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Back to Judging!

Back to Judging!

…and better than ever!

We confess – it’s been a shamefully long time since we’ve blogged. So long that 2012 has gone bye bye… but we’re as judgmental as ever so consider us back in biznass!

#65 Cookies N’ Cream Cookie at Anthony’s Cookies

Our true confession is that we tried Big Eat 2012 item #65 Cookies N’ Cream Cookie at Anthony’s Cookies a while ago. This creative cookie really tickled our fancy and inspired us to develop the first ever Judgementastic Replica Recipe! After several batches we’re super happy with the outcome and we’re delighted to provide it here so that you can try it at home (especially if you’re not within range of the SF Mission).

THE JUDGEMENT:

Sketchel: Like an oreo awesomely crushed and baked into a chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chips.  So good.  Anthony sure does make himself a good, if a bit pricy, cookie.

Tahamonster: I very rarely buy cookies and I confess my first thought after I tasted the cookies & cream cookie was an attempt to figure out how it is made. It is SO delicious (as were the other selections). I found it a bit small for the price, but very yummy for sure.

The Full Experience: Anthony’s has a very straightforward approach – cookies and milk. What we appreciate is that the website contains an actual schedule – so you don’t have to be disappointed that the flavor you want is not available on a given day. Six flavors are available 7 days a week and then there is a schedule for periodic flavors. We tried a selection and the cookies n’ cream and the toffee chip were standouts. Lucky for all, the cookies n’ cream cookie is a regular flavor. The cookies are $1.25 each which we found steep for the size of the cookie.

Would it make our Top 100 List? Most def. If you’ve never had oreos crushed up and baked into a cookie – you must add to your food bucket list. If you don’t bake – head over to Anthony’s. If you do, whip up a batch of the recipe below. Either way – you won’t be disappointed!

Judgementastic Replica Recipe: Cookies N’ Cream Cookie

Ingredients

1 package Oreos

1 c. butter (two sticks)

3/4 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

Directions

1. Prepare Oreos: A package of Oreos has 3 columns.* Take one column and remove and discard the cream centers – place the cookies in a Ziploc freezer bag and crush to a fine consistency (should yield approx 1 cup). Mix finely crushed oreo crumbs with flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside. Place remaining 2 columns of Oreos in the freezer bag and crush into chunks.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of a mixer, cream very well butter, sugars, and vanilla.

3. Add eggs one at a time, mix well.

4. Gradually add mixture of dry ingredients until combined (do not over mix).

5. Fold in Oreo chunks.

6.  Dish cookies out onto parchment or silpat lined baking sheets (they spread a good amount during baking).

7. Bake at 375 for 14-16 mins rotating pans halfway through. Your looking for a cookie that is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Let cool.

*If you buy your Oreos in bulk (why not?) this recipe calls for 3 sleeves.

You must let us know if you try it!

Happy B-day Tahamonster!!

It’s a big day for the TahaImagemonster – turning the big 3-0!!  Here’s wishing her a fun, delicious and judgementastic kind of year!  Happy Birthday, Tahamonster!!!  Love, Sketchel

#79 Crawfish Beignets at Brenda’s French Soul Food

We don’t want to establish a pattern of irresponsibility when it comes to photographing our Big Eat bites, but, sadly, like our beloved Hamada Farms peach salad, we neglected to photograph the #79 Crawfish Beignets at Brenda’s French Soul Food until it was too late. Here is the only sad photo we managed, which we’ve been lovingly referring to as the “creepy bite” photo. Food photography is

Photo credit: Seth Andrzejewski on Foodspotting. http://www.foodspotting.com/reviews/1491810

supposed to make you want to try the food and this is the antithesis of a great food photo. Lucky for us, other foodies have had considerably more restraint and have managed to capture fine photos of the crustacean-stuffed, french fried creation.

THE JUDGEMENT: 

Tahamonster: This is the only savory beignet I’ve ever had, and I liked it. Somehow it is simultaneously light and substantial and the filling was cheesy, “mud buggy” and flavorful. I personally felt that the quantity of spice powder was overwhelming. I enjoyed this, and while it scores many points for creativity and a handful for taste I don’t think I’ll be running back to get another.

Sketchel: Fried and cheese-filled so obviously tasty. It was a nice starter to the meal – a little spicy and good chewy texture. I also wouldn’t rush back for the beignet but definitely would hit up Brenda’s if I had a NOLA craving.

The Full Experience: Every time we dine with our friend SMA we know we’re in for great times and serious indulgence and our meal at Brenda’s was no exception. We started out with the flight of broiled oysters: Casino (Bacon, scallion, biscuit crumbs, parmesan, gruyère), Tchoupitoulas (Cayenne butter, garlic, herbs), and Orleans (blackened voodoo BBQ sauce). Then the beignets followed by our entrees: Red Beans and Rice, Shrimp and Grits, and the Jambalaya special! We finished off the night with the sweet beignets and a delectable deep fried peach pie. All in all, the food at Brenda’s is super indulgent and there are some serious flavor/creativity highlights. The seasoning tends to be somewhat extreme, but there are tasty bites throughout the meal. Though we came straight from the gym, no single workout could ever offset the caloric damage Brenda’s menu dishes out. Still, the food at Brenda’s French Soul Food transports you straight to NOLA and the dinner service is considerably less crowded than the mad-house that is Brenda’s weekend brunch.

Would it make our Top 100 List? The crawfish beignet is a little too cayenne-dusted to make our list. Too bad, because without the overwhelming powder-coat it makes a strong candidate for a Top 100 food.

#73 Munsoned at the Deli Board

On an uncharacteristically warm SF Saturday afternoon, the Judgementastic girls headed to the Deli Board to sample some bizarrely named sandwiches. We were joined by Big Eat expert, yum food delivery facilitator and Judgementastic guest judge, Abel Lin and star blogger and co-founder from Absolutely Fobulous, Amy Nguyen.

THE JUDGEMENT: 

Sketchel: This sandwich had me at the first bite.  The bread was the perfect consistency, allowing for an easy bite without squishing out the insides. The cheese added a welcome tang complementing a rich portion of brisket peppered with peperoncini and thousand island dressing for a little kick. This is a special sandwich that I would pack in my picnic bag any day!

Tahamonster: Nom Nom Nom. This is a yummy sandwich: great bread, awesome meat consistency, melty cheese, succulent sauce, and zingy pepperoncini. The sandwich has a great chew to it and a melty, gooey goodness that is surprisingly un-sloppy. The flavor is great and the spiciness from the pepperoncini is just the right amount of heat. Tempted by many of the Deli Board offerings, we’ll definitely be back.

Abel: Jalapenos are sasha fierce, but it brings Cleveland sensitivity to the artisan deli sandwich. A great addition to the 7×7 Big Eat experience.

The Full Experience: We also tried the Mezman which was pastrami, deviled egg salad, muenster cheese, jalapenos, pickles and Board sauce on a garlic dutch crunch roll. Amy ordered the BK which has fried egg, sausage, bacon, and Board sauce on a Dutch crunch roll.

Amy:  I ordered the bk and absolutely loved it. The ratio of bread to filling was perfect and the bread is fresh and soft. And even though the bk is similar to a breakfast sandwich, I would eat it any time of day!

The Deli Board has many zany sandwich combinations and several salads that sound delish. There are very few options without a spicy element, but using the Munsoned and Mezman as examples the spice is nice not overpowering. Deli Board also knows the pathway to our judgemental hearts by offering cane sugar sweetened Coke as well as the nectar in a silver can (Diet Coke) as the only soda options. As a bonus, every sandwich comes with a big, proper deli pickle.

Would it make our Top 100 List? For sure. A delicious, melty, meaty sandwich is no small feat and Deli Board hit the nail on the head. Even if the Munsoned isn’t on the menu when you go – ask and they’ll make one for you. Yum, yum.

#14 Warm Egg Salad Sandwich at Il Cane Rosso

Judgementastic girls are back in action! Reunited straight from the airport, we headed to Il Cane Rosso in the Ferry Building to try #14 Warm Egg Salad sandwich. After waiting out a significant line and asking ourselves why many people still aren’t ready when they reach the register after waiting in such a long line we sat down to enjoy our lunch selections.

THE JUDGEMENT: 

Tahamonster: I love the idea of this sandwich, but the execution just didn’t cut the mustard. I also couldn’t discern the anchovy garlic butter, and while the aged provolone cheese blob was delish (an incredibly under used cheese IMHO) it didn’t mesh well with the rest of the sandwich during the eating because it congealed rather swiftly. On the upside, the sandwich was a great value coming with two substantial open-faced eggy pieces.

Sketchel: Meh. This sandwich looked great but it was ultimately overshadowed by a salad which is a sad story. It was not easy to eat as the egg salad spilled over the sides of the extra crunchy bread. Even with the melted cheese on top it just didn’t have enough flavor to hold my interest – the anchovy garlic butter was undetectable and I felt it was under-salted. I’ll take another peach salad, please!

The Full Experience: What’s all this about a peach salad, you say? Well, we tried both salads on offer and were positively blown away by one. The baby spinach salad with Hamada Farm peaches, mint, feta, and meyer lemon vinaigrette was  to DIE FOR! It totally eclipsed everything we had at Il Cane Rosso – the sweetness of the peaches offset the saltiness of the feta divinely, the mint incorporated perfectly and the vinaigrette moistened the salad just enough. Overwhelmingly delish – so much so that this is the best photo we could capture of the stunning salad.

The other salad was a Chue Farm Romaine lettuce with Rancho Gordo quinoa, summer squash, pickled red onions, cilantro, and tomatillo vinaigrette. Not sure what, but there was something a little spicy in this salad, which was also tasty but didn’t hold a candle to its menu-mate. We also tried the strawberry basil soda, which had great flavor but could have been more bubbly. We found the service at Il Cane Rosso to be particularly pleasant and efficient. We asked for a recommendation for the salad and when stumped the cashier made the brilliant suggestion to try a half order of both and though the line was super long we didn’t wait long for our fare which was awesome. 

Would it make our Top 100 List? This is our first Judgementastic Switcharoo -the Warm Egg Salad doesn’t make the cut, but that peach salad most certainly does. Craveable salad for sure! Perhaps the salads at Il Cane Rosso are too fickle (change too often) to add to the official Big Eat, but we’re too enamored to care. We loved it and enjoyed our lunch experience so we’ll be back to try other offerings from the Ferry Building’s red pooch.

#63 Pozole at San Jalisco (Fridays Only)

Pozole is considered by many to be a special occasion soup, and in the Judgementastic world Fridays are indeed a special occasion. So naturally, we were excited to try the special soup at San Jalisco only available on Fridays.

THE JUDGEMENT:

Tahamonster: This didn’t blow me away, but it was very tasty. (Granted, I don’t have another Pozole to compare it to). The meat chunks were astoundingly tender and the broth had a nice slightly tangy flavor. I’m not a fan of hominy. The hominy in this soup was not offensive nor did it add anything but it wouldnt be pozole without it. I very much enjoyed all the add-ons that came with it, and it made for a stunning presentation. I suspect we missed something by not dismantling the knuckle floating in our bowl, still I can’t imagine coming back for this.

Sketchel: I’m a sucker for powerful flavor and this soup didn’t have it (although, like Tahamonster, I didn’t have another pozole I could readily compare it to). I liked the hominy for the chewy texture, the broth was decent and the tender meat was a star. The onion, radish, lime and cabbage garnish added some complexity. That said, I wouldn’t clear out my Friday schedule regularly for this dish.

The Full Experience: San Jalisco is a cheery little restaurant in a relatively quiet neighborhood, and Shotwells is just down the street. We also ordered the shrimp with garlic sauce, which was pretty scrumptious and came studded with capers, but left us craving pasta to toss with it.

Would it make our Top 100 List? While the meat was super tender and the soup  had interesting flavor, we knew upon tasting that this was not a Top 100 food. Especially given a standing engagement on Friday evenings, we can’t imagine going out of our way for this soup. Still, if we were whetting our whistle at Shotwell’s and found ourselves hungry, we’d probably pop in to give San Jalisco another shot.