Tacos At Glena’s

Tofu Taco at Glena's
Tofu Taco at Glena’s

Every time I am in San Francisco my friend N. and I get together for lunch. N. was my Project Manager when I was a Quality Assurance Engineer working on a home office router project. That’s how we met. Those were the days. Busy, busy. Anyway, neither one of us is working these days, we’re still busy though, just doing other things, and both of us have pretty much given up the job search. Every couple of month’s we get together to catch up.

Today we headed off to Glena’s for tacos. Neither one of us had been here before, but I saw this place recommended by a friend on facebook a while back. I’m always up for a good taco – cheap, midlin, or even expensive, I don’t care! When we arrived the place was full of lunchers and our two choices for seats were two at the bar or two outside – and being August in San Francisco and heavy sweater weather cold, we opted for the two bar stools inside.

Cut to the chase. We had a great waitress at the bar whose name I did not get. I had one of the vegetarian options – the Tofu Taco, pictured above – and a glass of yummy fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. The grapefruit juice was made more yummy because it was served at room temperature. N. had both a Tofu Taco and a Pescado. We shared an order of chips, that came with three types of delightful salsas, and guacamole. The Tofu Tacos were made with Hodo Soy tofu – a locally made organic brand of tofu – and despite it being tofu, the taco was quite tasty. That also probably had something to do with the flavor of the hand-pressed corn tortilla that it was served on. I love it when corn tortillas by themselves are actually filled with flavor! N. said that the Pescado (fish) Taco was a bit bland. Next time I’m sure she will slather it with one of the salsas from the side of chips.

Glena’s menu offers a wide variety of cocktails, beer, and wine along with the compact menu of tacos, plates and sides. Despite me being a vegetarian, their meaty plates looked like they are delicious. The space is small and seems like a great place for a one-on-one casual meeting.

Glena’s
632 20th St,
San Francisco, CA 94107

Parking at lunchtime was difficult but not impossible.

The Golden Warrior And The Scarlet Sage

The Golden Warrior Salad at Mixt
The Golden Warrior Salad at Mixt

It’s my annual week of staying in The Mission District of San Francisco, California.

My brain wanted to head over to Mission Chinese for lunch but I wanted to make a stop at The Scarlet Sage first. It’s a nice little herb and crystal shop that sells things like incense, tarot cards, and herbal medicines, on Valencia Street where I like to pick up a souvenir or two of my annual stay in The Mission every August. Sometimes a crystal, sometimes a bar of soap.

As I was walking down the street, I passed this new place – MIXT – that took over the storefront, at 901 Valencia, that used to house the infamous La Rondalla. The last time I had been in this place, I was sitting at the bar with my friend B. and a couple of the guys from Stumbleupon having beers in the middle of the afternoon. Today, I almost didn’t want to go in, but I did.

The inside is now white and sterile and clean and well lit, and everything it never was before, and my brain was still yelling Mission Chinese, which is also situated in an old funky hole in the wall.

But my tummy was asking, rather politely, for salad.

I stepped in the door and grabbed a menu, standing off to the side while I read it. It sounded yummy. Nothing excites me more these days than a bowl full of greens and veg. Looking around, I also noticed that the salads were pretty big.

My mind was fighting me, so I decided to go over to Paxton Gate to look at their rock collection while I waited to get hungry enough to eat. When I finally did, the salad won out.

Which I’m glad for. The Golden Warrior Salad was big and delicious: baby spinach, mixt greens, cabbage, avocado, coconut chips, cucumbers, chickpeas, carrots, celery, fresh herbs, mixt seeds and topped with a raw tumeric ginger vinaigrette.

I really don’t like chains, really really don’t like them, and MIXT is a chain. I don’t know how far and wide it goes, as it looks like there are a couple in LA, but there are a number of locations around San Francisco, mostly in the Financial District. Chains these days are starting to wise up and are serving fresh delicious food that people like me will actually feel good about eating. I say if you are in the neighborhood and looking for some good clean food – this might be a really good choice.

The Scarlet Sage on Valencia Street.
The Scarlet Sage on Valencia Street.

Compost

Red Bell Pepper Compost
Red Bell Pepper Compost

I used to go to the Monday kitchen every week to volunteer my time to make lunch for the folks of Berkeley who needed it. We didn’t/don’t discriminate as to whom we serve in People’s Park in Berkeley. Anyone who is hungry can come on over at 3pm for some rice and beans and whatever veggies were donated to the kitchen.

I hadn’t been to the kitchen in a very long time, over a year maybe, but I had time on my hands this week and decided to stop by. My task was to prep the organic red bell peppers, which I did. I washed and discarded the innards in the same container so the seeds wouldn’t go down the drain. I went to dump the water when I realized that I was a tad mesmerized by the composition floating there. If you didn’t know they were red bell pepper innards, it would take a while to figure it out. Abstract almost.

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Dynamo!

Gluten/Wheat Free Chocolate Raspberry Donut!
Gluten/Wheat Free Chocolate with Raspberry Black Pepper Glaze Donut!

Every summer I spend a week in The Mission of San Francisco, housesitting. I make sure that I spend a few days of that time wandering the neighborhood, discovering who has closed their doors and who has opened them. I’ve often walked by Dynamo Donuts on 24th Street but have never had the pleasure of sampling them, for the most part, because at $3.75 a pop for the wheat-free delights they were just outside of my daily food budget.

This year though, one donut from Dynamo was my big food splurge. It was totally worth it! Very lovely cakelike chocolate donut with raspberry black pepper glaze. Their other wheat-free options (currently) are Lemon Buttermilk and Carrot Cake. They do fry the donuts in the same oil at the wheat donuts. But that didn’t bother me in any way that I could see.

Dynamo Donuts & Coffee
2760 24th Street between York Street & Hampshire
San Francisco, CA 94110
T: 415.920.1978
HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday 7am – 5pm; Sunday 9am – 4pm; CLOSED MONDAYS

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Making Sweet Potato Roti

Yammity

Because I’m housesitting I have access to a kitchen. One that I am comfortable using and working in. It was a few weeks ago when I surfed past a recipe for the Indian flat bread called Sweet Potato Roti. I love yams and sweet potatoes and the recipe looked easy.

Today I gave it a whirl.

* * * * *

This was a small test recipe because I had never made Roti before and also because I was using gluten free flour. One never knows how things are going to turn out the first time, especially when using a substitute flour!

* * * * *

Sweet Potato Roti

1/2 cup mashed boiled or steamed yams
1/2 cup gluten free mix of (mostly) Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour (mostly garbanzo bean flour) and just a little of TJ’s gluten free flour (mostly rice flour), or the flour of your choice.

While the yams are still warm mash them and mix them with the flour.
Flour your board.
Create three equal balls of dough.
Press them into tortilla/flat bread like rounds.
Cooking one at a time, drop the roti into a skillet and let it brown on one side.
Flip and let it brown on the other side.
Bubbles may appear – this is a good.

Stack your roti.

Use like a soft tortilla for eating a curry. I made a litle pot of curried black beans and drizzled plain yogurt over the top.

The texture was perfect for using it like a tortilla. I am curious how this recipe might work with substituting half the flour for corn meal.

You can also season the roti. I added a little cardamom to mine, but you could add any of the Indian spices, like curry, to the dough.

Enjoy!

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