Monday, January 11, 2010

3 Things To Make Winter Easier...

If there’s one thing that I truly despise about winter, it’s shoveling snow. There are several reasons for this:

* We have a big driveway and lots of sidewalk and other shit to deal with.
* Contrary to popular belief, I’m wildly out of shape.
* I don’t actually own any “winter” clothing, which means I shovel in jeans, a wool car coat, and leather shoes. I just recently became the proud owner of gloves and a hat (see Montreal story).
* One time I was drunk and yelled at the city plow-guy and told him to go fuck himself, so now they make sure to leave an extra-large banking at the end of our driveway (sorry Dietz, but then again what were we doing out shoveling at 11 pm!?)

The one positive thing about the whole snow shoveling experience is that when I do something that burns 300 calories, I find that it's easy to justify going out to lunch and consuming 1800.

Here are 3 things I've discovered to make winter a little easier on us....

Menudo at Tu Casa (above)

Available on Sundays only, this is perfect cold weather food. It’s got a deep, earthy broth with yuca, corn, pig trotter, and lots of tripey goodness. Enjoy 4 Pacificos to help wash it down (it IS Sunday, after all!)

Pho at Saigon

I’ve had it several times, and each time it gets better. Many people say that they like it more than the pho at Thanh Thanh 2 (see several of my previous posts), and I would have to agree. The reasons for this are:

* The broth has incredible depth and you can really pick up on the cinnamon and star anise notes.
* The pieces of beef tendon are large,rich, and creamy.
* They serve saw-tooth herb, one of my favorite accompaniments and something I haven’t seen since Huong’s closed.
* The beef meatballs are the best I’ve had.
* They serve a dish of spicy sate on the side.
* They open at 9:00 a.m. so you can have pho for breakfast (this is a big one for me).

Soft Tofu Stew with Kimchi at Happy Teriyaki

It arrives at the table so friggin' hot that all you can do is warm your hands over it for about 7 minutes. During this period you watch the egg cook in the broth and repeatedly burn your mouth trying to taste it. It's well worth the wait - every time.

I would like to include an R.I.P. for La Bodega Latina. Though the market it still there (and is still great), the food is pretty much done. There was just nothing quite like a plate of ox-tails, pigeon pea rice, and fried plantains washed down with an orange Jarritos on a snowy day - we will miss you.


  1. No more fried chicken and roast pork with maximum fat, and those fried potato balls!? Well that's a huge bummer!

  2. I've noticed the lack of deep fried goodness at the BL too. The yuca and empanadinhas rocked. Something must be done about this...

  3. I enjoyed Saigon. Did you get the remedial pho treatment? The owner came around and wanted to explain how to doctor up the soup. She tried to squirt in some hoisin on my behalf.

  4. Amen to this post. I was just at Happy Teriyaki last night slurping up my favorite soup (it's not on the menu though) on such a cold night! I've been hearing similar reports about Saigon and its higher quality food. It's a good thing I've been craving pho lately - I'll have to try it out soon!

  5. Hahaha I need a remdial pho treatment, I've never had it! You'd recommend visiting saigon to lose my pho virginity?

  6. Tripe!
    Headed over to Tu Casa for Sunday menudo yesterday. Wasn't on specials board and so we asked for it. Excellent. Thank you. Tripe. If I spot you there some Sunday, I'll be sure to send over a couple Pacificos.