Jan 1, 2010

2009 Top 10+ List

As 2009 makes its exit, I wanted to put together a top 10 food list. As I started rounding up candidates, I got carried away and ran over. I think more is better. Enjoy.

And here's to a peaceful, healthy, and happy new year to all!

#1: By far, my biggest new food addiction of the year is Maine Root's Ginger Brew. It's not just a sugary ginger-flavored soda. It's full of real deal spicy ginger and made with organic evaporated cane juice. It's just the right balance of spicy and sweet. It's not just tasty, but it's also very soothing for a tummyache or headache. I can't stop drinking the stuff.

#2: Tacos, tacos, tacos...especially al pastor tacos. We've been trying some of the taco trailers around town and thanks to some tips from my friend and photographer, Matt, and the excellent local blog, Taco Journalism, we've narrowed down our favorite al pastors to these three: La Guera on South Lamar, Rosita's Al Pastor on Riverside, and Piedras Negras (which will forever be called "Not Dos Hermanos" because that's the name Matt introduced me to it with. It sits on the old site of Dos Hermanos) on Cesar Chavez at Pleasant Valley. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite at this point but I'll keep trying. Photo above is of al pastor tacos from Rosita's Al Pastor trailer on Riverside.

#3: Dim sum on the fly from Get Sum Dim Sum. Photo shows my favorite lunch order: steamed veggie dumplings, shrimp and pork shu mai (or chicken potstickers), a bbq pork steamed bun, and a sesame ball to finish. That's our golden retriever, Jasper's, nose in the photo. He likes dim sum too. Their food is fresh, fast and easy. And best of all, there's no MSG. The chef hails from San Francisco's Yank Sing.

#4: Tam Deli's lemongrass pork banh mi sandwich. There are no words. I could eat this sandwich and drink their limeade every day. Really. Tangy lemongrass pork with fresh pickled carrots, cucumbers and jalapenos with cilantro on a crusty bun. I want one now.

We also love their shrimp and pork vermicelli bowl and the steamed rice noodle wraps filled with mushrooms and pork and topped with Tam's homemade pork pate and crunchy garlic on top. It's pure comfort food.

#5: Mighty Cone's avocado cone. Hot and steamy avocado with a crust of sesame, almonds, chile and cornflakes. Great street food. I spotted the recipe for their chicken cone in Food & Wine recently. Can't wait to try it at home.

#6: June Taylor's tayberry conserve. Tayberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries. I've always been a blackberry jam girl, especially on steamy buttermilk biscuits. But June Taylor's tayberry conserve has usurped blackberry of it's highest position. Her pear vanilla butter is another favorite.

#7: Sesame mochi. I had one of these for the first time at 10,000 Waves — a Japanese bath house and spa in Santa Fe. It was the perfect snack after a soak in the hot water. I've been searching for them ever since. Finally found them locally at the Japanese market Asahi Imports. Mochi is wrapped around a sweet red bean paste and then covered in black sesame seeds. These are also considered a good luck treat at New Year's so it's the perfect time to indulge after a bowl of noodles.

#8: Speaking of noodles... Santa brought me this beautiful rustic donabe, a Japanese ceramic hot pot. Made of porous clay that is partially glazed, it can stand up to high heat and holds that heat evenly for a long time. This one came from Tortoise General Store. Find out more about donabe and hot pot recipes from Harris Salat of the blog, Japanese Food Report and co-author of Japanese Hot Pots.

#9: The first thing I saw as we walked into San Francisco's Ferry Market was Boccalone's pig sign. Tasty salted pig parts indeed. I've never really been a big fan of "cured meats" but now I'm a convert. Their orange and wild fennel salame is my favorite.

#10: All summer I kept a constant supply of coconut and mango Smooze Fruit Ices in the freezer. All natural and dairy free, these are great treats on their own or in a smoothie. They'll cool you right down after being out in the Texas heat.

#11: Frank hot dogs. From the "jackalope" (rabbit and antelope sausage with huckleberry compote, sriracha aioli and smoked cheddar) to the "Chicago" dog with day glow relish, they've got what you're craving. Take a look at their drink menu too.

#12: Bi-Rite Creamery's ice cream in San Francisco. It's a good thing I can't get this stuff regularly, I'd be in trouble.


Brooke said...

What I love about your top ten list is that I knew NOTHING about any of your picks! Looks like 2010 is going to be tasting much, much better b/c of you!

Jam said...

ah, nice list Lauren. Have to try some of those on the list. Happy New Year to you.