By Laura Stec
E-mail Laura Stec
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en... (More)
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and environment pioneer, macrobiotic, Master Cleanser, ayurvedic, and officially-designated health-nut or party-girl (depending on the year). Professionally, I've worn many industry hats including: line cook, corporate chef, Food Coach, caterer, product developer, restaurant reviewer, culinary school teacher, corporate wellness educator, food co-op clerk, author, and even Cirque-du-Soleil lead popcorn concessioner! For years I managed an outdoor kitchen, deep in the bear-infested woods of Tahoe, and also for hospitals (the most unhealthy kitchen I ever worked in?), Singapore high-rises, mule-pack trips, Canadian catholic rectories, and more events than I could ever recall. Yet I still keep discovering. Actually, I adapt everyday by new lessons learned from teachers, customers and students. However there is one food truth I now hold sacrosanct: Eaters are motivated by pleasure. So no matter what we discuss here - recipes or restaurants, food politics or pairings, local events, food as art, or even as God, I will always come from a high-vibe, party perspective. Oh I do still long to change the world with great tasting food, but know in my heart, "If it ain't fun, it don't get done!" So - wanna come to the Food Party? By the way - it's a potluck. (Hide)
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Did you hear the KQED Forum show last week on food treasures?
The program reported on heavenly food finds hiding in unexpected areas like gas stations and strip malls. It introduces listeners to places like a Filipino-themed ice cream shop and bakery in Tracy off Interstate 205 and I have a few suggestions too. Ever been to the Pescadero burrito stand inside the gas station at the west end of town? How about Hangry Planet
in the San Bruno mini mart?
It’s such a win to find these places.
Here’s a recent discovery. Went for a hike at Bedwell Bayfront Park (end of Marsh Rd. east of 101) and kept exploring afterwards in the few shops nearby. Stopped into your standard-looking Mexican grocer, Mi Terra Linda
to check out the spices and dried chilies and discovered the unexpected!
Never a fan of standard Mexican pastries, these looked different. Two racks of homemade cakes filled with real fruit and custard.
It was hard to figure out what to do - there weren’t any prices or bags and I quickly got a feeling non-Hispanics don’t shop here that often. After a minute or two a woman appeared from the kitchen with a newly baked tray of cakes. I drooled while she smiled. "Peach” she said and handed me a tray and tongs to choose from the bounty.
In addition to Pastel Durazno (peach cake) I chose a really fresh, super moist sweet corn cake.
The total came to $3.00 for two large cakes, plus $1 for the tip jar. I munched on those delicious goodies all week long. What a find - hiding in plain sight among an old group of shops in east Menlo Park
Any amazing food in unexpected places come to your mind?
Mi Terra Linda
1209 Willow Rd, Menlo Park
Open 7 AM – 9 PM daily
- photos by LSIC