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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let's Just Order Everything On The Menu...

I finally got to Nopalito for some delicious Mexican cuisine. My friend Mark from Concreteworks and I, along with a few friends, had quite a meal. Right when we sat down, they brought over their Totopos con Chile: Tortilla chips, salsa de arbol, cotija cheese, crema and lime. Damn! It was like a natural and amazingly delicious ode to the Dorito Chip, I swear! They also brought this out-of-this-world Ceviche Verde de Pescado y Calamari where they Marinated rock cod, calamari with lime, tomatillo, cilantro and avocado. Different shaped chips were also accompanying the dish and they were outrageous with this salty, sweet taste.

I ordered the Carnitas as my main course. I had talked about this dish earlier with my bud Eric over coffee at Vega At Langton. He cooks at Murray Circle at Cavallo Point, so I appreciate his palate. The dish was comprised of Long braised pork, orange, bay leaf, cinnamon and beer Cabbage salad, pickled jalapenos and salsa de tomatillo. I made my tacos with the house made tortillas and was transported to a familiar flavor I experienced in Mexico last year. I was floating, eyes closed, smile on my face.

I opened my eyes to dessert. Arroz con leche was the first thing they brought out. This amazing rice pudding with raisins and other goodies that popped in your mouth when you took a sliver. There was chunks of house made salted chocolate all over the top of this marvelous masterpiece. And would you believe, they brought us 3 Paletas which is like a Mexican Popsicle. Mine was de chocolate y cinnamon y muy bien! Ok, and I am not kidding, if that weren't generous enough, we each had a Almond shortbread cookie. But, I forget the name they called it and it is not listed on the menu, ARGH!!

How could I have a follow up to such a monumental lunch? Well, dinner at Outlanders, I tell ya...And what a cool thing I have not done in a while, drive to the Sunset District. Located out on Judah and 45th Ave, to be exact. I was dining with some of my favorite folks who cook and pour shots and love what they do. I am so jealous of their dedication to their craft. And we picked a perfect gathering place, " a cozy haven nestled amidst the vast landscape of ocean beach." And so we ordered and shared everything listed on last night's menu. Are you ready?

We must have had at 3 orders of the Outerlands levain toast baked fresh daily with herbs, garlic and olive oil to dip it in. We were like savages fighting for every slot they gave us. We saw more of the toast with celery soup and the split pea soup with ham hock and creme fraiche. Oh, I dipped my bread in both of those quite a bit...

We passed around the table a mixed green salad that had radishes, pickled red onions, pumpkin seeds and a sherry-mustard vinaigrette. As well as a beet salad with oranges, hazelnuts, goat cheese and a citrus vinaigrette. I love salad and there is never enough. In fact, I think we ordered 2 orders of the wilted mustard greens because of how popular it was. I couldn't help but notice how quickly it and the roasted cauliflower and walnut gremolata that accompanied it on the plate were devoured. That was a mouth full.

I don't think I got to experience the roasted asparagus because of my tardiness. Apparently, it came with a remoulade, oyster mushroom and a poached egg. I do remember seeing the last bites float around the table but never stuck a fork in it. I did, however, stick my fork in the blue cheese souffle with apples, fennel and bacon and the savory bread pudding with roasted onions, oregano and swiss. I stuck it in and I kept sticking it in as often as I could with more than 10 people at the table.

We also had the warm sardine on great northern beans and pork sausage and their seafood bisque of salmon, mussels and clams and that was just dinner. We ordered all of the special desserts to share as well. The bittersweet chocolate cake with pear peppermint honey and creme fraiche was to die, I mean, to die... The meyer lemon tart and the dutch apple pie were also big hits.

I had an assortment of beer from the Napa Smith Pale Ale and Amber to the Aventinus that definitely tasted like bananas. It was just really an all-around incredible first trip to this destination. Neighborhood folks were lining up to get into the joint and take over the huge space we had occupied for nearly 2 hours.

So...yeah...I had a really good day. I got to try places I know I will be back to with friends and family. Now, I am off to see Faith No More at The Warfield...Jealous much?

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