A good steak is part of any US trip. My friend, Bobbie, recommends Boboquivari’s , a boutique restaurant that’s not your usual steakhouse.
The specialty here is steak and crabs. The steak is dry-aged for four to six weeks in a highly specialized facility, which results in a richer, tastier meat. The The maÃ®tre d’ tells us that there are only three places in the States that dry-age in this manner.
At Bobo’s, the steak is pan-seared in its own juices with garlic and rosemary then deglazed, so it’s served wet and succulent. This is my New York bone-in ($37), along with my sides ”“ a baked potato and mashed sweet potatoes with honey butter. Sublime.
The garlic baked sourdough olive loaf ($3) is a revelation in itself ”“ liberally drizzled with olive oil, the explosions of roasted garlic and the doughy-ness of the loaf was irresistible. I just could not stop eating this bread.
I love biscuits, those small, flaky quick breads that are the perfect receptacle for a smear of butter. When a biscuit is fresh from the oven, I tear it open and drown my nose in its flour-y bosom and inhale deeply. Biscuits are virtually unknown here in Manila, so I make them usually for a lazy Saturday breakfast. This is one of those rare biscuits I eat that I don’t have to make myself. I have it at Ella’s, a popular brunch place with so-so food. Brunch is HUGE in the States, and people will willingly wait in line on a Sunday for their turn at their favorite haunt.
I spend a lot of time scouring kitchenware stores, from the usual to the extraordinary, like this one on Divisidero Street. The store looks like one big bodega of kitchenware, from the new to the hard to find. I spy porcelain egg coddlers, heavyweight shortbread pans, and vintage Pyrex mixing bowls in pastel hues. I even find a barely-used copy of an old cookbook that I’ve been searching high and low for. I want to weep at the sight of it all, and cry because there’s no way I can take everything home with me.
339 Divisidero St.
East Coast West Deli
This deli erases my woe at not being able to include New York on this trip of mine. There is everything here that any homesick New Yorker or visiting New York-crazed Filipino foodie (hello, me!) could want. And it feels like a real deli too ”“ a long counter at the front complete with stools and a dining room at the back.
Before I even dig into my sandwich, I make sure to order this black and white cookie, so named because of the white fondant-style glaze on one side and the chocolate coating on the other. I’ve never had a black and white before so I’m unsure as to how this cookie rates. It’s got a cakey interior and a strong lemon-y flavor.
Oh yeah, no one makes sandwiches as monstrous as a New York deli. This sandwich is called “The Dillon:” a monstrous hoagie with turkey, bacon, jack cheese & blue cheese dressing. I can’t even see the meat for all the shredded cabbage on top. And would’ja look at that pickle? I pick it up and say, “Bobbie, I think this is a cucumber.”
I see a bagel and I think smoked salmon. I like this very much, but it’s unfortunately Bobbie’s order, so I end up picking at her plate. It’s a lot better than mine,
a grilled cheese sandwich on challah which is ho-hum, and I have no one to blame but myself. It oozes cheese and plenty, but it’s just too bland for me.
I like to open people’s refrigerators when I’m in their house, after asking for permission first, of course. I spy this Greek-style yogurt in Bobbie’s refrigerator, and I scream with glee. It’s thick like cream cheese with that characteristic yogurt tang, and very unlike the watery yogurt that I’m accustomed to. Of course such glory doesn’t come low-fat so I resign myself to a few spoonfuls and these shots for posterity.