All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Palo Alto Eats

Wid and I arrived in US last Friday after a hellish long trip. We were in the Palo Alto area for a few days to attend our friends' wedding. It was awesome seeing a bunch of my old friends, and it was like a mini MIT/Ashdown reunion. The food at the reception was some of the best food I had at a wedding. Wid and I had the beef which was way too big to finish, but it was nice that they provided a nice, hardy portion so no one would go home hungry. The wedding cake was great, and according to someone, it was from some Chinese bakery. The light spongy white cake topped with whipped cream frosting went well with the chocolate covered strawberries.

While we were at PA, we got our fill of food that we missed being away from US. One surprising good restaurant was the hotel's Pool Side Grill, which served "California cuisine." We checked out the restaurant the night we arrived because we were super jet lagged. Wid had the crab cake, which by itself was ok, but when combined with the sauce (some sort of tangy tomato sauce?), the crab cake because something extraordinary. I had the onion soup, which, while different from the usual French onion soup (one of my fav soups), was a bit tangy yet quite delicious with the large chunk of soggy french bread and the Gruyère cheese. I also ordered the chicken quesadilla with generous amount of salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. I really forgot how big American portion is, but I shared the main entree with Wid so we managed to finish it. Hahaha. The best part was the dessert. We saw the guys next table over with large blob of something in little glass cups. We asked the waiter wht it was and he said lemon sorbet. We were so intrigued by it, we decided to order two portions. The container that held the sorbet was actually a big hollowed out lemon, and the entire concoction was frozen before served to the customer. We marveled at the size of the lemon ("how the hell did they find lemons that big" was a question on everyone's mind, including our friends), but the sorbet itself was light yet very flavorful. In some ways it was like eating frozen lemonade but smoother.

Saturday we found ourselves in the middle of the Art and Wine (where's the wine?!) Festival on University Ave. For breakfast we grabbed some bagels and soups. I missed the good old bagels from Collegetown Bagels at Cornell.... My favorite combo was a toasted sesame bagel with copious amount of cream cheese and a hot chocolate made with steamed milk and topped with whipped cream. No such luck at this bagel place because they didn't serve any hot drinks except coffee. The place was packed and it took us 15 minutes of wait to get our 2 cups of soup and a toasted bagel with cheese. Needless to say, I wasn't super impressed by the service (they need better organization/assembly line). We checked out the fair and then we went to the Palo Alto Shopping Center where tons of posh stores were located. We finally found an outlet adapter after 2 days of search, and we got a bit of a lunch at a packed restaurant (Palo Alto Creamery?) where I got a cranberry salad (spring mix with dried cranberries, blue cheese, and sweetly roasted walnuts) and Wid got a hot dog and fries. We were very unimpressed by the "healthy" french fries. French fries should be fried, not oven baked. The texture was all mealy and there's no favor. The milkshakes were great though--full of fresh flavor, creamy, and thick.

After roaming a bit, we crashed back at the hotel. Closer to dinner time, our friends Andy and Quentin came to pick us up and we headed to our friends' pre-wedding BBQ. Met Anne and Joe's families, ate lots of food, caught up with some old frends, and overall had a good time. The best food was the super fresh, very sweet, white corns. We told Andy and Quentin about the lemon sorbet and they were so tempted that we went back to the hotel to get some of that dessert. We also tried the orange sorbet (also in a large hollowed out orange), but I think the lemon one is still better.

Sunday we met up with another MIT alum who's living in the SF area. We were supposed to meet Vince in SF, but Vince talked us out of it, warning us of traffic congestions and all. It was a very wise decision because by the time we met up with Vince and Andy's two non-MIT friends, it was already about 3 hours before the wedding. We jokingly said that we couldn't be late for the wedding or else the bride will kill us. Lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Good stuff as always but the waiter messed up all our orders. Boo. I wanted an eggs florentine but instead I got eggs benedict with just bacon. At least Wid got his Kobe burger, which was mighty tasty...

I mentioned about the food at the reception so I'm not going to repeat myself.

Looks like this entry is too long already so my report on food in Pennsylvania will have to be written later.

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