Monday, May 26, 2008

Kare Rice by United Airlines

Who will imagine that I would have a chance to eat Kare Rice twice in flight from Chicago to Bangkok by United Airlines. It was not Airlines fault, but I chose to eat Kare Rice ...

Kare is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. The one called Kare Rice is served as curry and rice. A wide variety of vegetables and meats are used to make Japanese curry. The basic vegetables are onions, carrots, and potatoes. Sometimes grated apples or honey are added for additional sweetness. For the meat, pork, beef and chicken are the most popular, in order of decreasing popularity.

Flight from Chicago to Tokyo : Chicken Curry Rice with vegetable served together with Ham Sesame Dressing Salad. Dessert was Banana Cake.

Taste of curry is still western and the look is confused (seperate or mixed I'm not sure).

Flight from Tokyo to Bangkok : Grilled Chicken Curry Rice served with Green sesame dressing salad. Dessert is Carrot Cake.

Curry taste was so Japanese ... Chicken has been grilled so smokey taste it is ... Rice was Japanese Rice (a little sticky) ... I prefer the one from Tokyo than from Chicago !!!

Then, I was back home by 8 of May 2008 ... My blog posts was far behind real date indeed.

American Coffee

If you think of Coffee in USA, one will think of Starbucks (of course). Yes, it's a home town of Starbucks. Below are 2 types of packaging (old vs new) -- normal store has replaced the new sleeve with one brown colour. However, in airports store still use the old new colour.

Me, I started my day with tarbucks every morning. Sometimes I also had breakfast there ... as they said "Great Coffee Deserves Great Food" ... as you can imagine, american cheese and bacon.

However, it does not mean that Starbucks conqure America. There are still other brands of coffee such as Expresso Royale. Long queue always every morning ...

I also saw the shop called Agro Tea -- they position themselves as Tea experts which poster in front of the shop as below ... so brave !!!

There are everything like Starbucks -- many types of tea, signature drinks (hot, iced, ice blended) such as Teappuccino, Bbubble Tea, Tea Sangria, Carolina Honey Breeze, etc.

Here are the picture of Black Tea Teappuccino (Tea & frothy milk) and its environment ...

Food Court in Chicago O'haire Airport

The objective of this is to warn anyone who travel via Chicago O'haire Airport (Terminal 1). This is a picture of Jazz Food Court entrance which has many types of food available. I had ice-cream once, it is okay to crunch my thirst and exhausted from long hour travel.

However, I have tried another one of them on "MANCHO WOK". It sounds already chinese but don't expect much that it will be a good Chinese food ...

I saw long queue in front of this section, then I decided to have a test on Chinese Food in US Airport. Ha Ha Ha I should not do a test with this. The fried rice is as cold as it could be with no taste of anything (at all). Luchkily that I also ordered Orange Chicken. The taste of it was so sweet and so sour.

For me, I should have tried the breakfast kiosk instead.
For you, if you have a chance to be there, don't go for this thing. There are lots of other things for you to explore ...

Northern Italian Recipe Restaurant in Chicago

Yes this is a Northern Italian Recipe Restaurant in North of Chicago called Basil Leaf Cafe. At first we did not think that this is a big restaurant. The more we stepped in, the more we noticed that it has the big area and crowded in deed.

This shop firstly founded in New York, then spread down to North Shore of Long Island and West Coast under the name of Primavera. They also has new ideal of create delight American to Italian cuisine under the name of Pasta Villa in California !!! And there Basil Leaf Cafe in both Chicago and California.

Bread was great (very italian texture) ... also Other dishes as Pasta are freshly made and great !!! For example :

Gnocchi (which is the Italian name for a variety of dumpling. They may be made from potato, semolina, ordinary wheat flour, bread crumbs, or other ingredients) Here was so cheesy (look at the left picture)

Linguine with Sole Fish (mixed with sun-dried tomato and bell pepper) -- smell so good with browny fried smell of fish

Another one is Angle Hair olive oil garlic with fresh garden vegatable ... so green and so clean !!!

My only comment for this shop is "Very Big Dish -- I could not finish it !!!"

Address : 2465 N Clark StChicago, IL 60614
Tel : (773) 935-3388

Molly's Cupcake Chicago

This is a cute cupcake shop on North Clark Street (between wrightwood and deming). Molly is the name of one school teacher (taching first to third grade) who always bake cupcakes for students whenever one of there students had a birthday. However, one of the student has learnt her recipe and set up this cupcake shop. She said Molly's cupcake is the best cupcakes ever. The most important thing is that part of shop's profits go to help schools in their community.

The shop is small and simple but the seating area is interesting. There are also counter bar and small table including topping corner (where you can put any topping ingredients on top of cupcakes).

At counter bar, seat are made similar to swinging board (but they were fixed with ceiling and floor).

Also there is coffee & drink available both cold and hot ...

My comment, I like New York Magnolia's Cupcake more (texture of Magnolia's is more dense and the topping is more real and creamy. Here is more light and fluffy).

Anyway, if anyone get a chance to taste both of cupcakes, please share your comments here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Zapatista Mexican in Chicago

This is a Mexican Restaurant in the near south loop of Chicago called "ZAPATISTA" -- one of the best in Chicago.

Address : 1307 South WabashChicago, IL. 60605 (Tel : 312.435.1307)
Favorite dishes include the made-to-order guacamole and the fajitas which are served sizzling hot in a molcajete or lave stone.

Guacamole is an avocado-based relish or dip. In addition to avocados, the original ingredients of tomatoes and salt are common. Lime juice is often added for flavor and to help keep the avocado from browning too soon by slowing the reaction of the enzyme that causes browning. Other common components may include onion, chili pepper, garlic, cumin, black pepper, and cilantro with sour cream or milk.
Pictures below were what they freshly made shown (not far from our table)

This is the girl who made Guacamole for us. The one at reception area (who I did not have a chance to take photo) is a bit older (look like Janifer Lopez at 50 years old). Ha Ha Ha very mexican feeling in deed.

Perfect Guacamole Recipe

2 ripe avocados, ½ red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup), 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice1/2 teaspoon coarse saltA dash of freshly grated black pepper1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
Garnish with red radishes or jicama. Serve with tortilla chips.
- Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.
- Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. Be careful handling the peppers; wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.
- Keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve.
- Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.
- Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix.
For a very quick "guac" just take a 1/4 cup of salsa and mix it in with your mashed avocados.
You don't need to have tomatoes in your guacamole.
To extend a limited supply of avocados, add either sour cream or cottage cheese to your guacamole dip. Purists may be horrified, but so what? It tastes great. In fact, guac with some cottage cheese added to it is my favorite.

Fajitas is a generic term used in Mexican cuisine, referring to grilled meat served on a flour or corn tortilla. In restaurants, the meat is often cooked with onions and bell peppers. Popular condiments are sour cream, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, cheese, and tomato.
Below were the real serve in the stone bowl (so hot !!!)

For me, the most amazed item (special drink) was Strawberry Magarita -- so Strawberry, so fresh, so refresh ... but easy to get drunk. We ordered the one that served in jar which able to be pour in 5 glasses !!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gold Street Brunch

After we went to Ground Zero area and Trinity Church, we came for brunch at "GOLD ST" on Gold Street, New York.

What I like most at this shop were what were written at the front as :

Here are the egg brunch we ordered :
The pearl st omlete (egg white, spinach, tomato, mushrooms) and
Egg any style (any kind of eggs with sliced potato and toast)

and Big Breakfast (2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 3 stripes of bacon, 1 sausage, and toast)

Monday, May 19, 2008

New York is Zarbar's - Zarbar's is New York

Zarbar's is the famous Gourmet Store. Zabar's is a specialty food store, founded by Louis Zabar, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. It is one of the best known commercial landmarks of the Upper West Side, and is known for its selection of bagels, smoked fish, olives, and cheeses.

Besides of Zarbar's food store, there is a kind of sandwiches shop / coffee shop (selling all kinds of sandwiches and other beverages).

Sandwiches are available in both cold and hot (pressed). There are also other bakery such as pastry, cookies, etc.

Here are Vegetable Foccasia Hot (fresh zucchini and shiny red pepper) and Egg Ham Cheese Muffin (look at how melty and sticky of cheese)

This is my up-close & personal Cinnamon Roll