I’ve been asked how I’ve been doing now that I have date for surgery, and honestly, I’ve been really relieved to no longer be wondering when the surgeon is going to call me back and what I’m going to do about work. The thought of life changing within a month is a little overwhelming because there is a lot to button up before I’m checked out for the next 6-8 weeks recovering. My little brother will be coming home from Korea the first week of March to be with me for surgery and also to start his first round of genetic testing at Stanford for the CDH1 gene mutation. I’m very much looking forward to spending time with him the last few days before surgery. For now I’m just taking it one day at a time and enjoying life with some good friends. While the Farewell Stomach Tour has kicked into high gear and is rapidly coming to it’s conclusion, my favorite part has been enjoying it with some good friends who have contributed to the tour, carved out some space to dine with us, and have recommended some amazing places.
Last week some friends gave us the gift of a meal at Alexander’s Steakhouse which was probably one of the best steaks we’ve ever eaten. Kate and I ordered two appetizers, split a steak and shared a side dish. For our appetizers we ordered seared scallops and braised bone marrow. The scallops were delicious and since I’ve never tried bone marrow before, decided to take a chance. It was a good experience, but I probably wouldn’t do it again. For our main dish we ordered a 28 oz porterhouse. Food tip: When we go to steak places we like to split a porterhouse which is usually a pretty sizable piece of meat because it contains the filet on one side and the strip steak on the other side of the bone. This ends up being way cheaper than order two filet mignons, plus the meat around the bone is tastier in my humble opinion. We were told that the side dish to get at Alexander’s is the creamed spinach, I now know why. It’s rich, creamy and topped with a filo dough crust which was amazing! By this point we were pretty full, but there is always room for dessert. We split a fruit tart which was good and had some coffee. With the check they also give you grape cotton candy which was random, but awesome.
That same week some friends of ours treated us to a really special dinner in San Francisco at Gary Danko’s. Can I just say that the first thing that stands out at this restaurant is the dinning experience. I knew the service was going to be amazing when the maître d‘ spent five minutes complimenting me on my tie. The company and the food made this legitimately one of my favorite dining experiences ever. At this restaurant you can get 3 different kinds of prix fixe menu options with three courses of whatever you’d like (I think it was 3, 4, and 5 courses). You can have any combination you’d like, 2 appetizers, sure! 3 courses of duck, why not? Our trusty guides told us that 4 courses was way too much food, so we opted for 3 courses. We all got different dishes and tried a bite of each one, but I ended up starting with a lobster risotto, duck breast with duck hash, and topped it off with crème brûlée. Where to begin?! All of these dishes were absolutely delicious, although the lobster risotto and the crème brûlée were my favorite. Just to give you an idea of how over the top they go at Gary Danko’s, when you order crème brûlée, they don’t give you one… they give you three different flavors: maple, butterscotch and pumpkin. They even top the whole meal off with fresh coffee and another plate of chocolates and cookies. Lastly, our friends informed the restaurant of my farewell stomach food tour and they even made me a special cake. The night was perfect. Great friends and great food.
To add to our list of amazing friends and amazing restaurants, tonight we went to Pampas which is a Brazilian steakhouse. If you are unfamiliar with the Brazilian steakhouse, you are invited to an amazing buffet spread of salads, potatoes, olives, cheeses, cold meats, and side dishes to compliment the skewers of 16 kinds of meats that will come endlessly to your table. Word of advice: pace yourself and skip the cheezy bread. I can’t even name all the meats we tried but just to give you an idea:
Beef: filet mignon, Parmesan crusted filet mignon, sirloin, and skirt steak.
Poultry: Lemon pepper chicken, spicy chicken wing, bacon wrapped turkey and marinated chicken hearts.
Sausage: Chorizo and linguiça.
Lamb: tenderloin and leg of lamb.
Fruit: grilled pineapple
While it might sound weird, my favorite was actually the marinated chicken heart that you have to ask for by request. It is amazing, try at least one. Life’s too short for you not to try everything at least once.
Next week on the food tour we will be in sunny Los Angeles, the land of my favorite breakfast burritos.