Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Bánh mì is keepin' it straight gangster

Normally I don't eat lunch when I'm at my job. Sometimes I might make a peanut butter sammich, and I don't even really like peanut butter. I do this because I'm cheap, and because I don't want fat globules to congeal in my gut while I do nothing for four more hours but sit and clickity clack on the keyboard. Hey, I'm almost 34 and I hate working out so something has got to give. Today was different. I said to myself, "fuck you peanut butter. I'm having a Vietnamese sammich." And I totally did. The Vietnamese make what turns out to be pretty much my favorite sandwich, EVER! The sandwiches consist of some super high quality french bread. Um French Bread? Vietnam? Yeah. the French owned that shit for quite a while. Study up on your history peeps. I once heard that when the British would leave a former colony they would leave behind infrastructure. But, when the French would leave a colony they'd leave their cooking. Thus we have baguettes in Vietnam. Damn good ones too. The sandwich also typically has pickled carrots, which give it color and a kick ass bite. Also there is Pate, and normally I hate pate, but in this case it's not bad. There are several meat options, usually pork or chicken but I opted for the Vietnamese Ham. OMG! The picture above doesn't even do it justice. This was the most electric pink and red meat I have ever seen. Epic! The Vietnamese peeps seem to like Mayo, because every one of these I've ever had always has plenty of it. So far your saying to yourself "What the fuck does this have to do with spicy foods?" Thanks for being patient. The girl behind the counter asked me if I wanted it spicy. I said "You bet I do!" She handed me a sammich loaded with little volatile green disks of fresh Jalapeno. The Vietnamese Sandwich is great because it's kind of like the ragtop of sandwiches. You can be all mid-life crisis like and if you feel the need to be a little flashy, put on a thumb ring and go riding around with the top down then you can certainly go all the way with the jalapenos. Or you can be a little bit more conservative, and keep the top up and leave the Jalapenos out all together. Either way it doesn't change the overall sandwich experience. It really is a food both the spicy and non spicy among us can easily enjoy. Even better you're not going to piss off anyone preparing your food because they have to jump through all kinds of various hoops in order to make or unmake your sandwich spicy. You special snowflake you. 

Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I think your Pani is touching my Puri.

Monday ended up being rando "let's go to Dosa" night. It started out as "let's go to Pizzeria Delfina" night, but that's neither here nor there. Dosa is a South Indian restaurant in the Mission. It totally rules.  Dosa's menu goes above and beyond the usual Chicken Tikka, which also normally totally rules. Just wait til' we end up at Nann and Curry some night at 2 a.m. for that post but it will be less about spice and more about who ended up with a case of butt soup. But, I digress. We ended up ordering a ton of food. Yes, a full metric ton of food. Although we asked for the "mild" versions of everything. What? Yes I fucking said mild! What am I some kind of asshole who makes everyone who should happen to be dining with me suffer chili burns? Sheesh!   Whatevs. According to the girly stomachs that accompanied me to dinner (sorry Oliver. You're all bro. dude. Just not your stomach. Your stomach is totally traveling pants.) everything was at least a little spicy. Except. The Pani Puri. Pani Puri is not only extremely fun to say, it's also mutha fuckin' delicious! The waitress, or excuse me, server seemed surprised that I knew the deal with the Pani Puri, and no I've never dated an Indian girl. Anyway, I wish would have been able to use the "Oh yes, Pani Puri. Delicious isn't it? I used to eat the stuff all the time when I was on my sabbatical. Spent a year on a camels back in India." Yeah I would never actually say something like that. So what's a Pani Puri anyway? Pani Puri are these little crispy hollow puffs that you crack open and put garbanzo beans, lentils, and potatoes into. The best part is that you fill it up with a spiced water. At Dosa they serve two kinds. For me a mint and chili water. It was super hot and yummy. They also gave us a tamarind water which according to Steph was in fact not spicy and yummers. The verdict was in. Pani Puri rules for sharing amongst spicy and non spicy peeps alike. Yaayyyy!!!!!

The Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gah! Gag me with a Gored Gored!

This post has it all. Spicy food, not so spicy food, action, adventure, love, hate, and an embarrassing near death experience. So Sunday night was Eritrean slash Ethiopian night. So, we rounded up some peeps and headed out to my favie spot in the Inner Sunset, New Eritrea, for a fine meal of food. Who knew it could be my last. Excited yet?  Let me just say, we put a huge fucking dent in that menu up yo! We started off like serious ballers, and had all three of the Sambusas, a ground beef, a lentil and a veggie. A Sambusa is basically pretty similar in concept to any of your 'egg roll-esque, Samosa-y' deep fried appetizers. The nice thing about these is that they come in a non spicy format, but as if they knew me they included a yummy, spicy vat of Harissa on the side. Oh red chili paste how I adore thee. Next came a ton of food whose names escape me at this moment, but for those unfamiliar with the format of consumption in Ethiopia and Eritrea, all the food is pretty much a stew and is served on top of a giant sour pancake called, Injera, family style. You take a pinch of the Injera and use that as an unleavened utensil. Most of the food was fairly mild, as I was in such company that that was of crucial importance. However, I did order a spoiler, a beast of a beefy dish called Gored Gored, which sounds like the name of a really sweet god of war type deity from Conan. I needed the hot n' spicy on this night, but it would be my undoing as you will soon find out. Gored Gored is basically chunks of steak in a spicy Harissa laden butter sauce. Unfortunately, they brought it out on the same plate as the other dishes and it's spicy, rouge-y, delicio-city was constantly mounting cross border assaults into the completely unaware chicken dish on the left. It was like watching Hitler invade Poland all over again. The fowl didn't stand a chance. Needless to say I was less popular than before the meal began because of this. The conversation was flowing and My first bite of Gored Gored was tasty and that's when it got weird. Suddenly, I went to swallow like I've been doing every meal for damn near 34 years, and my stupid Gored gets lodged in my throat. I kept trying to swallow it, but no luck. I then realized I really couldn't breathe so well. Naturally I thought that a swig of mah fine Eritrean brewski would help. Bad idea because that didn't go down either. At this point I must have looked a bit distressed because peeps began to ask if I was "okay?" I couldn't find the words to answer, mostly because I couldn't talk. At this point people say their lives flash before their eyes. What flashed before mine was the gripping fear of creating a huge scene in the middle of a restaurant and puking on the table or passing out on the floor. I've seen this happen before and it wasn't pretty. However, in these cases I do believe the food is on the house. I could have taken one for the team in that case, but instead I opted to go off and die in quiet dignity, on the sidewalk. On the way out the beer kind of came up in my hand, which was gross. I was only outside for a few seconds and I overcame my ordeal just as one the peeps came to see if I was cool. I was cool. A little bit scared to be honest and a little more respectful of the Gored Gored. The thinly veiled message I have tried to impart to you is: Chew your food bitches!

I had planned to bring the Holga but I forgot it so the pic above is some rando's labor of love. 

 The Spice must flow....................Just not from our arses.