Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 9/22/12

Pin It

Before I recap my chow for the day, I want to wish my dad a happy, happy birthday. I hope my two sons grow up to be just as righteous as my dad. Rock on, pops!

Plus, he has such a snappy sense of style — something that I sadly failed to inherit.

Back at the hospital, chaos reigned. I was almost too busy to eat my leftovers: meat from my beefy bone broth with Leon’s Miracle Sauce, cherry tomatoes, roasted eggplant, and broccoli.

As soon as I got home, I tumbled into bed. As much as I wish I could’ve attended Big-O’s blue belt ceremony in the morning, my eyes simply wouldn’t stay open.

While I snoozed the day away, the boys pinballed around Palo Alto with their dad, running errands and pretending the Arizona Cactus Garden on the Stanford campus was a hostile planet populated by aliens with sinus problems.

When I finally emerged from my bedroom in the early evening, we drove to Shalizaar — one of my parents’ favorite Persian joints — to celebrate my dad’s birthday.

As you can see from the photo above, Lil-O is a master procrastinator just like his mommy — he didn’t get around to making a birthday card for his grandpa until he was seated RIGHT NEXT TO THE BIRTHDAY BOY at the restaurant. Slick. 

The six of us started with a big salad with tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, feta, and dried dates (hold the croutons!)…

…and puréed grilled eggplant and garlic (kashk-e-bademjan).

After our appetites had been properly whetted, the meat parade began. Shalizaar is popular ‘round these parts among my meat-loving peoples (a.k.a. Asians) — so much so that Lil-O looked around at the other patrons and asked if we were at a Chinese restaurant.

We dug into a big braised lamb shank…

…and divvied up a couple of platters of combo meat platters.

Our plates were piled with grilled lamb chops and Cornish game hens…

…marinated prawns…

…and koobideh (seasoned ground beef kabobs).

We enjoyed everything with generous dollops of mast-o-khiar — yogurt mixed with dried mint and pepper, and topped with diced cucumber.

It would’ve been a perfect Saturday night…if I hadn’t had to pack up and drive off into the night for another graveyard shift. But hey — the bacon doesn’t pay for itself.

Dining Out Paleo: Café Borrone (Menlo Park, CA)

Pin It

I’ve been a regular grazer at Café Borrone for over twenty years(!). It’s a large airy cafe, with tons of indoor and outdoor seating, located next door to Kepler’s Bookstore. Back in high school, I used to come here on weekend nights — dressed in all black and donning Dr. Martens boots— to gossip with my gal pals while we downed frosted mochas and pastries. Egads.

These days, I come here with the family to enjoy hearty, Paleo-friendly breakfasts al fresco.

In the morning, they always offer six or seven different scrambles filled with seasonal veggies, cheese, or meat. My favorite one is the #6 scramble which has Swiss Chard, green onions, and bacon.

Normally, I also add a hot Italian sausage to my order…

…and a steaming mug of java.

The kids split an order of scrambled eggs…

…and a cup of fruit salad.

The counter service is always friendly and efficient and we’re in and out of there in a flash. It’s totally an oldie, but goodie — just like moi.

Eating In Paleo: Joshua Charles Catering (Redwood City, CA)

Pin It

Kicking cancer in the keister is a BFD and deserves a party, damn it! Fitbomb and I wanted to celebrate the completion of his mom’s cancer treatments with a casual family gathering at our home. And we both wanted to enjoy the party (rather than slaving away in the kitchen), so we hired a caterer.

Paying a team of people to throw your party is definitely an indulgence. After careful research (I’m one picky mofo), I settled on Joshua Charles Catering. It was a great choice, if I say so myself. The caterers made sure that the whole process – from suggesting menu items (Paleo, please!), arranging rentals, setting up the venue (our backyard), cooking, staffing the main event, and doing all the clean-up – was seamless.

The catering team arrived promptly two hours before the event.  They set to work immediately arranging the tables and chairs outside and preparing the food. By the time the first guests trickled in…

…the feast was ready.

For our lunch buffet, we served broccoli rapini sauteed with chili pepper, garlic and meyer lemon…

…a seasonal roasted vegetable assortment…

…Mediterranean chicken salad with lemon verbena, caper berries, olives, baby romaine lettuce and feta cheese…

…mustard-brined roasted Berkshire pork loin served over shredded ham hocks and arugula…

…herb-marinated New York strip loin served over wild mushrooms and steamed carrots…

…and organic fruit salad with honey lime dressing and mint.

We were hosting an opinionated crowd, including a few non-adventurous eaters, but EVERYONE went back for seconds and thirds.

The food was fantastic and each platter was quickly replenished as soon as we vultures picked them clean.

Most of our guests didn’t know that the menu was designed to be Paleo-compliant. I was delighted that no one missed the gluten, legumes, and soy. Go Paleo!

It wasn’t until dessert that we strayed slightly from the Paleo reservation. I served gluten-free mini cupcakes from Kara’s

…and we toasted my mother-in-law’s health with flutes of fizzy champagne.

Thank you, to the wonderful staff from Joshua Charles Catering! The party manager, Kelly, was calm, professional and anticipated all our needs. Chefs Scott and Eric plated dish after dish of beautiful, soul-satisfying, rib-sticking food. It was definitely a special event that we won’t forget.

Eating Out Paleo: Martins West (Redwood City, CA)

Pin It

Wow! Could it be? Yes, Virginia, there is a good, reasonably priced restaurant in the ‘burbs and its name is Martins West.

Martins West is a gastropub, “a public house that specializes in serving high quality food.” Executive chef Michael Dotson, formerly of PlumpJack Cafe and Evvia Estiatorio, has designed a menu of Scottish-inspired shared plates that are all made with market-driven, local ingredients. The nosh is delicious and every dish is less than $20. 

Although we were tempted to take a gluten-laden detour (Scotch eggs! Rarebit! Lamb tongue butty!), we stayed on the Paleo straight-and-narrow tonight.

We shared a wild arugula salad with sweet and sour Sebastopol apples, fried shallots, and pistachio…

…house-made braised oxtail terrine…

…Tunisian spiced lamb…

…grilled octopus with potatoes, french beans, and salsa verde…

…toasted green and yellow pole beans…

…fried Brussels sprouts…

…pork belly with chili pepper ragout and brown turkey fig…

…and bavette steak with chanterelles, corn, black salt, and sauce bearnaise.

All four of us enjoyed the nosh and can’t wait to return to try new items on the seasonally-changing menu! 

Eating Out Paleo: Anatolian Kitchen (Palo Alto, CA)

Pin It

I love kabobs and Turkish food, specifically, so I was excited when Anatolian Kitchen opened up in my neck of the woods last year. It’s run by the Tekdemir brothers: Dino mans the front of the house and Shahan runs the kitchen. Service is always warm and welcoming, but the reason we return over and over again is their tasty, uncomplicated food. It’s comforting Middle Eastern fare done well.

We’ve eaten here a bunch of times and almost ALWAYS order the combo grill and ask for extra veggies in place of rice. The combo comes with lamb, chicken, doner, and kofte and the meat’s always well-seasoned and moist.

We routinely share a second entree and typically choose one of the daily specials. The braised lamb shank is always tender and well-seasoned (we sub out the orzo with veggies) but my favorite dish is the pan roasted whole sea bass stuffed with fennel and onions.

When we ordered it the other day, the fish was fantastic! The skin was crisp, yet the flesh was moist and delicious! We didn’t even need to Paleo-fy the dish because it came with a side salad and no grains.

If you’re in the area — say you’re finishing a WOD at CrossFit Palo Alto — give this place a try!