Category Archives: Great Finds

Trokay — A Fine-Dining Surprise in Truckee

Kauai shrimp sizzling away on searingly hot granite at Trokay.

Kauai shrimp sizzling away on searingly hot granite at Trokay.

 

TRUCKEE, CA — In my youth, trips to Lake Tahoe didn’t involve sophisticated fare. Instead, it was all about burgers, pastas and Mexican food — hearty and inexpensive eats that filled you up after a hard day on the slopes.

But truth be told, it was also because those simple dishes were all that could be found then.

Not anymore.

Imagine my delight to find Trokay in Truckee, a fine-dining establishment versed in molecular gastronomy and true attention to detail that would be right at home in San Francisco or New York.

In fact, owners John and Nyna Weatherson are from New York. She was the head cheesemonger of the landmark Murray’s Cheese in the West Village. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate, who was the top-ranked student in his class, and went on to be chef de partie at Restaurant Daniel.

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The Taste of Sriracha In A Rub

A lamb chop gets even more yummy with Sosu Sriracha Rub all over it.

A lamb chop gets even more yummy with Sosu Sriracha Rub all over it. Plus a few home-grown Padron peppers as a garnish.

 

Imagine the fruity heat of Sriracha crossed with the unmistakable aromatic, earthy smokiness of cumin.

That’s what you get in the new Sosu Sriracha Spice Rub.

Lisa Murphy of Oakland’s Sosu Sauces makes what is probably my favorite Sriracha sauce around. It’s aged and fermented in whiskey barrels to give it even more fruitiness and smokiness, adding to its overall complexity not found in other run-of-the-mill Asian hot sauces.

Very much like a winemaker, she produces the sauce only once a year — when peppers and tomatoes are at their peak in summer. It’s a controlled frenzy to take all that fresh produce and turn it into her Sriracha and Srirachup (Sriracha ketchup).

As a small producer cognizant of the importance of not wasting anything, she developed the rub as a way to use up the peppers used in aging the Sriracha. She was inspired by the cumin lamb skewers famed in Xi’an, China.

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A Taste of Korean Walnut Pastry

Discover Korean walnut pastries.

Discover Korean walnut pastries.

 

 

I am drawn to bakeries. What can I say?

So even after gorging one evening on fried chicken at Vons in Sunnyvale (a must-try for the “crispy” chicken, by the way), I still felt compelled to stop in at a bakery steps away in the same strip mall on El Camino Real.

What enticed me was Cocohodo’s sign: “Walnut Pastry.”

Walnut pastries? Korean ones? What could those possibly be?

Why, quite delicious, that’s what.

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Munchery — A Game-Changer

Flintstone-sized pork shank with butter beans -- delivered to my door care of Munchery for all of $18.95.

Flintstone-sized pork shank with butter beans — delivered to my door care of Munchery for all of $18.95.

 

It’s not often that I review a product that so exceeds my expectations that my jaw just drops in awe.

But Munchery is that rare find.

Established in San Francisco in 2010, the meal-delivery service was started by two guys working in tech who found it a challenge to feed their young families well under today’s demanding time constraints.

They created Munchery as an answer to that. It’s now expanded to Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, and just raised $85 million in funding.

Unlike many other delivery services that either offer take-out from area restaurants or prepped food kits that you finish cooking at home, Munchery’s meals come complete and chilled. All you need do is heat in an oven or microwave to enjoy whenever you like.

The food comes neatly packaged in recyclable/compostable containers.

The food comes neatly packaged in recyclable/compostable containers.

The dishes are created and made by professional chefs, some of them quite well known, such as Bridget Batson, former executive chef of San Francisco’s Gitane and Hawthorne Lane; and Jeremy Goldfarb, former executive chef of 123 Bolinas in Fairfax.

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Introducing a Revolutionary New Product — Coffee Flour

Get to know Coffee Flour, an intriguing new product you're going to be seeing a lot of.

Get to know Coffee Flour, an intriguing new product you’re going to be seeing a lot of.

 

Did you know that for every pound of coffee beans produced, there’s nearly an equal amount of waste created?

Coffee Flour aims to tackle that immense problem. It is the first company to dry and finely mill that pulp waste on a large scale to create a type of flour that has five times the fiber of whole wheat flour and more iron than any other grain.

Surprisingly enough, the resulting flour tastes nothing like coffee, either. Instead, the gluten-free coffee flour tastes heavily of citrus and cherry.

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