisket!


So me and my family entered this holy ground and the first thing you are going to see are the people eating their huge brisket sandwiches. Sucks that we can't eat meat until Easter since we gave that up for Lent. So we diverted our focus somewhere else.

The place is quite small but is enough to fit 30+ food vendors, some musicians and hundreds of foodies. Here you'll expect some saucy dumplings, cardamom whoopie pies, Pig, Lamb tacos, Duck confit, mushroom balls, Satay, Chocolate truffles, popcorn, bbq and many more. Check out the photos I took and let the picture do the talking! Enjoy!

Mini asian inspired cupcakes

Home made jams from Aunt Kitty's

Meyer Lemon cake
Yup that's marshmallows and chocolate sliders

Cardamom Pistachio and Rose water whoopie pies from three little birds

Chicken satay

They smell so good. Just smell no tasting

Beautiful truffles

Garlic chili is my favorite

New Taste Marketplace is held once a month at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church.
500 DeHaro at Mariposa, SF 94107.
For more information email

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zucchini Quiche

This is a super easy recipe because I used store bought pie crust instead of making my own dough. It cuts down the time and the clean up! :) This dish is basically a frittata on a crust. You can eat this anytime of the day, whether it's for breakfast or a light dinner matched with a spring salad.

Here's what you need:
1 store bought round pie crust (they usually come in pairs)
3-4 medium sized zucchini
2 medium red onions
handful of chopped fresh dill
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
Shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Slice your zucchini thinly. Put them on a plate with a paper towel. Let it sweat by sprinkling some

2. On a preheated oven, bake your crust as directed in the package. Sprinkle some flour and poke with fork before baking it. 

3. Thinly slice onions then pat dry the zucchini.
4. Heat 1 tbsp. of butter and a tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan
5. When the crust is done let it cool down. Lower the oven temperature to 350F.
6. Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes in a low-medium heat until almost soft
7. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.

8. Add the chopped dill and season with salt and pepper. Let it cool

9. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the 3 eggs and 1 1/4 cup milk. Mix and season with salt and pepper!
10. Spoon the zucchini mixture into the crust and then pour the egg mixture.

11. Sprinkle with cheese. I used shredded and shaved cheeses

12. Bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until firm in a 350F oven.
13. Let it cool for about 15 minutes before slicing!


Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Last meal before Lent - Tribu

No Pork, Meat, Chicken nor Duck for 40 days. That's what me and my wife decided to sacrifice this lent. It's the first time I'm doing this and I don't know if I'll be able to. Especially the PIG. I don't know how I'll be able to resist the temptation with all this food events coming up. Now it's all about seafood and veggies. I've cleaned my fridge with all the bacon and prosciutto. It's all about Kale and Shrimp now. Let's start this right! My posts for the coming weeks will just be about seafood and veggies! Let me know if you have some good recipes to share! :)

For our last meal and our participation for FAT Tuesday, we went to Tribu grill in Union city for some Pork goodness and hopefully some pork FAT to last me for 40 days. Here are some of our pics:

Calamari to start

Real Pork Sisig - Pork face chopped and sprinkled with fried pork skin

For the Sisig

Bulalo Steak - Bone Marrow

of course Garlic rice

Monday, March 7, 2011

Off the Grid is returning to Fort Mason March 18

Off the Grid is back at the Fort Mason, bigger and juicier. 2010 was really a year for Food trucks and carts. From Eat Real, SF Streetfood festival and Underground markets. It seems like every month there is a new truck in town. Pyongyang Express came in last month and were giving away free tacos. Then there were Brass Knuckle, Fiveten Burger, JapaCurry and many more. Filipino food vendors came out of nowhere. There's Senor Sisig, HapaSF, Adobo Hobo and Lumpia cart. Now Tim Luym, the man behind Poleng lounge and The Attic, is bringing his Silog treats at the Off the grid next friday with his WOW truck.

Once SF weekly  announced OTG is coming back I got excited. Now there will be 30 food vendors, Alembic and Magnolia will be doing our alchoholic concoctions and the whole food fest will stay open an hour longer, from 5pm-10pm.

Food vendors to look forward to:

WOW Silog truck - Tapasilog tacos.
Brass Knuckle - The menu itself sounds good: Notorious P.I.G., Meatallica and Elvis Pressedly (Bacon, Banana, PB&J, Jalapeno, Brioche)
3-Sum eats - Blue bottle rubbed Cuban Pulled Pork Sandwich. My favorite coffee + Pork = Love.

Last year vendors will remain such as Chariman Bao, Senor Sisig, Onigilly, Kung Fu Tacos, Sataysfied, etc.

Check out some of my pics last year:

the scene

Azalina's Malaysian crepe

Senor Sisig's Sisig Fries

Sisig Tacos

Kika's S'mores

Chariman Bao