Friday, September 24, 2010

The Holy Trinity of Stanford Campus Eats

In addition to abundant sunshine, Stanford has some pretty good eats on campus,  including a famous San Francisco sandwich shop with a cult following.  This is especially convenient because the campus is self-enclosed.  Some of the eats are outstanding.  My three favorites:

Fraiche Yogurt,  Tresidder Union
The San Francisco Chronicle Special: steel cut oats with organic yogurt topped with fruit and nuts.

Ike's Place, Jen Hsun Huang School of Engineering Center

I consider it a godsend that Ike's Place chose Stanford for its new location. Ike's features sandwiches that will satisfy a snobby East Coaster.  Just like it's service, Ike's extensive menu is very accommodating.  

If you are vegan, you can order the Vegan Elmo with "Cucumbers, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato, Pesto, Cream Cheese.

If vegetarian, you can get the Chelsea Clinton- "Vegan Turkey, French Dressing, Avocado, Smoked Gouda."

Carnivores can get the Kryptonite with "Roast Beef, Corned Beef, Pastrami, Salami, Turkey, Bacon, Ham, Mozzarella Sticks, Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers, Beer Battered Onion Rings, Avocado, Pesto, EXTRA Pepper Jack."

These are just examples. There are dozens of options. 

You can also order half-sandwiches here.  As for me, I love the wordy "Going Home for Thanksgiving" sandwich.  Turkey, cranberry sauce, Sriracha, Havarti.  

"Going Home for Thanksgiving"
Danica, dearest campus buddy and food companion, went for the "Bill Walsh" with  turkey, avocado, and Havarti which this slender creature swallowed in just one bite. 

The "Bill Walsh"

Inside the kitchen.
The line at 11:45am on a Thursday.
The line right before noon.  
Tip: Go early.   We were delighted with a special treat the other day: Ike was hand-delivering the sandwiches to customers!  If you look closely at the center of this picture, you will see the blur by the pillar--that's him, zipping back-and-fourth in his spiffy black vest!

Coupa Café, Y2E2 Building
Scrambled eggs with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and chives
I write about Coupa every few days it seems. The other day, we went for breakfast.  We were at work, but it felt like vacation.  But now that Ike's is here: let the battle begin between these two!

I know Stanford students work extremely hard. But they are also so spoiled. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I Am

A departure from food for a moment to present one of the US's finest products:

Video with

Lola, my (non-biological) twin in NYC, has Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster for colleagues. Lucky her.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Journal

On this foggy morning, breakfast was a recipe from Chow that I made with beet-greens.

I like the idea of eating a vegetable or fruit in its entirely--seeds, skins, stems and all. In fact, I rarely do this, and throw beet-greens out half the time. But this dish, thanks to the egg and balsamic vinegar, is motivating. Of course, you can make this dish with different greens (Aida Mollenkamp's recipe had dandelion greens first in mind).

Note: beet-greens are very salty naturally so I'd advise you taste them first before adding salt. Forgetting this, I have wrecked dishes.

Ok. On to the next thing: apples.

My first errand was the Palo Alto farmers' market on Hamilton Ave, where I was excited to see Gravensteins! David Karp was raving about these on Good Food a few weeks ago. They are becoming rare, he was saying, and they are delicious. So I excitedly bought a bunch. Then I found out that they were NOT Gravensteins but Rubensteins. Gravensteins are already over this year.

The Rubensteins were a bit too subtle for me--lacking in flavor for my tastes. (I like Fuji and Red Delicious for eating.) But I loved the crunch of these apples. Even a denture-wearer may be able to bite into these without too much risk since the apples break off so easily with bite.

Off to Millennium tomorrow, where, if it is possible to take photos without ruining the atmosphere, I surely will!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Pill liquid form.

If health insurance covered this, I am sure the happiness quotient in this country would improve.

Meow! Spicy Mocha from Coupa Café.

It's been way too long since I've had this. One sip and life is instantly improved.

In fact, it has been way too long since I've been at Coupa. The blonde who works at both the Stanford and Ramona locations has been wondering where Danica and I (addicted regulars) have been!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Japanese Food Weekend

Labor Day Weekend
Japanese Raw and Cooked

I went to see la familia this weekend. That means Japanese food. A sample from the food journal:

Somen noodles

For lunch my mom made noodles which were served in a cold s0y sauce broth, with sliced scallions--a refreshing summer treat. I added lots of wasabi, which not only adds a nice spike of flavor, but clears my sinuses.

My mom likes to top her salads with mini rice crackers.

Prosciutto-wrapped figs.

No, this is not Japanese cuisine. The bro prepared these with figs from the yard that the dog couldn't quite reach.

On a Saturday night, we went out to Akebono in Granite Bay. (Ownership is changing soon. Not sure how this will affect the food.)


Snow crab legs

I am mostly pesceterian, but have mixed feelings when I see this.

Chirashi platter

Next night, it was mom's cooking:

Kabocha - Japanese pumpkin.

These pumpkin chunks were steamed and cooked in a soy and mirin (sweet rice) cocktail. The result: soft on the outside, cantaloupe-like texture on the inside, with a slightly sweet flavor. Candy to my palate. A mom-specialty. She insists that the success of this dish (its texture and ability to impart flavor) is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the pumpkin, which can be watery, hard or mealy. On this evening, we had a pumpkin that was just right.

Another specialty of my mom's: clear noodles and slivered cucumbers in a light vinegar dressing. Topped with egg and sesame seeds.

Mizutaki - Japanese hot pot.

Bathing in this fish broth were veggies (Chinese cabbage, Japanese mushrooms, scallions, onions), shrimp, tofu and hunks of white fish. Served with rice.

Dessert from Osaka-ya. Real and scrumptious Japanese manju.

Sakura manju.

These classic Japanese sweets are soft like a baby's behind.

Red bean filling

Gochi-so-sama. I never eat like this on the Peninsula.

Sacramento Farmers' Market

8th and W Streets
Sundays from 8AM-noon

This market, located right off the 50 Freeway is, in a phrase, plentiful but ugly. It features produce, baked goods, olive oil, meats, fish and flowers.

One of the prettier items at the farmers market.

There is a row of baked goods--breads and pastries (eg brownies, cinnamon buns, coffee cake...).

The market is situated beneath two freeway overpasses; no wonder it is an eye sore. The food and flowers help offset that some.

Asian pears

Live fish

Organic prunes

Muscat and Autumn Royal grapes

Tall, elegant, gladiolas

Tomatoes, tomatoes

My favorite colored tomatoes.

Squash varieties

Sweet potatoes the size of baseball bats.

Take it from my organic farmer friend from Menlo Park who chooses not to sell here even though his farm is actually closer to Sacramento. (Besides Menlo, he sells at the famous Ferry Building Farmers Market, and at Berkeley--my favorite locations.)

BUT: if you need veggies and would rather not go to Safeway, it will certainly deliver.