December is finally here! My favorite month! However, it seems to creep up on me faster and faster with each passing year. Even though I want to try to soak in every minute of this holiday season, with all the shopping, gatherings, cooking and baking, shopping...I have a feeling New Year's will be here before I know it! Did you know that in Korea, everyone turns a year older on this day rather than on his/her birthday? Boy, am I glad that my family moved to the States. I am quite attached to my age right now, thank you very much.
Anway, it's Monday so that means it's time for...Tim and Min's foodie adventure, as I'd like to call it from now on ;). On Saturday, we finally visited Noble Pig. Tim heard about this place from Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America. Their specialty, "Seared Beef Tongue," actually was crowned the best sandwich in the southwest region! Guy Fieri also visited and had the "Knuckle sandwich." (click here to watch the clip). Needless to say, this place sure has its share of cult followers. The two owners/chefs sure know what they are doing! They use nothing but high-quality ingredients, and everything's made in-house; bread, duck pastrami, chorizo, rye pickles, house-smoked bacon... That's passion for ya!
There's nothing pretentious about this place. It is small, quaint, and boasts a very laid back atmosphere. The staff was extremely friendly and enthusiastic (I LOVED their Noble Pig t-shirts!...I want one). There was certainly a lot of positive energy simmering away in this place. We heard that the line gets absolutely insane so we went right before the lunch traffic hit, 11am. Without further ado, let's marvel at their menu, shall we?
"Thai Chicken" jumped out at me immediately, and that's what I went with. I've learned the hard way to always go with my first instinct ;). The sandwich definitely lived up to its fame. The bread was perfectly toasted, and it was substantial enough to hold up to all the sandwich innards. Soggy bread does not work for me.
With each bite I took, the more I appreciated the complexity. The chicken was moist and juicy, and the jalapeno cabbage slaw and cilantro added a nice tangy brightness. I want to say that there was Thai basil in there, but I'm not too certain. Whatever it was, it was quite lovely. All I can say is that I've NEVER had a sandwich like this in my life. It's def in a league of its own...
So what did Tim order? Of course "The Beef Tongue!" He had to have the best sandwich in the southwest region! As for me, I didn't have the heart... nor the stomach. After the first bite, Tim said.."Wow, this is rich!" as his eyes lit up. Like me, he said that the flavors were extremely complex. Apparently, no two bites were the same. Smoked green onions hit the tongue immediately, the pepper relish added a nice tartness, and the aioli added an extra richness. He said the tongue tasted like beef brisket. Really? Well, from what I could tell, it did look fibrous alright.
I kept saying, "omg you're eating tongue! I can't believe you're eating tongue!" I couldn't help but feel quite squeamish about the whole thing. I feel bad bc that's not something you want to hear when you're trying to enjoy your meal. Oops. Well, I guess I am not worthy enough to call myself a foodie just yet. Maybe next time I'll muster up some courage...We're coming back for sure!
As I forgot to post last week, you're in luck. Two restaurant features in one post ;). We went to Cover 3, mainly so that Tim could try the #12 burger in Texas Monthly's 50 greatest hamburgers list. I wasn't in the mood to grub on sports bar food, but he insisted that we go. He probably needed me to take pictures...I felt... so used.
The moment we walked in, I was pleasantly surprised. If it weren't for the huge flat-screen TVs playing football, I would've thought it was an upscale, fancy restaurant. And as I was being led to my seat, there I saw it...the Bloody Mary bar. How fun!
The menu was quite impressive as well! All of a sudden, I WAS in the mood to eat some sports bar food...reinvented sports bar food, that is.
So what is that monstrosity you see before you? "Chili and eggs"- chili topped with 2 eggs, avocado, cheddar, cotija, pico, cilantro, and tortilla strips. For some reason, I read it as eggs topped with chili so when my plate came out, my jaw dropped. I didn't expect a whole bucket bowl of chili. They sure didn't skimp out on the meat!! Boy was it good!! So hearty and satisfying! Perfect on a cold day... except it was 80 degrees out. Yes, winter, let alone fall, has not graced us with its presence just yet.
Tim enjoyed his "Chop House Burger", and raved that it was def worthy of its spot on the list. The meat was juicy and well-seasoned, and the ciabatta bread was a nice addition. The longhorn cheddar really rounded out the burger.
Where will we go next week? Stay tuned ;).
Now, switching gears, have you started Christmas shopping yet? I got one gift knocked out. You see, Tim found a luthier that he became obsessed with back in May. Knowing how much he likes and appreciates his guitars, I decided to buy him one as his birthday and Christmas present. After 6 long months filled with anticipation, Christmas came early for Tim ;). I introduce you to Elia...yes he named her...
The luthier sent Tim pictures every step of the way, which I thought was really cool!
I must admit, it's a remarkable instrument and breathtaking to look at. I especially like the headstock ;). The sound is rich and bold. I enjoy listening to him play as I study.
Speaking of studying, I have just 2 more weeks of school!! Today I have an exam and a debate in my food biotechnology class. Also, I'm turning in my "patentable invention" paper, in which I had to come up with a plan to improve an existing product, develop a new product or improve the manufacturing process using biotechnology.
My invention was to isolate a cholesterol-lowering strain (L. sakei NR24) from kimchi to make a new special probiotic yogurt. Honestly, I had a lot of fun with this. The class definitely piqued my interest in Food Science and out of all the countless papers I had to write this semester, this one was my favorite! Speaking of which, I have yet to share with you my findings on flaxseed and breast cancer! I'll try to work on the post as soon as I can!