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Weekend eats 2/22-24 - Casa B, Emma's, JP Licks, Mike and Patty's, DJ Market

Bob Dobalina Feb 24, 2013 08:23 AM

Saturday we went to Casa B - Not terribly busy, did not realize that they do not open until 6 - not slammed like they used to be. Literally were the first customers in the door, sat in the upper room, which really did not completely fill up until we left. Everything was really very good - we had:

Ensalada de bacalao | 9 (codfish salad with guacamole) - really pickled tasting which the guac played off of. I thought this would come out first, but it was last, and it acted almost like a palette cleanser it was so acidic. Really very good if you like that.

Rollitos de aguacate | 8 (crispy avocado rolls, prune and cilantro sauce) - basically deep fried tiny eggrolls in appearance, which are the perfect vehicle for the totally addictive prune sauce, which has a nice kick while being sweet and spicy. They should bottle that stuff - would go great on any sandwich.

Bollo con jamón serrano | 9 (white corn toast, serrano ham, guava jam) - healthy amount of ham, a good first dish - again, thought would be last but it was better appreciated first.

Special for March - patacón pisa’o | 18 (fried white caribbean fish “sculp” over green plantain toast + criolla sauce) - this was the standout - two portions of a generous piece of fish with a sauce of roasted peppers and onions. I thought the plaintain toast was a little too crispy but my wife liked it the way it was and it was a very minor quibble. Great dish.

For dessert, we chose budín de almendras (warm almond bread pudding in between almond macaroons over 80% Taza chocolate ganache) - Amazing - really outstanding dessert. The textures were great - the firm cookie against the pudding, but not so firm that you could not cut through it.

Sangria, a good garnacha by the glass, really smooth coffee and a cocktail - an "uncle" to a negroni - forget the name but it was gin, sherry and cynar - really good winter cocktail. Service was good.

Will definitely be back soon.

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Friday night grabbed pizza and salad at Emma's - still good and dependable. The Fling salad "secret" dressing seems to have different levels of garlic depending on the day. It was vampire strength on Friday (in a good way). Potato-broccoli on one half and spicy sausage and roasted tomatoes on the other - good, maybe could have used a bit more sauce. But just a consistently decent place.

Later, grabbed a scoop from JP Licks, which is not my favorite place, but the rum raisin I had was really very good.

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So now for the not-so-good - stopped in to Mike and Patty's for breakfast on Sunday - got the sandwich with chorizo and tomato. The tomato was fresh and thickly cut which was nice. But I am reasonably sure I got regular sausage that was squirted with taco sauce - whatever it was, it was not like any kind of chorizo I've ever had. (I think this is true because while I was waiting, the cook called for someone to bring up the taco sauce and it was evident in the sandwich, when I went looking for the purported chorizo.) Otherwise, the sandwich was fine, but don't pull that kind of thing. Even if it was really chorizo, the taco sauce was the bigger insult.

And not to pile on, but the place under prior owners used to be crazy, but efficient. I was not really getting that vibe from the crew there. No line, when that place used to be crazy busy on the weekends. Couple with a kid were the only eat-in customers (couple of pick-ups while I was there) - they got a single scrambled egg for the youngster and it looked just haphazardly put on the plate, brownish from the bits from the grill - not appetizing looking. Maybe just a bad day, but the sheen, freshness and crackle of energy when it was Rachel's Kitchen or the actual Mike and Patty seems to have dissipated. (Which reminds me - I really need to get back to Hungry Mother - it's been a while.)

Before that, stopped in to DJ Market to grab a breakfast kielbasa sandwich, but no kielbasa to be found - only pastrami and cold cuts. Grabbed a cheese bread for $2 that was decent - sort of like a mini babka with the classic sweet cheese inside. Good with coffee, but would have preferred a kielbasa for breakfast.

So basically, my search for Sunday sausage went unsatisfied. ;)