Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Driving Up The 101

*Cue Phantom Planet Song*

Time for a trip to San Francisco! I was born in San Jose and my cousins, aunts and uncles still live there, so I went to visit for the weekend.

I don't think I ever leave east coast time for these quick trips to the west coast. On Saturday morning, I woke up early, and my aunt had made cha (or, as you've likely heard it called, chai) and scrambled eggs for breakfast.

{All kinds of nostalgia! Note the 
Ernie & Bert bowl}

When we were younger, we would always drink cha with biscuits named Parle G biscuits. Obviously, nothing has changed. The biscuit melts in the cha (think oreo cookies in milk), and it is easy to eat an entire package in one sitting.

{Enjoying breakfast with
my old troll doll}


{Oh look, here is my sister's bike helmet}

Later that day, my cousin Amar and I drove up (yes, up the 101) from San Jose and met Sanjay for brunch at Mama's in San Francisco. We had heard from quite a few friends that Mama's was top notch, and I corroborated this on Yelp. We got there around 1:30pm, and waited for about 30 to 45 minutes. Mama's doesn't take reservations, you just show up and wait in line till you get to the front of the door.

{Almost at the front of the line}

Once you get into the restaurant, you immediately order what you want, and then you sit down at a table. Everything, and I mean everything looks delicious. So, it is hard to decide what to order.

{This is just part of the menu}

{The old school menu}

{Fruit salad, with nectarines!}

{Dungeness crab? Can't say no to this!}

I ordered the special of the day, the dungeness crab omelet with brie and avocado, and, a mimosa, of course. Sanjay ordered the same thing as I did, and Amar ordered the Northern Italian omelet, filled with pancetta, mushroom, basil, tomatoes and garlic jack cheese.

{Brie melting on top!}

{A fresh squeezed mimosa? Talk about healthy
start to the day...right?}

The highlight of the day was visiting Mitchell's Ice Cream. I did a Yelp search and found that this was one of the highest rated ice creameries in the city, so off we went.

When you get there, you have to pull a number and wait your turn. Once the ice cream guys call your number, you can ask to sample the flavors you want before making your selection. I was very impressed by Mitchell's menu of flavors. It even served lucama! As in, the fruit from Peru! I also saw avocado ice cream.

{So many flavors to choose from!}

I ordered the peanut butter indulgence and chocolate caramel swirl in a waffle cone. The peanut butter indulgence had mini peanut butter cups in it, I liked the added crunch, and will keep it in mind when making PB ice cream at home. The chocolate caramel swirl had a perfect ribbon of caramel in every bite.

{Sometimes I am glad I am a grown up,
because I can eat ice cream like this for dinner.}

{Oreo and mint chocolate chip ice cream}


I have never had such delicious ice cream from an ice cream parlor. It made me very sad that no such places exist within walking distance from me in Manhattan. No, Sundaes & Cones doesn't even compare.

I can only hope that Mitchell's will open up in the place of Red Mango down the block from my apartment. I'd never have to make ice cream again if that were the case!

Back at home, my aunt and uncle were grilling up a storm for us. Kebabs and tandoori chicken!

Amar and I have birthdays only 6 days apart (I'm older by 4 years, though it may not seem like it), so my aunt had a mini belated birthday celebration for us.

{A belated birthday celebration}

{Red velvet chocolate chip bundt cake!}

Home made cha is the best beverage in the world (yes, I think even better than...champagne. yes.) I always mess it up when I make it at home, it becomes too watery. So, I will leave you with a recipe for how to make it - good luck!

{Tea Powder}

Cha, recipe by my Aunt Jyothi

Makes enough one normal sized tea pot, or about 4-6 servings

  • 2 cups of water
  • Small piece of crushed ginger and a few cardamom pods (taken out of the shell)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of tea powder (you can find this at places like Kalustyans or Curry Hill in NYC)
  • Sugar to taste
In a small pot, add the water and bring it to a boil. Add in the ginger and cardamom (optional). 

Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the tea powder. Bring this back to a boil for about 3 to 5 minutes. 

Add the milk, allow it to boil, stirring so it does not boil over. Turn the stove off. Strain the tea into the pot. Serve hot, with sugar (to individual taste), and of course, parle g biscuits. 

No comments :