Tuesday morning represented a lot of Wii tennis for me, waiting for Steve to get home from a few hours of work. I ended up playing so much that I needed to rest my arm the next day. After playing tennis until I got to pro level I started to prepare the sweetbreads and roasted the veal bones with some mirepoix so I could bulk up some store bought beef stock.
After Steve got back, our plans for the day were pretty simple – go back to Chino Farms to get some produce, and then see where the day took us.
The only sign at Chino Farms
We arrived at Chino Farms in the late morning – maybe even early afternoon at this point. The produce they had was amazing – the greenest haricot verts I’ve ever seen in my life, the most colorful tomatoes, etc.
Me at Chino Farms
We ended up buying cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and a melon that smelled really good, though we never did eat that while I was there. The reason we didn’t get more produce is because Steve and Eric belong to a CSA and I wanted to use a lot of that product up for the meal on Wednesday.
It seemed that we’d arrived at just the right time too, because just a few minutes later there was a line full of what appeared to be some pretty impatient rich women.
On our drive back Steve pointed out all the fennel growing on the hillsides, something I’d failed to notice just the day before. It kind of made me wonder why anyone buys fennel in southern California; why not just sneak around and take it off the hillsides?
We headed to Coronado where we planned on getting some lunch, though we weren’t sure where from. We parked and walked around a bit before we settled on eating at Candela’s, a Mexican restaurant featuring food in the style of Mexico City versus the Mexican food we’re all familiar with such as taco’s. We opted to eat outside, where we were seated in the sun. At first this presented no problem, but since we were seated in a corner that was surrounded by protective glass, the heat from the sun became magnified after a short while and we roasted (despite the fact the temperature never left the low 70′s).
Steve perusing the menu options at Candela's
To start, we both ordered cocktails – I got a mojito and can’t remember what Steve ordered – which were both too sweet. I guess the bartender went a little crazy with the simple syrup.
The food however was delicious – we split 3 appetizers: tostadas de tinga de pollo, tacos de pato, and the ceviche of the day which featured snapper. Both the chicken and the duck were really good, and I’d go back any time to have the duck tacos. The tostada itself was nice and crunchy and the shredded chicken was well seasoned with chipotle chili.
I think that we could have sat there for another hour or two sipping on drinks, but ultimately the heat got to us so we took off to find Erin a prize, which we found next door in the form of a puzzle.
We bid Coronado farewell for the Whole Foods in Hillcrest to buy everything needed for the next night’s dinner, and then visited Steve’s neighbors, for whom I had brought a bottle of Duke’s mayonnaise. Apparently they had just run out and were forced into that “other brand” which nearly made them cry, so I was given a hug like I was some sort of hero. Surprisingly I’ve never had Duke’s. I’ve heard mixed reviews of it; it seems if you’re from the south you love it, and if not, then you don’t.
So we sat with the neighbors for a while, discussing video games and some fucked up doll that they had in their living room. The doll was pretty freaky and I wish I had a picture specifically of the doll they had, but to get a general idea, here you go:
Fucked up, freaky ass doll
Hopefully you enjoy the full size of that as well, because in person it’s even freakier.
After visiting with the neighbors we headed out to dinner at Ono Sushi, where interestingly I had octopus for the first time. It started off fine, but by the time I stopped chewing my brain, which I had successfully tricked, now was fully aware that it was ordering my jaw to chew on octopus. Ultimately it wasn’t that unpleasant, and much like snails to me, I won’t go out of my way to eat it again, though I didn’t find it so offensive that I’d never eat it again if it was served (I’d just never order it myself).
We had some other tasty rolls and such, but to me sushi is sushi. I’ve had it a number of times and can’t really tell what’s great about one place versus the next. Raw fish to me generally tastes like, well, raw fish, though I can appreciate the craft that goes into making the rolls.
After sushi it was more Wii for the 3 of us, and then Steve and I left to go Wine Steals to meet up with Zach (and his girlfriend), who is a reader of this blog and who is going to culinary school in a few weeks. We sat outside, each had a couple of glasses of wine and talked about food, cooking, San Diego restaurants, and more importantly, what to expect by quitting your day job and going to culinary school. Hopefully I didn’t scare you too much – I don’t think I did – and good luck with your career Zach.
Next up was some more Wii (where I kicked Steve’s ass in some tennis) but was embarrassed by Wii Fit, and then bed time.
Days 4 & 5 to follow (they would have been here but this took over an hour to write because WordPress kept dicking me over).