Appetizer sampler – Tastebuds

Appetizer sampler - Tastebuds
Chicharon bulaklak (deep fried pork intestines), lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino spring rolls), and chicken empanaditas. $9.75
Tastebuds, San Bruno CA

I don’t think I’ve had chicharon bulaklak since I was a kid, and now I remember why. These things are super hard to eat, lol! They’re difficult to bite into and you definitely need the vinegar to help soften them up. For those of you who’ve never tried them – be careful, hehe. The lumpia and empanadas were delicious, otherwise.

Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla, Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla, Xanthorrhoeaceae), West Field Road. I’m always mesmerized by the phyllotaxis of this beautiful succulent.

Shanghai lumpia – Baby’s Eatery and Palabok

Shanghai lumpia Baby's Eatery and Palabok
Crispy, deep fried lumpia filled with ground pork.
Baby’s Eatery and Palabok, San Francisco CA

Shanghai lumpia Baby's Eatery and Palabok
These little suckers are SO addicting! I dare you to eat just one – I don’t think it’s possible. They aren’t the healthiest things to eat, but I absolutely love them. ūüôā

Best in Show, SF Sketchfest 2012

Q&A with Fred Willard and Michael Hitchcock after a screening of “Best in Show” at the Castro Theater, SF Sketchfest 2012. Omg, these two were frickin’ hilarious! I loved hearing them talk about how they made the movie and researching their roles, lol!

Pancit – Baby’s Eatery and Palabok

Pancit Baby's Eatery and Palabok
Filipino style noodles with chicken, celery, carrot, onion, and green onions.
Baby’s Eatery and Palabok, San Francisco CA

This wasn’t my favorite version of pancit. I had a tray of it for a party and it didn’t taste the freshest. Also, I’m partial to the version that has slices of Chinese sausage. Probably because it adds lots of flavor (and fat), lol!

Christmas house Castro Street

Christmas decorated house on Castro Street across from Davies Medical Center. I used to live a couple doors from this house and it was great to see the holiday decorations come out every year. It’s a bit much, but I don’t think they’d have it any other way!

Turon – Baby’s Eatery and Palabok

Project 365: Day 115

Last night was kind of a bust. The variety show at Pantibar had a lot of bad acts so it was hard to watch at times. We spent most of the night at The George but the majority of people didn’t show up until 1 or 2 am so we were tired by then. We still had fun though!

It was a pretty relaxed morning. We had breakfast then packed our bags before checking out. Kryan and David are switching to a 2-person room since they’re staying for a few more days. I guess they’re going to rent a car to explore the countryside. That’ll be fun!

Hubbs and I are at the Dublin Airport for our flight to London, yay! I’m super excited because I’ve never been there and we get to stay with Demetrius. He’s picking us up at Heathrow, and then our London adventure will commence!

Turon Baby's Eatery and Palabok
Deep fried lumpia wrapper filled with plantain and jackfruit.
Baby’s Eatery and Palabok, San Francisco CA

Turon Baby's Eatery and Palabok
I like to think of turon as a dessert lumpia – it’s sweet and delicious. I bought a tray of these for a party and they were a hit!

San Francisco dawn
A beautiful San Francisco dawn from my balcony. I love the vibrant colors on the horizon.

Chicken adobo – Patio Filipino

Chicken adobo Patio Filipino

Braised chicken in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic with fried plantains. $11.95
Patio Filipino, San Bruno CA

I loved this version of chicken adobo! It tasted rich and flavorful and I love the additional of the fried plantains. SO yummy! The chicken was super tender and you have to spoon all that delicious sauce over your rice. Noms!

Steamed rice Patio Filipino

Steamed rice. $1.75 per person

Pork sisig – Patio Filipino

Pork sisig Patio Filipino

Diced pork with onions, green onions and jalapenos mixed with egg. $12.95
Patio Filipino, San Bruno CA

I’m not sure I’ve ever had pork sisig this way before. The diced pork had to have been deep fried because there were delicious crispy bits mixed in.¬†The dish¬†was tasty and fattening, hehe. You could definitely taste lemon juice in there, which was probably added to help cut through all the fatty fried pork.

Pork sisig Patio Filipino

Lumpianitas – Patio Filipino

Lumpianitas Patio Filipino

Shanghai style lumpia filled with pork and shrimp. Served with sweet and sour sauce. $9.95
Patio Filipino, San Bruno CA

I’ve never heard these called lumpianitas, but whatever. They’re just small lumpias to me, or Shanghai lumpia. I guess the only difference is that they also have shrimp inside. Most of the time it’s only pork. These were very good and our table gobbled them up pretty quickly! Yay for Filipino food!

Tocilog – Kuya’s Asian Cuisine

Tocilog Kuya's Asian Cuisine

Sweet marinated pork tocino with garlic fried rice and eggs over medium. The rice is garnished with more fried garlic pieces and chopped scallions. Cucumber and tomato slices are thrown in for good measure.
Kuya’s Asian Cuisine, San Bruno CA

This is a classic Filipino breakfast! Tocilog comes from combining the Filipino words for sweet marinated pork (tocino) and egg (itlog).¬†We didn’t have tocino very often growing up, but it was one of my favorite breakfast items along with longanisa.¬†Probably because they are both so flavorful and fatty, a common thread in Filipino food, lol!¬†I have to say that Kuya’s tocina was a bit on the hard and dry side for me, but it still tasted great.¬†There are some amazing flavors in this dish: the sweet and salty from the tocino and¬†the intense garlic from the fried rice.¬†The runny egg (and you have to order it runny!) blends everything together.¬†So familiar, so delicious!

Lumpia Shanghai – Kuya’s Asian Cuisine

Lumpia Shanghai Kuya's Asian Cuisine

Filling of seasoned pork and beef, minced onions and carrots, and beaten eggs in a lumpia wrapper, deep fried, and cut into bite sized pieces.
Kuya’s Asian Cuisine, San Bruno CA

I grew up eating lumpia prito (fried lumpia) which are much larger and have more vegetables: sprouts, carrots, string beans, peas, onion, and sometimes potatoes.¬† My family always used ground beef in our¬†lumpia, and it was great sitting around the table wrapping them to be stored in the freezer.¬† I’m sure my parents still have trays of it in their freezer, ready to be given to guests to take home.

As a kid I only had lumpia Shanghai at parties and, later on, at Filipino restaurants in the city.¬† Both lumpia varieties have their advantages, but lumpia Shanghai are less labor intensive to make and because of their small size, make excellent finger food at parties.¬† I’ve been known to order trays of it to serve at my house.¬† You can¬†get a traditional “lumpia” sauce at Asian markets, but I prefer a regular sweet chili sauce because it has more flavor.¬† Beware, lumpia is¬†VERY addictive!