Mama Mia! I want more MexCal Taqueria!

Marinated Pork Super Burrito - Marinated pork, rice, beans, onions, cilantro, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese in a handmade tortilla

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Did you know….

The burrito made its way into the US in the 1900s. The first mention of a burrito on a U.S. menu was in the 1930s at the El Cholo Spanish Café in Los Angeles, though burritos had likely been making the rounds in the states before then. California is still well-known for its burritos, with the Mission burrito—arguably the most popular style of burrito in the United States—originating in San Francisco. The Mission burrito is wrapped up in a tortilla and then again in aluminum foil—this is the sort that is commonly served at restaurants like Chipotle, Qdoba, and Freebirds.

Once the US got hold of it, the burrito started to cross cultural boundaries. Now there are burritos made with Thai chicken or Chinese pork. Then there’s the breakfast burrito, a tortilla stuffed with eggs, potato, and bacon. The breakfast burrito fad, which started catching on around 1975, found its way into mainstream fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Sonic, and Hardee’s by the 1990s. And the rest, as they say, is history.(todayifoundout.com)

Today’s Restaurant

MexCal Taqueria – Menlo Park,Ca 

Average Cost

Less than $10

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Marinated Pork Super Burrito, Grilled Beef Super Burrito

It’s Thursday people and one more day until the weekend arrives again!

Man that makes me feel good!

Another thing that makes me feel good is a flavorful packed up juicy burrito!

Let’s talk about it..

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You’re on the Winning Team when You have Seafood on those Greens!

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Did you know….

Cobb salad was created at the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood.

As with many “how this began stories” We don’t know how much is actual fact, but here is the official story from the Brown Derby themselves.

“One night in 1937, Bob Cobb, then owner of The Brown Derby, prowled hungrily in his restaurant’s kitchen for a snack. Opening the huge refrigerator, he pulled out this and that: a head of lettuce, an avocado, some romaine, watercress, tomatoes, some cold breast of chicken, a hard-boiled egg, chives, cheese and some old-fashioned French dressing. He started chopping. Added some crisp bacon — swiped from a busy chef.

“The Cobb salad was born. It was so good, Sid Grauman (Grauman’s Chinese Theatre), who was with Cobb that midnight, asked the next day for a ‘Cobb Salad.’ It was so good that it was put on the menu.(kitchenproject.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Birk’s Restaurant – Santa Clara, Ca

Average Cost

Around $25

Rating (1-10)

10 for the Seafood Cobb Salad

Recommended Dishes: 

Seafood Cobb Salad, Open Faced Sandwich, Appetizer Tray, Steaks

So the three day weekend is over and all of that barbecue from Memorial Day is still stuck in my ribs..

Time to tone this meat eating extravaganza down a bit by getting a salad today.

The good news is that we have some new hires starting at my job today which means my boss will take us somewhere nice to welcome them in. Nice!!

That restaurant of choice is an elegant restaurant called Birk’s!

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A Tribute to the Militia of the Past and Today; Wishing you a Memorable Memorial Day!

Bacon Burger

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Did you know….

As opposed to Veterans Day, which honors living veterans, Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have died while in military service. The holiday originally started as Decoration Day, where the graves of soldiers were decorated with flowers and flags. Though President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, NY the official birthplace of Memorial Day the wake of the Civil War, dozens of towns continue to claim that they, in fact, were the originators of the holiday.

It’s ancestry is so hard to trace — particularly through to some of our current iterations — because the custom of decorating tombstones precedes organized holidays. What is certain is that on May 5, 1868 national commander General John Logan declared May 30 Decoration Day, “designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

At the first ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, 5,000 people participated in decorating the graves of fallen soldiers from the Civil War. By the late 1800s, all the northern states recognized Decoration Day. It wasn’t until after World War I, when the holiday changed from recognizing Civil War soldiers to honoring all dead military, that the whole of the country participated on May 30 every year.(ww2.kqed.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Mom’s House – Tracy, Ca

Average Cost

Free! It’s mom’s house!

Rating (1-10)

10

Mom’s Recipes: 

Frances Dampier’s TasteBook Recipe – Easy Hamburgers

First things first…

I would like to give tribute to all of the militia in the past, present and future who have died or that have given service to achieving the freedoms that we have here in America today! Without you we wouldn’t be able to live freely in speech as we do, to be able to have free interests like we do, or to be able to worship the One True Living God (Jesus Christ) without having the fear to be a martyr. Bottom line to be free to choose!

Jesus said” There is No Greater Love than someone who will die for a friend!”

And trust me; that sacrifice that our Father in Heaven made by giving us Jesus Christ to die for us was one of the most non selfish things anyone could ever have done for humanity! So I want to make sure that He is definitely included in this! Thank you Jesus!

I salute these people that died for us within the militia without knowing us which is a love that needs to be saluted! Thank you all for your great service to this country!

Now let’s talk celebration!!!

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The BBQ Chef ain’t Doing His Job if there ain’t No Tri Tip Shish Kabobs!

Tri Tip Shish kabobs

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Did you know….

Who has never heard of shish kebab? In Turkish, shish kebab, literally means “gobbets of meat roasted on a spit or skewers.” Probably the most famous preparation for grilled lamb, there seems to be countless recipes. It is said that shish kebab was born over the open field fires of the soldiers of the Turkic tribes that first invaded Anatolia, who used their swords to grill meat, as they pushed west from their homelands in Central Asia. Given the obvious simplicity of spit-roasting meat over a fire, I suspect its genesis is earlier. There is iconographical evidence of Byzantine Greeks cooking shish kebabs. But surely the descriptions of skewering strips of meat for broiling in Homer’s Odyssey must count for an early shish kebab.

In the Arab world, the same preparation is called shish kabab or lahm mishwy (grilled meat). The true shish kebabs are pieces of marinated lamb affixed to flat or four-sided bladed metal skewers that are grilled over a fire suspended by a skewer holder, without the meat ever touching the grilling grate. The varieties of marinades are wide and could include any combination of olive oil, lemon juice, onion juice, milk, yoghurt, rigani (wild marjoram), crumbled bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice, and other spices. Using tomatoes, onion wedges, and green bell pepper to separate the meat on the skewers has been suggested by several food writers to be a modern concoction invented by Turkish restaurateurs to make the skewers look more attractive to customers.(cliffordawright.com)

Today’s Restaurant

St. John’s Bar and Grill – Santa Clara

Average Cost

$9.50 for shish kabob awith salad or fries, $15 for a burger, fries and a soda

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Shish kabobs or any burger or sandwich of your choice!

It’s Friday and the kick off to a 3 day Memorial Day Weekend!

A 3 day weekend makes us all dance for joy but another thing that us Americans look forward to is lots and lots of barbecue!

Barbecue ribs..barbecue chicken, barbecue baked beans, barbecued corn on the cob and last but not least barbecue Shish Kabobs!

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I’ll Camp Overnight in a Horse’s Stable for a Juicy Burger at The Table!

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Did you know….

The hamburger might have remained on the seamier margins of American cuisine were it not for the vision of Edgar “Billy” Ingram and Walter Anderson, who opened their first White Castle restaurant in Kansas in 1921. Sheathed inside and out in gleaming porcelain and stainless steel, White Castle countered hamburger meat’s low reputation by becoming bastions of cleanliness, health and hygiene (Ingram even commissioned a medical school study to show the health benefits of hamburgers). His system, which included on-premise meat grinding, worked well, and was the inspiration for other national hamburger chains founded in the boom years after World War II: McDonald’s and In-N-Out Burger (both founded in 1948), Burger King (1954) and Wendy’s (1969).

Led by McDonald’s (and helped by the introduction abroad of U.S. hamburger culture by millions of members of the American armed services during World War II), the hamburger—and American-style franchised fast food—soon spread globally. By 2013 there were more than 18,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide.(history.com)

Today’s Restaurant

The Table – Willow Glen

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Get the burger!!

I’m sure everyone has a list of their favorite burgers..

From cheeseburgers, to bacon burgers, to mushroom burgers; any burger that touches my lips if it is cooked right just brings a tear of joy to my eyes!

However, there are some that down right just knock the ball out of the park and I must say that The Table restaurant in Willow Glen has done that job! Let’s talk about it!

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I’ll Travel Near or Far to find me an Elephant Bar!!

St. Louis-style full or half rack · double basted with tropical Kona BBQ sauce · caramelized apples choice of two sides

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Did you know….

In 1980, the first Elephant Bar Restaurant opened to the delight of David Nancarrow, and his son Chris. The idea was simple; provide a comfortable and unique place to escape from the stress of everyday life, to relax and enjoy a fun, casual dining experience.

Over the years, the food offering has become the star of the restaurant, with bold Pan Asian flavor experiences and popular recipes from around the world (elephantbar.com/aboutus)

Today’s Restaurant

Elephant Bar – Campbell, Ca 

Average Cost

$14

Rating (1-10)

8

Recommended Dishes: 

Cajun Chicken, Kona BBQ Pork Ribs, SHRIMP & CHICKEN JAMBALAYA

Whether it’s lunch time, dinner time or time for a drink and appetizers Elephant Bar has a great atmosphere and tasty vittles to enlighten your palate.

My fiance and I have been here multiple times over the years and they have never let us down so we keep coming back.

We used to come strictly for the Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya but today we wanted to try something different so time to take a journey to dive into the abyss of exciting tasty creations.

Grilled chicken breast · Cajun spice · Bourbon street rice with Andouille sausage · sautéed spinach

Since we have dined at the Elephant Bar for many years off and on we have noticed changes in the menu here and there but today we saw an entirely new menu.

There were so many choices it blew my mind and it actually made it difficult to order. My mind was on a roller coaster ride and I needed to settle it down. I hope they tone the menu down to what they are experts in so we can get the best of the best only on the list.

Anywhooo… I figured what better way to enjoy a sunny afternoon than to have a rack of ribs winking at me! You can never go wrong with that choice!

So I go with the St. Louis-style half rack, double basted ribs with tropical Kona BBQ sauce and caramelized apples with a choice of two sides. The sides list was huge so I just stuck with fries and a salad but keep in mind you have many items that will fit your fancy.

Once I received the plate, the aroma of delicacy and sweetness fill the air. I take a bite and the meat is almost falling off the bone. The pork is so tender it shredded in my mouth before I could even start chewing.

Every bite gave me a sensation of elegance and happiness! True live action eating!

Now to jump into my fiance’s dish which I had to taste to make sure I can tell you guys about it.  🙂

She ordered the Cajun Chicken dish which was a grilled chicken breast with Cajun spice, Bourbon street rice with Andouille sausage and sautéed spinach.

The flavor took me on a Creole ride to satisfaction and bliss! The combination of Bourbon street rice and Andouille sausage was borderline jambalaya then stepping into the bite of the savory spinach brought a calm to this wonderful light tasty inferno in your mouth. Good job Elephant Bar!

Thanks for joining me on today’s adventure! I look forward to speaking with you on the next run! Keep hope alive!

Eating is an enjoyable way of life.Live it..Learn it..Love it!

Trevis Dampier Sr.

References

elephantbar.com/aboutus (2015) Founding Of The Concept Retrieved from http://www.elephantbar.com/aboutus

Make no Mistake….I love me some Cheesecake!

Banana Cream Cheesecake - Banana Cream Cheesecake Topped with Bavarian Cream and Fresh Sliced Bananas.

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Did you know….

Cheesecake is believed to have originated in ancient Greece. Historians believe that cheesecake was served to the athletes during the first Olympic Games held in 776 B.C. However, cheese making can be traced back as far as 2,000 B.C., anthropologists have found cheese molds dating back to that period. Alan Davidson, author of the Oxford Companion to Food, wrote that, “cheesecake was mentioned in Marcus Porcius Cato’s De re Rustica around 200 BCE and that Cato described making his cheese libum (cake) with results very similar to modern cheesecake.”The Romans spread cheesecake from Greece to across Europe. Centuries later cheesecake appeared in America, the recipes brought over by immigrants.(inventors.about.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Cheesecake Factory – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp, Chicken Potstickers, Spinach Dip, Cheesecake!!

So it’s Friday night and I’m looking to begin the weekend with Happy Hour cheers!

What better way to start the weekend on than great tasting grub with great tasting deserts with drinks to pair with it! Cheesecake Factory here we come!

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I’ll take a Two Hour Traffic Jam just to get a taste of some Pho Van!

Pho - Meatball, Beef, Tripe and Veggies for Noodle Replacement

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Did you know….

Despite the fact that pho is a reflection of the culture and history of Vietnam, no one really knows how pho came to be. Restaurateur and author Mai Pham’s research on pho, as cited in Vietnamese culinary expert Andrea Nguyen’s blog, stated that there is nothing written about the early history of pho. All there is left are oral traditions handed down by elders. It is, however, agreed upon by many experts in Vietnamese cuisine, including Ms. Pham and Ms. Nguyen, that the history of pho began in Hanoi in northern Vietnam and that it started when the French colonized the country in the late 1880s.(lovingpho.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Pho Van – Santa Clara, Ca

Average Cost

Under $10

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Pho Soup- Meatballs

It’s Friday and I’m looking for a tasty sinful dish to kick off the weekend!

What better way to kick off lunch than with a Kung Fu sodium punch to the face!

Let’s do it!

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I’ll Travel the Grand Canyon on a Bike to get to a Chicken Sandwich at Ike’s!!

Menage a Trois BBQ Sauce, Cheddar, Halal Chicken, Honey Mustard, Pepper Jack, Real Honey, Swiss

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Did you know….

A Muslim butcher opened recently in our neighborhood and they sell halal meat. We wondered, what exactly does “halal” mean?

Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” In terms of food, it means food that is permissible according to Islamic law. For a meat to be certified “halal,” it cannot be a forbidden cut (such as meat from hindquarters) or animal (such as pork.)

The slaughter of a halal animal is called “zabihah” and there are certain guidelines to follow:

Allah’s (God’s) name must be pronounced during slaughter.
The instrument must be very sharp to ensure humane slaughter. The animal must be slit at the throat.
The animal must not be unconscious
The animal must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry. Eating blood is not halal.
These steps must be accomplished by a Muslim or the People of the Book (Christian or Jew.) Many observant Muslims find kosher meat acceptable.
The animal must have been fed a natural diet that did not contain animal by-products.(thekitchn.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Ike’s Place – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$10-12

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Menage a Trois on Dutch Crunch with Bacon

I have to tell you folks..Hands down this is the best Chicken Sandwich I have ever tasted in my life!

If I was being sentenced to death by electric chair..This would be my final meal!

If there was an alien attack on earth and they were knocking at my door..This would be my last meal!

If I heard the trumpets from heaven calling all of His Saints to meet Him in the sky.. This would be my last meal!

Ike Shehadeh, the founder of Ike’s Place must be a scientific genius and I’m sure he brewed up this sandwich in a mad man’s machine right next to Frankenstein.

Just talking about it makes me think this sandwich must have been created to be eaten by Greek Gods. Us normal beings on this land are not worthy for such a divine creation.

Let’s talk about it..

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Happy Mother’s Day! Celebrate Mom ‘Extra Lavish’ with this Pecan Crusted Catfish!!

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Did you know….

The population of the Southern United States is made up of many different peoples who came to the region in a variety of ways, each contributing to what is now called “Southern cooking.” American Indians, native to the region, taught European settlers to grow and cook corn, a grain unknown in Europe at the time. Spanish explorers in the 1500s brought pigs with them, introducing pork to the region. West Africans carried some of their traditional foods with them, such as watermelon, eggplant, collard greens, and okra, when they were brought to the United States by force as slaves beginning in the 1600s. Creoles, known for their unique use of spices, are descended from French and Haitian immigrants who later mingled with Spanish settlers in the New Orleans area. “Cajuns,”also recognized for their unique style of cooking, were originally Acadians, French settlers in Nova Scotia who were driven out by the British in 1755 and made their way to New Orleans. In Louisiana, crawfish (resemble miniature lobsters) and catfish are popular, prepared in dozens of different ways. Fried catfish is popular all across the South. Texas’s spicy and flavorful “Tex-Mex” cuisine reflects the state’s close proximity to the spicy cuisine of Mexico.

The American Civil War (1861–1865) had a major impact on the South and its food. Many plantations and farms were destroyed during the conflict. To survive, Southerners ate whatever they could grow or find, and nothing went to waste. When the economy began to recover, most African Americans were not allowed to share in the newfound wealth and continued to eat the simple foods that were available during the war. This type of simple and inexpensive food became known later as “soul food.” The first African American, and the only ex-slave, known to have written a cookbook was Abby Fisher. Her book, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking , was published in 1881 and includes many recipes that would now be considered soul food.(foodbycountry.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Mom’s House – Tracy, Ca

Average Cost

Free! It’s mom’s house!

Rating (1-10)

10

Mom’s Recipes: 

Frances Dampier’s TasteBook Recipe – Cabbage Greens

Pecan Crusted Catfish Recipe:

The Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook

Pecan Crusted Catfish

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there and to all you father’s out there raising your kids on your own as well!

On this special day we give tribute to the wombs that enabled us to be present on this earth this day and the sacrifices they have made for us!

What better way to celebrate than a table full of soul food and every humans wish; Pecan Crusted Catfish!

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