Reblogged from Sayat Explores Food
I had my first banh mi at Guy’s American Kitchen off of Times Square — what an underwhelming experience that was. The baguette was dense and stale with no crunch and completely cold. The mayonaisse was superfluous and the fries that the sandwich was served with were soggy. It was so underwhelming that the experience stayed with me after three months.
The banh mi experience is very different in Little Saigon in San Fransisco. I had the early bird advantage this morning. I was at the shop on Larkin by 7:45 when the bread was crunchy and toasty, and the carrots, cilantro and hot green chilis were fresh.
I tried two sandwiches. One with pate and another one a combination of fancy pork and roasted pork. The banh mi sauce brought the whole sandwich quietly rather than being on the front, which I find is the case with some banh mi.
When you make a simple sandwich such as banh mi, it’s always about the freshest ingredients and not about superfluous bells and whistles you put on the sandwich.
Jack fruit chips are available at the counter!
Little Saigon, San Fransisco
I could kill for a banh mi right now!
Boiled egg with a cheddar tuile, salt cured salmon infused with tarragon and lavender, roasted onion focaccia from the Culinary, and tomatoes with a basil vinaigrette. Hello Monadnock!
Cooking up the Rhinebeck Farmers Market (Hudson Valley) with pheasant eggs, golden beets, Adirondack reds and radish greens.
I roasted the red potatoes, the golden beets and a couple cloves of garlic with S&P, extra virgin olive oil and dried tarragon (added last five minutes of roasting). I made some croutons with the sourdough that I bought at the market. The boar bacon from the Highland Deer Farm was fried in its own fat.
As things got cooking, I tossed a salad with sliced raw beets and the slightly bitter radish greens. I peeled and toasted a dozen almonds and threw them in the salad.
Last but not least, I poached three pheasant eggs and gave one to the croutons and another two to the roasted beets and potatoes. They were happy at once! So was I.
My dorm room, the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY
Olympia is an iconic joint for Mumbaikar. At breakfast they serve the famous keema, a minced mutton fry with vatana or green peas and masala that is spiked with green chilis and whole spices. It’s served with white bread usually.
I like mine on a two egg omellete with chapati. It was my favorite breakfast during my tandoor days in Mumbai. Also, if you get lucky, you’ll coincide with buffalo milk chai. They don’t have this all the time but when they do, it’s a delight.
Olympia, Colaba, Mumbai
In the middle you have a southern vada (a flavorful doughnut with South Indian spices), topped with yogurt. It’s then seasoned with cinnamon. But the garnishes make the dish — peanuts, besan crunchies (chickpea flour), peanuts, cashews, raisins, cumin, shredded carrots, and coriander…
Pongal is both the name of the Indian Harvest Festival and the name of this savory porridge that is usually served for breakfast — similar to the northern upama which is made with wheat instead of the rice in pongal. It is deeply satisfying. Perhaps, it doesn’t have the same nutritional benefits as an oatmeal or buckwheat porridge (these grains have a low glycemic index and sustain blood sugar levels at reasonable rates longer) but the concept of a savory porridge is very appealing to someone who doesn’t enjoy sweet flavors (that would be me).
The pongal in the first photo was served with sambar, mint and coconut chutneys. The second was cooked longer with ghee and formed into a ball and served warm with a chilled tomato chutney.
I think I officially love Pongal.
They might look humble sitting there with a tomato coriander chutney but they pack so much flavor. They are studded with such texture elements as cashews, split chickpeas, mung beans, and coconut chunks. You just pick it up and take a bite into it. You get the classic southern flavors of the curry leaves, coconut and rice… Then you dip it in your sweet and sour chilled chutney…
Typical goan breakfast!
Bajhi (vegetables — vatana beans fried with coconut, coriander, green chilis, potatoes, mustard seeds, and onions) , puff pastry filled with onions fried with spices including turmeric, red pepper and mustard seeds, local version of scotch eggs called egg chops (stuffed with a quarter egg and fried onions), crusty whole wheat bread and white bread
Bajhi or a porridge is a typical part of breakfast in India. Here it’s made with coconut and accompanied with great bread and pastries. Some of the best breakfast I’ve had in India next to Olympia’s Keema!
Near Anjuna Beach, Goa, India
Celebtrating the apocalypse with a lucky double-yolked fried egg, a Turkish coffee latte, strawberries and clotted cream with carob molasses
Picholine, nicoise, and olive cured black olives marinated with extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, peperoncini, Moroccan preserved lemon, fresh oregano and bay leaves