Saturday, November 28, 2009

Suzy Wong's House of Yum

A couple of weeks ago, Husband and I finally tried out Arnold Myint's latest restaurant, Suzy Wong's House of Yum. I've decided this man can do no wrong. I love his food. My only complaint is that the steamed bun is only available with barbeque pork with no vegetarian option. But I shall live. I'm currently in posession of an uncorrected proof of Momofuku that includes a recipe for bao, but guess what? The last line of that recipe: TK. [For those not in the biz, that means "to come." D'oh!].

Anyhoo, I have little energy for words and since pictures are worth a thousand, I'll just let them tell the story...some of it.

Vegetable Summer Rolls

Curried Tofu and Potato Pockets
My favorite of the bunch.

Vegetable Gyoza Pot Stickers

Steamed BBQ Pork Bao Bun
Sadly, no vegetarian version. To some, a vegetarian bao is sacrilege, but I think something good could be stuffed in there. I did pinch off a little of the bun. Tasty.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Wontons with caramel sauce
Unbelievably delicious.

Inside, the restaurant is a bit New York-y. Tables are close together and it's pretty "hip"--it has to be; it's in that strip of clubs on Church Street where, um, style matters. Let's just say that. There's also a place outside that I hope you will find me this summer--a great little courtyard and even an area with couches for lounging. Even though it was a bit chilly when we went, a few people were enjoying the outdoor space because it's so nice. Can't wait to try it out! Though I suppose by then there will be no pumpkin cheesecake wontons. *sigh*


Quel surprise, still no post about New York. Perhaps I should just do a photo essay. Each one is worth a thousand words, right?

I had a very orange Thanksgiving. Nary a mac nor a cheese to be found. I suppose I know what I will make next year. But this year, I took this cous cous salad with butternut squash from Erin to dinner. Except, of course, I changed it up (as I did the first time I made it, but I made even more changes this time). I left out the coriander and cut back on the savory spices and subbed in toasted walnuts and added honey (therefore, it was no longer vegan).

And it was...not great. It was okay. Previously, I used crispy fried chickpeas and Israeli cous cous and it was a lot better. And I didn't skimp on the cumin (though it caused some distress in the upper portion of my torso where all my organs are squished in from the enlarged uterus and alien life form in residence). So, try this recipe out, but the only change should be crisping the chickpeas. And maybe using Israeli cous cous.

Anyhoo, "dinner" was rounded out with sweet potato casserole, asparagus casserole (very yummy), and pumpkin pecan pie. I'm surprised I'm not orange. I am, however, pretty round. Ten weeks (or less, please) to go!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Two months later and I still haven't posted about my trip to NYC. I've even been again (just last week). In my defense, there's a lot to write. Some other time.

In the meantime, here's my little project from last week. It was based on this amazing post from Love & Olive Oil, but I lazed out and used box mix (Orange Supreme) and canned frosting (not a good idea at all). Oh, if only.... Though in a couple of years, I can blame my decorating failures on the kid. I've been warned that doesn't last long, though; once they get about four or so, they can rat you out.
I'm now 26 weeks pregnant and have an obvious orb in my torso. I've gone from just looking fat to looking obviously pregnant. So I get a lot of questions from people who know I'm vegetarian. The most common? "Have you craved meat?" The answer? No.

My husband was really hoping I'd crave meat. I told him that even if I did, I wouldn't eat it. Some people do and that's fine for them, but not me. I am disappointed that I've had to take a prenatal vitamin that's in a gelatin capsule. But the vegan alternatives for vitamins and DHA in particular were making me sick. It really only takes one time of having DHA come up through your nose to turn you off it completely. I find it interesting that I can get algae-based DHA in a gelatin capsule. I suppose it's for people who may have fish allergies. Anyhoo.

So what have I craved?

During the first trimester, I had the very common craving for lemons. I've read that it may be due to an increased need for vitamin C and also because it helps with nausea. However, past week 11 or so, I could take or leave anything lemon flavored. And I have quite a stash now. Lemon-lime soda, frozen lemonade, lemon candy, lemon cookies...

During my second trimester, it was french fries. See the previous post on Red Robin and their bottomless fries. A co-worker fed my addiction with more servings of Arby's curly fries than I care to admit as well. My theory on this craving is my body's need to bulk up. I gained just six pounds in the first four months, but gained another six pounds in the fifth month. The fry craving was supplemented with mashed potatoes during my bout with the flu. Both helped me pack on the weight. Which I really didn't want. For a brief time in there (about a week), I wanted my fries dipped in pickle juice, too. But hey, I love those dill flavored chips anyway, so it's not like that's some odd stretch.

Now that I'm entering my third trimester, all I crave is Xanax. No, really. Of course, I won't take any (don't even have any), but I just want to relax. I've had an eye twitch for weeks that's likely a result of fatigue and stress. Just one good night's sleep.... I also had a craving for a cigarette recently. This is even more odd than any food craving since I've never been a smoker and I actually hate cigarettes and their taste and smell. I was that kid who bowed to peer pressure and tried one and then immediately exclaimed, "that tastes like crap!" My tastebuds were always more important to me than looking cool (as evidenced by my chubby phase in late elementary/junior high school).

But as far as food goes, I don't have an interest in much. Nor do I have the energy to cook much. So we've been using the excuse of the pending baby to go out to eat a lot.
While at a party this weekend, I talked to Chef Andy Hunter of The Acorn. He's working on his fall/winter menu and I'm eager to see what he does with some of the winter squashes. I love them, but rarely cook them because they can be kind of a pain in the ass. I love having chopped acorn squash in a dish, but I'm not a huge fan of skinning and chopping it myself. Andy also showed us some of the pumpkins he carved for Halloween. Holy cow. He said it takes him about an hour to do most (everything from celebrity faces to Muppets of all sorts), but it took him about three hours to carve The Brady Bunch. The

At the same party, I introduced myself to John Cochran, who's opening The Wild Cow soon. There's been a lot of buzz about this place among local vegetarians and we're really hoping it takes off. He said they've had to delay opening, not least because of all the paperwork required to get a restaurant open, but are aiming for December 1 with a grand opening that will benefit a local animal charity. I can't remember which one right now, but I'm going to keep my eye on these guys. We chatted a little about food and he said they're still trying to decide on the purchase of a deep fryer. I hope they make that plunge because "chicken-fried" tofu nuggets would convert a lot of otherwise tofu-averse people over to the soy side. I think their location is good, too; they're at 1896 Eastland, right across from a popular restaurant, Rosepepper, which is often very crowded. It's in a part of East Nashville that's a tad bit more residential and less restaurant-y than parts west of there. I bet they could do a heckuva a takeaway business. I'm hoping that not being quite so far into the neighborhood (as The Veggie Cafe was) will help it, too.