Monday, July 16, 2007

Legal Beans - Hoboken, NJ

where = 86 Garden St Hoboken, NJ

espresso - shockingly good. maybe one of my favorite shots this year.

food - I got some eggy breakfast thing. I remember it being fine.

The Grey Dog

33 Carmine St, NYC - little happy heaven of sandwiches, coffee, and beer. Tight quarters = good conversation?

Kara Zuaro, author of I like food, food tastes good, took us here. It's in a modelicious richville megaswank Greenwich Village neighborhood.

I had the #10 Hummus, Gruyere, Avocado, Plum Tomato, Peppercini, and Pea Shoots on toast. I'm not sure I've ever *really* liked a hummus sandwich. I aimed for health and was surprised how tasty this was. I think most hummus sandwiches are as fun as eating hot sand, but the gruyere, tomato, and tasty bread made this worth remembering. I liked the Magic Hat beer I had, and the double espresso shot was a 7.5/10.

where do veggies come from?

I swear I was looking at the amazing furniture at Nobody and Co, when I found this hot, hot picture.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Shearwater and The New Year hit the Western US

Howard and I ventured out West with Shearwater (him + me) and The New Year + David Bazan (just me). Too slow on the draw to take photos and too busy with rocking to make detailed notes, I'll have to make do with a quick run-down of the notable meals:

1. Tacos @ El Chilito, Austin, TX: Migas tacos for breakfast, veggie tacos (saved for the 16-hour drive to Tucson). The former were magnificent, and not too greasy. The veggie tacos were less exciting -- plenty flavorful, just not that memorable -- but they had been sitting for four hours or so, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.

2. Granola & fruit at Cup Cafe, Tucson, AZ: Homemade, not too sweet. Excellent texture (all bits easily identifiable), to boot. I was tempted to repeat it, Chris Weber-style. (Legend has it, Weber once experienced a breakfast so grand that when the waitress asked, "Anything else?", his only response was "Repeat it!")

Shearwater's rented van (thanks, Okkervil River!) turned out to require $1600 worth of repairs so it could, you know, stop at red lights and stop signs (thanks, Okkervil River!). As a result, we arrived too late to L.A. for a proper dinner.

After the L.A. show, Shearwater traveled on to San Francisco and left me in the hands of the New Year, which led to:

3. Thai Food @ the Thai restaurant up the street from Spaceland: Bazan learned the New Year practice of "out-ordering" one another when Donofrio ordered pad see yew for the entire table, "stuffing" us both in the gastronomic and urban slang senses. I had a barely passable Tom Kha soup and an excellent panang curry with tofu. Biznono rocked the pinapple curry fried rice, besting us all. Damn him!

4. Granola and grits @ The 101 Cafe, Hollywood, CA: My only other time here was two years previous with Silkworm (where I met Greg O'Malley of Sunn0)))) and Southern Lord -- we listed to The Grimm Robe Demos all the way to Visalia), but the experience was much better this time. Bazan made a power play, going for the friend catfish and scrambled eggs, but I was unimpressed (I needed the fiber, really).

5. The Tex-Ass Donut @ Voodoo Donuts, Portland, OR: The photos really tell it all (scroll down). As food, I dunno how I feel about Voodoo's stuff, but as curiosity, quite amazing. They no longer sell the Robotussin-glaze, BTW.

6. Granola and fruit (WHAT???) @ J & M, Portland, OR: Amazing place. Fresh, simple, excellent diner food, done very well. I don't even remember what these other fuckers had.

7. Machiatto @ Stumptown Coffee, Portland, OR: The best coffee I've ever had, hands-down.

8. Various 'nuts @ Top Pot Donuts, Seattle, WA: We all went back for seconds on the raspberry creme, and the cinnamon cake was no slouch, either. Excellent all around.

Other notables: We hit In-and-Out Burger a couple of times (including the most northerly one in Redding, CA), and the cook at the Bottom of the Hill made us a very fine spread of pasta and salad. Serious Pie in Seattle did a great job with fancy-schmansy gourmet pizza.

One last note: according to the GPS, there are 27 Starbucks within a .5 mi radius of the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle. Sheesh!

E. MexiKinney St. Taco Crawl #1: Veronica's Cafe

In our lovely home of Denton, TX, East McKinney street is full of small taquerias, most of which are not frequented by we gringos. To bridge the cultural divide and fill our bellies, Bryan (Tre Orsi's drummer) and I are making our way up McKinney St., hitting every single taqueria and cafe.

Stop #1 was Veronica's Cafe, today at 3:30. They were out of a lot of stuff. Note to self: must wake up earlier.

  • Carne con chile taco: C+. Not bad, not that exciting, either. This is their "spicy" beef?
  • Lengua taco: C-. Not flavorful enough. Like my mom's brisket. (Sorry, mom!)
  • Salsa: B. Consistency like Mexican Sriracha.
  • Service: A
They do their morcilla Mexcian-style, as one would suppose. They were out, so no dice.

(I should add that the only time I've had morcilla was in Valencia, Spain. There, it's a sausage made of pig heart, lungs, neck, blood, and spices. Was served in a super-light crepe, drizzled with honey.

I asked the guy at Veronica's how he makes it: "Just blood.")

Also of note: our friend, Mariel Tam, (who knows her gastronomy like no one's business), says: "The caldo de pescado from Veronica's cured my case of mono. For like a day, anyway. It is fabulous."