Notes from Madrid

One of the first things I ate in Madrid were the albondigas from a little tapas bar down the street from our hostel.  At first I thought it may have been some sort chicken mixed with pork. It tasted a bit like chicken parts too, hearts or liver, a distinct iron organ flavor. The sauce …

Vietnamese Pork Pintxo with Shrimp Fried Rice

I love and miss Vietnamese food more than anything else on this island, except for maybe Alaskan salmon or dungeness crab. The barbeque pork that you get in bun cha sometimes, or bahn mi, is sweet and aromatic. Put it on spicy fried rice with fresh herbs, serve it with cold glass noodles and nuoc cham with mint …

Notes from a Drive North

Mom and Dad prepared a good spread for us at 6am the day we left Phoenix. Waffles with strawberries, maple syrup, fried eggs and sausage patties, strong coffee. The first leg of our trip was going to be the longest so we bulked up. The next meal wouldn't be until outside of Pasadena. In N' …

Another Day, Another Pepper

I've been in Arizona and New Mexico the last seven days, deliberately without a schedule, plan, sense of direction. It's the kind of feeling one needs after constant planning, yelling at people, being the know-it-all boss intent on finding perfection, or at least continuity, consistency. So far, in a mere seven days, in desert, in …

Catalysts, Mentors, and Smoked Pork

A friend of ours passed away a couple weeks ago, so I’d like to dedicate this post to him. We weren't very close. I could probably count the number of times we spent time together on two hands. But what always impressed me was the passion he put into his food. He didn't know it …