What a week – my inner foodie is content (for the moment)
Since we moved to Palo Alto I have found myself wanting in the food discovery and enjoyment department. Don’t get me wrong, we have had some great food and the local produce and farmer’s markets are amazing. But yet, something has been missing. Between not knowing too many people here, my husband’s current diet (he’s opting for a mostly vegetarian, low/no-fat diet) and just settling in and getting the lay of the land I haven’t stumbled on any really great-get-giddy-excited eateries. I also miss our favorite go tos back home (in particular Italian food).
But that all changed this week. My family was in town visiting giving me a reason (and company) to hit the streets and try out some new places. I also finally figured out why there is a different truck serving food to long lines just down the street from us every week – THANK YOU Moxie. Great discoveries happened and my inner foodie is finally content for the time being. Read on for more details…
The Ferry Building Marketplace
A must visit for for anyone who likes to eat. We’ve been meaning to hit the Ferry Building for a while now, but only just made it this Tuesday while my family was visiting. And if we were to move out of Palo Alto, we may have to move within walking distance of this place. The long corridor is lined with amazing shops selling every kind of fresh and prepared food imaginable from mushrooms to local organic meat to seafood to sweet baked goods to fresh local produce. There were also a number of places selling interesting housewares. I think we’ll be going back for some new plates and bowls. All of this with a focus on local and sustainable products. I was in heaven and wanted to buy everything. The environment was just really nice and inviting as well. You wanted to spend hours there looking through all the shops, and when you tired of that you could grab a snack or a coffee and head outside to find a seat by the water. It was calm and peaceful (Note: we were there on a Tuesday, I imagine it could get quite a bit more congested). We will be back many times and I’ll share more details as we do. In the meantime, read up on our favorite find of our first trip there – Boccalone.
Boccalone – Tasty Salted Pig Parts
Need I say anymore? We first heard of Boccalone from the Food Network on an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” when someone went to his place and spoke about the amazing cured meats you could get, including a meat cone, which I have now had the pleasure of experiencing first hand. For $3.50 you can get a paper cone filled with uber delicious meat. It is fun and a really great way to sample their offerings so you can decide what to take home with you. They start with sustainably-raised, heritage-breed pork and create amazing salumi (cured meats, fresh sausages and items like pate and mortadella). I sampled the Mortadella, Prosciutto Cotto and Lonza in my meat cone. All super delicious. I always love Mortadella and cannot wait to go back and try a Mortadella hot dog! My favorite was the Prosciutto Cotto though. It was really meaty and had great flavor and texture. It would be fantastic in a sandwich or cooked in an omelet or some pasta. If there wasn’t such a huge line behind Jeromy (who had already paid) I would have bought some to take home. We did take home a few varieties of salame, some pancetta and Italian sausages. We grilled up the sausages on Tuesday, right before my siblings left for Boston, and WOW were they good. The best Italian sausages I have ever had. Next time we go to Boccalone we’re brining a cooler to fill up!
See’s Candies – Limited Edition: Strawberry Truffle
My brother was shopping around for treats to bring back to his clothing and accessories shop, Uncle Pete’s in Boston, since he had been gone all week. He went into the See’s Candies shop at the Stanford Mall and they offered him a free sample of their limited edition Strawberry Truffle. He left with a box to bring back to Boston. He raved about them so much when he got back to our place that he and my sister made another trip back and brought some home for us to try. And I have to say, they are something special. I wish I had one right now. They are strawberry truffles covered in white chocolate and shaped like hearts. The really amazing thing is how the filling tastes so much like just picked perfectly sweet strawberries. It brings back memories of pick strawberries right off the plant and eating them still warm from the sun. If you are near a shop that sells the truffles you MUST try them. I’m not sure how long they will be around, so hurry! Update: I went to get some more this weekend and was sadly informed that last Friday was the last day for them. I was actually really pretty bummed. They said if enough people loved it they made add it to their regular options! So let them know they should bring it back. Though I wonder if they will be as good all year round, versus in strawberry season.
Hong Kong Bistro
Being from Macau, I took my family to Castro Street in Mountain View (one town over from Palo Alto) to explore the Asian restaurants and hit up the Hong Kong Bakery and Asian market. The restaurant we were planning on going to wasn’t open, nor was the bakery. We weren’t really off to a great start. After a little shopping at the market we walked back toward the car trying to find a place for lunch. I had seen the “Hong Kong Bistro” last time I was on Castro and had wanted to check it out. So we popped in and they immediately greeted us in Cantonese! A nice surprise, especially since we’re muts and people tend to think we don’t speak Chinese. We were definitely eating there after that. They were super busy but made space for us in the back. The service is efficient (very much like Macau). The food, while many may not thing it is all that, was amazing to us since they had many dishes hard to find outside of Macau or Hong Kong. We were like kids in a candy store wanting to order everything. They even had Milk Tea the way they make it in Macau. YUM! One of my favorite things in the world. They had dishes like Baked Pork Chops with rice or noodles, Portuguese Chicken (the only times I have had it other than in Macau is when I make it – with my made up recipe) and noodles in soup. If you were in Macau or Hong Kong, the quality probably would not be good enough to keep their doors open….but for here…this nostalgic food is very very welcome.
Moxsie’s Street Eats, Kung Fu Tacos and Simply Mochi
For a few weeks now ever so often there would be a different Street Food Vendor (Truck) parked in a little parking lot in front of a pretty nondescript building just steps away from our house. I didn’t pay enough attention to determine if there was any regularity to it but did notice there was always a sign (in addition to long lines) outside referring to food and fashion. Today I finally remembered the name and looked it up. MOXSIE, an online fashion retailer focusing on independent designers, giving back and customer service, happens to be made up of a bunch of foodies. And so started Moxsie’s Street Eats. They invite various street food vendors to park in their lot for a couple hours (11:30-1:30pm) every Friday to serve up their specialties to Moxsie’s employees and anyone else in the area! And lucky for me, I live just a few steps away!! It was only 12:30pm when I realized I too could part take in the offering. I still had time. I
got Sofie in her stroller and we walked over. Today, KungFu Tacos was there with Simply Mochi offering dessert.
I ordered a Roast Duck taco and hurried home to try it. It was beyond good. Even though I love mango I am normally not a fan of it as a salsa, but it was something special on this taco. The combination was a lovely warm savory richness with a just right sweet, cool, freshness from the salsa. I’m already wondering when they will be back! I want more tacos!! I was also hoping to try one of every mochi they had, but unfortunately they were sold out. I did get to speak with Linda, the super nice, all smiles, owner of Simply Mochi, and she told me they deliver to Palo Alto! Yay! And strawberry is the current seasonal flavor. Yum. I also asked about the use of egg, and only the lemon curd one has egg in it. Good news for Sofie. I am sure she will love them and it is always more fun when we get to share.