May 13, 2009

Scrapin' Up the Bits... San Fran Style

A few things to share today...

To start with, as the (few/none) regular readers of LBoN know and appreciate, I regularly mine the New York Times food section for recipes, food news, etc. And while the Times' Mark Bittman and Melissa Clark tend to offer recipes that are more suited to the average home cook, I've found that the San Francisco Chronicle, which also does a bang-up job covering food-related issues, takes a different route.

The Chronicle's recipes, by and large, are geared toward the hard-core home cooks and foodies, those that don't mind putting in some tough time in the kitchen chopping and blending and transferring ingredients from a saute pan to a plate to a roasting pan to the oven to the stove top. So while I don't have as much time these days for meals that require long prep, given my affinity for chicken thighs, this Spanish-influenced dish totally got my tongue wagging. (Hint, hint... the recipe following this one on the page, "Chicken, Lemongrass, and Potato Curry," ohohohohoh my!).

Speaking of the Times, did you know that Lays potato chips qualify as "local food." Well, I didn't. And, really, they don't. But Lays thinks so, and is beginning to market it as such. As Michael Pollan said of the big food and grocery companies...

“They can turn any critique into a new way to sell food. You’ve got to hand it to them.”

Now that we're talking about local food, this is really, well, nice.

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato was on one of the top floors of the Grant Building a few months ago when he looked below and noticed the expansive roof of the nearby County Office Building on Forbes Avenue.

"I looked over and the idea came to me: We can use this roof as green space," he recalled yesterday as he unveiled plans to create a plant garden on the roof of the building at 542 Forbes Ave., and a water garden in the courtyard of the county courthouse.

The county, he said, plans to use half of the roof of the County Office Building for a green roof. The 8,400-square-foot area will be covered with waterproof fabric, soil and plants native to Allegheny County.

Speaking of gardens
, the Post-Gazette also unveiled this great interactive map of farm markets in the area.

Speaking of the Post-Gazette, while I'm not personally a fan of the garbage-bag headed restaurant reviewer Munch - not sure why you need Munch and a more, I guess, professional reviewer like China Millman - the brown-faced one recently visited a new Vietnamese restaurant in the Strip, Vietnam's Pho.

I know that Tram's in Lawrenceville is supposed to be the area's best Vietnamese restaurant, but, despite Munch thinking that a quail egg was a particularly adventurous ingredient - does he not watch the Evil Food Channel ever? - the review really got me jonesing for some pho, vermicelli-style noodles with grilled meats that have been bathed in lemongrass, and this...

Cari Ga ($7.50), a chicken curry with potato and onion served with a small baguette.

The curry was sweet and delicious, similar to a Thai yellow curry but slightly chunkier. But the real revelation was the bread, which sopped up the extra curry sauce so well that Munch's plate was sparkling clean when the friendly waitresses cleared the table.


Troy said...

Local potato chips . . . lovely!

Some Pennsylvania brands of chips and snacks do use the "PA Preferred" brand on their bags.

Fillippelli the (Wannabe) Cook said...

Utz, which I've always thought were some of the best chips, are made in Pa, correct? Wonder where they get their potatoes?