A friend's girlfriend had planned a surprise birthday party at The Smoking Goat in the North Park area of town. We had blogged about it at Taste of North Park 2011, attended one of the following years (where we petted a super cute baby GOAT), but now... just FINALLY making it inside? It's about time!
After walking in, the first thing I noticed was the artwork on the wall. Check out the goat with a pipe in its mouth.
There's also a goat (stuffed?) on the upper left that watches over the bar area.
I like the cage lighting decorations that were above our table. We were in the passageway, err, mini dining area between the bar area and the other side of the restaurant.
Dennis and I had arrived a little late and had missed a round of appetizer Duckfat Truffle Fries ($8). Luckily another friend came late also and ordered them so we were able to sneak a taste and dip into the mustard aioli! That duck fat really gives these fries a tasty kick and I'd definitely recommend ordering them.
The lunch crew had mentioned that the nearby Pampas Grill served Argentine cuisine. It hadn't been chosen recently because the prices were a little higher for lunch. I was still curious about the food so I had Dennis meet me there for lunch one day. The restaurant is very close to the air field off Aero Drive, between I-15 and I-163 highway. Parking was easy and we were seated in the larger dining area complete with a stage for their occasional evening performances!
The waitress mentioned that the empanadas here were good so we had to pick out several flavors! Pictured is the beef, chicken, cheese, and spinach empanada (2.75 each) but externally they look about the same! We cut those suckers open to see what was inside!
It was a HOT weekend but luckily this year's Latin Food Festival (LFF) was within reach of the ocean breezes and a gorgeous view! Embarcadero Marina Park North provided a great spot for LFF, which was held on September 13 between 11-3pm. We purchased our second ticket and invited readers and friends to join us!
After picking up wristbands at the entrance, we headed into the event. The main area had two rows of tents, one with food vendors and the other with drink vendors. Since we hadn't eaten any breakfast, we decided to start with food first! Drinking on an empty stomach is *risky* business!
Our first stop was the Smoke Fusion Catering booth. What's a Latin festival without some tacos, right? These carnitas tacos were only the beginning of that trend...
It's baaack! Taste of North Park is an annual event that allows diners to explore the friendly neighborhood while tasting bites from 40+ participating restaurants and specialty brews around 30th st and university st. This is one of our favorite taste events in San Diego!
Presale tickets are available now for only $30 until September 26th. Afterwards, the price will go up to $35 and then $40 the week of.
One of my favorite things to make is smoked pulled pork sliders. I don't make it that often because it takes quite a lot of time and supervision but it is well worth it. The methods described below is a culmination of techniques I have researched and learned from several forums as well as my own experiments through trial and error. What works for me may not work for others due to the design and material of each smoker box or the heat source such as charcoal, propane, or electric. I'll describe the technical parts of the smoking process that I follow but I will leave it up to you to modify as needed for your setup.
My interest in eating Bo Bay Mon (Vietnamese seven course beef) was only intensified after our 8 course fish tasting at Nhu Y Ca 8 Mon. I know I must have tried it at least once in my lifetime due to my heritage so the next question was WHERE to go next? How about the place recommended by the grandparents?
Dennis, the family and I arrived at Anh Hong Restaurant, a large restaurant located in Garden Grove. The menu included regular Vietnamese fare but their specialty was the Bo Bay Mon, priced at 16.95 per order. Other than the salad and soup courses, each order had 3 pieces of meat per course.
Course 1: Goi Bo Anh Hong - special beef salad
The salad starter consisted of shredded carrots, celery and mint on top with fried onions and very thin slices of beef (boiled) and peanuts. Fish sauce played a big part in the flavor of this dish because the salad alone was on the plain side! Some pre-mixed versions are a little too heavy on the fish sauce but since I was able to control the distribution, I was happy with this healthy appetizer.
Course 2: Bo Nhung Dam - beef fondue with special vinegar broth
The waiter began bringing out the ingredients for spring rolls. A medium sized soup bowl of simmering vinegar broth was placed on our table, like a little mini stove. The vinegar taste was on the mild side and was flavored by the mild green onions.