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mizducky

eG Foodblog: mizducky - San Diego: A (Really!) Moveable Feast

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Hi Mizducky! i'm a Newbie here, and I've never seen anything more enjoyable to read than these food blogs, so thank you!

The onion pies look so good. Do you dip them in a sauce or eat as is, or dip them in the main dish? They also make those in the cooking of India, I think.

I find your homemade and takeout concept very interesting. thanks again! :smile:


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Hi Mizducky! i'm a Newbie here, and I've never seen anything more enjoyable to read than these food blogs, so thank you!

The onion pies look so good. Do you dip them in a sauce or eat as is, or dip them in the main dish? They also make those in the cooking of India, I think.

I find your homemade and takeout concept very interesting. thanks again! :smile:

Welcome, Christine!

Y'know, I don't actually know what is the customary way to eat those onion pies. I just tore them in big strips, rolled them up a bit, and munched away. I think I used a bit of them to mop up the sauce from my noodle dish. Anybody with more knowledge want to chime in here?

Meanwhile, it is time for me to contemplate dinner. I'm thinking a trip down into the outskirts of PB (that's Pacific Beach to all you non-San Diegans) to one of my favorite little taqueria finds. Back shortly ...

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Ah, Pacific Beach! Land of carefree surfer dudes and dudettes--the latter given to wearing shorts with Ugg boots because, like, it's *winter*, y'know. :rolleyes:

Wending my way through the traffic on the nearly always busy Garnet Ave (main drag of PB), I made my way to one of my favorite taquerias, a little joint known as Taco Motion:

gallery_28661_3_93866.jpg

I can't claim to be any kind of expert on taco-shop fare, but one of my rules for sussing out whether this kind of joint is on the ball is whether they offer offal, and if so, how many varieties. This place caught my attention right away because they have tripas (tripe/cow's stomach), buche (pig's stomach), and cabeza (beef head/cheek meat), as well as menudo--not just as a weekend special, but every day of the week. So far, I've always ordered the burrito de cabeza because I like it so much, but because I'm still not too hungry after that big lunch (even though I brought half that meal home in a doggy bag), and also because I've got spectators, I decide to do something different.

I consult the sizeable menu:

gallery_28661_3_70005.jpg

...and decide to get four mini-tacos, one each of buche, tripas, cabeza, and al pastor (al pastor is marinated pork grilled on and sliced off a vertical spit, much like gyros meat).

I arrive home with my prize:

gallery_28661_3_28731.jpg

Whoa, even though each of those tacos is supposedly "mini", together they're still a lot of food. But they're so purty! :biggrin:

They're not perfect. The tripas is just a hair on the mushy side; the al pastor is just a hair on the dry side. The buche is quite nice. But the winner, once again, is the cabeza--moist, tender but with just a little chewiness (I'd never consciously realized this before, but I really do have a major fondness for that tender-but-chewy mouthfeel thang). None of the meats are particularly spicy on their own, but they're nicely accented with a little sprinkling of cilantro and pico de gallo, and come with a really good hot sauce--not just raw hotness but with a bit of flavor too. They also came with extra corn tortillas--they're really fresh, but I kinda wish they had toasted them on a comal, or at least a griddle, rather than steaming them or whatever they did, because that left 'em a bit rubbery. Ah well. This was a good change of pace, but I think next visit I'll be back to getting the burrito de cabeza. Unless I'm hungry enough to do justice to a big bowl of menudo.

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My favorite duck! Oh, my, you fabulous MizDucky, I'm seriously crushing on your funniness and now I get to have an entire week of you? :wub: Bliss! So glad that you got a new camera, too. I can't wait to see lots of your take on San Diego. California is so exotic! Oh, and regarding Tightwad Gourmand, can I join that club?


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Very excited to see you blogging. Love to read your posts, always well thought out and witty. Great timing to get me in the mood for fun in the sun, I'll be in SD this weekend. More of a girl's fun weekend though, than food centric so probably won't visit any of your recommendations.

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If you go to Fillipi's it's right next door to the seductively named Camel's Breath Inn, and if you go there, I want, no I demand, a full report :wink:

Y'know, kalypso, I've been intrigued by the name of this joint ever since you so provocatively let it drop, so of course I had to do the Google thing--and this is what I found. Other than the possibility that the scene there might be a tad more "straight" than my usual speed, this sounds like it could be a helluva fun time to this dive-bar-lovin' chick. :smile:

I'm not sure if I'll get in to check it out before the end of this blog, but I'll certainly check it out sooner or later. And yes, you will indeed get a full report--especially if I succeed in making a karaoke fool of myself there. :laugh:

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My favorite duck! Oh, my, you fabulous MizDucky, I'm seriously crushing on your funniness and now I get to have an entire week of you?  :wub: Bliss! So glad that you got a new camera, too. I can't wait to see lots of your take on San Diego. California is so exotic! Oh, and regarding Tightwad Gourmand, can I join that club?

Aw shucks! :blush: Everyone is being so incredibly flattering, it really does my heart good.

Hell yeah, let's start the Tightwad Gourmand Club! Epicureanism on a shoestring! A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, lolling on the beach with the left-over hippies and the new-crop beatnik slackers! Now I'm *really* glad I subtitled this blog "Moveable Feast"--I'm not much of a Hemingway scholar, but somehow I suspect that Papa would have definitely approved.

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And now, going from the sorta sublime to the fairly rediculous, here's what I'm drinking right now:

gallery_28661_3_263885.jpg

True confessions time: I drink this kind of diet swill by the gallon--almost literally. By doctor's orders, I'm supposed to drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day and preferably more like twelve glasses--in other words, two quarts to three quarts daily. And I have the damnedest time keeping up with it, because I find just plain water ... boring. And somehow I never get around to making something healthy like herbal sun-tea, or even slicing up a damn lime to perk up all that water ... so my compromise is to buy these diet pops. They taste okay, and Von's is always putting them on sale. But don't let the pretty fruit pictures on the front fool you, these things are completely and totally artificial ("natural flavors" my Aunt Fanny!). Oh well. My kidneys may eventually start glowing in the dark, but at least they'll be *very* well irrigated. :raz:

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If you go to Fillipi's it's right next door to the seductively named Camel's Breath Inn, and if you go there, I want, no I demand, a full report :wink:

Y'know, kalypso, I've been intrigued by the name of this joint ever since you so provocatively let it drop, so of course I had to do the Google thing--and this is what I found. Other than the possibility that the scene there might be a tad more "straight" than my usual speed, this sounds like it could be a helluva fun time to this dive-bar-lovin' chick. :smile:

I'm not sure if I'll get in to check it out before the end of this blog, but I'll certainly check it out sooner or later. And yes, you will indeed get a full report--especially if I succeed in making a karaoke fool of myself there. :laugh:

Hi mizducky - I'm enjoying the proceedings thus far....I've been to Camel's Breath Inn - it's mainly a neighborhood watering hole. Lot's of off-duty SDPD'ers, and Mexican Bar Grub.

Kirk

www.mmm-yoso.typepad.com

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Well, usually I'm a total nightowl, but because I was so adrenalinized about starting this blog, I got up much earlier than usual, so I'm gonna go crash now. So--tawk among yourselves. :smile:

Seriously, if anyone has any further suggestions of cheap-eats-related things they'd like me to check out around San Diego, let me know--I'm not sure I can get to everything, but I'll try to fit in something that's at least somewhat related.

G'night, all!

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Yay, it's a ducky blog!!!

I always love your posts, and now we get a whole week of it! And you in the midst of moving, too! I'm so happy that your cooking conditions will improve. It must be awful not to be able to cook something you like, just because your housemate can't stand the smell of it!

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Mizducky:

I am totally excited for a week of your wit, wisdom and food adventures. This will be loads of fun! I love the idea of frugal gourmandry. It's a concept I like to subscribe to.

Blog on sista'! :biggrin:


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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Great start to your blog. I loved meeting you last summer but I'm still not sure why Steingarten/Rosengarten gave that place on Convoy such high reviews? Your green onion pancake looked better than anything we had that day. :hmmm:

It's so fun to read about San Diego through your discerning eyes and think about how different it is today than when I grew up there. But Filippi's? Was my fave restaurant at 16...as soon as I got my driver's license that's where my girl friends and I went for dinner on weekends. That was like 100 years ago...can't believe they are still in business.

Looking forward to reading lots more. Thank you, misducky!


Lobster.

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Great start to your blog.  I loved meeting you last summer but I'm still not sure why Steingarten/Rosengarten gave that place on Convoy such high reviews?  Your green onion pancake looked better than anything we had that day.  :hmmm:

It's so fun to read about San Diego through your discerning eyes and think about how different it is today than when I grew up there.  But Filippi's?  Was my fave restaurant at 16...as soon as I got my driver's license that's where my girl friends and I went for dinner on weekends.  That was like 100 years ago...can't believe they are still in business.

Looking forward to reading lots more.  Thank you, misducky!

We went to Filippi's two summers ago for dinner with our (then) 2.5 year old. The food was terrific, but my favorite part was that they gave her a dish of raw dough to mess around with while we waited. Way more entertaining than a crayon!!!

And, if I recall, we ordered cheap Chianti in a basket and were able to decorate it so they could hang it from the ceiling.


Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Lamb noodles! Great start to a blog! I think those handmade noodles are made the same way as Mongolian soup noodles, though cooked differently.

Green onion breads - yum! (I've only ever made them at home, always curious about what they're actually served with in restaurants?)

I think the blog jinx got to you - my digicam also sputtered and died as I tried to take my first blog photo, and thanks to that, we how have a Panasonic Lumix LZ2!

Get out my head Helen! I had something similar at a Mongolian restaurant in Beijing. They were good. I also had the green onion bread from a street vendor; they are delicious.

Great blog MizDucky. I haven't had much time to read this. I have work up to my eyeballs this week.

The last time I was in San Diego was 20 years ago.

I haven't heard Lina Lovich's name in years. It brings back memories of the sleazy punk bar I used to hang out at in Atlanta. I can't remember the name of it. Also the sleazy disco I used to go to that was a hangout of RuPaul's. I danced with him one night on the dancefloor.... Ok back to eGullet :rolleyes:

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Oh! This is going to be fun! I want to live in your neighborhood. Living way up here in the hills, where the only ethnic food is either Chinese or Mexican with one lone Japanese place, one really gets hungry for other cuisines.

Those tacos look great. The only offal tacos here are from a Roach Coach and they are absolutely fabulous with a little cup of their own pungent salsa.


Edited by BarbaraY (log)

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And now, going from the sorta sublime to the fairly rediculous, here's what I'm drinking right now:

gallery_28661_3_263885.jpg

True confessions time: I drink this kind of diet swill by the gallon--almost literally. By doctor's orders, I'm supposed to drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day and preferably more like twelve glasses--in other words, two quarts to three quarts daily. And I have the damnedest time keeping up with it, because I find just plain water ... boring. And somehow I never get around to making something healthy like herbal sun-tea, or even slicing up a damn lime to perk up all that water ... so my compromise is to buy these diet pops. They taste okay, and Von's is always putting them on sale. But don't let the pretty fruit pictures on the front fool you, these things are completely and totally artificial ("natural flavors" my Aunt Fanny!). Oh well. My kidneys may eventually start glowing in the dark, but at least they'll be *very* well irrigated. :raz:

Ah, MizD, don't ya know...................the absolutely horrid tap water in San Diego is just about the only food item unique to America's Finest City, complete with more minerals and heavy metals than you really want to think about :raz:. Your kidney's would probably reach glow-in-the-dark status far quicker on the local water than on the diet delights you've been gulping. I have admit, though, it is fun to mess with the minds on some pretentious waiters by asking for plain old tap water when they all offer bottled or sparkling water.


Edited by kalypso (log)

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I'm so happy that your cooking conditions will improve. It must be awful not to be able to cook something you like, just because your housemate can't stand the smell of it!

Well, Fearless Housemate is not only housemate, but dear friend, and also one of my employers (I do various web-geek and administrative tasks for his music biz), and he has many redeeming qualities that more than make up for this area of finickiness. Plus, even though he doesn't care for cooking (either doing it or smelling it), he does have his own gourmet streak--he's taken me on some fabulous sushi feeds. Still, yeah, it will be nice to be able to get funky with the garlic without worry of blowing someone's mind. :smile:

Great start to your blog.  I loved meeting you last summer but I'm still not sure why Steingarten/Rosengarten gave that place on Convoy such high reviews?  Your green onion pancake looked better than anything we had that day.  :hmmm:

Yeah, in hindsight I'm not sure what all the noise about Spicy City was about either. Tell ya what--next time you're in town, let me take you to Ba Ren--that place totally blows Spicy City right out of the water (and I'm not just talking about the spiciness of some of their hotter dishes either). You'll love it.

mizducky: May I request an excursion to your very favourite patisserie? PLEASE?  :biggrin:

Heh. Believe it or not, I'm not all that big a fan of pastries. :shock: I mean, I'll certainly eat them with gusto when they're available, but when I get hit with a craving for something, it's much more likely to be for savory than sweet. Still ... I do indulge occasionally, so let me see what I can track down ...

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Great Mizducky,

Looking forward to seeing San Diego through the eyes of a local..How exciting..

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A bleary-eyed good morning from this so-not-a-morning-person type gal.

It's been unseasonably chilly here in SD the past several days, especially at night--okay, I can just hear some of you in harsher climes going "yeah, right!" And having lived through a bunch of winters in Boston as well as New York, I know I've got it really good here. Still, since a lot of houses here (including this crackerbox) are built with no insulation or weatherstripping to speak of, and heating the drafty old thing can cost a small fortune, it can get a bit nippy at night. This is a desert climate after all--an extremely artificially irrigated desert, but desert nonetheless--and so when the sun sets in winter the temperature can drop a good 20 to 30 degrees F or more. So I'm making myself a nice warming pot of what I call pseudo-congee for today's breakfast--"pseudo" because I don't get very elaborate with it, and don't cook it for anywhere near as long as some recipes I've seen out there, and am probably doing other things that Chinese cooks would no doubt shake their heads and "tut-tut" at me for. But it works for me, and I find it much more satisfying than most standard American breakfast cereals, so apologies to all readers who grew up making this stuff as I expose my goofy Caucasian way of doing it.

Today's basic breakfast products:

gallery_28661_3_137499.jpg

No, the green tea isn't going in the congee--I'm not *that* goofy! :laugh: That's to drink while I'm waiting for my congee to conge. Erm. So to speak.

Behold one of my favorite cooking utensils:

gallery_28661_3_440136.jpg

I have had this unsightly-looking saucepan for what seems like forever. I can't even remember where I got it--probably at some thrift shop or something. My mom had something very similar--a heavy cast-aluminum pan with Bakelite handles whose equally heavy lid guaranteed a good seal. I vaguely recall reading that these kinds of pots were once marketed as "waterless cookers"--you were supposed to be able to put vegetables in them with just the water clinging to the veg after washing, slap the lid on and cook them without boiling away any of the vitamin content, or so the theory went. Anyway, its heaviness makes it a terrific cookpot for rice. I just try to remember not to cook any acid foods in it, because I think all that gray is just discoloration rather than any kind of anodized treatment.

So--into this pot I simply put four cups of water (rather than broth), and maybe a generous third of a cup of raw rice (I like my pseudo-congee thick), bring it to a boil, then back it off to low, and let it go for an hour or so.

While I'm waiting on my congee, let me give you a mini-tour of the soon-to-be-ex-kitchen:

gallery_28661_3_505337.jpg

gallery_28661_3_51818.jpg

It's a bit of a shame actually--this is a huge kitchen space with a lot of potential. But our benign-neglect landlord couldn't be bothered to keep it in good repair, so all the appliances are wacko in one way or another. At least the rent's really low for this area, especially for a house big enough to hold FH's studio as well as himself, girlfriend, and (up to this point) me, so FH doesn't make waves about the disrepair.

Oh, and we haven't had any Traditional Inside-of-Fridge shots in the past blog or so that I recall, so--brace yourselves: it's the Chaos Fridge! :shock:

gallery_28661_3_212062.jpg

All those microwaveable things in the freezer belong to FH and his girlfriend:

gallery_28661_3_39253.jpg

The huge bag of frozen strawberries, however, is mine--for whenever I get the urge to make a smoothie.

Off to check on the pseudo-congee...

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Behold: thick lumpy congee! :laugh:

gallery_28661_3_204006.jpg

I'm just finished off my last jar of fermented tofu, so today's congee condiments are dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and furikake:

gallery_28661_3_71546.jpg

I understand from various eGullet threads that the amount of furikake I just dumped in here would make a good Japanese mother go *tsk* at her offspring. But I love those little fishy flakes, yes I do. :wub:

Heh. The looks of this stuff may be worthy of our Gallery of Regrettable Foods:

gallery_28661_3_394863.jpg

I kinda miss having the fermented bean curd to put in, but it's still hitting the spot--especially since my tummy's still a little tender from too much hot sauce with last night's mini-tacos.

Okay, now I have to concentrate on a little actual paid work (one of my great struggles as a work-at-home freelancer is to stay focused). But I'll keep checking in ... and then this afternoon I plan to head out with camera to document a little more San Diego Cheep Eatz territory for y'all.

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Your congee looks fine MizDucky. I do the same thing when I'm sick and then I'll eat it with various pickles and stuff. There are two styles of congee (someone else help me here as to where they originated) one it the soupy kind like you've just made and the other is the kind that looks more like gruel. In Thailand you can find both and both are delicious. I happen to prefer your style the best. Because I love the various things you can make and eat with it. Keep up the good works. Still loving this :wub:

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It's been unseasonably chilly here in SD the past several days, especially at night--okay, I can just hear some of you in harsher climes going "yeah, right!" And having lived through a bunch of winters in Boston as well as New York, I know I've got it really good here. Still, since a lot of houses here (including this crackerbox) are built with no insulation or weatherstripping to speak of, and heating the drafty old thing can cost a small fortune, it can get a bit nippy at night. This is a desert climate after all--an extremely artificially irrigated desert, but desert nonetheless--and so when the sun sets in winter the temperature can drop a good 20 to 30 degrees F or more.

I didn't think you were that far inland. I know the Pacific's plenty cold, but doesn't it help mitigate the desert climate? Or are you farther inland than I'd thought? For instance: Claremont, up in the San Gabriel Valley near the L.A. area, is about 30 miles from the ocean and can get plenty cold (for SoCal) at night. I wouldn't expect that of Santa Monica.

Behold one of my favorite cooking utensils:

gallery_28661_3_440136.jpg

I have had this unsightly-looking saucepan for what seems like forever. I can't even remember where I got it--probably at some thrift shop or something. My mom had something very similar--a heavy cast-aluminum pan with Bakelite handles whose equally heavy lid guaranteed a good seal. I vaguely recall reading that these kinds of pots were once marketed as "waterless cookers"--you were supposed to be able to put vegetables in them with just the water clinging to the veg after washing, slap the lid on and cook them without boiling away any of the vitamin content, or so the theory went. Anyway, its heaviness makes it a terrific cookpot for rice. I just try to remember not to cook any acid foods in it, because I think all that gray is just discoloration rather than any kind of anodized treatment.

I love old cookware, and have my share of it interspersed with the newer fru-fru stuff. Your beloved saucepan kinda looks like something from the Wagner Ware Magnalite line. Is it? I've admired those from afar for years but never been willing to cough up the money on eBay.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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      Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington.  In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon.  NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline.  By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
       
      The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's.  While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
       
      In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids.  There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice!  There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds.   They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
       
      Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
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