Dine About Town

It’s been difficult or me to keep up with my blog.  The holidays are finally over and my nausea isn’t as crippling, so I hope to post, and cook, more often now.  Christmas was a success, however, I had to really downscale my menu to simple dishes. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking with that crazy menu! I ended up making a Spinach & Pancetta Strata which I thought was terrible, but my mother-in-law and husband loved it.  (Keep in mind, my mother-in-law will say she likes spam sandwiches just so she won’t hurt your feelings and my husband will eat anything.)  The pancetta cooked up so small that you couldn’t taste it in the dish.  AND, it was ugly.   No bueno Giada, no bueno, but I’ll build you back up later on in this post.  I made sausage balls, artichoke dip, brownie bites, and Chex mix (thank you Pioneer Woman) for snacking purposes throughout the day.  The brownie bites took me two days to make, but OH MY GOD, were they amazing.  If you’re a chocolate lover, take a weekend and make these.  It probably won’t take you as long as it took me, I have to rest in between steps.  Babies growing in my uterus make me very tired.   Here’s a picture of them taken with my phone.  Don’t they look like candy?  Super, awesome, brownie candy!

My brother-in-law totally blew it and did NOT bring the bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers like he promised.  Supposedly, he froze the fresh jalapenos and they disintegrated.  Whatever……. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a little disappointment, I guess. And finally for dinner, my husband grilled a london broil, I made spicy mac and cheese , which was the talk of the entire evening, roasted yams with rosemary and mint, and roasted balsamic asparagus.  I also made Lara’s pound cake.  Delish!  Overall, everything was good and easy.  Although I’m a freak about the holidays, I was really glad to see these end.  I need a little normalcy in my life right now.

Soooooo……… my bff Sarah is coming to visit me from Richmond next week!  And lucky for her, the week she chose to come is the start of Dine About Town in San Francisco!  It’s like Restaurant Week except, it’s two weeks long!   We are spending a weekend in the city and will be eating our hearts out!  We chose restaurants based on the neighborhoods we’ll be spending our time in.  On Friday night, we’ll be dining at First Crush, in Union Square, 1 block away from our hotel.  Dine About Town doesn’t begin until Saturday, but whatever, Sarah wanted to go here anyway.  I heard about this place on the FoodNetwork show Giada’s Weekend Getaways, or at least I thought I had.  I just went to that episode on foodnetwork.com and First Crush wasn’t mentioned anywhere.  So……. we’ll just pretend she dined there.  I felt that First Crush would be a good choice because back in 2007, her Weekend Getaway to Charleston, SC literally made me call the bff (Sarah) and say “You wanna go to Charleston for a weekend?”  Sarah’s always down for weekend trips, so we booked a precious B & B and headed to Lowcountry.  Giada was right on the money with McCrady’s AND Poogan’s Porch (with the best damn sandwich I’ve ever had, fried green tomato, applewood smoked bacon, and goat cheese, holy crap).   McCrady’s is one of those places where the wait staff wears tuxedo shirts and cleans your table linen with a crumb scraper in between courses.   It’s exquisite.  Giada helped in making Charleston the best food trip I’ve ever had.  (FIG is my all-time favorite restaurant ever.  The chef/owner served Sarah and I our main courses and I about peed on myself).  God Bless Lowcountry Cuisine.  Anywho…….Let’s hope First Crush knocks our socks off.

Sarah and I at Poogan’s Porch, June 2007

On Saturday night, we’ll be seeing Beach Blanket Babylon, a San Francisco institution.  Since this production is in the neighborhood of North Beach, we chose E Tutto Qua as our dinner destination.  I really liked E Tutto Qua’s website because the pictures of the staff and food looked very personal, not contrived and it made the place seem very welcoming and local.   (Trip Advisor reviews help too!) I hope they live up to our expectations.  Sarah and I are both very curious as to what Squid Ink Pasta is.  Will I be adventurous?  Pregnancy and food adventurism do NOT go too well together, so we’ll see. 

As far as breakfast and lunch, we’ll probably play it by ear, something I really hate doing, but Sarah is way more laid back and this trip is about her, not me.  She’s never been to the city!  Wish us good food luck!

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