Friday, February 26, 2016

First Visit: Tamaleria Laurita, on Arrowood

We ate in the car. And loved it. 

This little tamaleria was written about in Charlotte Five last week, which is what brought my attention to it. It's a tiny place with 6 tables in a strip mall on Arrowood. It ended up being an hour-and-a-half experience for us, which we will make again. And probably again. And there may be nights when I'll text Mensa Boy and beg him to stop by and pick up supper there before coming home.

The menu is simple. Tamales. And some American options for people who probably have no business going to a tamale restaurant, but have been dragged there by someone they love. We ordered a plate of 3 tamales. No sides. We could have gotten a combination platter that had rice and beans but we wanted to just try the tamales. There was a fantastic pork one, a chicken one, and a third one we didn't even unwrap because we were full. So next time we'll try that one first, I guess. We each took our third tamale home and Taylor had them the next day for lunch. There were two sauces, a red sauce, which CharlotteFive characterized as "mild," but made our eyes water and noses run (and we eat spicy food), and a very mild green tomatillo sauce. 

Go there. Really.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

First Visit: Yama Izakaya, a Ramen Restaurant on Central Ave

This is not my photo. I lifted this from Yama Izakaya's Facebook page. The restaurant was just too dark for me to take my own photo.

I visited this place with my friend and acupuncturist, Adrienne Wei, owner of Inner Peace Acupuncture and Wellness. Adrienne and I have been close friends since I started as her patient five years ago. We go out to lunch or dinner whenever we can, and it's usually Asian. This last Friday I texted her and asked, "Are there any ramen places?" And so we found Izakaya.

We absolutely gorged ourselves! We started with a seaweed salad that about blew our minds. It had a sesame dressing on it and the flavor of the sesame was just delicious. As usual, I forgot my reading glasses and the darkness in the dining room made it absolutely impossible for me to read the menu. So she ordered for me. We each got these giant bowls of ramen that were full of pork belly, fish cake, poached egg, sesame and other things. My broth was salted chicken and hers was tonkostu, which is made from pork bones. 

We toasted our friendship with warm sake, which really didn't trip my triggers. It seemed almost oily to me. Oily and thick. I'm more of a wine chick. Adrienne commented that the cups were unusual. I'm not sure what she was thinking of there. She felt like the cups may have made me feel the way I did about it. I dunno. It just seemed like a liqueur that didn't have much alcohol or flavor. It was a house sake, so maybe next time we'll do something a little more specific. 

I have to say the only thing I'd change if I ran this place, is that I'd serve the ramen noodles separately, like they do in many Japanese noodle places in Japan. Then you add the noodles a bit at time add them to the broth as you eat along. 

We'll definitely go back there again.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Trisha Yearwood's Chocolate Pound Cake

Actually, this is my Chocolate Pound Cake. Which I made with Trisha Yearwood's recipe on Food Network.

Pretty, huh? I haven't tasted it yet. I'm taking it to work tomorrow to celebrate a dear friend's birthday.

I've never made a pound cake before. I'm not sure why. I've really only eaten it a few times. If it's good, I may make it more often. It was easy enough to make. Just sift the dry ingredients. cream the fat and sugar, add 5 eggs, one at a time, and then add the dry ingredients and milk, alternating. 

I should mention that mine took 90 minutes to bake. The recipe calls for a 10-inch tube pan and this pan was 9.5 inches. I expected it to take little longer, but not quite that much.