Polenta Fries = Druckin Genius

Stayed in The Mission district of SF last weekend and had a Mother Druckin’ BALL. (This after my mom repeatedly told me that getting mugged in that neighborhood was not a question, but an inevitability.) I ate and drank so well that it may take three posts to cover it all. Just so we don’t forget: Bocce Cafe, Ritual Coffee Roasters and Tartine Bakery.

For now, just Andalu, sweet Andalu.  We had a table on the mezzanine, overlooking the bustling main dining area, and it was a perfect people-watching perch. We started with ahi tuna tacos:

Those look like tongue tacos. Taste like tuna.

Mild, perfectly-portioned tuna with a mango salsa on a taco shell crispy enough to be a Pringle. (Signs of my misspent youth that I compare haute cuisine to Hostess and Frito Lay.) Then there was this:

Curly polenta fries, spicy tomato vinaigrette. Oh happy day!

I have been DREAMING about polenta fries ever since I read this Orangette post (which includes a recipe if you scroll down far enough) and they were everything I dreamed of and MORE. I love the mild, vaguely sweet flavor of polenta, and when combined with butter and a little salt and crispy, golden edges — oh my. They were good. And the tomato dipping sauce is somewhere between vinaigrette and ketchup, with a welcome kick of heat. YUM. Need this polenta person on my payroll. (Better start making some money, stat.)

We finished with this:

Fresh donut holes with Castilian hot cocoa. I drank both cups.

Which reminds me so much of the taza de chocolate (AKA insanely rich hot chocolate) I had in Majorca, many moons ago. You start with a BAR of chocolate, add a little sweet milk, and end up with a cup of chocolate. Most of my fellow travelers couldn’t stomach it’s cloying sweetness, but I had no such problems, and upped the chocolate ante even further by pairing it with a pain au chocolat, or whatever you call the Spanish equivalent of a chocolate croissant.

But I digress. Andalu is lively and eclectic and wonderful and I feel that we’ll be in each others’ lives for quite some time. I miss it already. And while I’m not much of a fry girl, meaning most things I attempt to fry end up greasy and flaccid instead of light and crispy, I may just have to give that Orangette polenta fries recipe a go. Hasta manana!

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