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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stone Oven Bread

Remember the Stone Oven Bread from Flavor Bistro last Wednesday? I loved it so much, I decided to try to recreate it. I'm a semi-homemade kind of person and take shortcuts whenever possible.

Trader Joe's Plain Pizza Dough--16 oz for $1.29. Take it out of the package and let rest on a floured surface for 20 minutes. Cut into quarters and stretch each piece out.

Trader Giotto's Quattro Formaggio, a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, Fontia and mild Provolone Cheese--12 oz for $4.99. Add on top of pizza dough and bake at 450 degrees until the cheese is bubbly and brown.

More cheesy than the bread at Flavor's but it was pretty close.

2012 09 29

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Night Dinner

Another Thursday night at Flavor Bistro.

Bruschetta Con Fico E Prosciutto--Topped with Gorgonzola Dolce, Local Figs, Prosciutto Di Parma and Autumn Organic Chicories served with Healdsburg Ranches Chardonnay North Coast

Ravioli D'Anatra--Duck Filled Homemade Pasta Served in a Sugo Di Pomodoro Cooked with Organic Heirloom Tomatoes, Olive Pesto & Arugula served with 2009 Alexander Valley Vineyard "Redemption" Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. You can't really tell it's filled with duck but who cares when the sauce is delicious. I must say that Flavor's makes an excellent sugo and again I cleaned the plate.
The next course was Costoletta D'Agnello--Grilled Marinated Local Lamb Chop Garnished with Garlic-Fontina Polenta & Roasted Radicchio in a Basil-Marjoram Jus served with 2009 Jekel Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from Arroyo Seco, Monterey. I got so excited to try the polenta that I forgot to take a picture. I was half way through the dish before I remembered I hadn't taken a picture. The polenta was creamy and cheesy and the lamb chop was delicious. I gnawed the bone clean.

Crostata Di Pesca--Organic Autumn Flame Peach Galette Garnished with Vanilla Cream served with Bonterra Muscat from Bartolucci Vineyards, Lake County

2012 09 27

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sonoma Farmhouse Table

Risotto was on the menu tonight so I had to go to Wednesday Night Dinner at Flavor Bistro.

Warm Stone Oven Bread. This was delicious. Hint of salty cheese on top, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Minestrone Soup with Puff Pastry Crust

Organic Spinach Salad--delicious with the pear.

Blue Lake Beans

Red Pepper Goulash

Mushroom Risotto--al dente and delicious.

Sauteed Russian River Chicken with Shallots & Grapes--moist chicken with amazing sauce. The grapes added just the right amount of sweetness.

Free Form Apple Pie.

Dinner was served family-style. All this for $18.95/person--an amazing deal!

2012 09 26

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back A Yard

Back A Yard is a Caribbean American Grill located in Menlo Park. It's a small place with just a few tables inside and a couple more plastic tables outside. Order at the counter and the food is brought to your table.

Beef Oxtails for $12.95--served with Rice n beans, Plantains and Tossed Salad. This was very flavorful and the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender.

Jerk Chicken Meal  for $9.25-- served with Rice n beans, Plantains and Tossed Salad . The chicken was moist and the jerk seasoning was delicious and not too spicy. The sauce that came on the side was excellent.

Jerk Pork Meal for $9.25--served with Rice n beans, Plantains and Tossed Salad. This was also very moist and I preferred the pork over the chicken.

Fried Catfish Meal for $9.50--served with fries, warm roll and coleslaw. The catfish was crisp .n the outside and moist on the inside. The coleslaw was okay--nothing special.

We also ordered the Saturday special--Ackee & Codfish for $14.25. I thought I had taken a picture of it but couldn't find it. No big loss. Ackee and codfish is the national dish of Jamaica. Ackee is a fruit that when cooked looks and tastes like hard scrambled eggs. It was sauteed with onions, tomatoes, spices and codfish. This was our least favorite of the night. We found just a few cod pieces in it and I didn't care for the ackee.

Corn Festivals for $2.50--Fried dough. These were delicious but there wasn't much of a corn flavor.

We also had the side of collard greens for $2.50. Again, don't know what happened to the picture.

I would definitely go back to Back A Yard. Next time, I'm having the oxtail with collard greens for a side.

2012 09 22

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tofu House

Finally made it to SGD Tofu House in Santa Clara. I had read good reviews about this place and wanted to compare it to my favorite Kong Tofu in Cupertino.

SGD Tofu House is located at 3450 El Camino Real. It's in a strip mall near Lawrence Expressway.
We arrived at 12:30pm on a Saturday afternoon. There was a short line but we were seated within 10 minutes. This was not a fancy place and there were tennis balls on the legs of the chairs. We placed our order and the side dishes arrived. The pink stuff is kim chee in water--not much flavor. Tasted just like cabbage in water, as if it had not been pickled long enough. To the right of it was a pickled vegetable dish--not bad. At least it had more pickled flavoring. The chap chae had a powdery texture. I'm not sure what the orange stuff was--possibly daikon. The sprouts were okay. The smaller orange stuff was squid.

Kim Chee--typical but it tasted good with the purple rice. I ate so much rice with the kim chee that I had to ask for an extra bowl of rice.

Seafood Soft Tofu for $9.93. I ordered it mild because I don't like my food so spicy that I can't taste it. Mild was too mild though. There were 3 shrimp in shells, 2 gigantic mussels (they were too large and didn't add much to the flavor of the shrimp and clam) and a lot of clam pieces. There were definitely more clams here than in the dish at Kong Tofu. The bowl was smaller here and overall I liked the flavor at Kong better.

Assorted Mushroom Soft Tofu. I preferred the seafood flavor of the other soup.

BBQ pork for $11.09. This was a huge dish. Three of us shared this along with 2 bowls of soft tofu and there was still meat to take home. The pork was very flavorful--slightly sweet and grilled perfectly. This was my favorite until we saw the puddle of grease in the bottom of the plate.

2012 09 22

Sunday, September 23, 2012


My parents like to go to Yoshida in Cupertino because they love the lunch special for $7.95. I joined them today and was amazed at all the food that you get on their lunch special. There's also a dinner special that includes chawan mushi--an egg custard that when made well is light and airy. I wanted to try it but the only way you can get it is on their dinner special. I'll have to go back and try that.

Yoshida is located at 10700 S. DeAnza Blvd in Cupertino. The lunch special is served 6 days a week--the restaurant is closed on Mondays.

This is what you get for $7.95. I was stuffed by the time I finished the meal.

Typical California roll--not the best I've had but pretty good.

Agedashi Tofu--nice broth. The tofu could've been served hotter.

Iceberg lettuce with tasty miso dressing that was served on the side.

Miso soup with seaweed and sliced fried tofu.

Not quite sure what this was--pickled cabbage with baked salmon.

Salmon teriyaki--moist and tasty sauce.

2012 09 23

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dick's Bakery

Dick's Bakery is a small family bakery that has been in business in San Jose since 1947. Their specialty is burnt almond cake but I'm not a big fan of burnt almond cake. I go there to buy their chocolate chewies--light and chewy chocolate cookies.

Dick's is located in a non-descript strip mall at 1593 Meridian, on the corner of Hamilton.

The chocolate chewies come with or without nuts. I like mine with nuts--it adds a little texture to the melt-in-your mouth chocolate lusciousness. A dozen cookies cost $8.40. I wouldn't drive out of my way to get them but if you happen to be in the neighborhood, it's worth a stop.

2012 09 22

Friday, September 21, 2012

Clay Pot Chicken

This is the second time I made this dish and I liked it a lot better. Last time I didn't add the oyster sauce because I thought it would make it too sweet. This time, I followed the recipe exactly. Goes to show that I shouldn't experiment until I try it the first time. This recipe came from the San Jose Mercury News.

Slice the shitake mushrooms

Chinese sausages

Marinate the chicken thigh

The final product

Clay Pot Chicken with Rice

3 chicken thigh meat, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger

1 Tbs vegetable oil

6 shitake mushrooms, cut into thin slices
3 Chinese sausages
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs Maggi sauce or light soy sauce
½ Tbs sesame oil

2 cups long-grain rice
Fresh cilantro leaves

Mix chicken with cornstarch, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and marinate for 30 minutes. Heat oil and stir fry chicken until lightly brown. Add mushrooms, sausages, oyster sauce, Maggi sauce and sesame oil.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Meantime, cook the rice in an electric rice cooker. As soon as the switch turns to warm, add chicken mixture and stir in. Replace lid until steam subsides. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

2012 09 15

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday Night at Flavor's

Here's tonight's lineup:

Bruschetta Alla Caprese--Grilled Pesto Flavored Brioche Topped with Organic Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella served with 2010 Iron Horse Vineyards Chardonnay from Green Valley of the Russian River Valley. The tomatoes were flavorful.

Tortelli Estiva--Handmade Hat Shaped Pasta Filled with a Summery Vegetali-Ricotta Mousse served in a Spicy Sugo Di Pomodoro with Balsamic Glaze & Parmigiano-Reggiano served with 2010 La Merika Pinot Noir from the Central Coast. Again, another delicious pasta with great tomato sauce!

Bistecca Alla Griglia--Grilled Marinated Flat Iron Steak Garnished with Garlic-Citrus Gremolata Potatoes and Roasted Sweet Onions & Escarole Served in a Barolo Wine Sauce served with 2008 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Sonoma Valley. Amazing Barolo wine sauce--so sweet and flavorful.

Crostata Di Pera--Organic Pear Galette Served with Muscat Zabaione served with 2010 Cerretto Moscato d'Asti from Piemonte, Italia.

2012 09 20

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thursday Dinner--9/13/2012

This was the dinner for Thursday, 9/13/2012:

Bruschetta Con Pera—Organic Stark Crimson Pear, Gorgonzola Dolce Mousse, Organic Chicories, Balsamic Glaze & Walnut Gremolata served with Villa Sandi Prosecco Treviso Brut from Veneto, Italia.

Pezze Della Nonna—Pasta Folds filled with Spinach & a Trio of Cheeses Baked in a Garlic-Balsamella and Pomodoro Sauces Topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano served with 2009 San Polo Rubio Sangiovese from Toscana, Italia. I love the Pomodoro Sauce--it's fresh and tasty. I licked the bowl clean.

Anatra Arrosto—Marinated Duck Breast Served in a Sugo Di Erbe flavored with Slow-Cooked Onions, Fingerling Potatoes, Olives & Arugula served with 2009 Marchesi De Frescobaldi Tenuta Di Castiglioni from Toscana, Italia.

Tiramisu—Espresso Lady Fingers Layered with Rum Flavored Marcarpone Cream Topped with Bittersweet Cocoa served with 2010 Ceretto Moscato d’Asti from Piemonte, Italia.

2012 09 13

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I read about a new Vietnamese restaurant on Bite Club Eats--the Press Democrat food website. I love banh xeo so I decided to give it a try.

Banh Xeo--it looked good but it was not tasty. It was not flavorful and not crispy enough and there were not enough greens.

Crab Vermicelli—This was okay but would've been better with more flavor. You can't really tell there's crab in it.

Shaken Beef—this was the best dish of the bunch. The filet mignon was tender and there was a lot of flavor. If I go again, this would be the only thing I order.

2012 09 08