Recent foodiscoveries: truffle mousse pate from Trader Joe’s, fresh pasta, ragu and bolognese, burrata and beets (also from Trader Joe’s, but I think there are better to be had). Love the fresh pasta; it seems to absorb flavors and adhere to sauce so much better than dry pasta.
In my pursuit of a restaurant to get niu rou mien (literally translated beef noodles, but technically it’s beef noodle soup), I discovered that it is a Taiwanese dish. I didn’t realize Taiwan had its own unique cuisine… color me ignorant. Lately, I’ve been searching some of my favorite childhood dishes that my mom makes and I guess, not surprisingly, it is a mix of Taiwanese cuisine and country-style Chinese food. I finally stopped in at Mayflower off Saratoga in San Jose, very much a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the side of a strip mall-type area. We were there pretty early so we were the only ones there. The whole place felt like I was eating at my parents’ house from the table piled with Chinese language newspapers, snack tins, and a cheap printer to the faded floral wallpaper (I have a very similar wallpaper in my bedroom growing up). The soup was hearty; huge, tender chunks of beef that easily fell apart as I prodded with my chopsticks and spaghetti-thick noodles in a dark, savory broth. I’ve been used to pho, so I felt the broth was missing some herbs or maybe some onions, but it was still quite delicious. I added some chili sauce, which provided a nice bite. I didn’t realize this dish is usually spicy; I guess when my mom ordered it when I was a kid, she purposefully ordered it without the spicy.