Monday, June 30, 2008

The Diva Dines in San Francisco

Who says business travel can't be fun? I recently took in the sights of San Francisco, quite possibly the hilliest, food-filled city in the nation. When not working the trade show floor, it was time to hit the streets in search of two quintessential cuisines San Francisco is known for: sushi and mexican.

After a six-hour plane ride and the harrowing experience of San Francisco rush-hour traffic at the mercy of an unintelligible speed-demon of a cabbie, I entered Barracuda on Market Street in the Castro District. Barracuda offers "Japanese cuisine with influences from Peru and Brazil" enveloped in a swanky and modern bar/lounge atmosphere.

My dining companion and I started the meal with an order of Gyoza, Japanese dumplings filled with a pork mixture and deep fried (yes, we got deep fried dumplings at a sushi restaurant. Just deal.). The dumplings were perfect two-bite portions and suprisingly not greasy, despite being fried.
Naturally, they were gone fast. Real fast. And then it was on to the sushi!

Now, I know what you're thinking. Why the hell would you eat sushi on a business trip? Horrible images of raw fish-induced food poisoning and vomiting all over your client must be flashing through your mind. Don't get me wrong, it flashed through mine...and then I downed some spicy tuna, thanking God for my iron-lined stomach.
The night's sushi was nothing wacky or out of left field: spicy tuna rolls, California rolls and vegetable tempura rolls for a change of pace. Can you really go wrong with battered and fried veggies wrapped in sushi rice? It's like a healthy heart attack. At least, thats what I keep telling myself. The fish in both rolls was unbelievably fresh, and I often wonders why the sushi in Boston doesn't ever come close despite the city's close proximity to the ocean.

The following night it was off to the border to El Farolito in the Mission District, where I single-handedly ate a burrito that was bigger than my head. El Faolito is the kind of place that, if there were one in Boston, you'd find me there at 3 a.m. eating a giant burrito after a long night of drinking.

It's a place where the guys behind the counter don't speak English, you order by number or by pointing to the menu board, its cheap, yummy and you sure as hell don't want to think about what the kitchen looks like. But the food is good. My "con pollo" burrito was top notch and better than anything I've had outside of el Tejas.

Even better, they have three different types of salsa available for the taking, the epitome of which is the green salsa. I have no idea what's in it, but I ate it on chips, my burrito and licked it off my fingers. If the place weren't so busy I probably would have tried to make off with the vat.

Bottom line: best burrito ever. EVER.

Now I'm practically drooling on my keyboard.

Fabulous Feasting,
The Diva.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Food Fashion

Food has to look good if you want people to eat it. And what goes hand in hand with that? A good lookin' cook. Lets face it, nobody wants food served on a grimy plate or cooked by the hands of a grimy looking person, either!

So, infuse a little fashion into your food!

On my last trip to the great state of Texas, I picked up this fabulously girlie apron at a specialty kitchen store in Plano. The lime green, frilly apron boasts, "I take life with a grain of salt, a wedge of lime and a shot of tequila."

Much to my surprise it's also available online through Target!

Now, this isn't your everyday down and dirty apron for preparing an entire meal, but rather something best left for the final, non-messy preparations before a party. Something you can do light work in but still look cute answering the door and greeting your guests as they arrive.

To show some love for the gents out there (after all, menfolk were once responsible for hunting and gathering and have been known to fire up a mean grill), there is some fashionable menswear appropriate for the grill. Take this manly NY Yankee set available at

Hey now, no haters about the Yanks gear; your Diva lives with a Yanks fan and suspects she has more than a few readers from New York...

Fabulous Feasting,
The Diva.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Boxed wine...on the go!

Boxed wine. Oh, how it brings back memories. Memories of "sophisticated" college parties complete with solo cups full of pinot grigio and chianti that tasted more like rocket fuel than fermented grapes. Memories of tubing down the Guadalupe in Texas, passing around the poly-bag of white zinfandel (the color making it looking more like a catheter bag than pouch of wine) kept chilled -- sans box -- in the cool waters of the river.

Boxed wine has always been dogged by the stigma of being cheap and well, bad. But not anymore.

Enter Three Thieves..."three guys who threw centuries of tradition and knowledge of wine making out the window and, in the process, changed the wine industry forever."

Not only is it good wine, its good boxed wine. And they make it portable, in 1 liter and 250 milliliter packages that somewhat resemble those boxed stocks you see in the grocery store. The Thieves call it Bandit. I call it genius.

Big deal, right? Yes! It's reasonably priced (around $10 for both sizes), resealable, recyclable, doesn't hog your fridge and is less likely to spoil, since you're not buying 17 gallons at once!

Plus, the mini Bandits are perfect for picnics --and you know how much The Diva likes her picnics! No more trying to uncork a bottle incognito in the park and pouring on the sly!

Three Thieves Bandit wines can be ordered online at In Boston, I've only seen them at Best Cellars, but check with your local liquor store!

Fabulous Feasting,
The Diva.

I know. Slacker blogger.

I know. I'm a slacker blogger. It's been a busy month or so between college graduations, holidays, family and friends in town and travel for work, so I haven't been able to sit down and tap out some entries. But, never fear! Things are finally settling down, so it's off to the races.

Stay tuned. More to come this week: events, new restaurant reviews, pics and more!!

Fabulous Feasting,
The Diva.