Sunday, April 12, 2015

Scraps. I Like 'Em.

I do, and here's why.

Back in the day the poorer communities were forced to eat the offal, the giblets, the heads, the butts, the face and the feet. Those were the only cuts they could afford, or probably in some cases, find. All the "good meat" went to the wealthy. Poorer folks made do with what was available REALLY had to be a good cook to make this stuff taste good. If you were able to make those dishes good, they were usually REALLY good. Or at least, that's my logic.

Slow cooking, pickling, fermenting, heavy use of spices -- those methods didn't come from people having a fresh lobster or filet mignon at their disposal. 

So, to the good stuff, or TGS. I'm talking about dishes like oxtail stew, Chinese braised or pickled chicken feet, pig ear, sisig, I really could go on and on. I mean c'mon! You have to be pretty dope if you can make hacked up pig's face taste bomb. That's sisig by the way, and it is BOMB. Anthony Bourdain thinks so.

If you find yourself a little grossed out right now, go get a cup of water, take a breath and come back to this. If you find your mouth is watering, keep reading foodie friend! These are some of my favorite places to order scrumptious scraps.

 1) Fried Chicken Skins at Saiko Sushi in North Park:

The chef told me he used to just throw away the restaurant's leftover chicken skins. One evening, he fried them up and served them as a snack to his staff. They loved it so much, it ended up on the menu! It's served with lime and some homemade Sriracha. These chickeny crunchies are super tasty. I wouldn't eat a whole bowl of them, but it's a fun, yummy dish to share among friends. 

2) Pig Ear Cold Dish at Dede's Teajuice City in Kearny Mesa

I really have to write a whole post about Dede's Teajuice City. It is so good! The name doesn't make any sense because I've never seen anyone drink any juice at this place. However, the more you eat at Chinese restaurants, the more you'll realize names of places rarely make sense. Dede's serves some amazing Szechuan food and is famous for doling out spicy and adventurous dishes. In the picture above, the pig ear dish is the brown striped-looking things to the upper right. It's savory, Szechuan peppercorn-y and a bit gelatinous. You'll either love it or hate it. 

3) Diniguan at Tita's Kitchenette in National City

I'm not even going to tell you what diniguan is. All I'll say is that it's pork and it's shown to the left of the white rice in the picture above. Other than that, all you need to know is "don't think and eat." It's delicious and tastes worlds better than it looks. Make sure you eat it over rice. It has a tangy, savory taste and needs the rice to balance it out. The picture above and to the right also shows sinigang (Filipino sour soup. Really good!) and chicken adobo (can't go wrong with this. Everyone loves it.).

I wasn't a fan of the sisig here. It was a bit too fatty. If you have a good place in mind, holla! Warning, this place is cash only. Make sure to bring the green. You won't have to bring a lot of it though because you can get a tons of food here for cheap. 

4) Yakatori at Yakiyudori in Kearny Mesa

I know what you're thinking. Candice, uh what did you just say? Yakiyudori is the name of the place and yakatori is a style of eating. Usually it's different grilled and skewered chicken bits. Many places are doing it with other meats too now as well as vegetables. 

It's a fun and relatively cheap way to eat. Plus, you'll feel like you're in Japan. 

5) Lengua tacos almost anywhere. If you don't know what lengua is yet and you live in San Diego, shame on you. Tacos El Gordo  in Chula Vista is great!

#NomOn Friends

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