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Filed under: lunar new year, San Francisco — Shirley at 11:22 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Buy female pink viagra without prescription, "Take out the papers and the trash, or you don't get no spending cash....get all that garbage out of sight."  Lyrics from the popular Coasters song of the 1960s, "Yakety Yak" ring true among Asians throughout the world starting a week before February 3.  The Tiger retires for a 12-year hibernation.  The Hare arrives to rule the new lunar year 4709.   It is a tradition to begin a new year with a squeaky clean home, to sweep away negative forces.  Disagreements are placed on hill and conversations are upbeat.  All bills are paid and everyone looks forward to a new and fresh start.

Sun Neen Fy Lok translates to "Happy New Year" in Cantonese, and Gung Hay Fot Choy translate to "Wishes for Prosperity."  The Lunar New Year is celebrated on the first day of the First Moon of the lunar calendar, so each "new year day" is different.  This is the biggest holiday of the year, a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled up with a bit of Mardi Gras.  Years of history, tradition and respect come into play.  We are not just out to party although it appears that way to some observers.  Year of the Rabbit.jpg
According to Asian legend, almost five thousand years ago Buddha called together all the animals of creation for a meeting.  Only twelve showed up.  The first to arrive was the rat, followed by the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and finally, slowly but surely, the pig.  For their loyalty, Buddha named a year after each of one of these animals in the order of their arrival.

*If left up to me, I would like to have Year of the Penguin, Year of the Bear, Year of the Fish, and for vegetarians, Year of the Broccoli.

Believers claim that one's personality and destiny are shaped according to which animal sign she or he is born under.  A person born in the year of the Snake, for example, supposedly posses great wisdom, beauty, and is reflective, organized and alert.

Whereas the cycle for the western zodiac takes twelve months, the Chinese astrological cycle takes twelve years.  As an example, Hare people were born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011.

The Year of the Hare:  The rabbit is a soothing and lovable animal who arrived at Buddha's gathering after the tiger and before the magical dragon.  Rabbits are reserved and shy, but are quick on the draw if necessary.  They are persistent and keep going and going (like the Energizer bunny, perhaps?) Rabbits use diplomacy to get their point across and usually are kind-hearted.  In Vietnam where rabbits are rare, the Rabbit year is the Year of the Cat.

Getting ready:  In addition to cleaning up homes and offices, the first stop is to Chinatown or your local Asian market, such as 99 Ranch.  Chinatown becomes an on-going street festival.  Shoppers are out in full force, buying the brightest of oranges and tangerines, especially those with leaves intact.  They stop to chat with neighbors and friends, and smile at strangers.  This is a happy, positive, go-forward time, when negative thoughts are put aside and honeyed words are the order of the day.  Shoppers buy oranges and tangerines, in stores and off of trucks.  Whether displayed on your table or shared with family and friends, the fruits promise a bright future, as bright as the skin themselves.

Fragrant and colorful blossoms of quince, peonies and cherry transform Chinatown into a delightful and radiant display of color.  These beautiful blossoms along with pots of bright red azalea adorn tables laden with plates of oranges, tangerines, and sheets of red paper brush-painted with good wishes.  Note:  when purchasing the blossoms choose those that are not quite open yet so that they will blossom along with the long two-week celebration.

Hoong Bow, Lai See are little red envelopes filled with crisp dollar bills in a variety of denominations.  They are placed on the plates of fruit in the home or business, and are given to children of family and unmarried friends.   The hoong bows are also tucked into gift bags of oranges and tangerines, find female pink viagra online. Pharmacy female pink viagra, *Do not open the red envelopes when they are given to you as it is impolite to see how much you received.  I like to put a couple in my car for emergency cash.

Traditions and food:  We pay respect to our ancestors and dearly departed family members by putting out their favorite food.

The dining room table may be filled with a whole steamed chicken (the word for chicken in Cantonese, 'guy' is synonymous with 'good world.'

A whole steamed or salted fish ('abundance' and if salted, order generic female pink viagra, Order female pink viagra, 'preserve') keeps a family together.  A whole steamed or preserved fish represents abundance and preservation of family.

Plates are piled high with fresh oranges and tangerines - the tangerines must have leaves attached to assure that the family stays together, that friendships stay intact, buy female pink viagra on internet, Buying generic female pink viagra, and a couple of red envelopes filled with many represents financial stability.

Couplets are hung on walls with declarations such as "Enter and Exit with Happiness," "Prosperous Business Always, order female pink viagra overnight delivery, Buy female pink viagra, " and the typical "Happy New Year."

A Harmony Tray is filled with eight (the number 8 sounds like prosperity in Cantonese) varieties of sweets, often coconut, price of female pink viagra, Female pink viagra online pharmacy, melon candy, red melon seeds, female pink viagra malaysia, Female pink viagra in us, candied lotus root and coconut strips to offer sweetness to family and friends.

I grew up in Oakland, Ca's Chinatown, cheapest female pink viagra online, Real female pink viagra without prescription, lucky to have had a father who was an excellent chef and restaurateur.  He and our mother prepared tradtional Chinese New Year dumplings and dinners.  They would also include some of our personal favorite dishes, first at a meal to end the year, buy female pink viagra us, Get female pink viagra, "houn neen" and one to welcome the new year, "hoy neen."  When we arrive home to visit our parents, female pink viagra online without a prescription, Buy female pink viagra online cheap, we wear happy colorful attire.

Today, older family members are more likely to observe such traditions while the younger generation send greetings through email, female pink viagra us, Order cheap female pink viagra, Facebook and texting.  Meals may take place in restaurants rather than in homes.  Yank Sing is a popular restaurant in San Francisco that will be jammed with families and friends looking for delicious and good luck dim sum.  We all agree that the focus is on family and friends, gathering to celebrate through food.

This year, discount female pink viagra online, Cheap price female pink viagra, I am planning to have my family over for for the first of I hope many Chinese new year celebrations.  However, I plan to prepare food that is wholesome and healthy, order discount female pink viagra, Female pink viagra overnight shipping, starting with a re-do of the Harmony Tray.  My sweet granddaughters (Maggie, 7 and Stella, fda approved female pink viagra, Tablet female pink viagra, 4) will help make fresh dumplings and my daughter Tina will work in the kitchen with me.  We will get Tina's husband Matt to do a little cooking too.   Stella already put in her request:  Honey Walnut Prawns.  I will prepare a modern "lo han jai"  vegetarian dish, using eight local, female pink viagra pill, Female pink viagra buy drug, organic ingredients.

Sun Neen Fy Lok, Gung Hay Fot Choy!   Have a blessed and delicious new year.

ON JANUARY 19, purchase female pink viagra online, Order female pink viagra from us, WOK WIZ CHINATOWN TOURS will have a special Wok Wiz Year of the Hare tour

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Filed under: Hawaii, restaurants, travel — Shirley at 3:45 pm on Monday, January 17, 2011

Buy viagra without prescription, What a way to end 2010:  to Hawaii one more time.  I am happy to travel there several times a year, and always look forward to new cultural and food experiences.  My December 4th to 7th trip was all about food.

In addition to spending a fabulous time at the luxe Waikiki EDITION hotel and having one of the best meals of my life at the MORIMOTO Waikiki (see previous posts,) I managed to try several eateries new to me.   After breakfast one day, buy viagra online australia, I met up with my friend Nathan.  We would have gone to more places to eat if I did not have to go to dinner at 5:30 p.m.   

1295 South Beretania St - Manoa-Makiki/University District
This little restaurant packs the crowds in for good old classic burgers and cheeseburgers plus more.  The menu offers Paniolo BBQ Burger, Cheap viagra from canada, Blue Hawaii Burger, and one of my favorites, Loco Moco Burger.  I cannot visit Hawaii without having loco moco in one form or another!  Not into beef, viagra for order. Honolulu Burger will substitute with chicken breast for an additional $1.00.  Sandwiches on the menu include Philly Dip ($8.79), Find viagra no prescription required, Pastrami ($8.79) and The Meat (aptly named: 1/2 pound sliced beef, house-made kalua pig, ham, viagra in australia, bacon, Buy viagra from canada, and corned beef) a value at $11.89.  

Honolulu Burger menu.jpg        Hono Burger.jpg   this burger goes well with an order of:

Hono Burger truffle fries.jpg Honolulu Burger Co.'s famous Truffle Fries

Our next stop: HANK'S HAUTE DOGS

324 Coral St (1/2 block from Ala Moana Blvd.)


Hot dogs in Hawaii?  Sure, especially if you head to Hank's Haute Dogs.  Hank is a hometown guy who left for awhile to open TRIO in Chicago, which held a prestigious Mobil Guide Five-Star rating.  He wanted to return to Hawaii, buy cheapest viagra, and started bringing hot dog joy to Oahu in 2006.  In the short few years back, Viagra cheap price, he's appeared on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and garnered BON APPETIT magazine's award as one of the top ten new hot dog places in 2009.  Good diggity dog, certified viagra, Hank!

Hanks Dog.jpg            Hanks Haute Dog.jpg

The hot dog menu includes Chicago Dog (Chicago Vienna all-beef hot dog), Buy viagra on line, Portuguese, Chorizo, Chicken, cost viagra, Hawaiian, Viagra without a prescription, and two that perked my interest:  NO DOG - avocado, tomato, onion, cheapest viagra, cucumber, Viagra in uk, Chinese parsley, chipotle mayo and cheese.  On the other end of the spectrum, more suited for my taste: FAT BOY - bacon wrapped deep fried dog with mayo, viagra cheap, lettuce and tomato.  Look for daily specials, Where to buy viagra, from Monday's Italian Beef Sandwich to Friday's Lobster  to Sunday's Kobe Dog...  I can't wait to return.

Nathan sure is a good driver.  Before we knew it, we found a parking space right in front of:


925 Isenberg St


Da Kitchen front1.jpg

This fairly boutique-size restaurant serves generous rice plates and more.  Service is friendly, order viagra no prescription required, and ordering at the front counter is an easy task. Viagra tablet,   The Fried Spam Musubi sounded so naughty I had to order it:  Spam wrapped in nori, panko battered, deep-fried.  It was scrumptious, lowest price for viagra.

Da Kitchen  Fried Spam Musubi1.jpg  Fried Spam Musubi

We were getting a little full and it was almost time for my dinner meeting, so we shared just one entree:

Kalbi Ribs: Da Kitchen Kalbi Ribs1.jpg We didn't know that meant FIVE short ribs from Maui Cattle Co, buy viagra without prescription. marinated in teriyaki sauce.  We did our best to finish off the plate though, Cost of viagra, which came with two scoops of steamed rice and a green salad.

To quench my thirst, we took a quick break at  TIKI'S BAR AND GRILL

2570 Kalakaua Av, order discount viagra online, 2nd floor


This looks like a fun place, Cheap viagra overnight delivery, and I must return for the pupus, food, drinks, generic viagra, and entertainment.  I was on a mission to keep eating and had a 5:30 p.m. Viagra bangkok, dinner, but was happy to meet the manager Mike, and enjoy a vintage Mai Tai, viagra price, circa 1940s when the alcohol was maybe...stronger, Viagra sale, or was the Tiki's bartender being over-generous?  I could not finish this tall, tasty drink, thank goodness.  I hear that one of my favorite shows, viagra buy online, HAWAII FIVE-O, Buy viagra from india, is taping there as I type away here, ono.
TIKI Bar traditional Mai Tai.jpg  TIKI's vintage 1944 Mai Tai

Sigh, viagra without rx, 5:15 p.m. Buy viagra without prescription, came so quickly - I had exactly 15 minutes to race over to the beautiful Sheraton Waikiki KAI MARKET. Order no rx viagra, KAI MARKET

Sheraton Waikiki, ground level, overlooking the Waikiki Beach
2255 Kalakaua Av

To call what KAI MARKET a "buffet" is wrong.  Yes, buy viagra online, you do serve yourself, Order viagra in canada, but the plantation style cooking and gorgeous dining area make for a memorable breakfast or dinner experience.   Dedicated Executive Chef Darren Demaya's vision for KAI MARKET comes from Hawaii's past.  The food of plantation workers who immigrated to Hawaii starting in the 1880s is reflected at KAI MARKET through the Filipino, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, buy discount viagra, Okinawan, Viagra buy, Chinese, Korean and Japanese dishes.  He also includes Hawaiian specialties and  American roasts, cheeses, cheap viagra from uk, and salads.  Chef Demaya's "farm to table" highlights locally-grown products and ingredients.  He also created two live herb walls that can be seen in the dining area, Buy cheap viagra online, and the herbs are used in the kitchen.

I cannot remember everything that I ate, but some of my favorites were the iron-skillet steamed mussels in coconut Thai green curry, viagra medication, the Chinese salt and pepper Kahuku head-on prawns, Cheap viagra in usa, Kona coffee rubbed baby back rIbs, the roasted Waialua asparagus, and Portuguese sausage kim chee fried rice.  I had to visit the chef who was carving Alae salt-crusted slow roasted prime rib.  It was difficult to eat much more considering I just finished my eat-about with Nathan, overnight viagra.

Fresh Hawaiian poke and fresh island sashimi

poke and more1.jpg

Chinese-style Kahuku heads-on Salt and Pepper Prawns

Steamed Mussels in Coconut Thai green curry

Steamed Mussels.jpg

Roast Waialua Asparagus in Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette


Wok Wiz's three plates of yummies:

plate 2 again.jpg  slow-roasted prime rib roast.jpg my plate 2.jpg

I wonder if Sheraton Waikiki Senior Executive Sous Chef Ryan Loo and RumFire Sous Chef Matt Naula are impressed with my eating prowess.  RumFire?  I'll have to eat there on my next trip. Viagra purchase, chefs.jpg  Left:  Chef Ryan Loo   Right:  Chef Matt Naula

A few other noteworthy meals included a return to the OCEAN HOUSE Outrigger Reef on the Beach resort for the Loco Moco breakfast, a tenderloin beef patty over white rice, two eggs smothered with a mushroom brown sauce.  I have enjoyed staying at this Outrigger, and especially for the nightly Hawaiian entertainment at the Kani Ka Pila lounge.  They feature up-and-coming musicians from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Breakfast LOCO MOKO at the Ocean House:  2010 Dec 6  Ocean House loco moco  Outrigger.jpg

I spent my last 3 days at the huge and beautiful Hilton Hawaiian Village.  Even though it is the largest hotel/resort in Oahu, it never seems congested here.  I had a gorgeous ocean view king size suite and could have gotten lost in it.  I met my good friend Dara for lunch, at the resort's TROPIC restaurant and bar.   We opted to sit at the bar, nice and casual, and where we could catch a football game.  The simple lunch of Island fish, rice and vegetables was just right.

TROPICS at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort
2010 Dec 7 HHV fish lunch.jpg  2010 Dec 7 HHV Tropics bar.jpg

View from my Hilton Hawaiian Village suite:   2010 Dec 7 HHV view.jpg

I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with my good friends, Chef Mark Ellman and his wife Judy, at WOLFGANG'S STEAKHOUSE at the Royal Hawaiian Village; Chef Mark, owner of Maui's popular MALA restaurant, was in Oahu for book signings for his latest, PRACTICE ALOHA.  I am honored to be a part of the book, writing about what the Practice Aloha means to me.  We also shared a delicious home-cooked dinner with Wine Spectator's editor-at-large Harvey Steiman and his wife Carol in their rented home on the north shore.
Mark and Judy Ellman.jpg  Chef Mark Ellman and lovely wife Judy


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Filed under: Hawaii — Shirley at 1:51 pm on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Buy gold viagra without prescription, December 2010

Aloha. What a great way to end the year.  Hawaii is dear to my heart.  I find great joy in the unique attractions of each island.  Over the last 25 years I have watched Oahu-Waikiki evolve in hotels, gold viagra no online prescription, Gold viagra online review, resorts, restaurants and shopping opportunities, gold viagra sales, Best price gold viagra, while the island’s natural history and beach scenes remain constants.  My whirlwind 5 days, 4 nights in Oahu was filled with new hotel and restaurant experiences.  I spent time at the very popular KCC - Kapiolani Community College's Farmers Market, cheap gold viagra on internet, Buy gold viagra from us, 4355 Diamond Head Rd, and shared a delightful on-the-spot picnic with new writer friends, gold viagra australia. Gold viagra prescription, WAIKIKI EDITION
1775 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI  96815

Since my last visit to Oahu in February, buy gold viagra once daily, Cheapest generic gold viagra online, 2010, the much anticipated Waikiki Edition opened its doors to the delight of discriminating guests and locals, find discount gold viagra online. Gold viagra alternative, The Waikiki Edition is a creation of Ian Schrager, the genius behind the first boutique hotels…think Mondrian in Los Angeles, order gold viagra cheap online, Gold viagra online cheap, the Clift in San Francisco. The Waikiki Edition is located in the heart of the resort area on Ala Moana Blvd and Hobson Lane.  It is close to the center of Honolulu but secluded from the noise of the main drag.  A five minutes stroll in one direction leads you to the popular Ala Moana Shopping Center; in the other direction to the ever-expanding ROYAL HAWAIIAN SHOPPING CENTER.  Not far away are top tourist attractions:  Diamond Head, gold viagra cheapest price, Compare gold viagra prices, Pearl Harbor, beaches, discount gold viagra without prescription, Gold viagra approved, surfing, restaurants, find cheap gold viagra online, Gold viagra prices, and more shopping. 
Upon check-in at the Waikiki Edition, the friendly welcome team made me feel like a special guest.  I absorbed the beauty around, gold viagra free sample, Gold viagra pharmacy online, from the tropical plants to the designs on the ceilings, walls and furniture.  An eye-popping and classy art piece made of 100 colorful and broken surfboards from famous surfers hung over the reception desk, where to order gold viagra.

My king-size room overlooked the Yacht Harbor and calming ocean.  The spacious room was luxurious with a custom bed, down comforter and pillows.  A day sofa beckoned me to relax and read.  Whimsical items such as colorful sarongs, a cute ukulele and seashells hang on the wall, for your use if you wish.  I love “complimentary high-speed wireless internet.”  My oversized desk and work area came in handy to hold my newly-purchased and irresistible souvenirs.  A 46-inch HDTV kept me up on the news, reality shows, sports and favorite movies.  Except…I didn’t really have much of a yearning to watch TV - there were too many things to do outside of the room, buy gold viagra without prescription. Gold viagra drug, 2010 Dec Waikiki Edition reception.jpg Reception area

A whimsical wall with sarongs and a blue guitar
Whimiscal Hawaiian fun in the room.jpg


1775 Ala Moana Blvd

808- 943-5900

Minutes after I checked into my gorgeous room at 2:15 p.m., I raced to the second floor for lunch at Morimoto Waikiki.  The restaurant was about to end its lunch service in 15 minutes, buy generic gold viagra, Cheap gold viagra no prescription, but the hosts welcomed me graciously to stay for a leisurely lunch.

World-famous Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto left for Las Vegas on the day I arrived in Oahu, gold viagra rx, Buy gold viagra pills, so I look forward to meeting him in Vegas or at his other namesake restaurant in Napa.  Chef Morimoto’s kitchen team is top-notch.  What to eat, what to eat, generic gold viagra online. Gold viagra internet, The menu is a tease:  Kankuni, a ten-hour pork belly with rice congee?  Ramen soup?  Sushi and sashimi?  Since I had reservations for dinner @ Morimoto’s that evening, find no rx gold viagra, Cheap gold viagra in uk, my server suggested a Lobster Melt, just right for “off the airplane and poor starving me.”  The Lobster Melt had a light miso mayonnaise and just enough swiss cheese to not distract from its main star, low price gold viagra, Buy cheapest gold viagra on line, the very generous portion of lobster meat.  Tasty sides included home-made pickles, wasabi fries and a farm-fresh green salad.  A bargain for $17.00, low cost gold viagra. Gold viagra cheap drug, 2010 Dec 4 Morimoto Lobster Melt1.jpg  Lobster Melt


The beautiful dining room is a refreshing pale green, with stunning, buy gold viagra in us, Buying gold viagra online, dramatic Japanese and Hawaiian decor, and a busy, buy gold viagra generic, Canadian gold viagra, well-stocked bar.  Dine in, outdoors, or in private sections of the room.  A long sushi bar with several busy sushi chefs awaits my return.

2010 Dec 4 Morimoto Dining Room.jpg    2010 Dec 4 Morimoto Dining Room Bar.jpg Buy gold viagra without prescription, My two friends and I chose the “chef’s choice” Omakase dinner, a 9-course menu that showcases Morimoto Waikiki’s top dishes.  The $110.00 price tag rivals other top restaurants that charge up to $90 for a mere 3-course menu.

My daughter Tina told me about the “signature dish” of Toro and Hamachi Tartare, and I was pleased that it was a part of our dining experience.  The duo of tartare was artfully presented on a bamboo tray with a tiny metal paddle.  Garnishes separated the toro from the hamachi.  I was convinced that Chef Morimoto takes great pride in how his food is prepared and presented.

Toro and Hamachi Tartare:  2010 Dec Morimoto Hamachi Toro RP pic.JPG

goes well with martini:  2010 Dec Morimoto Hamachi Toro Tartare.jpg

I enjoyed the entire meal, but a standout favorite was Chef Morimoto’s twist on Bagna Cauda.  I wanted bread or pasta after dipping vegetables in the heated combination of olive oil, anchovy and garlic.  Next up: hot oil-seared Sashimi Kampachi with soy and yuzi, Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Hudson Valley Duck, and  one of the best, freshest presentations of Nigiri Sushi I’ve ever seen, including uni, toro, and hamachi.  I was in heaven when the entree arrived - already so full but I managed to find space for an upscale “surf and turf,”  a sumptuous Wagyu Filet, Lobster, and Ginger Pork.  The “pre-dessert” was Panna Cotta, soy milk and kirumitsu gelee.  The second dessert was a Kobocha Souffle.

Below:  Bagda Cauda - simply delicious

2010 Dec Morimoto Bagna Cauda RP pic.jpg

Below:  deluxe Nigiri Sushi

2010 Dec Morimoto Sushi wonder.jpg

The next morning, before transferring to the Hilton Hawaiian Village, I enjoyed a traditional Japanese breakfast downstairs.  The meal is self-contained in a black tray, filled with Grilled Miso Cod, Onsen Tamago, Miso Soup, Tsukemono, maguro poke.
2010 Dec NY PR pic Morimoto traditional Japanese breakfast.jpg     2010 Dec 6 Morimoto breakfast cod.jpg

Two nights at the Waikiki EDITION and I managed to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at Morimoto Waikiki, ono, ono, ono.

Next Post:  The Hilton Hawaiian Village, an incredible dinner at KAI MARKET, and grazing with Nathan.

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Filed under: Uncategorized, Michigan — Shirley at 1:06 pm on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Buy viagra super force without prescription, The next morning, I didn't even attempt to find the hotel coffee shop. It's one thing for me to get hopelessly lost in a circular labyrinth. As a recidivist Chinese driver, I accept it.

Not Wro, and it's too embarrassing to walk through a hotel trying to reason with a bi-polar honeybear in a manic phase.

We took a connecting elevator to the street level lobby of the Marriott and then transferred to a taxi headed for Eastern Market. This is the nation's largest farmers market (43 acres) and the oldest (founded 1841). It's also one of the finest fresh flower markets in the USA.  On football Sundays, it is perhaps the best tailgating venue in America, viagra super force information. The other six days, it works -- like a Carl Sandburg city of broad shoulders, buy viagra super force without prescription.

Original Home of Stroh's Brewery

This was the original home of Stroh's, plus several other breweries, half a dozen churches, a cemetery, a house of correction and a contagious diseases hospital. The Busy Bee Hardware Store is where the Purple Gang held the Detroit version of St. Viagra super force vendors, Valentine's Day massacre, on its secret fourth story.

Preservation Wayne offers two-hour walking tours of the market on Saturdays, May to September. Early birds, which include many of the best chefs and restaurateurs, shop here between midnight and 5 a.m..

Old timers told us how before WWII there were over 1,000 farmers here daily. Buy viagra super force without prescription, Automobiles and refrigeration changed all that, but wholesaling and processing outlets saved the market. In the 1970's architect Alexander Pollock revived the place with murals and some adorable chicken art.

A Good Mix of Farmers, buying viagra super force, Dealers, Restaurants

We noticed a good mix of farmers, dealers and restaurants that use farmers' best produce. The Russell Street Deli offered Carncross maple syrup with their pancakes. The Farmers' Restaurant, once a banana warehouse, Viagra super force order, ground fabulous pork sausage, exclusively from neck meat. They make over 20 omelets, from eggs laid within 24 hours.

Originally, the south end of the market was a German neighborhood. In the main building here all the stalls specialize, one in "Never Bleached Chittelins." Wro flirted with farmers from southeast Michigan, northeast Ohio and Ontario (he always asks for addresses).

Mommy found some Amish chickens, free ranged and organic, from Indiana, buy viagra super force without prescription. White Pekin ducks and rabbits from Ohio and Indiana. Chickens arrive live. Another stall dealt in Amish turkeys, buy viagra super force lowest price, geese and kebabs. Lots of sausage dealers explained why their product was best. The Odrobina sisters advised us to choose pink meat pork.

Buy viagra super force without prescription, We learned about Detroit's two great corned beef makers. Tom Wigley's third-generation family business competes with Graubbel's, the largest in nation, for the local market. Tom Wigley said they have been producing brine-cured beef briskets since 1924, Viagra super force pills, the year his grandfather, Job, came to Detroit from England. He offers four grades of corned beef now.

Ronnie Pedway talked about his meat market.

"Tom Wigley and I were kids here together. I have been working here my whole life. Started coming with my Dad and I loved that, buy viagra super force without prescription. I knew I wanted to be here, it was moving experience because my father died soon after. So I got a job and some 50 years later I had a chance to be an owner.

"This is the nucleus of food distribution across this part of Michigan, viagra super force overnight, for over 100 years. We have all the food brokers and distributors here. Rail cars come right to the terminal. Buy viagra super force without prescription, We have a 100 foot meat counter that we completely replenish every day. I sell 50,000 pounds of ribs on a holiday weekend, and that's all holidays, Viagra super force discount, not just the 4th of July."

Let's Check Out the Seafood Market

Wro checked out the seafood market, which had a large range - from bullheads to the locally prized perch that our waitress in Hamtramck couldn't understand our not ordering.

Produce revealed some winter wisdom. Cabbages looked awesome, and we were told that this vegetable is best after temperatures drop to freezing, turning it sweeter and deepening its color. There were all kinds of apples and ciders, including the wonderful unpasteurized ciders from Fuhr's Valley View, of Imlay City.

We found pure Michigan maple syrup, cheap viagra super force internet. Lawrence Carncross said his family has been tapping it in Clare, Michigan since the 19th century, when his grandpa moved there. Wro learned it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, buy viagra super force without prescription. Three grades were offered: A,B and C, with darker and stronger flavor progression. Order viagra super force no rx, Henry Turman's gorgeous lima beans have a reputation with top chefs.

Specialty food businesses here have added to the market's appeal. Germack Pistachio Company was the first in America to import pistachios from Turkey, in 1924, and the first to use red dye. Rocky's Peanuts has been here since 1955. The owner explained that her grandparents bought some roasters and suddenly they were out of the produce business and into fresh roasted nuts.

What's Unique about Rafal Spice Company?

Wro asked Don Rafal what was unique about his Rafal Spice Company:

Buy viagra super force without prescription, "What can you get here you can't get anywhere else. My sass. Dad started this business in 1960. I am totally unemployable, drug viagra super force online purchase, I know nothing else."

At "Gabriel's Importing," Wroburlto counted over 25 different olives in a white tubs, but there might have been more. He lacks the patience to do accurate inventories.

"All the Greektown restaurants shop here," an employee told us, adding that a specialty here is Shangleesh - a yogurt cheese rolled in cumin-dominated herbs. Only made in cool weather, it's an only-in-Detroit treat for football and hockey season (drizzled with olive oil and served with cucumbers, tomatoes and onions).

We could spend a week at the market, buy viagra super force without prescription. Viagra super force without prescription, We barely had time to walk by places such as Johnny Mac's Cookie Factory, where a sign in the window demanded 'Get Your Buns in Here.' Or the Bagel Factory, a cheese store and wine importer. But, as Wro says, "There're only 26 hours in a day." (Thank God he doesn't play black jack.)

A Very Big Market

The market is so big it extends from the old German part of town into the old Italian neighborhood. Anchoring the north end is Roma Café. Janet Sossi Belcoure told us her family business had been a boarding house in the horse carriage days.

"It cost a $1.50 a night, buy viagra super force in canada," she said, "and included a meal in the 1890's, when the Marrazza family owned it. Buy viagra super force without prescription, Mama Marrazza's cooking was so good she was encouraged to convert into a restaurant. In the 1920's, my great grand uncle came over on business, from Fiat headquarters in Torino. Order viagra super force without prescription, In those days you didn't just drop by from overseas, you stayed - 6 months in his case. He got to know Maria Marrazza and determined to buy this place. In 1927 he brought over a brother to run it.

"It was a speakeasy in the day, and we understand that they would build new doors to get around the police padlocks. My grandfather Sossi was a European trained chef working for the Statler Hotels in Ohio, buy viagra super force without prescription. His best friend was Hector Boyardi, and Dad was named for him. And yes, order viagra super force on internet, Hector asked grandfather to invest in his canned Italian food business scheme, but no, he didn't.

"Dad began as a bus boy at age 18. I never imagined being in the business. I was trained for family therapy and worked as an executive for Kelly Girls. Buy viagra super force without prescription, When I was 30, I asked if I was welcome in the family business and started at the bottom."

Roma has loyal staff who have been here 30 or 35 years. Customers are loyal too, Viagra super force non prescription, many eat here every day of the week. Monday night buffets, free parking and free shuttles to hockey games are a huge part of the business.

"We lost 30 % of our gross the year of the hockey strike," Janet admitted.

While most of the menu conforms to Italian-American standards, veal le monde is a Piedmont recipe from grandfather. Veal Tosca is too, named by Charlie Sossi to honor the opera.

Feather Bowling

I could have stayed for cannoli, but Wro had a feather bowling date, best price for viagra super force. The old Belgian community north of downtown is pretty much dispersed now, but the Cadieux Café still stands where sons of Flanders used to race pigeons while devouring mussels and beer.

We met Laurie Asher, "the Polish, Belgian chef," at America's only feather bowling bar. She said that mussels are still the constant pecial and feather bowling is so popular the courts must be reserved.

Robert and Yvonne Devos bought this old grocery store/speakeasy in 1962, buy viagra super force without prescription. Robert was a housepainter from Flanders, Viagra super force side effects, Yvonne was from Antwerp. A serious pigeon racer, the Pigeon Flying Club asked Robert to buy the Cadieux.

"Dad died of pigeon handlers disease," explained son Ron Devos, who now owns the place with nephew Paul Misurack.
"It's like black lung for miners. You get it from inhaling pigeon droppings for years on end.

"So you see why we don't do it any more. Buy viagra super force without prescription, But we still host the bicycle race on Labor Day, our biggest event of the year. We still have feather bowling, no prescription viagra super force, which is much like bocce, but played with wooden balls that look like wheels of gouda cheese.

Wro played a few games, while Mommy checked out the 70 beers (24 from Belgium) and mussels from Maine and Prince Edward Island. The daily special was lake perch. Thankfully, Laurie didn't mind us not ordering it. Purchase viagra super force overnight delivery, When Wro asked if the annual Mussel Beach Party attracted "gay hotties," it was time to leave.

The Ultimate Lark

We had one last stop in Detroit, at a place whose name is whispered reverently among worldly foodies and hopeless romantics like Wro. Sometimes, the expectations that come with such reputations overwhelm the experience, but the moment we passed through the threshold of The Lark, we knew we were entering dream space.

First, we were greeted by an extraordinary maitre d'hotel, owner Jim Lark, his impeccable tuxedo accented by the gold medallion of a Commandeur Honoraire du Bontemps de Medoc et des Graves, buy viagra super force without prescription. After exchanging wardrobe compliments with Wroburlto, he made us a most unusual offer.

"Come with me and we'll choose a table."

You see, unlike most great restaurants, this intimate country inn just north of Detroit was designed without any bad tables - just two cozy booths in the bar, and a single dining room, buy discount viagra super force online. Two tables nearest the kitchen compensate for their location with elaborately upholstered banquettes. There's outdoor seating in an enchanting garden if one wants cocktails, dessert or an entire meal with the resident doves and ducks. But an indoor table will also be reserved.

"You never know what the weather might do," Lark explains.

More importantly, Lark believes that size matters, Free viagra super force, that once a restaurant seats more than 50 diners, bad things happen. Buy viagra super force without prescription, Foremost, the chef becomes a supervisor and the actual cooking is done by secondary talent. Secondly, if every table isn't full every night, the best waiters are unhappy and leave.

Lark looks the part he attributes himself - "old, old Detroit." After careers in law and real estate development, he and wife Mary opened the restaurant in 1981. Her touch dazzled our first impressions, find discount viagra super force, with a romantic ambiance influenced by the Larks' love of Portugal.

Imports from Western Iberia

Vases, fireplace design, wall tiles, carpeting and tapestry all came from western Iberia, as did the hanging cataplana, a cooking utensil that also produces a signature paella-like dish. Cheap generic viagra super force, The lovely Gien place settings looked impractically fragile.

"But we like them," Mary Lark explained, matter of factly.

Mary has some titles of her own - Dame Maitre de Table, Conferie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, Commandeur du Bontemps Medoc & Graves. She and her daughter Adrian, a Master Gardener, maintain the charming gardens, viagra super force free delivery. Mary also visit's the farmers market at 6:30 each morning, a bit earlier than Wro and I, for fresh flowers, buy viagra super force without prescription. She grows orchids in the winter greenhouse and she flies others in from Hawaii and Belgium.

"We wanted to have a Southern European country inn, but we had no country here," Jim explained. "So we built this walled garden. In every poll since we opened, we have been voted most romantic restaurant in Michigan. Viagra super force generic, A large part of that is our garden."

The garden includes a timbered arbor heavy with grape vines, strawberry patches, some 65 herbs, rhubarb, fig trees, tomatoes, apricots, blackberries and currants, canadian pharmacy viagra super force. Buy viagra super force without prescription, There's a lion headed stone fountain, pewabic tile frogs, stone paths, ivy covered brick walls and skyrocket juniper. Gold finch, purple finch and morning doves are garden residents.

Wro suggested the doves were a bad idea, "Remember what happened to Romeo and Juliet when they confused one for a lark." The Larks ignored him and, since Jim had complimented his attire, Wro didn't seem to mind.

Overall, the elegance of The Lark was so brilliant, Order viagra super force from canada, that were it not for an the autographed photo of Papa Hemingway over the bar, I could understand how one writer could have described the place as "pompous." Jim Lark can't though.

"We're not pompous, we're arrogant," he said.

An Important Distinction

The distinction is important to a man who wears his many titles with pride -- B.S., LL.B., J.D., Law and Accounting. Maitre Sommelier Vins de France, viagra super force india, Chevalier du Tastevin, Officier Maitre de Table L'Academie-Brillat-Savarin, Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, etc. Jim says that, because he is part Prussian, Find cheap viagra super force, he prowls the place looking for imperfections to fix.

So the Larks know how to avoid pomposity while making guests feel comfortable. That is why Jim and Mary act as their own sommelier, maitre d, gardener and decorator. And why they detour wine snobbery with 100 menu selections, many by the glass, and bottles priced $17.50 - $400, buy viagra super force without prescription. (1100 others are on the reserve list.)

It's also why many superior appointments remain invisible on their $65 - $75 fixed price menu: dairy products from Guernsey (never Holstein) cows; fresh strained (never canned) tomatoes; Caribbean white (not brown) shrimp ("Asian farmed shrimp are 90 per cent of the US market now and they are full of the antibiotic of last resort, I wouldn't feed it to people at any price"); live (never frozen) Maine lobsters prime; and Kobe beef; the bar scotch is Dewar's White, the bourbon pour is Maker's Mark, and the vermouth is Boissiere French Dry.

"It's the only vermouth that is triple filtered so that it won't turn within 24 hours after the bottle is opened, generic viagra super force cheap. All others do," Jim insisted.

The Nuances of Prussian Perfection

Other nuances of Prussian perfection go unnoticed by the average diner. "We won't buy California strawberries, you know why. Cut one in two, you see a white pith. Buy viagra super force without prescription, It's not a strawberry, it's shield-absorbing chemical fungicides and other poisons. Buy viagra super force no prescription required, We won't buy California or Florida tomatoes for the same reasons.

"Prime rib is a huge pain to restaurants, how much will people order and how will they want it cooked. So, they don't cook it anymore, it's pre-cooked to rare-medium rare and Cryovac-ed by wholesalers. Restaurants just cut a piece off, reheat it and serve it with au jus.

It's fine if you are into Styrofoam. I wouldn't feed it to my dogs, viagra super force online stores. We cook all our prime, prime rib from scratch, 20 minutes at 500 degrees and then 18 minutes/per pound at 325 degrees."

The Larks are confident enough to defy convention, buy viagra super force without prescription. Hence soft shell crabs are always deep fried, never sautéed. "Most places don't remove the carapace, the top shell," Jim explained. "If you don't do that, Viagra super force online, then the top turns to leather and traps the moisture and the meat turns to mush. Then sautéing it insures a mushier mush. It's simple physics."

Buy viagra super force without prescription, The Lark head chef Kyle Ketchum, just their fourth in 26 years, manages a menu that changes every two months. He does this with just three chefs. By contrast, Tribute had a dozen chefs working under Don Yamauchi when we visited. There's no pomposity in Ketchum's deft hand. As novelist Jim Harrison put it, he's faithful to the Lark creed that "food should taste like itself, discount viagra super force overnight delivery, that it need not wear a wig and earrings."

"Presentation is the last refuge of non-tasters" says Jim Lark, adding he never approved of nouvelle cuisine. "Taste and aroma evaporate when food undergoes too much chopping and dicing."

Hence, steaks are popular here and Kyle prepares them in the French manner, in a skillet with simple sauces, to avoid the dehydration of broiling, buy viagra super force without prescription. Jim says that too many diners think they need to order something fancier than steak here, but that his most requested dish among European nobles dining with him is simple steak. And, since all courses are unlimited, Viagra super force from india, diners can order their steaks cut to any size.

Non-pompous arrogance is validated by scores of awards, most significantly "best restaurant in the USA" by Conde Nast Traveler readers survey. The magazine suspended their poll the following year.

"Their advertisers weren't doing all that well," scoffs Jim Lark.

Celebrities come here for Kyle's regional take on continental cuisine, and to have a good time. While filming in Detroit, Jack Nicholson once wrote "Hoffa" in the freshly fallen snow on every windshield in The Lark's car port. Buy viagra super force without prescription, He has returned to the restaurant several times, after watching the Lakers play the Pistons.

"And he always has meals prepared for each member of his flight crew," Jim Lark confides. Other basketball stars frequent The Lark too.

"We are well supported by both the NBA and hockey leagues, lowest price viagra super force," explains Jim, "but have never seen a baseball or football player here. I believe it's a matter of superior education and intelligence."
In the spirit of high romance, The Lark's signature dish, rack of lamb Genghis Khan, is presented with a numbered card, Cheap viagra super force from usa, a practice borrowed from La Tour d 'Argent's (Paris) pressed duck. The Asian fusion lamb is the only dish that has been on every menu since The Lark opened. Otherwise Ketchum's presentation is minimalist.

He's a Budding Superstar

Kyle is what the NBA would call a budding superstar. The San Antonio native turned to cooking after a bicycle accident derailed the former trumpeter's ambitions for a jazz career, buy viagra super force without prescription. He started as a dishwasher and quickly pleaded for a chance to cook.

"I didn't like going home wet," he explains.

Even without a formal degree, Kyle became executive sous chef at San Antonio's Fairmont Hotel. Then he attended the Cordon Bleu Academy in Scottsdale. While still in his 20's, buy cheap viagra super force internet, he was twice invited to James Beard House dinners, while working at the renowned American Restaurant in Kansas City.

Less than a year after taking over as Chef de Cuisine at Omni's Interlocken Resort in Colorado, Kyle elevated their restaurant to its first ever four star rating with Denver critics and four diamond rating by AAA.

Then an old mentor recommended him to the Larks.

"Kyle interviewed for the job by preparing a four course blind tasting. We were so impressed we hired him on the spot," Jim Lark recalls.

We were so impressed that The Lark shot close to the top of our all time favorite restaurants list. Buy viagra super force without prescription, Wro had the Genghis Khan lamb and Mommy, who can't eat things with cute faces, chose the Mediterranean sea bass with French beans, petite herb salad & chervil creme fraiche.

We also enjoyed a duck salad, wild Gulf shrimp, Washington oysters and an Asian salad from the galley, a butternut squash soup that sang praises of the Michigan earth, plus a signature salad of lardons, soft poached egg, garden herbs and celeriac remoulade. For dessert, Viagra super force from canada, we chose a Salzburger nockerel souflee for two.

Like the best restaurants anywhere in the world, personal touches place The Lark in one-of-a-kind country. As usual, Wro states it more dramatically.

"If Romeo & Juliet had stuck with The Lark, they'd still be alive."

The Lark's Game Dinner Menu

A Plate of Smoked Naubinway Whitefish
Sliced Sweet Onions, Capers, Mild Horseradish Sauce, Caraway Rye
Deviled Game Egg
Local Apple & Parsnip Soup
Quail Stuffed witih Chestnuts
Foie Gras Bread Pudding
White Sturgeon Wrapped in Hickory-Smoked Bacon
Early Autumn Vegetable Sauté
Orange-Cranberry Granité
Crisp Roast Duck with Blackberry Demi-Glaze
Barley Pilaf
Van Houtten Farm Green Beans
Walnut Pear Tart
Joanne's House-Made Ice Cream
Bon Bons

The Lark's Signature Rack of Lamb Genghis Khan

For marinade

1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Half cup honey
3 tablespoons curry powder
1and half teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup water

Combine all

For lamb

3 racks of lamb (8 ribs each), trimmed and silverskin removed
1 cup hoisin sauce (found in Asian specialty shops)
Lamb marinade

Place lamb and marinade in plastic bag, tie and refrigerate for 48 hours, turning occasionally. Remove lamb and let stand for one hour at room temperature. Brush with hoisin sauce. Place on rack in shallow roasting pan and roast at 450 degrees F. 15 to 25 minutes for rare, longer to taste. Let rest six minutes before carving.


Roma Café
3401 Riopelle, Detroit 48207
(313) 831-5940

Cadieux Café
4300 Cadieux, Detroit, 48224
(313) 882-8560

The Lark
6430 Farmington Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
(248) 661-4466

Buy Viagra Oral Jelly Without Prescription

Filed under: Michigan — Shirley at 12:36 pm on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, Detroit:  Where Eating is a Big, Wonderful World

When it comes to traavel, my flirtatious honeybear Wro and I are old-fashioned.  We believe that travel should open your eyes without transforming your personality.  Or, as Wro puts it, "When in Rome, eat the cannoli, leave the gun."

Detroit is our kind of town - a broad-shouldered confederation of ethnic neighborhoods.  In the heydays of American auto making, the neighborhoods were defined by their cars, as ethnic groups identified with the companies most likely to employ them.

The largest-in-the-nation Middle Eastern population is centered in Dearborn's Ford country.  Many Caribbeans and African-Americans followed jobs to Detroit's Clark Street Cadillac plant.  The left wing Polish community of Hamtramck was "more Dodge than Democrat."  All are multicultural now and the great-grandchildren of the early assembly line workers are as apt to buy Japanese imports as company cars.  But the bygone city of historic neighborhoods can still be distinguished in the culinary traditions those immigrant workers carried here some six or seven decades ago. 

Beans & Cornbread

There is a score of soul food joins in inner-city Detroit, from the upscale Sweet Georgia Brown's to what might be the nation's oldest jazz club, Baker's Keyboard Lounge, north of the old Cadillac plant.

We began our visit at Beans & Cornbread, a soul food joint in the northern suburbs.  Executive Chef Jason Jones told us he learned to cook from his grandmother, who came from Long Creek, Alabama.  His grandfather was lured by coal mine jobs and then worked for Ford, "Grandmother was a cake and pie lady. Red beans and rice and black eyed peas were her standards."  Salmon croquettes are a signature dish at his place, and of course, the ribs are special.

To accommodate the times and the suburbs, "hoppin John" and collard greens are made here with smoked turkey wings instead of ham hocks.   Jason explained, buy generic viagra oral jelly online, "it's a heart-smart issue," adding that wine dinners further upgrade the image of soul food here.

Up From Slavery

Jason continues, telling us about taking his son to the Charles H. Find viagra oral jelly without prescription, Wright Museum of African-American History, where the slavery experience is recreated in visceral detail.  Wro and I head there after lunch.

We visited a thriving food market from the 14th-century Kingdom of Benin, where the peaceful origins of soul food can be glimpsed - fresh Savannah grains, rice, sorghum, black-eyed peas, order viagra oral jelly online, beans, millet and ground nuts, similar to peanuts.  Children played the "owari" game using beads made of bauxide and sea coral.   The market sells collards, dates, Buy viagra oral jelly low price, watermelon, yams, plaintains, onions and Akee apples.  The Akee set Wro off on a linguistic tangent - the origing of "akee rice" in Harry Belafonte's song, "Jamaica Farewell."

On to the Museum

The Museum showed how men spent 60 days crammed into the dark underbellies of slave ships headed for Jamaica's rum, or 50 days to Rio's sugar.  Maybe more time up to the Colonies for tobacco and corn, order viagra oral jelly in us, laying in the belly of the beast, gagging, suffocating.  Once in South Carolina, twice-bartered slaves on Sundays could trade foods they had grown or foraged.  That improved their usual ration of gruel.  Freedom's trail was marked with 500 years of crumbs.

There is much more in this marvelous exhibition, Cheap viagra oral jelly no rx, "And Still We Rise," but the food angle left Wro wondering, "From where. Is all civilization, all soul anything more than a conjugation of the verb 'to eat?'"

We walked through the post-slavery years in a daze, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. Jim Crow, Plessy vs. Ferguson's "separate but equal" hypocrisy, find viagra oral jelly, Joe Louis' glory, Detroit's race riots of 1940's and 60's, the recreated Paradise Theater, where original black movies are shown. Viagra oral jelly in bangkok, Impressive, but forgettable after the first part of the journey.

To unwind, we retreated to our mammoth hotel, officially the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, but also known as the General Motors Inn, as it is connected to GM's downtown Detroit headquarters by a maze of circular walking paths and "people movers." Despite confusing direction-challenged Chinese visitors, viagra oral jelly no prescription, the hotel has lots to recommend, beginning with marvelous suites with Hong Kong-class views. As fate would have it, ours looked directly south at Canada.

I know what you're thinking: "Oh that silly Shirley, Viagra oral jelly no rx, doesn't she know Canada is NORTH of the USA?" Well, guess what. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, Detroit really is north of Windsor, Ontario, which is most notable for its beaming neon casino lights. What a day - mind expanding education, great food and gambling too. Detroit is like Disney World for blackjack playing Chinese foodies.

Disney World for Chinese Foodies

Our concierge advised us to avoid the post-911 border delays (more time to gamble) and take the "people mover" to the Greektown Casino instead of Windsor's. This was like a dream come true - a casino in an ethnic neighborhood previously known for its restaurants, buy viagra oral jelly overnight delivery. So, fighting off sleep, I set off for late night blackjack games and grape leaves. Wro stayed in the hotel, liking the robe and the view and fearing that second-hand smoke might foul his clothes, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. He was right - this casino had no areas for non-smokers. Viagra oral jelly in malaysia, I was told that they tried it, but no one used them. I also learned that the busiest night of the month for the casino is the night that social security checks are issued.

The next busiest are any hockey nights and the third busiest are Fridays. I hit the triple jackpot: a social security- check issuing, hockey Friday. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, The place was buzzing. I played a little but went home before my eyes fogged over with smoke.

I was told that no trip to Detroit is complete without a late night stop at American Coney Island or Lafayette Coney Island, viagra oral jelly canada, next door to each other. These are the grand daddies of a Greek-run hot dog empire that includes 300 other places and is Detroit's best known food icon. Brooklyn coneys usually come with ketchup, Chicago's almost always use relish, Purchase viagra oral jelly no rx, and Milwaukee's kraut. In Detroit - it's mustard only.

The next morning Wro and I got lost trying to find our way out of the hotel. Finally we figured out that the lobby is like a hub airport, you have to deplane your elevator and walk to a connecting elevator gate just to get to the restaurants, or to street level, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. We missed breakfast, walking in circles, but finally found the connecting taxi gate for Hamtramck, a virtual island community surrounded on all four sides by Detroit.

Little Poland
Back in the day, cheap viagra oral jelly pill, Hamtramck was home to over 20,000 Polish Americans, in just two and half square miles. The Dodge factory here employed many and Poles are still intensely loyal to Dodge and Chrysler products. Order viagra oral jelly no prescription, The American Communist party was headquartered here and FDR came to court their vote. Pope John Paul came, too. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, Walking about the retail strip on Joseph Campau, we visited stores where nalesniki (crepes) are still made with farmers cheese, eggs, flour, sugar and fruit. We learned about a famous "Fat Tuesday" indulgence here that is unknown outside Detroit - a kind of glazed jelly donut called "paczki," made with a richer batter than other donuts use.

We counted six Polish bakeries, four on Joseph Campau alone, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. Wro checked out goose eggs, duck eggs and chicken eggs. At the Polish Arts Center we found dried borowik mushrooms, famous since Poland was a Czarist state. Buy viagra oral jelly online without prescription, We visited Srodek's sausage store, where rabbits were fresh and stuffed cabbage was home made, as were kielbasa, kraut, frozen soup, pirogis and cheeses.

For lunch we headed off the main drag, cheap viagra oral jelly tablets, to Little Polish Village. The place was built in 1925 and is underground like East European rathskellars, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. It was packed for lunch at 11:03. We tried some stuffed cabbage, a pirogi, Viagra oral jelly online sales, mushroom cutlets and potato pancakes. We passed on the tripe stews and duck blood soup, which sounded too much like something we had enjoyed in Prague, to later distress. Our waitress suggested fried perch and looked amazed that we would pass on it.

Motown Sound
After lunch, Wro wasn't too proud to beg to visit the old Barry Gordy home, purchase viagra oral jelly, where Motown Records began. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, We heard it through the grapevine what a cool musuem this is. Wro got to sing in the same recording studio where the Supremes first struck "Baby Love" gold.

We sat in the same reception area where so many ambitious kids came hoping to become the next Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Buy cheap viagra oral jelly, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, etc. We were amazed to recall that Gordy moved the business to Hollywood way back in 1972. How brief the glory. So much creativity cranked out of this little house, viagra oral jelly uk, when it was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and so many great talents hung around the place, collaborating. But for so short a time.

A Grand Tribute
Music makes us hungry, so it was off to the northern suburbs for an evening with Don Yamaguchi at Tribute, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. Don is a young Japanese chef who sharpened his cleaver at Le Francaise, Purchase viagra oral jelly without prescription, a Chicago area restaurant that is sometimes called the best in America. Tribute built a considerable reputation on the work of Takashi Yagihashi who had been seduced away from Detroit by Steve Wynn.

That Las Vegas image builder now prefers the great regional chefs in America over spread-thin celebrity chefs that other Vegas hotels endorse. Another Wynner, unless you're in Detroit and other places raided by the Nevadan. Takashi was conscientious about picking Don to replace him, after the younger man cooked for Tribute's 10th anniversary.

The restaurant looks spectacular, find viagra oral jelly on internet, architect Victor Saroki deservedly won the Interiors Award from the American Institute of Architects. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, A slate-floored lobby boasts a grand chandelier, a signed Andy Warhol lithograph and an intimate bar, bathed in soft blue light that showcases local artisans' glassware. Tribute's theatrical dining room features dramatic murals and draperies and a pair of walk-through wine cellars (19,000 bottles and 2800 labels).

There are tall, sweeping arched ceilings, Buy viagra oral jelly cheap, geometric skylights, curved banquettes, custom stained-glass lighting and mahogany floors. A brass spiral staircase links the main floor to the much sought-after Chef's Table and Garden Dining Room below, both of which are in full view of the kitchen.

Chef Don offered to cook for us, so we didn't even look at the menu, viagra oral jelly for sale. My dietician still won't talk to me about that decision.
First a pate plate brought a mushroom terrine, a foie gras torchon and a salmon sandwich. There was a salad that included a cold duck napoleon in a black truffle vinaigrette, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. Hamachi sashimi was served with eggplant caviar and King prawn.

A monkfish tail "osso bucco" was braised in cumin-scented wine sauce, Cheap viagra oral jelly online, deglazed with clam juice, and served with a white truffle potato coulis. Veal sweetbreads were fried in chili oil. Veal cheeks served over wild mushrooms was the best course I remember, before going into shock.

I am not sure if I consumed, or dreamed, buy no rx viagra oral jelly, the coffee-rubbed venison loin, with a soft poached egg that had been infused with herbed oil, and served with a parsnip-guava puree.

One of Tribute's great prides is their beef. Takashi found an obscure packer in Plainwell, No rx viagra oral jelly, Michigan who was shipping all his beef to Japan. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, He persuaded them that he would respect the product and now Don wet ages all beef for 4 weeks and then dry ages it an additional three weeks. He insists the marbling is better than any American wagyu. We won't argue. Because of this, we were forced to try strip loin, prepared two ways.

Don turned his pastry chefs (yes, approved viagra oral jelly pharmacy, that is plural, Don has a staff of 14 chefs under him) loose to finish us off. Lisa and Eric presented two cheese courses, including a potato gnocchi in Black Butte reserve.

A Fois Gras Presentation

A fois gras presentation of vanilla crème brulee came in a candied "apple." I seem to recall a nutmeg cognac anglaise, Sale viagra oral jelly, from which caramel and a port reduction sucked my blood. Then the staff did something that was over the top even in a decadent foodie's life, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. They interrupted the dessert courses -- with an intermezzo of quince sorbet. After that, I vaguely recall a vanilla bean syrup on top of a blended fruit juice and champagne ice, topped with ground hazelnuts. Oh and then there was a chocolate course which included the Tribute's signature "The Egg." To the best of my memory, viagra oral jelly online without prescription, this involved chocolate creme brulee, liquid caramel, caramel foam, maple syrup, Viagra oral jelly pharmacy, and sea salt.

I think I hallucinated a serving of fudge cake topped with raspberry coulis in caramel sauce and dark chocolate sauce, topped with cognac cream and white chocolate ganache. Wro later told me that I also consumed an "Irish caramel," a concoction of syrups, ice cream and chocolate dressed up to look like a draft of Guinness.

Don confessed that he grew up, like me, discount viagra oral jelly, in a family restaurant. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, "My family had a hamburger joint in Wrigleyville. I started hanging there when I was 8, and I loved the bustle. Never got it out of my blood." I am sure his food will never make its way out of my blood either. Viagra oral jelly cost, Feeling like an anaconda digesting a herd of cattle, I was unable to return to the casino that night. When a Chinese woman passes up an opportunity to play black jack, that is the deepest sign of respect that can be shown a Japanese chef.

Like all first time visitors to a Disney World, Wro and I realized we would have to slow our pace the next day.

Michigan Spring Soul (Morel Greens Gratin)

Serves 6

2 pounds greens (beet greens, Swiss chard, viagra oral jelly no rx required, mustard, turnip greens or collards) washed
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
I pound morels, broken in pieces (in Fall, Cheap viagra oral jelly pharmacy, use porcini mushrooms)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Steam greens for 2 minutes; squeeze them dry and chop finely. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and the butter, buy viagra oral jelly without prescription. Saute garlic and morels for about 3 minutes. Add the beet greens and stir well to combine.

Remove pan from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheeses and eggs. Pour the mixture into a greased shallow 9-inch baking dish, cheap viagra oral jelly without prescription. Buy viagra oral jelly without prescription, Sprinkle with bread crumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Bake 35 minutes, or until golden-brown.


Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 E. Warren Ave., Cheap viagra oral jelly tablet, Detroit, Michigan 48201,
(313) 494-5800

Motown Historical Museum
2648 West Grand, Detroit, 48208
(313) 875-2264

Beans & Cornbread: A Soulful Bistro
29508 Northwestern Hwy (Sunset Strip)
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 208-1680

Polish Village Café
2990 Yemans
Hamtramck, MI 48212
(313) 874-5726

Polish Art Center
9539 Jos Campau
Hamtramck, 48212
(313) 874-2242

Srodek's Sausage Co.
9601 Josef Campau
Hamtramck, 48212
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Filed under: restaurants, San Francisco — Shirley at 6:54 pm on Monday, November 8, 2010

Buy tramadol without prescription, ROCKETFISH Japanese Tapistro and Lounge - POTRERO HILL
1469 18th St., corner of Connecticut St

Hours: Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m, tramadol order. Canadian tramadol, and Friday -Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m, order tramadol no rx. Cheap tramadol tablet, A hip new find in the food world is Rocketfish Japanese Tapistro and Lounge, located in the Potrero Hill neighborhood.  Years ago I taught private cooking classes in a home on Rhode Island St, tramadol online pharmacy. and I recall my instant attraction to this area.  It is San Francisco without any hustle bustle.  No car?  No problem.  Take the MUNI from downtown to enjoy this area, surrounded by Third, 16th, Cesar Chavez and Potrero.  Its main restaurant, club and shopping scene is located on 18th between Texas and Connecticut, buy tramadol without prescription. Order discount tramadol online, August 25 food week 002.jpg

Chef/co-owner Kenichi Kawashima (above) comes from the highly-respected Blowfish Sushi to Die For.  I like the name of this restaurant more than Blowfish.  Working with Chef Kawashima to insure that the Rocketfish dining experience is a memorable one is co-owner Marco Rodriguez, whose 35 years of restaurant and food industry experience includes owning and operating the Pepitos family of Mexican restaurants and the Rathskeller German Restaurant, tramadol online without prescription. Purchase tramadol no rx, Chef Kawashima's sushi and sashimi menu and Japanese-based international tapas  focus on fresh, seasonal and often locally sourced ingredients.   Dine casually in the lounge - and between 5 p.m, buy cheap tramadol. Online pharmacy tramadol, to 7 p.m. the Happy Hour menu is one of the best bets in San Francisco.  All the Happy Hour items are $3.00 and includes mouth-watering Langostino Fritto with Japanese Aioli, buy cheap tramadol online, Buy tramadol online without prescription, Agedashi Tofu, Wok-Roasted Shishitou Peppers, tramadol cheap drug, Tramadol no prescription, and a series of rolls sure to please vegetarians. Buy tramadol without prescription, The regular menu is rather extensive.  Take your time to read it through - it is a good idea to ask your friendly server to help with organizing your meal based on your likes and dislikes.  The following are my favorites from a recent Happy Hour -and stay for Dinner evening...

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Above is one of my favorites, order tramadol without prescription, Tramadol online sale, Walu Carpaccio with a salty lemon confit, caperberries, buy discount tramadol online, Find discount tramadol, jalapeno vinaigrette and sprouts, a real deal at $8.00.  Appetizers include a tender

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There was barely room for dessert but we did manage to finish off the Roasted Fig which arrived in this cute steamer basket as well as a trio: raspberry-cabernet sorbet, green tea and Kahlua ice creams, cheapest generic tramadol online. Find tramadol no prescription required, Rocketfish dessert of roasted fig.JPG
Rocketfish has something for everyone.  Besides the creative and sometimes fusion offerings, there are the always-popular Shrimp Tempura Combo or Vegetable Tempura Combo, tramadol pharmacy online, Best price tramadol, bento boxes, oysters on the half-shell and grilled food on skewers.  The full bar offers cocktails, purchase tramadol overnight delivery, Approved tramadol pharmacy, 20 varieties of sake and an international wine list which includes about 18 wines by the glass.

Last but not least:  on Tuesdays, buy tramadol without prescription, Tramadol malaysia, Rocketfish offers all you can eat sushi, family style, cheap tramadol from usa, Low price tramadol, for just $19.99 for adults and $10.99 for children. Tramadol us. Generic tramadol. Tramadol prices. Cheap tramadol from uk.

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Filed under: restaurants, Where to eat — Shirley at 7:12 am on Monday, August 9, 2010

Buy viagra plus without prescription, Take a drive to Oakland, San Mateo, or stay in San Francisco for these restaurant specials.
Ozumo Oakland to Participate in Block Party & Back to School Fundraiser

2251 Broadway (510) 286-9866

On Saturday, viagra plus, Cheapest viagra plus prices, August 28 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Ozumo Restaurant, order cheap viagra plus online, Buy cheapest viagra plus online, along with Luka’s, Picán and Era, viagra plus medicine, Viagra plus online sale, will be hosting an Uptown Block Party & Back to School Fundraiser for the Oakland public schools. For a $20 donation, compare viagra plus prices online, Viagra plus overnight delivery, party goers receive a complimentary cocktail at each dining spot and access to food specials offered that night, including a Sushi Sampler at Ozumo, cheapest viagra plus price, Online viagra plus, Southern barbecue at Picán, and one dollar oysters at Luka’s. 
There will be outdoor DJ entertainment and dancing, buy viagra plus internet. Online pharmacy viagra plus, Tickets for the Block Party are now available at any of the four participating venues and will also be available the day of and during the event. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit four specific Oakland public schools: Crocker Highlands Elementary, compare viagra plus prices, Purchase viagra plus overnight delivery, Westlake Middle School, Oakland Tech High School and Laney Community College, viagra plus without prescription. The money will help support visual art programs, extended day programs, and the purchase of supplies for teachers and students, buy viagra plus without prescription. Best price viagra plus, Ozumo, Luka's, order viagra plus cheap online, Cheap viagra plus in canada, Picán and Era dot the four corners of Grand and Broadway in Oakland, California, viagra plus in bangkok, Viagra plus alternative, and are within easy walking distance of the 19th St. BART station, viagra plus in malaysia. Real viagra plus without prescription, Ozumo offers valet parking.
Family Concerts Park Chalet in San Francisco


1000 Great Highway @ Ocean Beach

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PARK CHALET will be hosting free family concerts on Sunday, viagra plus tablet, Order viagra plus no prescription required, August 22 and Sunday, September 19, viagra plus order, Cheap viagra plus pharmacy, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Buy viagra plus without prescription, These music events are headlined by professional children’s entertainers Charity and the JAMband, with special guests Elizabeth Mitchell (Aug 22) and The Hipwaders (Sept 19). Both Summer Family Concerts will take place on Park Chalet’s outdoor lawn area in Golden Gate Park, viagra plus online, Buy viagra plus generic, right behind the Beach Chalet and across the road from Ocean Beach. Guests are encouraged to arrive early with lawn chairs or blankets, cost viagra plus, Buy viagra plus cheap, as space is available on a first come, first serve basis, buy viagra plus online. Viagra plus online sales, Food and drinks will be available at Park Chalet’s outdoor BBQ starting at 10:00 am and will include such popular menu items as burgers (and cheese burgers), sausages, viagra plus in uk, Buy viagra plus canada, hot dogs, a pull pork sandwich, buy viagra plus on internet, Viagra plus drug, a grilled ahi sandwich and BBQed oysters. Park Chalet is one of only 12 restaurants in California which made OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Award for the top kid friendly restaurants, cheap viagra plus online. This award was based on over five million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners at more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, buy viagra plus without prescription. Order viagra plus online, ESPETUS CHURRASCARIA - San Mateo

710 South B Street

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(650) 342-8700

Espetus Churrascaria in San Mateo Hosts Wed, viagra plus us. Viagra plus india, & Thurs. Caipi-Hours Debuting August 25 Debuting on Wednesday, August 25, Espetus Churrascaria in San Mateo will host Caipi-hour every Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. In the restaurant’s piano bar, guests can enjoy, with the purchase of a cocktail, a complimentary sampling of hors d' oeuvres. Buy viagra plus without prescription, Bar specials priced at just $6.00 will include such cocktails as a Caipirinha and a Brazilian Mojito. In addition, there will be live musical entertainment without a cover charge.


333 O’Farrell Street near Mason St

(415) 923-4400

Monterey Wine Company Tasting Aug 10 & Aug 24

Urban Tavern in downtown San Francisco continues their summer bi-weekly series of wine tastings on Tuesday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 24 by showcasing the wines of the Monterey Wine Company. Priced at only $10.00, the tastings will be held in the restaurant’s Morgan Room from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. and include hors d’orevres from the Urban Tavern kitchen. A representative of the winery will attend. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Filed under: Stories about Wok Wiz — Shirley at 7:52 am on Friday, July 30, 2010

Buy viagra professional without prescription, Ring in the Year of the Tiger with symbolic fare

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Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 –

According to the traditional Chinese calendar, Saturday is when the Chinese ring out the Year of the Ox and ring in the Year of the Tiger. Based on a lunar cycle, the traditional Chinese calendar follows the regular appearance of the full moon; hence it will be the year 4708, buy viagra professional no prescription required. Like Christmas in the West, Viagra professional pharmacy online, it is the biggest holiday in China — a time spent with family and celebrated with foods symbolizing prosperity.

The food most closely associated with the Chinese New Year are jiaozi, or dumplings, cheap viagra professional in uk, symbolic of wealth and prosperity because of their resemblance to ancient Chinese money — the silver ingot. Find discount viagra professional online, Families traditionally spend New Year's Eve together preparing these dumplings, which are eaten at midnight: the dumpling wrapper representing the family as a whole and the filling symbolizing members of the family.

In northern China, the jiaozi are rough, doughy crescents stuffed with lamb or pork, garlic chives and chopped cabbage, buy viagra professional without prescription. In the west they're more delicately shaped and doused at the table with hot-chile oil or spicy, viagra professional, toasted-sesame dressing. Viagra professional pharmacy, In the east and south, they're almost an art form, with myriad meat and seafood fillings, find no rx viagra professional, both savory and sweet. Cheap viagra professional no rx, The skin may be transparent or opaque and are steamed, boiled, baked, buy viagra professional once daily, pan-fried or deep-fried. Cheap viagra professional from usa, Fish and chicken represent prosperity and are always served whole at the end of the meal, as the Chinese believe that this presentation symbolizes completeness and a wish for abundance in the coming year. Buy viagra professional without prescription, Sweet and sour pork is most popular with families hoping for a lot of grandchildren, as the Cantonese word for "sour" sounds like the word for "grandchild." Duck represents fidelity in Chinese culture and noodles represent longevity.

Traveling to San Francisco — the city with the largest urban population of Chinese outside China — is the most festive way to celebrate the Lunar New Year in this country, viagra professional vendors. Its Chinatown is the oldest and most colorful in North America. Viagra professional internet, And there's no better way to immerse yourself in Chinese culture than through its food. Explore its dim sum tea houses, cafes and restaurants frequented by locals and the many food markets lining its clogged streets, viagra professional side effects. Delight in the haggling and shouting matches while nibbling on small portions of take-out Peking duck, buy viagra professional without prescription.

A much more exciting way to explore Chinatown and its food culture is to take one of the Wok Wiz Walking Tours. Viagra professional rx, Voted the best in San Francisco by visitors, these culinary and historical walking tours are a feeding of the mind and body by Shirley Fong-Torres, the Pied Piper of America's most food-obsessed ethnic neighborhood, low cost viagra professional. A "remembrance of things past" set in Chinatown: it's art, Viagra professional cheapest price, it's history, it's fun, but most of all it's delicious, viagra professional no online prescription.

"When I conduct the 'I can't believe I ate my way through Chinatown' tours, Drug viagra professional, guests get a good glimpse of what Old Chinatown was like food-wise," said Fong-Torres, a historian, viagra professional prices, cookbook author and TV chef. Buy viagra professional without prescription, If you go with the right person, she says, you can find authentic Chinese food, especially where local Chinese people go to seek out regional village food. Cheapest generic viagra professional, There are restaurants in Chinatown that have two menus, one catering to tourists and another in Chinese for locals. Fong-Torres tells visitors that if she's not with them, find viagra professional without prescription, to go into a restaurant she recommends and check out what others are eating. Viagra professional online sale, "If it looks good and authentic (e.g. clay-pot cooking; steamed fish; salt-and-pepper calamari), just point to the table with food that makes you drool and say 'daw jeh, cheap viagra professional no prescription, gnaw seung sig.' "

If you've been out clubbing past midnight and you're starving and want to eat cheap, Cheapest viagra professional online, stop at Sam Wo's, in the depths of Chinatown. A hole in the wall joint entered through the kitchen and up dark narrow flights of stairs to the dining areas, Sam Wo's was the infamous dive of the late headwaiter Edsel Ford Fong, who would greet cowering diners by telling them to "sit down and shut up." Locals still love going there for the abuse, buy viagra professional without prescription. "You have to visit it at least once, buy viagra professional without prescription," Fong-Torres said. Discount viagra professional overnight delivery, To learn more about Wok Wiz Walking Tours, visit or call 650-355-9657. You can also sign up for cooking classes, buying viagra professional.



Have on hand: one pound of potsticker wrappers* (yield about 30), Viagra professional online pharmacy, small bowl of cold water, 12-inch non-stick pan with cover, 2 cups of chicken broth

1/3 pound each: lean ground pork, buy viagra professional lowest price, minced prawns or baby shrimp and/or bay scallops

1 cup of Napa cabbage plus 1 cup fresh spinach

1 green onion, Viagra professional sales, minced

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon 100 percent sesame oil

pinch of white pepper

Filling: Chop by hand the pork, seafood, cabbage, cheapest viagra professional prices, spinach, Cheap price viagra professional, green onion, garlic and ginger. Buy viagra professional without prescription, Place mixture into a bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper.

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Have in little dishes an assortment of hot chili oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix dip ingredients to suit individual taste.

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1 tablespoon salad oil

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound cooked small shrimp or other shellfish

1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

12 water chestnuts (fresh or canned), sliced

2 tablespoons soy, oyster or hoisin sauce

3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

6 large bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves, chilled

chopped green onion

Heat oil in frypan or electric skillet. Brown pork and remove drippings. Add shrimp, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, water chestnuts, soy sauce and 3/4-cup water. Cover and simmer gently about 5 minutes. Buy viagra professional without prescription, Blend cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Sir into liquid in pan. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Serve in chafing dish or electric skillet. Garnish liberally with chopped green onion. Serve lettuce chilled; let each guest spoon meat and shrimp mixture into a lettuce leaf, fold and eat like tacos.

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Filed under: travel, Monterey, California — Shirley at 12:03 pm on Saturday, July 24, 2010

Monterey - Sicily of the Seven Seas
Sardine Dreams with Flipper Song

Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, "Cannery Row is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.” John Steinbeck

Like many baby boomers, I read John Steinbeck in junior high school, which is now known as middle school. That’s not all the only thing that changed. During my lifetime, California truly became the “Golden State,” the place where American dreams came true. With its hallowed golf courses and artsy beach communities with movie star mayors, Steinbeck’s stomping grounds in Monterey Bay became the personification of such dreams. Yet Steinbeck’s books were always there to remind me that such prosperity was built on backs of our ancestors‘ hard struggles.

That writer is best remembered today for “Grapes of Wrath” in which Dust Bowl refugees form the backbone of Central California agriculture, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. But I was more drawn the characters in his Monterey stories, cialis super active+ no rx, “Cannery Row” and “Sweet Thursday,” that reified Chinese Californians. When my parent’s generation was still segregated within Chinatown enclaves, Steinbeck was creating fully assimilated Chinese characters. When most Americans still regarded Chinese Americans with suspicion, Cannery Row’s Lee Chong projected epitomic American values like industriousness and generosity.

I was also drawn to those Monterey stories by my own fascination with the coast. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Because I grew up in inner city Oakland, the ocean represented my American dream. Cialis super active+ in us, Our “family vacations” were day trips to see the beach in places like Santa Cruz and Monterey. We kids barely had time to get our bare feet sandy before we had to pile back in Dad’s car and head back to our Chinatown restaurant.

After I began traveling with my honey bear Wroburlto, Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley: In Search of America” became a spiritual guidebook for us, even though Steinbeck’s dog never went through the wild mood swings my Wro does. So, when Wro told me he wanted to visit Cannery Row in Monterey, I figured it was time to pay respects to our great mentor. Fortunately, Monterey makes that easy, buy cialis super active+ without prescription.

Ocean View Avenue, online cialis super active+, the setting of most of Steinbeck’s Monterey stories, has been renamed Cannery Row, despite the fact that the canneries there have pretty much been closed for business for half a century. If his book had not immortalized that industry, Monterey’s canneries would be as little remembered today as the horseless carriages or steamboats that also thrived during the fish canning era. Like most things Californian, Monterey has re-invented itself. Cialis super active+ online, Cannery Row is now a family-friendly, OSHA-approved, five star theme park where Steinbeck plays like background piano music. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Tourist shops sells his books and T-shirts. The canneries’ distinctive skywalk passageways have been restored to make the avenue look like it did in the days when the book was written.

I doubt the novelist would recognize the place today though. In his books, this was a de facto skid row while Monterey’s uphill real estate was the dominion of respectability. Today, Cannery Row is some of the choicest oceanfront property in America, find cialis super active+ on internet. Like the book’s hero Doc, contemporary Monterey embraces the ocean as if it were a lovable cartoon seal, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. The Monterey Aquarium has become an icon of California tourism anchoring a hotel, restaurant and boutique enterprise zone.

We considered two hotels for our trip - the Monterey Plaza Hotel (MPH) and The Clement. The town also has some delightful boutique inns in quieter parts of town (Pacific Hotel is my favorite) and some marvelous hotels linger in nearby Carmel. But Wro insisted that we stay in the middle of Cannery Row - where we could hear seals barking all night long. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, That left two top hotels to choose between, with personalities as different as Wro’s and mine, or as Wro’s and Wro’s. After checking them out, we devised a simple test to help others choose. Cialis super active+ approved, Just ask yourself if you would feel more comfortable in Los Angeles or Honolulu.

The Clement projects bustling chic and big city cool - it reminds me of a W Hotel in the middle of say the Los Angeles Civic Center. Guests seem to be young and hip and busy. Its main restaurant, The C, is even named in W style, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. The Monterey Plaza Hotel is laid back, like a grand old hotel in Hawaii. We asked general manager Doug Phillips about that.

“All great hotels have a definite sense of place. After I visited this place the first time I fell instantly in love,” he related, buy generic cialis super active+, before adding that he came to Monterey from Hawaii via the legendary Greenbriar resort in West Virginia. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, “We encourage, we cultivate the Aloha spirit here,” he admitted, explaining how every employee we talked to somehow knew our names and walked with us to point out directions.

From our room we could see the entire Monterey Bay. I exploited Wro’s interest in that vista to teach him some of the local history. We took Monterey’s Walking Path of History along the bay shore to the Monterey Maritime Museum. I don’t think the museum will be too upset if I condense what we learned there amid their sardine boats and fish nets.

Monterey’s Melting Pot

Rumsien people lived in Monterey for thousands of years before the first Spanish visitors, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. Both were attracted to the same good food - rich fishing waters, fertile soil and abundant wildlife. Cialis super active+ in malaysia, Portuguese settlers from the Azore Islands began shore-whaling in Monterey Bay soon after Mexico lost California to the USA. That industry did well until kerosene made whale oil obsolete. Then Chinese settlers developed a new junk fishing industry around China Point where they dried and shipped their catch. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, They made too much money though. New laws and regulations soon forced the Chinese out of fishing for anything except squid, a commodity that no other ethnic group cared about. Plus, squid were fished at night when other boats were docked.

Anti-Chinese sentiments still continued to grow. A Chinatown in China Point (where Pacific Grove now borders new Monterey) burned down mysteriously and cops prevented the residents from returning to rebuild, cialis super active+ from india. The Chinese negotiated for a much smaller settlement, in much less desirable real estate along Ocean View Avenue, smack dab in the middle of what became Cannery Row, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. Without the Chinese, the canning industry likely would never have happened here because Asian fishing families provided the expertise of fish cutting and drying.

The Japanese introduced Americans to eating abalone and they thrived on its commercialization until the abalone were overfished. By the time the Chinese had been relocated by arson, salmon fishing had become profitable. Frank Booth established a canning industry on Ocean View Avenue in 1896. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Norwegian Knut Hovden pumped things up with a new can sealing technology and Sicilian Pietro Ferrante revolutionized the industry with new nets, boats and knowledge about sardine fishing. Sardines and Sicilian fishermen dominated Monterey’s fishing industry until its demise after World War II. Cialis super active+ bangkok, Compared to Atlantic sardines, California sardines were huge, over 14 inches long. Salmon cans were never even downsized to fit sardines. The industry grew in World War I when tinned sardines became a popular battle ration. After that war, American tastes moved toward other things and California sardines were converted mostly into more profitable by-products, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. By the time the industry peaked, canning accounted for only a small percentage of the sardines fished here. Most of the sardine catch became feed for chickens and livestock, or oil for fertilizer, order cialis super active+.

The high water mark for Cannery Row was World War II when the US government again bought canned sardines for battle rations. That encouraged over fishing. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Steinbeck’s book came out in the sardine’s banner year of 1945. The following year produced a frighteningly low catch. 1947 proved that was no fluke and that the conservationists, like Steinebck’s mythical Doc, had been right all along. The industry’s belief that sardines could never be over fished was exposed as tragic fallacy. Buy cialis super active+ overnight delivery, Cannery Row became a ghost town within a decade.

Massaro & Santos

All that history made us very hungry, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. Because Sicily was settled by so many different ethnic groups, from French and Tunisians to Arabs and Greeks, its cuisine is richer and more diverse than that of any other part of Europe. I figured that Monterey’s long history of Sicilian settlers meant that it would be a hotbed for Sicilian restaurants. Wro believed that he was destined to meet a really “hot Sicilian“ chef.

However, we were told that Sicilian restaurants had been relegated to Monterey’s past. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, The closest thing we could find was Massaro & Santos, on the pier halfway between Old Monterey boardwalk and Cannery Row. Frank Massaro’s dad was full a Sicilian, best price for cialis super active+, so there was a connection, but Frank’s from Stockton. His story is more New Monterey, than Cannery Row.

“Dad told me, son, if you want to go into the restaurant business you need to get out of Stockton. Purchase cialis super active+ without prescription, I came here to bartend for the US Open (golf tournament) in 1972 and I never left,” he explained.
This 90 seat restaurant hangs over the water and puts one in the mood for seafood, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. We visited on a slow day, so Frank and chef Miguel Cortez, from the culinary town of Oaxaca, could sit down and talk to us.

On their advice, we tried “scalone” - a scallop and abalone cake covered with almonds and lemon butter, garlic and white wine sauce with a little cream, cialis super active+ internet.

We also enjoyed a squid salad that was big enough for four people. Sand dabs were a great $12 entree, with lots of pasta and fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus vegetables. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, One daily “special’ will remind us to always ask the price of “specials.” A blue nose bass was dryer and less exciting than the sand dabs and it was served with the exact same plating. It cost $27 though. More than double the most expensive entrée on the regular menu.

Decadent Otter Acts

We walked our lunch off on Cannery Row, Purchase cialis super active+ online, ending up at the Monterey Aquarium, a place that had been rated “two thumbs way up” by my chief cultural advisers - preschoolers Maggie and Stella. On their recommendations, we timed our visit to include feeding times for both the otters and the penguins. That was great advice, buy cialis super active+ without prescription.

I remembered that naturalist Annie Dillard had written that one of her greatest voyeuristic joys was to have seen an otter in the decadent act of floating on his back. The Aquarium’s otters never got her memo about that being a rare act. They dive to the bottom of their three story tall tank to catch their dinner, then they bring it up to the surface and eat it while floating on their backs. We couldn’t get enough of that show, compare cialis super active+ prices online. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, The Aquarium puts the otters’ food (crabs, clams, kelp, sea urchins and sea stars) into toy-like food tubes that stimulate their natural behavior of working to get food out of shells. Otters have the thickest fur of all animals and we saw them hide food in their coats. They eat a quarter of their body weight each day and during an average day a sea otter spends about eight hours feeding, five to six hours grooming and eleven hours at leisure. A good job if you can get it.

Penguins by contrast only eat about 14 per cent of their weight, freeing up time for other things. Otters and penguins have vastly different parenting skills, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. An otter mother usually has one pup at a time. Cheap cialis super active+ from uk, If she has twins, she abandons one of them. Penguins, maybe because they aren’t always eating, make better parents. We got a kick out of watching them, both moms and dads, protect their eggs, build their nests and teach their chicks to watch out for bears, cheap price cialis super active+. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, ( Polar bears’ favorite food is penguin.) Penguin parents regurgitate their fish to feed their kids. We spent several hours at the Aquarium checking out cute critters and some fish canning history too.

Watching otters and penguins eat made us hungry, so we walked back down Cannery Row to the Monterey Plaza Hotel, only stopping for a few shopping distractions. After seeing souvenir photos of the real life people that served as Steinbeck‘s models for “Cannery Row” characters, Wro surprised me with the announcement that he was “over Mack and into Doc now.” I realized his decision was superficial, that Doc was modeled after handsome Ed Ricketts (Nick Nolte in the movie) and Mack’s model was the less attractive Gabe Bicknell (E. Fda approved cialis super active+, Emmett Walsh). But I’m happy for anything that makes Wro more interested in a scientist than a slacker party boy, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. I so hope this means he’s maturing.

The Duck Club

We usually like to get out of our hotels to dine but not in Monterey. The Duck Club in the MPH is a California treasure. I love chef James Waller’s story about how he was fated to be a chef. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, “I came from a big family and I was one of the younger kids. Mom didn’t like to cook but, after the older kids moved on, she developed a fondness for going out to eat and taking the rest of us with her. We younger kids were really spoiled food wise, cialis super active+ buy online,” he said.

The hotel is owned by same Alden family that owns Rodney Strong vineyard, so wine and food are closely paired here. Because the hotel sponsors the Aquarium’s “Cooking for Solutions” and “Seafood Watch” programs, The Duck Club hosts the Monterey Aquarium Seafood Challenge each year. James told us how one famous chef once brought the ecologically taboo blue fin tuna to that competition, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. It sounded like an honest mistake so I won’t tell on Roy.

Paying due diligence to a namesake, Where to buy cialis super active+, The Duck Club’s duck takes five days to prepare . Air-dried ducks are brined in soy sauce, jalapenos, coriander, sugar, orange and lemon juices. Actually, it’s more like a dipping than a brining - they take otter-like 8 hour naps between dives in the tank - twice a day for two days. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Then they are cooked on wire racks and finished in wood burning ovens.

James Waller is an odd duck himself - a contented California chef, cheap cialis super active+ pharmacy. He’s been at the same job here for a dozen years now. New and flashy may be trendy, but I prefer tradition and good execution at the dinner table.

“Over 60 % of the hotel’s guests are long distance travelers, so we‘ve got to have calamari, crab cakes and local produce for them. That’s what they expect in Monterey, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. But our wood aroma is our signature, Cialis super active+ no rx required, ” Waller explained.

Of course, the wondrous ocean views are a signature too, at least if you dine as early as we did.

We watched the sun go down over diver scallops wrapped in pancetta, on beds of diced roasted beets plus roast spears of salsify with herbed lobster buerre blanc. Then we tried some Dungeness crab cakes with tempura asparagus, baby heirloom tomatoes and a drizzle of remoulade. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, La Brea artisan breads are finished in the oven and add to the spirit of the hearth.
A smooth lobster bisque included some whole mussels and crème fraiche, drug cialis super active+ online purchase. Caesar salad tasted like anchovies, not anchovy flavoring. We asked for striped bass with an off-menu pairing of ginger carrot puree, micro sprouts, pomegranate reduction and wild mushrooms.

James is not one of those chefs who go nuts if you ask for such things. An entrée of Kobe short ribs, in Pinot Noir reduction, came with mashed potatoes, onion rings and mushrooms, buy cialis super active+ without prescription.
We ate so much that we could only share one dessert - a fantastic crème brulee of Meyer lemons and smoked paprika. Cialis super active+ online review, That night I identified with the song of the howling seals and I promised to eat less the next day. But as soon as we awoke, we returned to The Duck Club for a scrumptious breakfast of oak smoked salmon, strawberry macadamia crepes, a little compote of prunes, figs, cherries and berries and lots of coffee - to stifle our appetites. James then gave us a tip that we didn’t have time to check out - so listen up:

Monterey Insider Info - Because of the post 9-11 nature of national security, the new personnel at the Monterey Naval Station Language School has encouraged the opening of some excellent new Afghani, cheap cialis super active+ pill, Iraqi and Persian cafes. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Phil’s Fish

On our way out of The Duck Club, we received another insider tip. A fifth generation Monterey Sicilian told us that the old Sicilian restaurant heritage isn’t dead, it’s just been relocated a few miles out of town in Moss Landing. That was good information, but it created a dilemma - I had planned on eating at Don Elkins‘ Central Texas BBQ in Castroville. We always eat there when we’re in the vicinity, which is probably why I had never eaten in Moss Landing, Buy cialis super active+ online, just a few miles west of Castroville. I had been dreaming about Don’s homemade sausages and slow smoked ribs and briskets all weekend, at least when I wasn’t eating James Waller‘s food. Wro however was sulking about his “dashed dream” of meeting a hot Sicilian chef, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. So, in order to ward off a violent mood swing, I decided to sacrifice my smoked meat craving and headed for Phil DiGirolamo’s place in Moss Landing.

Phil is a jolly guy who tells his family’s version of the Cannery Row history.

“I was born and raised in Monterey. Grandfather immigrated from Sicily, cialis super active+ overnight delivery, to fish for sardines - on the pursein King Phillip. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, He had 12 kids including my dad. Dad owned Angelo’s (restaurant), where Isabella’s is now. So I have Sicilian restaurateur-ing and Sicilian fish mongering in my blood.

"We came to Moss Landing for the dock in the 60’s, when albacore and salmon were plentiful. By 1973, No prescription cialis super active+, we felt that Monterey had become so touristy that it was time to abandon it completely and we moved all the operations here. Then there was a salmon glut and no one wanted them - the smokers cut off their orders, the restaurants had more than they wanted, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. We were desperate to all the salmon we had, so we started putting ads in newspapers as far away as Sacramento. That worked, people just started showing up here to buy salmon. That convinced us there was a need for a fish market on the docks,” Phil told us as we walked around what has become a giant seafood market and restaurant.

“We started in a tiny area, selling fish off the dock, get cialis super active+. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Then we opened a 600 square foot fish market. I did demo cooking to promote the business. I used to make cioppino in a red wok that I bought at Costco. People would watch me and order some, so I started promoting cioppino with “bring your own pot” ads. People did that. We still do that at Christmas, but after the internet popularity hit home, we had to find something more standard, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. So now we use (plastic) buckets.

“Customers won’t let me change the menu though. Purchase cialis super active+ overnight delivery, And I have to respect their sense of tradition. This place has a life of its own. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Families often hold reunions and memorial services here - because it was the dearly departed loved one’s favorite place. Grandmas and moms tell me that they have been coming since they were as young as the youngest kids at their table,” he explained.

Just his kitchen employs nine line cooks - at all times. Wro noticed that most of the chefs were Mexican, mostly from Michoacan and Oaxaca. Head chef and smoker Ricky Loya told Wro that he had a surprise for us later.
I have never been in a kitchen where so many line workers seemed any happier, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. Phil is clearly a nice guy to work for, find cialis super active+ no prescription required. I asked him about the Sicilian influence on Northern California cuisine, particularly seafood.
“Cioppino (San Francisco’s most famous hometown dish) is a Sicilian inspiration I am sure. The spices give it away - they’re the same as Sicilian “bicce brodo.” Cioppino is probably a slurred Sicilian pronunciation for “chippin in.” Whatever was left over went into the pot. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, As a young man, I learned a lot from my grandmothers - both were great Sicilian chefs. They came to Monterey in the 1920’s and lived through the Depression when the modus operandi was to use everything and waste nothing. I came home from school and kneaded dough for bread and for pasta. I love home made pasta, Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, but I also love the dried kind - I use Barilla in the restaurant now,” he explained.

Wro asked Phil how faithfully he follows the environmentalist creed, like the Aquarium’s list of forbidden fish. Phil answered with delightful candor, buy cialis super active+ without prescription.

“I do what I want. I argue with them all the time about what’s endangered and such. Fact is, I am a fish broker and I think that my information is better, and certainly more thorough and up-to-date than their’s is, no rx cialis super active+. They ( The Aquarium) are my land lord too. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, I did take shark off my menu, because they are such a slow grower. But I keep Chilean sea bass on it - I just make completely sure that mine comes from a fisherman who only uses short lines. The long lines are the problem with fishing them,” he explained.

Phil’s walls revealed that he is a proud Scottie owner. They were covered with blue ribbons and plaques that the doggies won before leading Phil into a new fishy enterprise. He now markets specialty dog food for Scotties and other breeds like them who are susceptible to liver problems, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. Phil’s special formula is made with sweet potatoes, Cheap cialis super active+, green beans, carrots and cod. He makes it himself - steaming, packaging and freezing for shipment.

His most popular mail order items though are clam chowder, both red and white, and, duh, cioppino, cialis super active+ in uk. He makes a base for both soups that can be dehydrated with milk or not - so lactose-intolerant seafood lovers can use it. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, In pure blooded Sicilian style, Phil’s chief advisers are still family member.

“Dad’s been gone a long time now but I still talk to him everyday,” he said, pointing to photos on the wall. Phil’s 88 year old mother -in-law comes to work with him daily, at 7 a.m.. She and Phil take only a half day off each week. Discount cialis super active+ overnight delivery, “She’s got to earn her room & board. She lives with me,“ he joked, buy cialis super active+ without prescription.

When we visited, Phil had just raised $100,000 for Legal Aid for Seniors with a fund raiser that paired Hahn’s Estate Pinot Blanc with Phil’s cioppino.

“Whatever you give comes back to you, as long as you don’t ever give to receive, just give for sake of giving,” he explained.

Sicily, order cialis super active+ from canada, by any other name

I hoped Wro was listening but I knew he was becoming impatient for Ricky Loya’s surprise. We began eating a little snack of fried oysters, sand dabs, shrimp, artichoke hearts in tempura, New England clam chowder, cioppino and Caesar salad with long white anchovies. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, Then we tried some of the freshest, brightest halibut I have ever seen, baby octopus, petrale and ling cod - all of which had been fished from local waters. Cialis super active+ online review, Finally Ricky brought out the star attraction of our entire Cannery Row odyssey - grilled California sardines, “Yes, they are making a comeback,” Phil said, appropriately closing a circular story.

For centuries, fishermen have been lured into the deep and dangerous waters beyond Monterey Bay by ever changing enticements - from whales and salmon to squid, abalone, sardines, halibut, snapper, tuna, et cetera. Similarly, the composite American dreamer who came to Monterey over the centuries has morphed by ever changing blood lines - from American Indian and Spanish to Mexican, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Scandinavian, Sicilian, Vietnamese, Afghani, Persian - and Mexican again. So it goes.

The Central Coast of California has now thoroughly assimilated the Portuguese and Chinese who settled here 150 years ago and separately developed Monterey’s signature fishing industry, buy cialis super active+ without prescription. The islander mentality of Sicilian Monterey also washed away in the California’s melting pot but Phil DiGirolamo believes such things only change on the surface. Just as Sicily has always been a melting pot of Mediterranean cultures, Monterey has become the Sicily of the Seven Seas.

“My Mexican workers are the 21st century’s Sicilians. They work hard and they appreciate things that others take for granted. Buy cialis super active+ without prescription, I am blessed to have them. They make my place what it is,” DiGirolamo explained.
My eighth grade teacher said that “Cannery Row” was a story about hope and appreciation. The book’s characters have very little in life but they need even less. That kind of contentment might seem outdated today but it makes me wonder about the tides that pour into Monterey Bay each night to a Hallelujah chorus of barking seals. Perhaps that unique combination of moon-pulled water, jagged geology and flipper song creates a magic mist that nourishes hope as carefully as penguin parents protect their eggs.

Otherwise, how does one explain the little miracles: Skid Row transforming itself into a luxury hotel zone; sea otters finding a place where they feel safe enough to float half their days away on their backs; and California sardines surviving near certain extinction to grace Ricky Loya‘s open-fire grill.

If you go

Hotel Pacific
300 Pacific St., Monterey, CA 93940, 800-554-5542,

Monterey Plaza Hotel
400 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940, 831-635-4077,
Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery
7600 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039

Massaro & Santos
32 Cannery Row, Coast Guard Pier
Monterey, CA, 93940, 831-649-6700,

Monterey Maritime Museum
Across from Fisherman's Wharf in Downtown Monterey
(831) 372-2608
Posted by FoodDude at 3:18 PM 2 comments
Labels: Cannery Row, Monterey, Phil's Fish, Steinbeck, Wroburlto Fong-Torres

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Filed under: Stories about Wok Wiz — Shirley at 11:38 am on Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Wok Wiz: San Francisco's Happiest Guide


By Rebecca McCormick • Special to The News-Star • July 18, 2010


Last year, included San Francisco as the only North American city on their list of "The World's Happiest Cities."

Citing "urban centers closely associated with unmitigated joy," the magazine editors may well have based their decision largely on one unofficial San Francisco ambassador: Shirley Fong-Torres, better known as The Wok Wiz in tourism and culinary circles.


I first met Shirley several years ago while standing among tourists at The Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm — America's only site for freshwater culturing. While everybody waited to take pictures of a diver climbing out of the oyster pit, find cheap viagra soft tabs, Buy viagra soft tabs from india, Shirley was the one cracking jokes.


"How do you tell if a pearl is real?" quizzed the diver.


"You bite it!" answered a young schoolgirl.


"Yes, order viagra soft tabs in us, Discount viagra soft tabs, but for that you would need real teeth," quipped my new best friend.


When Myron and I planned our vacation to San Francisco last November, order viagra soft tabs from us, Viagra soft tabs no rx required, we decided to surprise Shirley by showing up unannounced for her 10 a.m. daily Wok Wiz tour of Chinatown — although it never occurred to us one of her other guides might be scheduled for our particular tour.


Huddled with a dozen other coffee-drinking tourists in the lobby of the Chinatown Hilton Hotel, cheap viagra soft tabs overnight delivery, Viagra soft tabs online cheap, we recognized Shirley's larger-than-life laugh before she ever rounded the corner.


I stood silently, waiting for her to look my way before flashing a smile.


It worked.


"Heyyyyyy!" she said, order viagra soft tabs on internet, Cheap viagra soft tabs on internet, looking at us like a mother welcoming her kids home for Christmas. "You look just like a friend of mine from Arkansas!"


For the next three hours, buy viagra soft tabs online cheap, Cheap viagra soft tabs pill, our group walked with Shirley through Chinatown, a vibrant historic neighborhood that is home to more than 10, discount viagra soft tabs online, Purchase viagra soft tabs online, 000 residents and host to millions of tourists each year.


We started our adventure with a stroll through Portsmouth Square, where locals gather to visit, viagra soft tabs cheap, Order cheap viagra soft tabs, talk and relax in their "outdoor living room."


"The first Chinese who came here were Guangdonese men who took long journeys to come to the 'Gold Mountains,' as they referred to San Francisco, buy no rx viagra soft tabs, Viagra soft tabs price, " said Shirley. "Their suitcases were packed with more than toothbrushes and family pictures, buy viagra soft tabs without prescription. They were filled with dreams of a better life."

 Although some people refer to early life in Chinatown as "a bachelor society, cheap viagra soft tabs from canada, Purchase viagra soft tabs without prescription, " Fong-Torres insists this is an inaccurate description of courageous men who lived sorrowful lives separated from their wives, children and other family members.


Originally confined to a five-block area, buy cheap viagra soft tabs internet, Online pharmacy viagra soft tabs, Chinatown grew in creative directions: up, as well as underground — where a massive tunnel system once existed.


"They also learned creative ways to stretch their food, cheapest viagra soft tabs price, Buy cheap viagra soft tabs online, " Shirley explains. "That's why we still see dried fish, compare viagra soft tabs prices online, Canadian viagra soft tabs, shrimp, scallops and mushrooms throughout the markets here."


Now, get viagra soft tabs, Buy viagra soft tabs online without prescription, Chinatown boasts more than 100 restaurants featuring everything from preserved thousand-year old eggs so "fish so fresh they nearly jump in your steamer."


Life cranks up early in Chinatown. Shopkeepers along the main arteries enticed us to explore a myriad of must-haves — like porcelain and clay teapots, discount viagra soft tabs no rx, Order discount viagra soft tabs, linens and silk, pearls and gold, viagra soft tabs buy drug. Viagra soft tabs overnight delivery, Art galleries accent the streets like studs on a tuxedo.


On Stockton Street, we perused crowded markets where fresh fish and vegetables show off splashy colors like the garments hanging from overhead clotheslines, buy cheapest viagra soft tabs online. Buy viagra soft tabs without prescription, Clay Street boasts the Chinese Historical Society of America. Order cheap viagra soft tabs online, But along upper Grant, smells of livestock markets remind us who rules the food chain, viagra soft tabs for sale. Viagra soft tabs medicine, Perfumes from the herbal markets wrap us in centuries of traditions. And we are altogether taken.


Red Blossom Tea Company, canada viagra soft tabs, Buy viagra soft tabs low price, for instance, has become to tea aficionados what Nashville's BlueBird Café is to songwriters, discount viagra soft tabs without prescription. Viagra soft tabs no rx, Brother and sister Peter and Alice Luong are direct importers, traveling thousands of miles in search of rare teas and artisan tea ware. Don't worry, though; they have a staff fluent in both Chinese and English — all trained to make you feel comfortable in a perhaps unfamiliar world of exotic leafy treasures.


After a full morning of lively learning, Shirley escorted us to a neighborhood dim sum restaurant.


"Dim sum was around long before tapas became trendy," she laughs, buy viagra soft tabs without prescription. "It's a way of life for us. In fact, a typical lunch for Maggie and Stella (my 4- and 6-year old granddaughters) and me would be har gow shrimp dumpling, sil mai-pork dumpling, siu loong bow-Shanghai dumplings, taro puff, sticky rice in lotus leaf, bean curd roll, silky tofu, beef and baby bock choy chow fun, mango pudding and orange Jell-O. It's like a party on the table!"


Shirley patiently and professionally explained the parade of selections piled on the carts around us. No wonder she's been seen on the History and Discovery channels and is up for another appearance on the Food Channel — this time with Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods. Buy viagra soft tabs without prescription, Her expertise has also earned her spots on in-flight videos for three airlines. And her latest book is titled "The Woman Who Ate Chinatown, a San Francisco Odyssey."


"Dim sum is definitely a delicious way to end a day in Chinatown," she cheered, snapping pictures of her guests grazing on the mounds of food under their chins. No wonder Shirley's tours have been called "a feeding of the mind by a street poet of America's most food-obsessed ethnic neighborhood."


But they left out the stand-up comedy. Shirley's smile and quick wit turn a boring history tour into a boisterous hilarity tour. Her passion and warmth have made all of Chinatown her friend. And all the world is her stage.


Bravo, Wok Wiz. Bravo!