Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kpasta is more than A-OK!

Five star Alert! Kpasta is a blink and you might miss it kind of place. It's a tiny little eatery on the corner of 13th and Donax in Imperial Beach, with a tented deck that seats 30 people at best! A couple tables and some counter space are inside where you order. Maybe five to six parking spaces right outside, but plenty of street parking. What a sight for fresh eyes in this southwestern corner of the world called IB. Took my mom and dad here for a quick lunch when they wanted to go to the commissary and yelp was my savior. It was this place or an Albetos (not to be confused with Albertos, Robertos, or Rambertos) that had graffiti written across the windows, Subway or a slice of giant New York pizza. So glad my phone found Kpasta!   
I knew my mom liked lasagna, so I told them this is where we are going for lunch! Unfortunately we found out that they only serve lasagna on Thursdays.  But what they do have is a pasta meal special for $8.95, that includes a side salad, your choice of pasta, and your choice of sauce! Full size salads are offered too and they utilize Suzie's Farm products which is a nearby organic farm! Happy to see establishments supporting each other! Homemade pasta is displayed for you to choose from and there are many! Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Multi grain, spinach, beet, shells, I don't remember what else! The sauces are just as many, I should have taken a picture!  I was going to be a plain jane and just order spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce, but they offer you  tastes of difference sauces and I went with the Vodka Cream Sauce. Oh my, sooo good!  My mom ordered spaghetti with the bacon gorgonzola sauce, also really good! You can also choose two sauces for your pasta! Add ons are $3, I added on a meatball and my mom added on chicken.  Our entrees came with garlic parmesan bread laid on the side of the pasta, sopping up the yummy sauce that spilled over from the pasta!  My Mom and Dad both ate heartily which says something because they are pretty picky eaters!!  I usually hear comments like, 'this is too salty" but my mom asked how much this was, and I said "$12" and she said "That's not bad." Good taste + good portion = good value!  The servings were very plentiful. The three of us split the two pasta meals and we could not finish everything. We ended up taking take home containers which will make for a great late pasta snack tonight! 
Service was also great! Kind of hard to maneuver my Dad in his wheelchair as it is not a huge place, but the employees opened doors as we needed them to and checked on us frequently. In fact, when we got out on the deck to find a seat, a trio of soldiers in uniform noticed we were looking for a good spot to place my dad.  They were done and got up quickly and offered us their table! My dad told them he was a retired Navy man and they all shook his hand. I think that made my Dad's day.  I will definitely be coming back with a few of my foodie pasta lovers, especially my daughter who likes pesto, to share this delightful find!

Spaghetti with Vodka Cream Sauce and Parmesan Meatball

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boudin SF debuts 3 new salads!

What famous San Francisco bakery is known for their sourdough bread? Boudin Bakery of course! Boudin SF, their fast casual eatery, recently debuted three new salads on the menu!  This is my go to restaurant whenever we're in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. I was delighted to be able to taste their new salad offerings at a preview event for local San Diego bloggers. It was perfect since spring just started and I needed to get more greens into the diet after all the holiday feasting!
I found out a few fun facts after listening to Executive Chef Alan Skversky's presentation:

  • Every 30 days a shipment of the mother dough is flown in from the original Boudin store in SF to the Balboa store to continue the unique sourdough taste that only Boudin bread has. This is the mother dough that has been kept alive since 1849.
  • The San Diego Balboa store is the hub store that bakes the bread and delivers to the other SD locations.
  • Boudin SF offers wine!  After 4:30 pm, every day, the alcoholic beverages are half off!
  • Every Boudin entree whether it be a salad, sandwich, or hamburger (did you know they offer hamburgers?) is made-to-order. They are serious about their food, no shortcuts used here!
The three new salads are Chicken Kale Caesar, Lemony Couscous and Chicken Banh Mi.
The serving portions are huge, if you can judge from my top picture, and are all served with bread. Our sample servings were very generous as well. 

Chicken Kale Caesar served with  sourdough garlic crisps!

The Chicken Kale Caesar was tasty, but I couldn't help finishing that yummy crispy goodness that came with it first! I would order a side of those by themselves! This was paired with a Karl Strauss Tower 10 IPA.

The Lemony Couscous salad was my favorite of the three. I am fond of Mediterranean flavors, something about olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese! The 2013 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir it was paired with was also my favorite of the wines.  I ate this one all up!
Lemony couscous drizzled with creamy lemon dressing!
The Chicken Banh Mi definitely had the Asian flavors going on, a little on the sweet side with the sesame ginger vinaigrette and a little kick from the jalapenos tossed in. This was paired with a Kendall Jackson Chardonnay 2013 Vintners Reserve.  Soba noodles nestled inside are a fun surprise in this salad! This one was received very well from many tasters! Although some of us thought it would be spicy, on a level of 1 - 5, with 5 being the "Requires a glass of milk!" spiciness, I would give this a 2 in terms of spicy level.

I want to thank Boudin SF for hosting this lovely event and for introducing me to some healthy alternatives this Spring season. The three salads were all winners in my book.  Next time you're looking for a meal with real flavor and real history, try Boudin SF! The Spring Collection salads were indeed #saladelicious! Available now through the end of June!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

"Fresh Off the Boat" encourages Family Talk

We've been watching Fresh off The Boat, a show on ABC about a Taiwanese family living in the 90s trying to assimilate into the American way of life. Today my son, EJ, asked me, "Mom, Eddie said he wants to be a "G"? What's a "G"? Without hesitation I said with automation, "A gangster." EJ said, "What's a gangster?" Oh boy, I found myself explaining what rap music is, that Eddie's just trying to be a cool kid, trying to fit in. EJ starts talking about the lunches Eddie brings, noodles and his mom's stinky tofu, and asks how come his mom doesn't know about lunchables. I explained that she was probably raised in Taiwan, and  they don't eat lunchables there. EJ asks if they have money, I said yes they do but his mom wants him to eat what she cooks. He asks what the phrase "Fresh off the Boat" means, I said historically it's how a lot of Asian people have come to America, traveling by boat. I was about to go into the Four Waves of Filipino American History, but remembered that my kid's only 8.  We talked for at least ten minutes! For my son, that's a pretty extensive conversation! I could see it in his face registering all this information. Hey if this show can pique his interest like this, I'm all for it!  Check it out.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

3 ways Facebook has taken over my life!

  • The "Grass is Greener" syndrome.
Let's face it. You know we all post pictures of our current status or share "What's on your mind?" to see how many likes we can get.  The number of friends, likes, shares, etc.. boosts the ego and can be very affirming.   Facebook can be a tool to communicate, promote consumer products and even discuss social change but it is also an avenue to tell people, "Look at my life, isn't it great?!"  I call it the "Grass is Greener" syndrome. Sometimes it can be overwhelming,. Do I really need to know what you're doing every single hour of the day or look at your selfies from morning to night? Not really, but I do. So you were up early exercising, went to your kid's sporting event, shopped at Walmart and now are dining at the latest restaurant. Besides your morning noon night selfies, sometimes I wonder, how the heck are you getting all these pictures, backside view of you enjoying the sunset, biking, running, walking hand in hand with your kid, your significant other feeding you dinner, etc...  Oh, you ask complete strangers to take your picture! Wow, is all I can say. No shame in your game! Yes, your life is great and the grass is green. I'll "like" it 'cause it is easy for me to do and I am your friend after all. Yes, you look great, your kids are talented, you bought a great bargain, you mastered the selfie so much you don't need to use a stick, and now ....I have to find something just as good or witty to post so you can like it too because dammit, my life is just as great!
  • It's become an addiction!
You can tell me, well stop looking then, but you know what?  I can't! Sometimes I feel like I'm not in the know if I go two-three days without FB.  People use it for social events and even respond to messages via FB rather than their phones! I find myself sitting down to the laptop intending to do some real work and then thirty minutes later, I haven't started anything, but I'm all caught up with your selfies, activities, and food ventures. My carpal tunnel has resurfaced from clicking all these "likes"! It is an addiction.  I try to "unplug" when I'm at a social event but somehow that dang phone creeps into my hand and with just a press, there you all are, on FB.  I pledge to make more of an effort to be FB free when we go out to a restaurant, I hope you can do it too!
  • You think you know me? 
Technology is getting to the point where all of our interests, purchases,  travels, etc.. are getting tracked. Yes, I was looking at that cute dress on Macys.com yesterday, and now it pops up on my FB sidebar today! Whoa, that's kinda stalker-ish!   Or is it convenient?  Yeah, ok, I'll buy it since its the last day of the sale and I can always return it if I don't like it, right?  No wonder my wallet has been getting thinner and thinner these days, while my bottom gets bigger and bigger, why, because I'm sitting down apparently FBing and shopping too!

I will say that through FB I've been able to reconnect with old friends and keep up with your growing families. So even though it has impacted my life more than I thought it could, I have some appreciation for that! Now, I'm off to fix my hair and face, I feel a selfie, just from the neck up though,  coming soon in the near future!
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