One of my favorite bites from my French Laundry experience were the gruyère cheese gougères. Gougère is a French cheese pastry puff. The ones we were served at TFL were so tiny, that we all left wanting more.

I was delighted when I saw that the new Bouchon Bakery book includes the recipe for the gougeres served at The French Laundry. I’ve made gougeres before and they weren’t too hard, but they also weren’t as good as the one I had at TFL.

Interestingly, the recipe published in the Bouchon Bakery book is not the same recipe published in the older French Laundry cook book. I guess maybe Thomas Keller has changed his formula.

I was craving pancakes the other day. My favorite pancakes are these sour cream pancakes. The sour cream helps get them so fluffy. But in sticking with trying to lighten things up, I decided to try to make a low fat version of the sour cream pancakes.

A branch of the Manila Sunset chain recently opened in Mira Mesa. DH and I have never been to any locations, but they are quite popular, so we thought we’d try the newest location.

The decor included some interesting drawings. You place your order at the front and then grab a table. It’s a little different from the popular turo-turo (point point) places where food is already prepared and sitting in the hot steam tables, but it’s still a fast food type atmosphere.

Pancit Malabon

The pancit noodles were broken into small pieces making this quite hard to eat. Everything was cut more like a salad, even the hard boiled egg was finely diced. I found the plate to be too salty and didn’t really enjoy it.

Lumpia (Shanghai style)

The lumpia here were quite a bit smaller than what we’re used to. They also used a thicker wrapper, further reducing the amount of filling in each one. I wasn’t a fan of the wrapper they used or the size of the lumpia.

Lechon Kawali

After two misses, we finally had a winner. The pork belly was crispy and the meat wasn’t dry or too salty. The pork belly had been deep fried to the point where even the fat layer had a nice chew to it.  A lot of lechon we buy ends up being dry and overcooked, probably partially a result of it sitting on the steam tables. This made to order one was much better.