Polite Provisions II

After being quite smitten with Polite Provisions the first time around, we decided to revisit the place during the afternoon to see what it’s like a little earlier in the day. It was definitely less crowded on a Thursday afternoon compared to a weekend night which is when we previously attended. We were able to sit at a table and it was a more casual vibe with most people ordering food from neighboring Soda & Swine next door.

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

As usual the cocktails we got we’re all spot on. The cocktail menu changes a bit everyday but there are a couple constants. They try to incorporate seasonal beverages and change up the cocktails on draft. Below is the cocktail menu for that day:

Polite Provisions Menu

Polite Provisions Menu

On to the libations…

The cocktail I ordered was the Ocean Side. This came with London dry gin, fresh lime, mint, sea salt and celery bitters.

Ocean Side

Ocean Side

I really, really liked this drink. It’s refreshing, not cloyingly sweet, and herbal as well as sweet and savoury at the same time with the sea salt and celery bitters. The celery flavour is noticeable but subtle, it played really well with the mint and lime. I’d reckon if you like gin and tonics and you like Bloody Mary’s you would like this guy.

One of the other drinks we ordered at our table was the Uncle Jalapeno, with Blanco tequila, jalapeno, and T-Bone’s pineapple soda.

Uncle Jalapeno

Uncle Jalapeno

I love spicy flavors in drinks like the habanero infused beer Ballast Point does or the jalapeno infused drink at Whisknladle (cannot remember its name right now even though I always order it!). I am not someone who can handle suuuper spicy food so don’t worry if you are wary of that, these are not meant to burn your palate, the peppers just add the slightest zing and more of their flavor than just blunt spice. The pineapple soda tastes like fresh pineapple and complemented the jalapeno and tequila flavors really well, without being too sweet. If you like those Mexican fruit cups with the spices and little limes on them you will love this.

The last drink we had was the Kentucky Buck. This drink was a little sweeter and fruitier but not anything excessive. It has bourbon, fresh lemon, strawberry and ginger beer.

Kentucky Buck

Kentucky Buck

Ok so the best way I can summarize this drink is that it tasted EXACTLY like strawberry fruit roll-ups. IT WAS AWESOME. And other people at our table agreed. Not very bourbon forward and very drinkable. If you’re not a fan of spirit-forward drinks but like fruit roll-ups (and who doesn’t?) you will like this drink.

Overall we had another great experience. Drinks are still all mostly $8 bucks, you are getting such good value for your money. The only $10 dollar drink was the dessert one. Cannot wait to come back yet again and try the punch bowls…

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions

Polite Provisions
4696 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
politeprovisions.com

Asian Braised Pork Buns

Ever since we got our slow-cooker so many dishes that appeared too time consuming or labor intensive have become such easy weeknight staples. Instead of coming home and then having to braise something in a hot oven for 4 hours before eating it you can start the prep work at night, finish it in the morning, stick in the slow cooker and come back home to some delicious falling-off-the-bone tender main course. Not only that but braising for that long turns cheap cuts of meat into dinner party worthy fare. For everyone who comes home ravenous and/or exhausted from work the slow-cooker is your friend.

For this dish we took inspiration from the pork belly steamed buns at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York. This dish involved super tender pork belly served with scallions and hoisin sauce on pillowy steamed buns. Pork belly is very rich and very fatty and we prefer something a little leaner and with more texture. This is why we decided to sub pork shoulder for pork belly and to add some more veggies on the side.

Asian Braised Pork Shoulder

Asian Braised Pork Shoulder

For this large portion of pork shoulder (easily serves 4) it cost us approximately $5.14. Another great money saving tip is to shop at ethnic grocery stores. Having to procure some Asian ingredients like chili oil, bok choy, and the sesame buns we went to 99 Ranch in Kearny Mesa. They recently re-did this so it’s a lot nicer and cleaner then it used to be. Not only do they have a wide variety of exotic fare they also have lots of cheap, fresh produce and very inexpensive meat. Now we wouldn’t recommend you get your filet mignon here but for cheaper cuts (like this pork shoulder) they have great deals and our meal was superb.

Asian Braised Pork Shoulder

INGREDIENTS:
1 boneless pork shoulder (3-4 lbs)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Lawry’s seasoning salt (you can use regular salt too)
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
3 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup of oyster sauce
1/4 cup of brown sugar
4 tbsp of sambal oelek (you can use more or less depending how much spice you want or substitute Sriracha)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Trim skin and fat from pork shoulder as desired (we took off most of it)
2. Mix sugar and salt and then rub all over the pork shoulder
3. Cover pork in plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours. Place over plate in case any juices leak out.
4. Whisk together the garlic, ginger, chicken stock, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, oyster sauce, brown sugar and sambal oelek.
5. Cut the pork shoulder into 3 pieces and place in slow cooker. Pour in the soy sauce and spices mixture. Make sure some of the tops of the pieces of the pork shoulder remain uncovered by liquid, these will become the crispy bits.
6. Turn the slow cooker on low and let it cook for 8-9 hours.

To complement the pork we made this Momofuku inspired dressing:

Ginger-Scallion Sauce

Ginger-Scallion Sauce

Ginger-Scallion Sauce

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (green and whites, 3/4 of a large bunch)
1/4 cup finely minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp grapeseed or other neutral oil
1/4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chili oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt, more to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed.
2. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before using.

Because braised meats go so well with rice and bitter greens we decided to add sides of fried rice and bok choy, if you have leftover rice this is a cinch to make:

Brown Fried Rice

Brown Fried Rice

Bok Choy

Bok Choy

Simple Brown Fried Rice and Bok Choy

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of leftover brown rice (already cooked, can also use white rice)
4 tbsp of virgin coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp chopped scallions
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp grated garlic
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 1/2 lb of baby bok choy, cut in half
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1. Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil to a hot pan.
2. Add 1 tbsp of ginger and 1 tbsp of grated garlic to the oil. Let crisp for 20 seconds.
3. Add the bok choy and cook over medium high heat until tender (3-5 minutes)
4. Remove the bok choy from the pan and in the same pan add 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
5. Over medium high heat, add the two eggs and scramble them.
6. Remove the scrambled eggs from the pan and set aside.
7. Add the last tbsp of coconut oil then add in the brown rice.
8. Add in the soy sauce and the chopped scallions.
9. Stir fry until heated through (about 4 minutes).
10. Add the eggs back in and its ready!

Now after all this all you need is to buy the appropriate buns. We used these guys:

Sesame Bread

Sesame Bread

But you can also use green onion pancakes, or soft steamed buns. I think next time we might do the green onion pancakes, you can buy them frozen from 99 Ranch and they are SO good.

So once you have all your ingredients you can add whatever toppings you like; we did thinly sliced onions, sliced thai chili peppers and chopped scallions. I imagine other chilis, cilantro, and hoisin sauce would all be great with this too.

Toppings: Thai Chilies, Sliced Onions, Scallions

Toppings: Thai Chilies, Sliced Onions, Scallions

And then assemble as you like and eat away.

Asian Braised Pork Buns

Asian Braised Pork Buns

Asian Braised Pork based on this recipe.
Ginger-Scallion Sauce based on this recipe.

TIPS:
– Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar and spicy elements (like the sambal oelek and chili oil) in these recipes, some people like it sweeter, others like it spicier.
– Any other cabbage-like vegetable would complement this dish, if you don’t like/can’t find bok choy: regular cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kale or brussel sprouts would work.
– You can definitely use any oil for the fried rice and bok choy, we like coconut oil because its a good source of medium-chain fatty acids which are great for your health and can aid in weight loss by promoting fat oxidation and reduced food intake (source). They are also coconut-y and delicious! However, naturally if you are allergic to coconut please substitute for vegetable oil.

Polite Provisions

We’ve been hearing a lot about Polite Provisions, which is from the same owner’s as Noble Experiment and is supposed to have quite the ambitious cocktail program. Polite Provisions is in University Heights, on the corner of 30th and Adams. Its definitely a little more bare bones than the area around Adams/Park Ave, which has lot of restaurants and shops, but you can tell there’s trendy new places popping up around it (like its brother meatball shop restaurant Soda & Swine which is right next door and Jayne’s Gastropub which is around the corner).

The decor of the place is awesome. Its very Art Deco 1920s style, with old school street lamps and an engraved ceiling. The bar is very long and there are extra tables and seating. Although it was Saturday around 8:30 pm and all the seating was taken the bar was not super packed and there was standing room next to the bar and enough bartenders that you could easily order and they would check up on you. No need to insert yourself in between two strangers and hope to catch a glance of one of the bartenders whilst holding your credit card out in front of you to order a drink.

Polite Provisions Interior

Although Polite Provisions only serves drinks you can order food from Soda & Swine next door and they wil bring over.

Their drink menu is extensive and covers a lot of different tastes. They have dessert cocktails (with chocolate/cream/maple syrup!), beer cocktails, cocktails on draft, lighter champagne based cocktails and more spirit forward fare such as negronis. They also have punch bowls (a good deal if you came with a larger group), wine, and because this is San Diego naturally they have a good selection of craft beer. Maybe more unexpectedly they also have a good selection of virgin soda cocktails so your designated driver doesn’t have to sadly sip on a Diet Coke while everyone else samples the good stuff. First we ordered the Misty Mountain Buck (rye whiskey, fresh lime juice, organic pineapple, housemade, ginger beer & bitters) and the Honey Stone Julep (bourbon, organic mint, apricot liqueur & honey). Both were excellent, especially for $8 dollars. The Misty Mountain Buck was very ginger-y and very pineapple-y but well balanced and refreshing. The Honey Stone Julep was more spirit-forward but also sweet and the apricot and honey flavors complemented the mint really well.

Honey Stone Julep (left) and Misty Mountain Buck (right)

Honey Stone Julep (left) and Misty Mountain Buck (right)

You could taste that they use very fresh, top-notch ingredients. A lot of their ingredients are house made too which shows how much they care about the final product. Our next drinks were the Chocolate Negroni (gin, Campari, Punt e Mes vermouth, creme de cacao and chocolate bitters) and the Coal Miner’s Daughter (a bourbon based drink we don’t recall the other ingredients of and that is not on their menu online…). The Negroni was interesting and definitely had chocolate-y notes which balanced out the Campari and the orange peel that is traditionally served with negronis. Don’t know if we would order it again though. The Coal Miner’s Daughter was good as well, this was a very spirit-forward drink. We liked our first cocktails better but these were definitely not too shabby either.

CHECK:
Misty Mountain Buck $8
Honey Stone Julep $8
Chocolate Negroni $9
Coal Miner’s Daughter $8
TOTAL: $35.64 (w/ tax)

Overall the price, the atmosphere, and the drinks were all excellent. We will definitely be returning to Polite Provisions.

Polite Provisions
4696 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
politeprovisions.com/

Brooklyn Girl Eatery

Brooklyn Girl is a great spot in Mission Hills doing fresh and inventive food and one of our favorite go-to neighborhood spots. The restaurant has a nice look to it and definitely lives up to its “Brooklyn” title. It’s housed in a warehouse style building but has a cool vibe with modern art on the walls, big crystal chandeliers in bird cages and trees wrapped in lights inside. They have a restaurant seated dining area, a bar area, communal tables and a “pantry” section that sells food items.

Menu

Menu

We have been here a couple times and not only do we love the food but the service seems to be on point here. Also the bar and communal dining tables are great when you want to stop by but do not have a reservation.

The bar area

The bar area

BREAD: In fact you do not get bread, they instead serve you popcorn which has been spiced differently every time we’ve been. Last time it was Thyme and Butter Popcorn (shown below) and the previous time it was a spicier version.

Thyme & Butter Popcorn

Thyme & Butter Popcorn

APPETIZER: Ok. You must try the Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs. With a name like that how can you even pass it up? Between the flavorful pork, the crisp salty bacon and the sweet-spicy glaze this hits all the right spots. The slaw on top doesn’t hurt either.

Ginger Glazed Bacon Wrapped Pork Meatballs

Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs

Vietnamese Meatball

Vietnamese Meatball

ENTREE: This is one of the few restaurants where the chicken can compete with steak and seafood. Normally we always go for steak/seafood when eating out but here the roasted chicken is amazing. Another fantastic standby is their Williams Burger. You pick between cheddar and blue cheese and can add cherry wood smoked bacon, a fried egg, or fried oysters for extra. We definitely suggest adding the bacon. This burger comes with the classic sides (lettuce, tomatoes, pickle) and the Kobe/Angus beef was cooked to a perfect medium rare. No crazy aioli’s or unusual ingredients, just a classic done right (including the crispy thin fries!). Sometimes you can really tell the caliber of a restaurant when even their salads sound/are delicious. We ordered the Duck and Date salad and if you are a fan of duck this is the dish for you. The duck is falling off the bone tender and comes accompanied by frisee lettuce, spinach, Marcona almonds, chopped up dates and banyals vinaigrette. The richness of the duck pairs well with the sweet chewy dates and the fresh greens, a great cold weather salad (it’s been chilly lately in San Diego!).

Duck and Date Salad

Duck and Date Salad

Williams Burger

Williams Burger

SIDES: One of the must order sides is their Cornbread and Honey: freshly baked cornbread (made to order) with a molten white cheddar core is topped with honeycomb and brought to your table. It’s sweet and salty and we actually prefer it as an appetizer than a side. Another notable side is the Brussels and Bacon. If you normally think of brussel sprouts as limp, yellow-y, boiled bitter little bundles you are in for a treat. They are deep fried until they are shattering-ly crispy on the outside then served with bacon and caramelized pecans. Definitely a fantastic thing to add to your order and we always end up fighting for the last few pecans.

Brussels & Bacon

Brussels & Bacon

Brooklyn Girl has simple but inventive takes on dishes and we like that it makes good food thats relatively affordable. This coupled with the good service and nice ambiance ensures that we will keep returning here, at least until we can find out how to copy those Vietnamese meatballs…

CHECK:
Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs $11
Williams Burger $14
Duck and Date $12
Brussels and Bacon $8
TOTAL: $48.60 (w/ tax)

Brooklyn Girl Eatery
4033 Goldfinch St
San Diego, California 92103
brooklyngirleatery.com