Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday lunch at Nopalito

I have been thinking about trying Nopalito for some time. The thought usually occurs when I am picking up ingredients at Falletti's for a home cooked dinner , and thus far I have been disciplined enough to stick with the dinner plans and save Nopalito for another time.

When Gidge asked this morning if I was interested in lunch, we tried for a few minutes to think of something tasty and cheap that we hadn't tried before, and fortunately Nopalito came to mind. Sustainable, organic, Mexican, and cheap ... I like this place already!

We strolled in around 12:30 in soccer attire (I in my Spain jacket and Gidge rocking a Soccer Insight warmup) and easily found seats on a bench alongside the window. After some discussion we decided to share three plates. I love to share plates, especially at a new place, because you get to try more, but in this case there was one clear favorite... the Quesadilla Roja con Chicharron.

The crispy tortilla exterior was made from house made masa and colored a deep brick red from the ancho chile. Inside the fatty flavor of crispy pork belly is mellowed by Jack cheese, with the tang of onion, cilantro, and a mild guajillo chile salsa. Each bite had a light crunch but a rich, full flavor. I am glad we split it because a whole one would have left me prone on the couch for the rest of the afternoon!

I am looking forward to trying Nopalito sometime for dinner to see how they do with pozole, one of my favorite Mexican dishes for the winter. In the meantime, I am going to shop at Falletti's and make my own pozole sometime soon. Come over for dinner!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday Funday Brazen Head

After a full day of outdoor festivities - starting with an early morning round of golf with my brother at the Olympic Club, an afternoon of roofdecks and Blue Angels, and an evening celebrating a close friend's birthday (Happy Birthday, Liv!) - I forced myself to wind down the Sunday Funday and started the trek home. I thought 9pm was a more than respectable time to head home, put my feet up, enjoy a glass of wine, and mentally prepare myself for the week to come.

At least, that was the plan until Kelsey, Lapi, and I popped into Brazen Head for a glass of wine... a few minutes later, wine and a late dinner.

Brazen Head is a Cow Hollow establishment, serving food until 1am in a dark and cozy corner hideaway. Unsigned, they rely on local know-how and cater to the neighborhood with their BH Neighbor Card, only available to those who live within a block's radius of the restaurant.
The bar was full and the atmosphere boisterous, despite the hour. In terms of menu, the strategy is simple; they cling to classics and they execute. Caesar, French onion soup, filet (grass fed!), scampi. There is no reinvention here but if you want to swap your chicken marsala for veal and your piccata vice versa, go ahead and ask... the servers will work it out. You can split a variety of dishes two or three ways (we did). They are clearly looking for repeat customers.

Brazen Head won me over with its straightforwardness and vivacity. My strategy is simple as well; I adore my friends and love my food, and am always looking for the perfect place to combine the two. Who is up for another Sunday Funday at the Head?