Din Tai Fung! Legit.

Din Tai Fung is a great place to get dim sum.  As you walk to your table, you can see the process of how they make their delicious dumplings!  The place had a cool and fun atmosphere.  From the menu, we chose the following to share: wood ear appetizer, noodles with minced pork, shrimp and pork wontons with spicy sauce, sauteed green beans, shrimp and pork shao mai dumplings, shrimp fried noodles, and the juicy pork dumplings –these were my favorite!  When eating the pork dumpling, there was a wonderful broth that accompanied the bite.  In fact, everything was legit and we managed to finish everything!  🙂  We also got some taro buns and red bean buns for dessert.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pics of those master pieces.

This place strives on service and quality ingredients, and you can easily tell this when eating here.  This Din Tai Fung is located in Glendale, CA and conveniently located near an outside shopping area –which was a great post-lunch activity.

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We made it! 🙂

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Dim Sum head. How lovely.

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Seaweed and bean curd appetizer. Delish.

 

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Mmmm. Wood Ears!

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Noodles with minced pork. Forever in my heart.

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Fried noodles with pork. Perfect for sharing!

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Pork Dumplings and one carrot.

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Shrimp and pork dumplings with spicy sauce. The. Best.

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The spread. Good from all four corners.

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Look at that juice. Definitely spoon worthy!

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And to top it off: a grape slushie boba drink. Perfect!

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La Hacienda.

La Hacienda has the best tacos ever!  For a $1.50, you get a choice of pork, beef, or chicken.  These tacos come with onion, cilantro, and your choice of salsa on a fresh corn tortilla.  Total authentic legintness any way you look at it!

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La Hacienda, Manhattan, KS

I got three chicken and one pork.  I know four may seem a lot, but these fellas were a little on the small side.  Nonetheless, these got demolished and left me wanting a couple more!  So good!  The chicken and pork were seasoned perfectly, and the onion and cilantro pulled everything together.  The corn tortilla was awesome!  These tacos are my heroes!  Also, this little eatery is connected to a grocery store where they sell everything hispanic!  How cool is that!?

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Legitness in a corn tortilla! Yay!

Pork and Cabbage.

Pork and Cabbage.

I got to use some of the pork I cut during my butchering class at the Local Pig. In my last post, I forgot to mention that each person in the class got to bring home 10 lbs of the pork.

For this meal, we used the pork chops. I didn’t realize that they were super thick, so I had to cut them – while cutting them, I had a flashback to the butchering class. Awesome place.

The pork chops were seasoned, lightly floured, and pan fried. I did tenderize them a little to cut down on the cooking time. Since this is my first time not eating pork from the grocery store, I can that there is a difference in taste. The taste of a local pig from the Local Pig has a wonderful flavor, super juicy, and tender. Can’t wait to try the other cuts.

A cabbage side dish consisted of awesome cabbage, an apple, bacon, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and whipping cream, which settled well with the crispy pork pieces. I had seconds.

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Close-up.

Four Olives. Yes, Please!

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We went to Four Olives for dinner and it was fantastic.  We started out with Lamb Sliders and the Root Beer Braised Duroc Pork Belly with blue cheese polenta and sautéed spinach.  The Lamb Sliders with Maytag Blue were so “cute and small” (this is my term for awesome because technically, things that are “cute and small” such as puppies and baby turtles make my day) and the lamb, cucumber, and sauce melted together to make the perfect bite.

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Lamb Sliders: My best friends on a plate.

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Delish!

The Root Beer Braised Duroc Pork Belly was solid!  The light sweet taste paired with the crispy crust, and salty meat came together when paired with the polenta and spinach.  OMG.

We ordered the following entrees: Elk with risotto and asparagus; Miso Honey Halibut with risotto and asparagus; and Shiraz-Braised Lamb Shank with Israeli couscous and sautéed spinach.

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Elk = loveliness

The Elk was tender and delightful.  The black truffle sauce on top definitely made the dish.  It was like seeing a unicorn for the first time.

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Hugs!

The Miso Honey Halibut was quite legit.  The halibut was tender and flaky, but the miso and honey made a light crust when cooked.  The risotto was cheesy and onion-y, and awesome with every bite.  I definitely would get this again.

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Shank it.

Shiraz-Braised.Lamb.Shank.  It was so tender, a knife was unnecessary; it was a one-utensil-meal.  It was cooked perfectly and wonderful!

Don’t forget desert.  Yes, we managed.  *high-five*

I forgot to take pictures because I was so mesmerized by these sugary beauties.  We ordered the Tiramisu, Caramel Apple Bread Pudding, and Crème Brule.

Local Pig.

**This post is about my recent visit to a butchering class at the Local Pig in Kansas City.  There are pictures of pig in the raw form, so if this disturbs you, please look away and come back tomorrow for another awesome food post.**

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Local Pig is a butcher shop in Kansas City.  They are known for their sausages (among other items) and take pride on using local farmers for the freshest cuts of meat.  About twice a month – on Sundays – Local Pig hosts a “whole hog” butchering class.  When signing up, I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to a “whole hog,” but thought this experience was worthy enough to overcome any fears I had. Image

This place was hard to find and I was five minutes late.  I don’t like to be late, but that feeling was dismissed when I was welcomed by a group of men waiting for the class; some had trouble finding the place as well.  Included in the cost of class was beer and Italian meatballs (awesome!).  I didn’t have any beer, but there was one guy who drank enough for the both of us.

300 lbs of hog on the table was ready to be cut by people who have some, little, or no experience in butchering.  It was already cut in half and looked very clean – there were no hooves, tail, head, organs, etc.  ImageWe surrounded the table after washing our hands and took turns on the basic cuts. I was the first one to cut due to where I was standing.  Under the direction of Myles (a butcher at LP), I cut the kidney (or maybe liver?) out and pulled a chunk of fat away from the ribs.  Turn #1 done successfully!  During some of my other turns, I got to saw the loin, and cut out the femur bone.

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I had such a fabulous time.  The people in class were nice and supportive, and we laughed quite a bit.  Myles the butcher is good at what he does and is so knowledgeable!  Since going through this class, I feel more confident in the kitchen and if I am in the wilderness, and need to cut a rabbit for my people, I can!

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I sawed that edge of the loin! Look how clean that is!

Taste of Korea.

Taste of Korea.

Tonight’s dinner was Korean inspired. Mixed veggies including, spinach, carrots, broccoli, and snow peas were side by side with some pork and mushrooms. To bring everything together, I added a Korean, spicy soybean paste called gochujang to add some flair. Two over-easy eggs melted over this hot mix! I decided to omit the rice- which is traditional in this dish.