Thursday, April 7, 2011

Portland, OR

Bunk Sandwiches
Clyde Common
Nong's Khao Man Gai
The People's Pig
Random Order Coffeehouse
Voodoo Doughnuts

Cocktail Bars
Teardrop Lounge
The Secret Society

Argyle Winery
Hawks View Cellars

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sake Pairing Dinner at Sake Institute of America and Japon Bistro (Pasadena)

After my first sake tasting and pairing with Master Sake Sommelier Yuji Matsumoto, I was sold. That's why I happily obliged to attend another pairing. That night I also heard the great news that he and his friend at Japon Bistro had started Sake Institute of America with a sake store inside Japon Bistro. Did I mention Japon Bistro is within walking distance from my apartment? Double score.
Sake Pairing Dinner at Japon Bistro

Mizbasho Sparkling SakeA toast to start the night with Mizbasho sparkling sake from Gunma, which is supposedly the only sparkling sake produced per the standards of French champagne production. It's more full-bodied than champagne. A little sweetness here, a little sourness there.

With this sake pairing dinner we had the chance to taste sake with food other than sushi, but of course, we all started with some sashimi.

Early summer assorted sashimi paired with Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo (Yamaguchi)

The most interesting part was seeing how the different sashimi interacts with the sake. The Aji brought out the floral aromas while the hotate (scallops) made it more subtle. It works the other way as well, the restrained Dassai made the saba (mackerel) less salty, sweeter.
I've been a big Dassai proponent since the last tasting. Dassai sake is made by the Asahi Shuzo brewery in Honshu, which only makes junmai daiginjo sake.
The number 50 refers to how much the rice has been polished, in this case to 50% of its original size.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Green Chile Burger at Bobcat Bite (Santa Fe, NM)

The green chile burger at Bobcat Bite may be the most famous food item in Santa Fe, having been voted best burger in America by Bon Appetit, featured in Gourmet, Food Network, and many more.

Bobcat Bite is actually on the outskirts of Santa Fe and about a 20-30 minute drive down the Old Las Vegas Highway. We made the drive from the city at the urging of FoodGPS. The restaurant's name apparently came from the wild bobcats that used to wander around to get fed. I wonder if they like green chile too?

Here's the burger breakdown:
Buns from Fano bakery in Santa Fe, a juicy 10 oz patty (ground chuck), a mix of American and Swiss cheese, melted, tomato, lettuce, and of course minced green chile.

Green Chile Burger
Look at that thick juicy patty, pink in the middle:
Green Chile burger - cross section
A very satisfying burger, with a kick. If you're already in Santa Fe, it's not that far of a drive and worth visiting. Eat outside or in the low ceiling-ed dining room. It's tight, but it's part of the experience.


Bobcat Bite
420 Old Las Vegas Highway
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 983-5319
Bobcat Bite Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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