Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Epic Bowls and Epic Mediterranean

SUPER fancy restaurant for the last night in SB, tiny tastes as excuses for servings, but damn tasty tastes they were. 'Tydes' was supposed to be Mediterranean, but was really Italian and French with a tiny dash of Japanese.
 Sides of Braised Chard and Brussel Sprouts
I enjoyed a miniscule Beet Salad with a quality orange dressing to start (which had very good 'Wild Rocket' (baby arugula) and Orange), but also got these two sides, Braised Swiss Chard with Black Olives and Brussel Sprouts with Dijon Mustard Seed, Apple and no bacon. The Chard was a bit bland compared to what I do although Olives definitely work with it, but the B Sprouts were bomb! Who knew apple with mustard seed would be good? Like a Crunchy Spicy Apple Pie Sprout.
 My "Surf n' Turf"
Scallops and Foie Gras on top of Pine Nut Polenta. The goose liver went to my dad of course, and the rest was amazing. Garlic-y Pine Nuts and Polenta to go with perfect Scallops. 'Nuff said.
Miso Seabass
This was the hint of Japanese that my Dad ordered and shared. Tasty melt in your mouth Seabass with Sweet but Salty Miso and Ham Hock Broth, and braised Japanese root vegetables. #1 No doubt miso in anything is always the way to go. The root vegetables were a mix of mystery treats that tasted like the amazingly flavored broth they came in. Win.
The Greek House Cafe, A Hidden Gem
 This tiny 'Cafe' was possibly the highlight discovery of my trip (even if it isn't over).  I was hesitant to get some cheap greasy rendition of Greek Food, with the small and seemingly old atmosphere, but talking to the super friendly owner about the food for a second convinced me.  They are in between menus right now, so there's a scrappy piece of paper with some items written on it. Don't be nearly fooled like I almost was! There recipes are clearly time tested, carefully prepared, and super authentic. I even got to make a custom order no problem: Greek Salad, some Falafel and some Grilled Chicken, not too much Feta Cheese. I ended up getting a bonus 3rd falafel, and the perfect amount of Feta Cheese.
   The Falafels are tied for all-time favorite with the Lebanese Farmer's Market Lady, tons of flavor (I thought it was Cumin), and perfect light, fluffy, and crunchy texture like none other. They are not oily at all like many, apparently it's because they use corn oil, the perfect temperature, and drain them for a while.
   The Dolma I had was exquisite, tasted like a tiny hint of Mint but apparently it's a dash of Dill. Amazing. I didn't even need Hummus, it was all so good on it's own, and the Dressing was amazing too. #2 It had Dijon Mustard in it. Genius for Greek Salad. The Tzatziki (Yogurt Sauce) was amazing too, I could tell it was from the best Greek Yogurt.
-Greek Salad w/ Less Feta, 1/2 Chicken 1/2 Falafel, Dolma, Tzatziki
Epic Bowls Part II: a Super Smoothie
 I rode straight from my 3 hour exploration of the Santa Barbara Mountains downtown for my second helping of Epic Bowl. (and got to explore the Farmer's Market, and then get hungry soon again for the Greek House...mmm) The manager this morning said his favorite thing was the Superfood Green Smoothie so I tried it as my recovery drink. Just added Immune Defense, my favorite Vanilla Whey Protein (stoked that they use this stuff too!), and Agave Nectar to sweeten. #3 Hemp Protein at breakfast and Whey Protein post ride/lunch. It was super yummy, with leanings of Vanilla and Cacao.
-Kale, Chard, Cacao, Bee Pollen, Maca, Spirulina, Banana, Apple Juice
  -Vanilla Whey Protein, Agave Nectar, Immune Defense
Why is there no place in Marin to get Acai bowls? They seem to be everywhere else: Santa Cruz, Hawaii, Santa Barbara. Anyways, I was able to enjoy this bad boy for breakfast. An Acai Bowl all jazzed up. Super yummy, definitely beyond a basic Acai-Strawberry-Banana blend. The blueberries I added were crucial, and the Honey, Hemp Granola, Quality Fruit, and possibly even the Bee Pollen all provided some very nice flavors. #4 This was pretty filling, no obvious source of fat - Acai is actually a great one containing a solid amount of those rare and cherished Omega 3's and 6's.
-The Blend: Acai, Strawberry, Banana, Apple Juice
  -Hemp Protein, Hemp Milk, Hemp Oil, Bee Pollen, Maca, Echinacea
-(on top) Hemp Granola, Strawberry, Banana, Honey, Blueberries,
-My Additions: Blueberries and Echinicea

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