An Ode To Sol Food in a restaurant

Yikes, I can’t believe it’s already the end of January and I’m still writing 2012 on all my papers.

Reem, who is currently living in Scotland for school, came to visit her family in America over the holidays and I’m so happy I got a chance to hang out with her before she went back. We had an English class together last summer and made it a weekly trip to drive over to San Rafael to eat at Sol Food after school. This place is by far my favorite restaurant outside of San Francisco.

The whole theme of Sol Food is authentic Puerto Rican cuisine; the ambiance of this restaurant is so unique, considering it is located in San Rafael and really makes the whole experience. The decor is decorated with colorful shutters, the music is going and the napkins are held down by huge green plantains.

IMG_0564.jpg All of these numbers are the owner’s personal pictures of her friends and family.

IMG_0577.jpg I always end up getting the same thing, Pollo al Horno. I figure there’s really no point to trying to fix perfection. It comes with one (or two) pieces of chicken baked with oregano and garlic, a light salad and tostones. The tostones are one of my favorite parts of the meal and I actually have a recipe coming up for authentic Puerto Rican tostones (thanks Lili!) What makes Sol Food so popular and addicting is their secret vinegar hot sauce. I don’t even have the right adjectives to make it sound as appealing as it taste.

Later that night, Lisbon House decided to have a roommate family dinner. Since I live with seven other people, we decided a potluck was the way to go.

IMG_0650.jpg I made an avocado salad and it was b.o.m.b. It included a combination of kale, spinach and mixed greens, avocado, sautéed mushrooms, roma tomatoes, onions and queso fresco with olive oil as a dressing I bought from wine county.

IMG_0652.jpg IMG_0658.jpgMichelle and her girlfriend brought home-made Sangria (so good) and a Trader Joe’s cheese, salami and baguette plate. All of us were starving so we ended up filling up on bread and cheese. Worth it.

IMG_0663.jpgFor the main dish, Sarath made us a whole chicken. I have no idea what it was roasted with, but it was mouth watering.

Not pictured was a food delivery, including pizza, stir fried rice, mash potatoes and a raspberry cheesecake 🙁 All in all, it was a great time since all of us are really close to begin with.

Are you close with your roommates? Do you often do potluck dinners with your friends?

Better Late Then Never

Is it too late to talk about the holidays?

Winter break is an anomalous time for me. The transition from the fall to spring semester leaves roughly three weeks of free time that I haven’t had before. In that time, I have…

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Played a game of Toma Todo.

Toma Todo is a drinking game that originated in Mexico. If anyone is familiar with King’s Cup, it’s the same principle where you pour beer into a larger cup that’s placed in the middle. There’s six sides to the dreidel:

Toma 1/2= Drink 1/2 sips

Pon 1/2= Pour 1/2 sips

Todos Ponen= Everyone pours

Toma Todo= Whoever gets Toma Todo has to drink everything in the middle cup!

It sounds kind of boring, but it gets really nerve wrecking and fun to egg on anyone that gets Toma Todo after the cup is entirely filled with beer!

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Seen some amazing views of SF.

Every time I see this bridge I am reminded of how blessed I am to live here. There’s so much to love in this little city by the bay, from the food to the scenic landscapes. I recommend anyone to come visit! Seriously, I’ll make an itinerary for you and everything!

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Attended the opening of Toma.

Toma’s grand opening was on December 19th and I couldn’t be any happier and proud! All the meats are organic, local and grass fed and the vegetarian options are to die for. The recipes are from past generations of family and even the tortillas are made fresh everyday!

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Went to my friend’s holiday gathering.

Two friends of mine had moved into a nice studio in the Nob Hill district of SF and realized they haven’t had a party yet and decided it was time. They served home made sangria and lots of apps. Although the pictures disappeared somewhere, I can assure you everything was delicious. The dog above is Bailey, my godson; isn’t he the cutest little nugget?!

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Spent Christmas with my boyfriend.

With the new restaurant opening, he wasn’t able to go back to Santa Barbara and my mom wasn’t doing anything so we stayed in SF and hung out all day. In the morning, we caught a matinee and watched Life of Pi (in 3D!). Of course, it was my idea. I read the book a few years ago and wanted to see how it would play out on the big screen. I definitely think the best part of the movie was the 3D effects, but I’m happy to report that he was happy with my choice (he originally wanted to see Django Unchained). We then took the long way home and basically drove throughout the whole city.

When we came home, we prepared a Christmas dinner for two. The chicken was stuffed with cloves of garlic and seasoned with rosemary, salt, pepper and cayenne. I sautéed the mushrooms and spinach together with olive oil, garlic, salt and paprika. We also made standard garlic mash potatoes and Trader Joe’s chicken sausage.

How was your holidays? Did you cook at home or go to a relative’s house for dinner?