Friday, June 5, 2009

Some Thai recommendations

The above picture is courtesy of Kate R on Yelp - the appetizer 'Dancing Prawns'
I would like to rave about two places in particular. One is situated in Redwood City, sandwiched between generic shops in a rather nondescript mall. But gems are usually hidden like this, and all thanks to Yelp for pointing this one out. Although it does not look like much from the exterior, Karakade, as this restaurant is called, is very cute inside, attracting a smart and young clientele in the know. Bright colors and tasteful decor increase your appetite once you walk in. Karakade also provides take out, which I have been taking out at least once a month, and they never fail to disappoint.

The portions and the quality of the food are both highly commendable. Classics like red and green curry prevail and are delicious, but try the spicy eggplant with tofu. Or chicken basil noodles, or the amazingly aromatic garlic prawns. The food is amazingly cheap given its quality, and if you live in the San Mateo County area, you certainly want to give this a try.

The above picture is courtesy of Amy L on Yelp - Siam Thai restaurant in hotel Parc 55

My second recommendation is 'Siam Thai' restaurant in downtown San Francisco. Like Karakade, it's a 'hole in the wall' kinda place, and is not in the least bit fancy. However, it is (at least structurally) part of the pretty smart Parc 55 hotel, and as a result, attracts plenty of tourists who want to eat well on a budget. Service is fast and courteous, and the dishes are really tasty. The prices are unbelievable as well.

Minutes from Union Square, this is the perfect place to have a hearty lunch or dinner before you embark on numerous city tours.

Siam Thai - 55 Cyril Magnin St (inside Parc 55) between Eddy and Ellis, (415) 362-7456

Monday, June 1, 2009

(Almost) alcoholic mixed berries...

Finding a dessert which would satisfy not only your taste buds but give you no guilty feelings about wanting seconds has always been a challenge for me. That was until I started reading the 'Pregnancy' magazine in the doctor's waiting room.

I learned about a fabulous sorbet on the market made by a company called 'Ciao Bella'. Now I was familiar with CB because I once purchased a variety ice-cream pack and it was simply divine. This upscale company does not compromise on the quality of its ingredients, and produces Italian-gelateria style ice-cream.

This particular flavor is called 'Blackberry Cabernet' and is touted as being a real wine substitute for those long and hard nine months. Or perhaps you don't even drink, and are simply looking for a refined and non-fat dessert option.

I'm not much of a sorbet person, but this I liked! The magnificent wine-colored concoction tastes sweet and tart at the same time, and is extremely grown-up. I believe it contains some wine but not nearly enough to affect your pregnancy. However, pregnant or not, try this out. It is perfect for the approaching summer, served with a selection of mixed berries (making it even healthier!). I bought this a week ago at Whole Foods at $2.79, a special offer. Normal retail is around $4.

Ciao Bella's Blackberry Cabernet, Whole Foods, $4 approximately.