...my friend Nancy and I used to work together and eat together...a lot. I really miss the food out in California, so much diversity and exciting tastes. I went to a Mexican restaurant here in town and I was appalled at what they tried to pass off as chips and salsa! The chips were the round Tostitos brand and the salsa was tomato sauce, I think I saw a piece of green pepper in there. It reminded me of a place me and my Cuz went to in Livermore, oh man that was horrible. At this place in Rapid City the rice came out of a box and the beans weren't refried, they were just wet and mushy. It was horrible. Now in Cali, nothing like the taco trucks. They were perfect to go to on a Saturday or Sunday after a night in the clubs. Go and get four taco's and some hot sauce and you were set, or a chicken burrito with some lime and radish...OMG that was the shit!
Best Vietnamese soup was at Da Nang's, I think they put heroin in the broth because you just had to go at least once a week for your fix. Nancy and I discovered that place, then it became really popular, same with the Mexcian restaurant across the street, we were the first customers in their first week of business. Excellent salsa and Enchilladas New Mexico was my fave dish, it had two eggs on top of the enchiladas (the enchiladas were spread out like pancakes) delicious. The bread at the Indian restaurant downtown was like butter melting in your mouth and the best cilantro and rice, or the Won Ton soup at Canton Gardens and good Kung Pau Chicken at Dave Wongs. When we were poor (not like poor means here) we would go to La Cabana, this pointy roof Mexican restaurant where you got a lot of food for like four bucks and the service was great. Best egg rolls were at Ho Suns in Manteca, did you know THEY MAKE THEIR OWN EGG ROLL WRAPS?? Nancy says they don't but I think that's just 'cause she doesn't know how and she's Chinese. Best Meatloaf has to be at this place in Folsom called the Folstom Stree Cafe, I used to meet my friend Aimee up there sometimes for lunch, cute place, nice portions great potatoes. Nancy and I ate at so many restaurants over the years I forget how many, I think our best discovery was Momma Ruth's...oooooooooohh shittt! Soul food, best fried chicken and mac and cheese ever! With a side of greens and hot sauce and you were in heaven. Granted we spent half the day there (their fryer was having problems and I'm not sure the electrical hook up they had was up to code...but), it was worth it. We even went to some hoity toity places like the 856 cafe, best french onion soup. We never went back though, Nancy kinda ghetto and I was a bit embarrassed around all those rich white folks *grin*. Or CoCo Ro's, you paid like $14 for a bowl of rice with some chicken in it but they gave you a shiny pretty rock to rest your chopsticks on :-) Nancy stole hers, hence the reason we didn't go to the nice places to often, she be getting me in trouble. Cancuns, Arroyo's, Casa Flores...all get honorable mention, well Arroyo's was more Nancy's choice than mine she liked the Taco salad, I never did try it. Tepa's was great also, good salsa and burrito's were wrapped really tight. Best super burrito ever? Has to be La Estrella in Manteca in the Big Boy shopping center...big messy burrito it was great! Also good Chile Verde, me and my cousin Martin went there one time and ordered it, I'd never had it there before but it was by far the best. The Duck Nook on Harding had the best navy bean soup and potato salad, sushi was good at Kikusui on Pershing. Angelina's had a great Italian buffet. You never really know what you miss until you're stuck in the middle of a lot of Arby's and Wendy's, Burger King's etc. I don't think we EVER ate at fast food for lunch, Jack in the Box was for breakfast, that's about it. Well there were times when we were really broke and I'd grab my back pack and she'd grab her old lady purse and we'd go through all of our change and hit the Wendy's .99cent menu! Me and my eating buddy! LOL we ate til the end...scraping pennies and what not.
It's important to have a person who isn't afraid to try new things when going on a culinary adventure. Nancy wasn't afraid of putting anything in her mouth (oh lawd!) and she could eat. A short Asian woman but I've seen her clear a plate of enchilladas and a side of chips and salsa like a Marine!! Then she start looking at my plate! Gotta eat fast round her! I miss those days, the friendship and the food and the excitement of trying something new. There really aren't any places like those here, a couple of Chinese restaurants and two really gross "Mexican" restaurants, but that's about it. I can't afford to eat out here anyways but even if I could, I'd probably still eat my Ramen and tuna creations. Besides, not as fun without my eating buddy.
Peace out ;-)