Archive for February 2011
We live in part of San Francisco Bay Area that is famous for Korean food. So when the popular south Korea based franchise, Bon Chon Restaurant, opened a branch in our neighborhood strip mall, it was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I got in. My neighborhood hole in the walls are just that. Decor is typically non-existent. Menu is minimally put together. Furniture, floor and walls have a beat up look. The wait staff is typically a first generation immigrant who speaks rudimentary English. But this is an immigrant community and while these restaurants are not for special occasions, they can serve up a dish or two that are expertly put together. In general, fried food in Asian cuisine is less greasy. Korean tastes are fiery. So, it is fair to say that I was expecting a less greasy and more spicy version of southern style fried chicken from a fast food joint, a Korean McDonald.
Winters are a little drizzly around here. On these drizzly weekends, in lieu of long walks on the hills of Bay Area, we often find ourselves staying home with reruns of Firefly and surviving on samosa sandwiches. A few weekends ago, we decided to change the drizzly weekend routine and drove out to People’s Republic of Berkeley with the idea of lunching at Gregoire’s, a small hole in the wall that is purported to serve up gourmet lunches.
Samosa sandwich – hot crisp samosa sandwiched between sliced white bread with some mint or coriander chutney. Conceptually, this is not far from chip butty.
In a pinch, ketchup can be substituted for chutney. Or Sriracha. In a pinch, wheat bread can be substituted for white. And by the time, you have substituted Trader Joe’s frozen samosa for the real ones, the purists will cringe. But it will satisfy the Punjabi-ness of your being.
Somewhere between lunch and dinner, I often find myself craving for a slice of cake and a cup of tea. Mostly I make do with a health bar. Some weekends, when all the chakras are in alignment, a cake is born in my kitchen. This one started out being yet another banana bread variation but the nutty taste of buckwheat overtook the tropical taste of banana. The end product was so moist and nutty that I decided to call it a tea cake, perhaps the best tea cake to come out of my kitchen.