Allegedly, Oaxacan cuisine is the most refined of the regional Mexican cuisines. So it was exciting to visit Casa Oaxaca to see what it was about. I was there largely to find out about their micheladas, but while a bunch of us were there for happy hour we tried a number of dishes.
It seems endemic to Mexican/Central American cuisines in the DC-area that the meat is cooked until it is dried out. This continued to be the case with most of the dishes we ordered that night. We had carnitas tacos, which were cooked to the point of being rather stringy. It also did not have the benefit of other sauces to help it out, and how to be dolloped with some sour cream to help it out. This was also true with the kekas – blue corn tortillas with various toppings like huitlecoche to at least help along the meat’s transition in the mouth to the gullet. What was okay was the tres moles with chicken. The chicken was moist and tender. I enjoyed the variety of the flavors of the moles, although I would say that they weren’t as rich and depth-filled as the kind that my parents have made. What was enjoyable was the plantanos with black beans. Made almost like an empanada they were sweet and crusty. In that case the dryness may have been helpful in adding a slight crunch. Grasshopper tacos were just bits of grasshopper sprinkled on top. Disappointing. Would I have wanted whole ones… I’m not sure, but I would have liked to see them.
Overall, I liked the flavor profiles. They were more clean and refined than Tex-Mex, but I think that the actual cooking could use some improvement. As I have said before, and will say again… California has spoiled me.
Not much to say about The Avett Brothers. Just a stunning mix of bluegrass, punk and screamo. I wish they had played The Ballad of Love and Hate, which is my current favorite song. Today was the kind of day that is so beautiful it makes me vaguely pensive.
“Love has been waiting patient and kind.
Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign.
That the one that she cares for who’s out of his mind
Will make it back safe to her arms.”
The hollowed hearts of sunshine
“Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets
towards your oceanic eyes.” – Neruda
Check out the condiment menu for this Pommes Frites place in New York! Anyone been? Y’all know how I feel about mayo.
For ages I never really liked asparagus. I was always told it was really good for me. And other people seemed to LOVE it. I always found it grassy and a bit wooden-tasting. But then a few months ago, I had dinner at My Husband Cooks‘ house, and he made roasted asparagus. And gone was the taste that I had always found so yucky. Since then I’ve made asparagus three or four times with it serving as a meal with rice. So the key is to break off the tough ends, shaving off anything that seems a bit too stringy and tough. Then, put them in a pan, drizzle olive oil over top, sprinkle with salt and some chopped garlic. Put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. And it’s as simple as that, and so tasty.
I went to Unbuckled sponsored by DCist last night. The XYZ Affair and Le Loup played. The XYZ Affair was abysmal, a combination of Weezer and Queen, without any good hooks. Just painful, unoriginal and unmemorable. Their cover of Sophie B. Hawkins’ “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover,” was uninspired, off-key and really lacking the seductive qualities of a song with such a title deserves. Consider getting some emotions, fellas. I know taste is relative, but I found their music simply painful to listen to. I wish that if DCist were going to get a subpar band, they could at least get a LOCAL subpar band. What is the point of DCist, if you’re not going to choose a DC-based band.
Fortunately, the night was redeemed by Le Loup whose drummer started off the set as the rest of the boys and girls walked through the crowd clanging tambourines, cowbells and shakers. They were there to have fun, and not to be taken too seriously. What I’ve observed and love about the leader of the band, Sam Simkoff, stands off to the side of the stage, both this show and the last one at Black Cat. There’s a fantastic camaraderie and energy here. The set was just so cool from start to end. Aaron did a great job running the sound. You could actually hear Nicole’s French horn this time. The sound that sweeps through the room in a very sonorous way and fills every direction.
Anyway, I’ve always kinda hated cell phones. Back when I first had one in college, I only used my phone for emergencies. When I started driving more and got stuck in traffic it was great for keeping myself from getting bored by calling friends I don’t get a chance to speak to much. Nowadays it’s for everything and pretty much replaces having a landline. Well, the hate continues. I realized that people are far more unreliable these days because they have cell phones. They’re late all the time, because they think they can just call and it’ll be okay. People don’t plan ahead as well about where to meet, so you end up wasting a lot of time. And I also find myself getting stood up a lot more. I’m getting close to no longer telling people my cell number so I won’t have to deal with these kind of things. I used to ask how did I survive without a cell phone, but I realize the answer is make real plans. Now I ask, how do I survive with one?