Posted by Lauren
Last night’s shakeout run went pretty well. The hip pain I felt after the Giant Race half was only about 10% there. Now that my cast is off, I’m looking forward to FOAM ROLLING!! It was really awkward and ineffective to foam roll balancing on only one hand. My pace was 8:22… just right.
I planned on a shorter run, but the shortcut I planned to use suddenly had a 15-foot fence blocking the way. When did that happen? I ran over to Spice Kit (340 South California Ave, Palo Alto) to meet Kyle for our dinner date. :)
After reading Food Gal’s interview with Chef Will Pacio a few weeks ago, I was itching to try out this Asian street food fast-casual restaurant. Pacio has a crazy cool history:
- he started out at Stanford studying psychology
- while applying to med school he asked to work at Menlo Park’s Left Bank for free
- he found his passion, dropped out to go to the French Culinary Institute
- got a job with the opening staff of Per Se (!)
- became the IT Manager for the entire Thomas Keller Group (!!)
- and then he decided to open his own restaurant!
The menu is incredibly simple and highlights quality ingredients prepared in the best way possible by classic, French-trained chefs:
- Choose your style: Ssäm (Korean wrap), Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich), Asian salad, or a Ssäm rice bowl
- Choose the protein: five spice chicken, roasted pork, beef short ribs, organic tofu (all meat comes from naturally raised animals)
- Pick some sides: ginger peanut slaw, pork buns, lotus chips
Ssäm wrap - rice paper, seasoned rice, kimchi, red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, marinated bean sprouts, and the signature ssäm sauce with beef short ribs, marinated Kalbi-style, braised for 24-hours and grilled
Asian salad – Asian lettuces, mango, cucumber, jicama, radishes, spicy peanuts, and five spice chicken marinated in a blend of spices and grilled, tossed with their sesame vinaigrette
Ginger peanut slaw – thinly shredded cabbage, herbs, peanuts, with a ginger dressing
Thoughts: The slaw was by far my favorite. It was just surprisingly fresh and light (rare for cabbage slaws that usually have too much mayonnaise. I liked the ssäm roll, but it was pretty messy. I also enjoyed the salad, specifically the crunchy peanuts and the tender chicken. The restaurant itself had a Chipotle vibe to it – clean, quick, fresh, quality. Kyle mentioned that he’d prefer it for lunch if it was closer to work. As of right now, there is one other location on Howard Street in San Francisco.
After dinner we surrendered to our sweet teeth (hah that sounds weird… sweet tooths?) and tested out another place on my must-try list: Rick’s Ice Cream (3946 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto).
It’s almost impossible to believe, but this ice cream shop has been around (in this exact location!) since 1956! After a few changes in ownership, the selection and quality has only improved. Since I’m all about chef/owner history in this post, I’ll share a few highlights of Gary Shoen’s (current owner) unique backstory:
- in high school he worked at an ice cream shop and told his guidance counselor he was going to open one in the future
- attended ice cream making school in North Carolina in 2001
- bought Rick’s in 2002 and made a bunch of positive changes while preserving all the good parts
Rick’s is also all about the ingredients – rose syrup from India, saffron from Spain, vanilla from Indonesia and Madagascar, California nuts & fruits, chocolate from Burlingame’s Guittard (that’s what I use in my cupcakes!!), and local dairy milk. I love places like this. :)
I chose two scoops in a cup:
- Coffee – you know what this is
- Industrial Chocolate (one of their all-time faves): ultimate chocolate ice cream loaded with chocolate chips, chocolate chip cookie dough and sweet, gooey fudge
The industrial chocolate stole the show. Can’t wait to go back and try more of their 48 flavors!
Have a great Thursday!
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