Dos Pistos

There are some things in life that never change. One in particular is the necessity for brunch after a late night of going out.

Deciding whether to stay in SF or head back to Palo Alto for brunch last weekend was easy when a friend asked if we’d join at Don Pistos. Part of Telegraph Hill, this Mexican spot is cozied into what appears to be a small area suitable for 50 dinners; however, there is a whole downstairs area for a few bigger parties. Inside, the exposed brick gives off a nice vibe alongside some chill yet upbeat jams. This has been coined one of the popular brunch spots and we could certainly attest to this by having to sit at the bar.

Upon sitting down, you are given chips with salsa verde. The chips are like crack — salted and fried to perfection — so watch out. Arriving with my stomach not perfectly in tact from the night before, they were a nice touch. I did not touch the salsa verde but the rest of the party attested to its greatness. Even more, they loved the guacamole.

My meal really started with the young coconut. This drink helped rejuvenate me from the festivities the night prior. Thankfully, I started to feel better as my breakfast burrito filled with chorizo, queso oaxaca, eggs, rice, beans, and arbol came out. I am usually one to order scrambled eggs or french toast, so it was a bit risky for me to change the norm and order the burrito, yet, I couldn’t have been happier with my decision.

Also ordered were the carnitas tacos and the pork tamales with arbol chile and crema. I could not stomach much more but I was happy I took a bite out of these two dishes. I would definitely get the tamales next time around.

What’s your favorite Mexican spot in San Fransisco? 
DON PISTOS
510 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94133

Bird Dog

Birdman. Cat Dog. All are names of things I had heard of; however, I had never heard of Bird Dog. This was not necessarily surprising given that I do not live in Palo Alto; I was happy to have been introduced while visiting recently. Walking down the street for an evening stroll, one might not recognize the tail bottom of the restaurant exterior stating Bird Dog. What might catch one’s eye is the mystique of the space, causing intrigue to take a peak in behind the dark wooden doors, noticing the contemporary design with orb lighting, an open kitchen, and flying birds.

Food is divided into three sections on the menu: Raw, Sides and Entrees. Asking the meaning behind the name, Bird Dog signifies always being on the hunt but returning back with something new each time.Thus, Robbie Wilson brought a new concept to Palo Alto yet kept one dish, the grilled avocado.

Naturally, to start we then had to go with the Grilled avocado and Tai Snapper plates. Both dishes were excellent. I did not think I would like the avocado as much as I did. The tangy ponzu and wasabi mixture with the smoky grilled nature of the fruit brought out a taste I cannot describe as anything less than incredible. I see why it was brought from the chef’s Santa Barbara restaurant. The snapper had nuts and spice on it adding a nice crunch and kick at the end.

Once we had a taste of what the restaurant was about, we were looking forward to what was next. We ordered the Ribeye which had been slightly modified and had an orange glaze as well as the as fried chicken things with green curry and uni and gellied egg. Both were very tasty and worth ordering. I ordered the chicken and loved it but enjoyed the ribeye more which I found interesting given I don’t eat much meat.

To have the full dining experience, we decided on going for dessert as well and got the Meyer lemon tart. The coconut Icecream paired quite nicely.

Everything from service to food was on point. Like a bird dog, I will be back in again to try something new.

BIRD DOG
420 Ramona St
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Scone with the Wind

If you’re on the culinary track in school, you usually stick with the more savory in your classes. In order to give us a well rounded background, we also have classes in the front of house and baking and pastry to give us the whole shebang.

Many of my family and friends asked why I didn’t do baking and pastry as my main focus since I typically show up to a dinner or party with some baked good. As part of my new class rotation, I have introduction to baking and pastry. While I have always loved baking, I did not realize how much went into the typical items such as bread. Slightly deviating from this norm, we made scones and I found them wonderfully relaxing to make.

How to Make Scones

To make these sexy scones, follow the below recipe:

Ingredients

  • 7.5 oz bread flour
  • 7.5 oz pastry flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2.5 oz sugar
  • 6 oz butter – cold
  • 9 oz buttermilk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 oz chopped hazelnut
  • 2 oz chocolate chips

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven 375 F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Using a grater, grate the butter into the mix and then blend together by hand.
  4. Add in milk and vanilla.
  5. Add in garnish to the scones. In this case, hazelnut and chocolate chip.
  6. Create a rectangular shape from the dough. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  7. Roll out the dough into a flatter rectangular shape.
  8. Use a knife to cut out triangular shapes.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Devour.

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