CIA Bakery Café

After lunch at Tomatillos on Broadway, I went on the downtown tour with my cousin. We happened to pass by Pearl and there it was! Culinary Institute of America San Antonio location. I heard about CIA Bakery Café. Exhausting an hour lunch at Tomatillos with decent food ( Fresh ), a nice cup of coffee with a piece of cake would not fit for this 100 degree San Antonio weather. What the heck! Let’s pretend that we are New Yorkers. Wonderfully organized bakery display case with yellow light caught my eyes, and wrapping boxes with letters hand stamped with gold ink were the next. I ordered 12 oz. cowboy blend. It wasn’t my first one for today but as good as the first kick. They brewed as strong as ✭bucks; however, it was much more flavorful and aromatic than Pike place, Sumatra or Italian blend (I can think of this much for now).

Monte Albán” with crushed hazelnut as a base with 72% Dark Venezuelan Chocolate in the middle and square spiral pattern made with coco powder blended in thin sheet of cake bestowed its name visually. Bitterness of the dark, mild sweetness and exuberant nuttiness synchronized the ingredients. Sadly, I wasn’t well thoughtful enough to drink my coffee in black. After three bites, I couldn’t take it any more due to overwhelming buttery taste.

I would like to try their sandwich sometime.  CIA Bakery Café is small easily get crowded during lunch time due to their tiny space, but give yourself try. Their desert will make you think it is not that evilicious, and dont forget! go limited with sugar for your drink if you really want to enjoy their desert.

One Chu!

Monte Albán $3.75

a little korean cafeteria at Seoul Oriental Food Market

Asian who doesn’t eat rice everyday broke the rule only after two food blogs. My mother went to a korean restaurant which is located inside of Seoul Oriental Food Market. Last night I danced at least 3 hours non-stop at a club for my friend’s birthday. When it comes to hang over, there is nothing like eating soup in the next day rejuvenation…especially “Korean” soup. Since I am at work, my all-time servant, my mom (*^0^*) delivered my hang over medicine.

This low maintenance cafeteria (due to its size) has no banner or menubook for each table that same dish costs about two bucks less than other competitors. A chief does everything with an assistant. It operates with semi-self serve method. Thirsty? get your own water. To-Go? get your own doggy bag from next to water dispenser.

The chief spends her entire life running restaurants in Korea. oh yes~ she is the real one. Between the chief and you, there is a ten feet long counter top where you can look over her cooking. My favorite is seafood silky tofu soup with pick your own spiciness (you probably know my level by now), which includes seafood mix – shellfish, shrimp and squid, onion, zucchini, egg, soft tofu and mystery red pepper paste by the chief. The soup comes with rice and assorted side dishes. The side dishes change everyday. For today, I got pan saute zucchini with white onion, egg boiled in soy sauce and kimchi three ways ( chinese cabbage, chives and cucumber). I order multi-grain rice instead of white sticky rice (medium grain) which composes of sweet rice, wild rice, brown rice and randomly spotted lima bean. Sweet rice is main ingredient for rice cake that it contributes viscous gummy texture to the rice. It is just simply good and healthy. The side dishes are well seasoned, too, but don’t tell me to criticize the kimchi..My grand mother spoiled my palette for it (She uses generous amount of pickled shrimp, shellfish and fish sauce). Deep and clean taste of the soup is light with hint of sea water flavor.

hint: Even in ten years ago, Korean wasn’t familiar with tipping in a restaurant. The price you pay at a cash register doesn’t include the tip. Don’t miss the tip jar on the cooking counter.

size comparison: my 24oz morning coffee juxtaposes with the soup container (very generous amount)-my deep apology for the quality of the photo…I was shaking hungry by lunch at 2pm.

That rice is the killer. Taste just like what i had from Korea. Don’t forget to ask for it or you will get just plain white.

The Copper Kitchen at Southwest School of Art

Junghee is about to introduce her most favorite salad. As known as “Jung’s Salad” at the Copper Kitchen (Club Giraud) located on Ursuline Campus at Southwest School of Art, it passes the golden rules #1 to #6 and is blended by Jung.

What is so special about this salad that she gets it at least twice per week?

Herb salad dressing made out from italian parsley blended in olive oil is the key. The fume of the ingredients does not overpower freshness of spring green mix. The color of bright minty green oil claims itself “I’m so healthy”. Their house salsa is prepared with double boiling and is hot, Hot, HOT! I obtain my sodium from parmesan cheese and croutons. Here is the mixology:

1. one spoon full of the herb salad

2. three spoons of the house salsa ( I get 1 more…and I’m spicy Korean)

3. The kitchen staff will mix spring greens (about 2 cups) with croutons and parmesan cheese

4. I add the salsa and extra parmesan cheese ( I did mention my ❤ of cheese)

5. set it steady for at least 3 minutes untill little delicious atoms marrying away or until croutons get subtly softer.

warning: Jung’s salad is not on the Copper Kitchen menu; however, you can try with side salad and cut the amount of dressing and salsa in half. Also, meat entree and soup might be salty for your palette (yeah..I rarely get them), but the C.K makes deep Tex-Mex combined with semi-italian and french cuisine. Sometime their bison and quaile and duck enchilada surprise me.

Their salsa and herb dressing have amazing balance in flavor. I will never get each one separately nor forget to include parmesan cheese – it helps cutting away the heat). Another reason that I treasure the salad is “I could not mimic their recipe!!”

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Junghee is frugal and amazed by “eating-out” culture in this country. Somehow she begins busy with work and talk s*i* with her newly habitualized words. The green comes and goes ~ Let’s spend it.

A restaurant review by SACurrent about Five Guys Burger caught my eyes few months ago. “Oh~yeaH” ……..bad idea. According to my knowledge, grind meat burger easily can have 400 cal. at minimum. Remember Junghee! your calories intake for a meal is less than 500. I ordered Light Burger that comes with one patty and my choice of toppings. I love cheese but decided not for this time due to indescribable  balance between meat and cheese. The stink of cheese ( where is this originated anyway?) would prevent my tongue to appreciate juice from the meat which was what they are known for.

Hi~~~eeeee. Can I have a light burger with grilled mushroom, onion and green pepper..tomato and letters…..aaaaand jalapeno.

ummm….Let me get regular fries, too. (with that…It was over my lunch budget, but why not? I was hungry)

On 11: 50am, the place was crowded. I had five orders in front of me which took 5 minute till my turn. An order for a minute was not bad. I detected some vinegar sauce bottles, ketchup and BBQ SAUSE~~hmm. They also had self served shelled peanuts in two boxes full and was delicious, fresh and roasty. I waited two minutes for my about to be broken dream burger and fries.

Before I get into the taste, I would like to point out their method of cooking the half-inches thick patty. On a huge flat griddle, a cook put about fifteens at the same time (’s lunch time and praising the fast past). And the cook started pressing the small poor guys down really really hard. The meat left five inches diameter of protein on the griddle. Well….honey (the protein)….you are supposed not to live like that and not to leave those burnt. I just lost my important element there. . . bomber. The burnt was the reason for no mayo and no cheese and would keep the patty warm longer. (-65/100)

I got BBQ sauce on a side-friendly customer service but didn’t want to talk about the plain brown viscous liquid. Fries….yeah the fries…..thick string cut with the skin on. I shredded a piece with my teeth. There was a extremely high possibility that the piece absorbed a tsp or two of peanut oil. The waxed paper cup container for the fries facilitated sogginess (super). If I was getting the string, I would expect crispness. Where are you Ruby’s or even McDonald~~~?!!!! It went to trash. (-20/100)

I ended up obtaining my daily fat requirement from the peanut oil and mayo which I did not ask for my burger. Chunky diced cut white onion broke the entire balance. I could only feel the dried-out rounded patty parts. Grilled mushroom was canned which could tell by the way it had been cut and the taste of course. (-15/100)

Their buns? You could not say it was made by carefully selected bakeries if buns have sesame seeds on the top. The taste of their so proudly advertised buns did not meet my expectation. (you are going down~~~)

In sum, FGBF receives (-100/100) which means ZERO~ ulala. Do I have any suggestion for improvement, or am I going to try different FGBF’s burger? I have my grieve on their business strategies. According to my golden rules, #1 (failed due to the mushroom), #2,3 & 4 (failed due to their meat patty cooking method and b*a* onion) which means #5 and #6 automatically dropped.

I have no images but ENJOY~~~(>0<)

Beginning of Food Criticism

Oh yeah~ Junghee came from a country serving rice as a golden rule for every meal. I decided to blog about semi-formal criticism of restaurant food. Korean wasn’t even huge on American fastfood franchises in a year I left. Smell of oil grease in my high school cafeteria seemed overwhelmed my nasal sense that I rarely had deep-fried food. The Food channel’s well constructed shows delivered entertainment and had given an opportunity to me how to say things in English. As time passed by, I became an avid cook (mostly fusion) and developed my own set of rules for “GOOD” eat.

Junghee’s Golden rules for “GOOD” eat :

1. use of fresh ingredients

2. applying right amount of heat & cooking time

3. how well accentuate good taste and kill bad taste of an ingredient

4. balance between ingredients

5. creativity and uniqueness of a dish

6. nutrient

Junghee’s eat & live philosophy :

1. everything is somehow in someway will help your body move

2. I neither believe in protein, vegan nor raw-food life style (although they have advantages that I respect and enjoy)

3. I do believe in portion control. Since I stopped growing up, my body can burn fixed calories, and metabolism is getting slow. My daily calories need is under 1,500 cal. for sedentary life style. (I really don’t have many choices from American restaurant menu)

4. There is so many different mineral and vitamin daily with my not so much daily intake that I build a habit of “eating like you come to small buffet”

5. First bite is always the best!

I am ready to bi*ching about what I eat and what I pay. For your information, Junghee doesn’t eat shell-fish except clamp nor barbacoa. no pig ears, tails, feet, noses and cow tongues. However, she likes to try new. She believes everybody have their own rules for their bodily needs and is going to write about hers.

I love RAW fish~ ❤    ✗NO RICE✗