Dyafa Oakland – yum

maklouba
from Instagram – Maklouba with Arabic rice and fried eggplant

The food at Dyafa Oakland is delicious, definitely go eat there. It's a "A Reem AssilDaniel Patterson partnership brings Middle Eastern snacks & mains to friendly quarters." Effectively it's an approachable Syrian restaurant in Jack London Square, Oakland.

Drink these cocktails: Dark-skinned nightingale and Dabke on the Moon. Order all the breads. We liked the muhammara, hummus kawarma!, hindbeh, the fish and the lamb shank. We have to go back and try the rest of the menu. The kenafeh was a nice way to end the meal. Chef Patterson served us dessert which was cool.

The accolades to Dyafa are deserving and we were already planning a return visit before dessert came.

Some links:

 

King Cake season

King Cake from Haydel's Bakery
King Cake from Haydel's Bakery

We love us some King Cakes.

Haydel's Bakery is our favorite. We always get the sugar only (the sugar + frosting is pretty sweet) and we get the package with the coffee, bead pack, etc. because why not!?! The high costs of these cakes are due to FedEx shipping but good luck trying to find a legit King Cake outside of NOLA. Buy NOLA and support their economy!

Antoine's and Gambino's are pretty good too.

I have yet to try a filled King Cake which is usually cream cheese but there's lot of different options (flavored cream cheese, brownie filled, praline, German chocolate) so a bit of choice overload.

 

hibiscus tea

hibiscus tea photo

The new to me hotness -> hibiscus tea and the best is supposed to come from the Sudan.

Benefits of drinking hibiscus tea include weight loss, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent types of cancer and depression, and pro-liver; not at high doses.

Every tea seller has hibiscus tea but a lot are in blend form w/ black tea or berries, e.g Imperial Red from Imperial Tea. Luckily Berkeley Bowl has some just plain old hibiscus tea.

I'm not going to link to bad Google results for Karkade recipes which is a sweet hibiscus drink (there are no links to an Egyptian or Sudanese website for a recipe? really?). It's basically dried hibiscus, sugar, and water which is also agua de jamaica.

And I had no idea that jamaica was hibiscus. I didn't know what the red and tart drink was, just thought jamaica tasted good. Who knew? Anyway, it was nice to get introduced to hibiscus tea and will probably need to drink up other teas/mix it up a bit before I go overboard and get sick of it. Hasn't happened yet though.

if you like Meyers lemons you'll also like…

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Specific varietals of fruits and vegetables to seek out especially in good grocery stores and farmer's markets in the Bay Area/Northern California:

  • lemons: Meyer
  • strawberries: Chandler, Seascape, Albion
  • tomatoes: Early Girl
  • lettuce: Little Gems
  • carrots: Nantes
  • oranges: mandarins (Kishu, Golden Pixie, Murcott)
  • apricot: Royal Blenheim

ramen part 2

Ramen shop

Ramen Shop in Oakland – Chez Panisse vets opened up a Ramen Shop near Zachary's Pizza on College Ave.; pretty good, a bit on the expensive side for a bowl of ramen but the execution is nice…could be giving some of the best ramen shops in Japantown in LA a run for it's money once they find their groove…

and Ramen Tomo will be opening up on Telegraph near Koryo soon…

If I knew and was really passionate about ramen (I'm not), I'd open up a ramen shop called Fukuoka Ramen or FU Ramen for short. Fukuoka is supposed to have the best ramen anywhere, famed for their tonkatsu ramen, and Fukuoka is also Oakland's sister city.

There's a name idea for you for whoever wants to open up a ramen shop in Oakland.

 

 

clean diet and core training

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Working on the "clean" diet and "core" training routine to get into snowboarding shape for this Winter and hopefully launch me back into Ironman triathlon training.

Clean diet – "clean" foods, clean meals, simple ingredients

Core training – shoulders to thighs training with emphasis on developing ab and back strength

more Bernachon

I got a good friend of mine to get me some Bernachon while she was in France. I asked for Day and Night but they were out so she got me one caramel and one hazelnut.

Bernachon could arguably be the best chocolate in the world, just delicious.

The caramel didn't last at all and the hazelnut is almost gone.