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11/11/07 08:22 - 46ºF - ID#42084

Saigon Cafe

As a new Buffalo transplant its nice to be able to have a multitude of new restaurants to try. Tonight was my first dinner at Saigon Café. Overall a pretty good experience, the food was by far the highlight.

The Good:

I ordered Pla Jean, which is whole fried red snapper with red and green peppers in a ginger curry sauce, allegedly garnished with scallions but there were none to be found on mine. A few minutes after I ordered I heard the unmistakable sound of cold flesh hitting hot oil stream out from the kitchen. I could hardly wait to try it, this is the first time in several months I have had whole fried fish. It was by far the best dinner I have had since moving to Buffalo. They certainly know how to fry snapper well. The curry tasted vaguely familiar, like I had eaten it many times before. It had a little bit of Thai basil in it and a hint of coconut milk as well, slightly sweet and medium spice. It was a massive portion but I was determined to eat the whole thing. I avoided most of the rice because it was an ungodly amount. I had the urge to try the eyeball and it was really anticlimactic, just extremely chewy.

The Bad:

The service wasn't terrible; it just wasn't all that great. They do that team serving crappola, which I normally despise. There are a few exceptions when a place has captains and back servers with a system that works that I find it to be really efficient. This was more of a "whoever isn't busy" can take care of you sort of system that led to me not being greeted very promptly. They were pleasant however and I did get an excellent recommendation for dinner. I noticed that their reservation system is lacking as well. There were two parties that had a res for 7:30 and the entire dining room was sat. So maybe there are a few front of the house issues there.

The Indifferent:

As I was getting up to leave I peered into the kitchen window and to my shock they were using the same brand of canned curry paste that I buy. I was surprised they don't make it themselves, but honestly I really don't care. That dish was freaking delicious.

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Permalink: Saigon_Cafe.html
Words: 392
Location: Buffalo, NY


11/06/07 09:29 - 38ºF - ID#42001

Here it is

Although for only a few minutes, its only a matter of time before we can strap the skis on!
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Permalink: Here_it_is.html
Words: 21
Location: Buffalo, NY


11/04/07 09:50 - 43ºF - ID#41971

What I want to be when I grow up

This is a question that has plagued me since I took those tests in 8th grade that said I should be a farmer. In a moment of clarity I figured it out last night. Why not combine my love of traveling and drinking while getting paid? I have always thought it would be fun to be on one of those travel shows. But honestly I doubt that I'm charismatic enough to be on Globetrekker. In fact I would probably offend most of the PBS viewing audience. But on the same token I don't want to be on one of those E goes wild on shows either. I mean sure I would love to go to Ibiza or Bali and dance with half naked women but lets face that's already been done. So I suppose this is not an original idea I kinda stole it from Dave Attell. But here is the difference I would to do a show about places Americans avoid. I would go to places like Oaxaca and do shots of tequila in a towny bar, or maybe pound a few back in the Tamil Tiger controlled region of Sri Lanka. It would be sort of a dangerous proposition but lets face it if I started buying rounds for the bar I would be pretty well protected for the night. So the title of my show would be "James Gets Drunk In_____?". I think this could be big. Does anyone want to underwrite me?
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Permalink: What_I_want_to_be_when_I_grow_up.html
Words: 246
Location: Buffalo, NY


11/02/07 07:22 - 50ºF - ID#41948

Things are looking up

Or so it seems. I had my Bio test this evening and I really have no idea how I did, but this time I did not get that "I just fucked that up feeling". In fact I think a good majority of my answers were well thought out and actually made sense this time. So hopefully these last couple weeks of real studying paid off. I'm still not out of the water yet. Tomorrow is physics and although I feel ready, it could go horribly wrong depending on the complexity of the problems. Nonetheless I feel cramming more at this point will only make me more nervous.

On the job front I have an interview tomorrow, hopefully it will go well and they can offer me what I'm looking for. I'm pretty miserable at my current place. I never thought I would say this, but I really miss working at Tokyo-Seoul. That restaurant was the cleanest that I have ever worked or eaten in. The food was consistently good; I rarely if ever had a complaint. The money was also so much better. Despite how difficult it could be to work for someone who screamed at me in Korean when I didn't live up to unreasonable expectations, or the completely unfair policies that are probably against labor laws. I at least knew where I stood there. People were not phony or complete dickheads for no apparent reason. We didn't have lame ass staff menu knowledge tests or constant threats of being fired for the most minor of rule infractions. The owners ruled with an iron fist, but as long as you worked hard and didn't lie to them you were safe. Hopefully this new place will work out, I guess if it doesn't I will keep looking.

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Permalink: Things_are_looking_up.html
Words: 297
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/31/07 07:52 - 61ºF - ID#41913

kibirashi review

I noticed Kibirashi was back open for business this evening so I popped in for a quick bite. I am generally over critical when it comes to restaurants but particularly with sushi places. Needless to say I wasn't blown away by kibirashi, yet I wasn't disappointed either. I had a few of my standard pieces hamachi, and fluke, a spicy tuna hand roll and also tried something new. They were running a special, kimchi marinated escargot as a piece of nigiri. It sounded interesting, and it was. Although it was more sweet than it was spicy, it was still delicious. It tasted like it had eel sauce on it but I was assured that it wasn't exactly that but it was meant to have a sweetness. The chef made the nigiri the way I prefer with a little dab of wasabi under the fish. Definitely tastes better that way in my opinion. It was all pretty fresh unlike some of the other sushi places I have had in town. Here is where I was disappointed. The spicy tuna hand roll was mushy. He made it before some of my other things so it sat around for a few minutes. All it takes is a few minutes for the nori to become as soft as Bob Dole without his meds. The spicy mayo was also not good, it tasted way too much like regular mayonnaise to me. Don't get me wrong I thought this place was on par with Kuni's. An added bonus is that it has seating which I definitely prefer to take out. It's a neat little dining area, I love that it's small. I'm not a big fan of the giant sushi bars that you have to scream across the counter to get a chef's attention. They currently don't have a liquor license yet; I guess they had to reapply. I'm sure the state will be more than happy to take their money though. Service was good and I think so far this is my favorite sushi place in Buffalo.
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Permalink: kibirashi_review.html
Words: 342
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/28/07 04:39 - 47ºF - ID#41846

Skate Grenobloise

I'm way too hung over to do anything more productive than cook and clean today. Thanks again PMT for a great party. It was nice meeting a few more people on the site.

Today I felt like making something quick and simple. So I chose Skate Grenobloise because skate takes about 4 minutes to cook and the sauce another minute. This dish is from the Dauphine region of France. Grenobloise means in the style of Grenoble, the capital of the Dauphine region. Apparently they prepare trout in a similar manner there. Since I'm not a chef I ripped off Bourdain's recipe and presentation. I have actually never had skate before today, I apparently have been missing out. This stuff is cheap, I mean really cheap. I paid less than $3 for a large fillet of it. It has a similar texture to Lobster and is a very mild whitefish. The whole recipe is nothing more than a skate wing, butter, capers, lemon juice, croutons and parsley. I had it with some asparagus and Pommes Puree. I am going to have to eat a lot more skate now that I know how great this stuff is.

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Alright Yvonne I'm making Coq Au Vin next, probably in a couple of weeks after all of this school crap calms down a little. It's a chicken soaked in red wine and some vegetables over night and served with mushrooms, bacon and noodles. If anyone else is interested I will have two more servings left over. It's kinda boring just cooking for myself all the time.

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Permalink: Skate_Grenobloise.html
Words: 261
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/25/07 11:53 - 51ºF - ID#41794

Evening plans

My best friend Ted is coming to town for the evening. We are going to see the Pat Metheny Trio which consists of Pat, Christian McBride, and Antonio Sanchez. Pat is probably my favorite jazz guitarist of all time. I'm always amused by how much we tend to bring down the average age of a jazz show. Why is it that young people just don't listen to jazz? It certainly isn't for lack of good stuff out there. Maybe its because there is more bad jazz than there is good jazz. Not to take an elitist stance on my taste in music but I always wonder why people flock to buy imnsfho rubbish, and then tell me my choice boring. Is it that many people don't want to really listen to music, are they more interested in singing along with the lyrics and dancing than they are thinking about what is being played? Anyway I guess I don't really care what people think of what I listen to, I just get annoyed when they let me know that it sucks.

But anyway this is the first time I will be seeing the Trio, I have seen the Pat Metheny Group twice now. If you have even a passing interest in modern jazz I would urge you all to listen to some of his stuff, especially either of the two albums Antonio Sanchez is drumming on. Not only is it very well composed but all of the players are professional musicians. I listen to music that is written and played by people I wouldn't necessarily consider professional musicians as well, but sometimes I just need to listen to a symphony orchestra play a complex piece of music.

We will most likely go out to drink somewhere thereafter if anyone is free later tonight. Although it may not be till 10:30-11pm.

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Permalink: Evening_plans.html
Words: 310
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/20/07 01:38 - 58ºF - ID#41726

Too much information!

Everytime I see this informercial I burst into laughter. Seriously who the fuck is buying this?



Oh god it gets better


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Permalink: Too_much_information_.html
Words: 27
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/20/07 03:53 - 62ºF - ID#41722

Making no sense

Tonight somebody who holds slightly no significance in my life told me something that will change their life forever. It's not that I think nothing of this person, its that I don't really know her. She is around my age with similar circumstances. 27-28 years old pursuing a bachelors degree in (whatever)... and bang!, Pregnant! This makes me really think about where I am in my life. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever known, but really what the kicker is not how smart she is, but how charismatic she is. She is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. I am worried sick about what the fuck she is going to do.

The dick who put her in this state is gone. She wants nothing to do with him, and I don't blame her. But how is she going to raise this child by herself?? I think I'm reasonably smart and resourceful, but how the fuck would I handle this? Life comes at you so fast sometimes. She is probably much more capable of raising this child by herself than I give her credit for, but I see how my best friend and his wife (in a stable home) deal with the day-to-day challenges of raising children. How is she going to do this while trying to better herself and get ahead?

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Permalink: Making_no_sense.html
Words: 230
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/16/07 11:41 - 56ºF - ID#41681

I love dogs but...

this is getting ridiculous. My upstairs neighbors decided to leave for a few days and left their two dogs by themselves (well some guy comes to feed and walk them a couple times a day). But I am not exaggerating when I say they have been fucking barking almost non-stop for the last three hours. I'm tempted to hit the ceiling with a broom, but I have a feeling it will only make it worse. So much for sleeping tonight.
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Permalink: I_love_dogs_but_.html
Words: 80
Location: Buffalo, NY


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