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Just because it’s Happiness week here at BTR doesn’t mean that Pharell song is any good. It’s still terrible. But, I’m eternally happy that I was able to take my vegan buddy out for a little b-day meal where he could order more than just some weak, stir-fried veggie after-thought. We went to Udupi Palace in the Mission District here in San Francisco Udupi Palace. I have a love/ love relationship with Indian cuisine because it’s so intensely flavorful. I have a love/ hate relationship with most Indian restaurants because I sometimes feel as if they’ve all conspired to offer just a basic, uninspired menu that always screams to me “they won’t know the difference anyway.” There are so many distinct cuisines within India that aren’t represented and I think deserve to be put on show. We get it. You have Tikka Masala and Nann. Nice. Anyway, Udupi Place is doing it right and it’s all vegetarian and vegan. Hanabi went H.A.M. on some shortbread recipes. You do realize he eats all this stuff so you don’t have to right? Insane Dane, what can I say? He’s out there eating at places called OM Cafe. I hope he’s expensing this stuff. Oh, and then he did a great write up for Dish + Drink about comfort food. I have to say the part about bacon-cheese fries from Nathan’s is just amazing.
Buzz week may seem like a great week to do honey tasting, but there isn’t better honey you can buy than Hanabi’s family label from Minnesota. So there’s really no point in tasting others. It’s not even close. So let’s switch gears and talk about beer, because that’s a great way to catch a buzz. First on the list from Ales Unlimited in San Francisco is Wolf 7 from Belgium. It’s a blonde ale that tastes delicious, especially when you’re on a sunny beach. Also the label design is on point too. Next up we tried Trooper which is an ale crafted by Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden. Seriously, even if it was terrible, which it wasn’t it’s the best beer ever. Next we tried a Hanabi favorite, XH by Hitachino Nest, It’s aged in sake casks. Awesome! Last on the big four we had Suiyoubi No Neko, or “Wednesday Cat” which is a a Belgian style white ale. This is some crisp and tasty stuff. The label design is winning points with Hanabi too. Hanabi made Buffalo wings from a recipe found in the film The Great Chicken Wing Hunt. That’s really interactive of him. Hanabi also went to a little place called El Borracho. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a good pic, so he dressed up his cat and that may be better than the duck carnitas he had. Insane Dane is crazy you guys. He’s only gone and given you a recipe for a smoothie, made in a Magic Bullet blender! WTF?
Mmmmmm, food! We’ve got lots of it for you too. Basically, Hanabi and Insane Dane are out here stretching our waistlines so that you don’t have to. But seriously, Hanabi went to Trestle the other day and had what can only be described as a super delicious, four course price-fixe menu for a measly $45 clams. Although the star of the show wasn’t the entree course, but rather the pasta, it was still well worth it. Check out the show to see how worth it. Hanabi also has a simple, yet delicious recipe for Queso Fundido which if you’re unfamiliar is melted cheese and chorizo. Any questions? Hanabi also visited Lost Lake Cafe for a little of that throwback, retro diner thing that NOBODY else is doing these days. Insane Dane pretty much ends the controversy of how to drink bourbon and eat mac n cheese when you’ve only got minutes to spare. The secret is to mix them together. Check out his take on Bourbon mac n cheese on the old Dish + Drink blog if you don’t believe me. He also makes a killer Gin + Juice for a guy from New Jersey.

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