Cashew Chicken Pizza: Only at Mission Pizza & Pub in Fremont, CA

In the little city of Fremont, California, just north of San Jose, in an unassuming little strip mall near the 660 Freeway, sits the amazing little pizza and brew place, Mission Pizza & Pub. One could drive by this place for years and never stop in. That would be tragic.

Kyle's Cashew Chicken (My Favorite)
Kyle’s Cashew Chicken (My Favorite)

The restaurant differentiates itself with creative and flavor-filled pizzas. Pictured above is my personal favorite, the cashew chicken pizza also featuring feta cheese and lots of garlic.  This is a pizza that is made to savor small bite by small bite.

Amit's Mission Masala (Spicy)
Amit’s Mission Masala (Spicy)

Our veggie pizza selection at my last visit was delicious. Someone realized that the onions and possibly some of the other veggies were added after the pizza was cooked, injecting another dimension to the flavor.  This particular pizza was spicy; luckily, Mission Pizza has a wide selection of good craft beers on tap to go with their unique pizzas.

Vince's Salmon & Pesto
Vince’s Salmon & Pesto

The thing that I enjoy the most about Mission Pizza is that it is the perfect place to get to know people.  It has been my experience that when people walk into the restaurant they “get” the place and they just relax. The pizzas take a while to cook which leaves ample opportunity to soak in the ambiance.

The menu is usually the first topic of discussion as people read about the salmon and Pesto pizza or the peanut sauce and shrimp pizza and their brains are stimulated trying to imagine what the pizzas would taste like.   Then the beer selections make for a nice next topic of discussion.   Then things just start to flow.  I’ve been there with several groups and it’s always a memorable experience.

The staff are friendly and helpful and for the most part, they stay behind the bar and invisible to the customer’s experience.  By that I mean the staff don’t hover, there is no sense of rush and there are no interruptions, which is refreshing.

Mission Pizza & Pub on Urbanspoon

Cashew Chicken Pizza: Only at Mission Pizza & Pub in Fremont, CA

Prompt for 9 Dec: Nutrition

Today’s prompt is courtesy of Cultivate 2012 Daily Prompt list

Foodie Friday — Cultivate Style: Food nourishes us. Some foods give us more enjoyment than others. Some foods leave us feeling less than ourselves. What foods nourished your soul and body this year? What food choices can you make in 2013 to cultivate more self-care?

One word: Salmon.

I’ve never really enjoyed salmon.  It’s always been a bland fish with not a lot of flavor.  Until….

In 2011, we took a Disney cruise to Alaska.  On the third day of the cruise, there was a huge barbeque which included freshly caught King Salmon.   Given my just below boarder-line high cholesterol, I thought I would try the salmon.  It was like no other piece of salmon that I had ever eaten before.  An abbondanza of  flavor exploded in my mouth and I became much more interested in salmon.

Fast forward to the Lenten season of 2012.  My wife and I abstain from meat during the Fridays of Lent.  We have found that the California Fish Grill is a great place to eat during Lent and we’ve gone there religiously  since.  It was there I discovered their very tasty Cajun Salmon salad. After Lent ended, I had a two-week, six country business trip in Northern Europe.  During that trip I found myself able to order and enjoy freshly caught salmon every day.

I have eaten more salmon in 2012 than I have eaten my 46 years previous on the plant. What I have learned this year is that there are two types of salmon.  Free and farmed.  Farmed salmon tends to be less expensive as well as bland.  Farmed salmon is best served with sauces and preparation that bring flavor to the fish.    Fresh salmon that has been caught (typically in Northern regions) is usually much more expensive, much more enjoyable and does not require a great deal more preparation other than grilling.  The rich flavor of the fish stands on its own.  I have also learned that in certain areas that do not have access to fresh free salmon, all one will get  is overpriced farmed salmon.  Never pay high prices for farmed salmon unless the preparation will justify the cost.

I have cataloged some of the best salmon dishes that I have come across on my blog.  The list is presented in order from most favored to lesser favorites.

  1. Salmon & Asparagus on Orzo

  2. Simple Salmon

  3. Cajun Salmon Salad

  4. Smokey Applewood Salmon Filet

  5. Roasted Salmon with Blackberry Jalapeno Butter Sauce

  6. Grilled Salmon from California Fish Grill

  7. Thai Specialty Salmon

  8. Chipolte Veggie Bowl with Smoked Salmon

  9. Salmon with Pesto and Pasta

Even if you don’t like salmon, may I suggest just trying the Salmon & Asparagus on served on Orzo.  If you can serve it with a nice fresh piece of Alaskan or Northern Atlantic salmon, it will be even better.

Salmon & Asparagus on Orzo Pasta

Bon appetit!

Prompt for 9 Dec: Nutrition

Salmon Saturday: Chipolte Veggie Bowl with Smoked Salmon

Salmon Saturday: Because there are so many great ways to prepare salmon and someone has to start writing them down.  Take these ideas and make them your own.

This weeks post was a bit of an on the fly idea. We stopped at Chipolte on the way home from the mall and I ordered my usual veggie bowl.

I order the bowl because just adding the tortilla adds 290 calories, 9 grams of fat and 670mg of sodium.

Once home, I chopped up some Alaskan smoked salmon from the store and added it to the bowl to add a little more protein to the meal.

The flavor from the veggie bowl masked the flavor of the salmon, nut I could still tell it was there.

Have a good week!

First draft posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Salmon Saturday: Chipolte Veggie Bowl with Smoked Salmon

Salmon Saturday Afternoon: Salmon with Pesto and Pasta

Salmon Saturday: Because there are so many great ways to prepare salmon and someone has to start writing them down.  Take these ideas and make them your own.

It’s about 6:30am on Saturday morning and I have no Salmon Saturdays ready to launch.  I have ideas of what I could write, but nothing really inspired me to write this month.   Then I saw Kat’s Friday Food round up and the picture of Great Grandma Turano’s Meatballs   and then I knew what I was going to write about and what I was going to have for dinner tonight.

A few months back, I had lunch with wife at Lascari’s grill near my work.  The special that day was a salmon with pesto sauce served with a side of pasta.   Sounds great, right?

This dish should have been advertised as a pasta dish with a side of pesto salmon.  The pasta sauce had a tangy rich flavor that more than made up for the the unremarkable salmon.  I am guessing that the salmon was previously frozen and very little went into preparing it prior to it being grilled.   The pesto sauce added nothing to the flavor and it sat there under a green death shroud.  I suspect this was once an inspired creation developed by a chef and edited by a bean-counter, who in his attempt to cut the total cost concomitantly destroyed the product.

One has to decide if the flavor is going to come from the fish, the pesto sauce or both.  In this case, I would probably lean on the pesto.  If I were to make this at home, I would start with a fresh piece of salmon.   The only reason I would use frozen salmon or farm-raised salmon is if I had a killer pesto sauce that I could trust to pull off the meal.
Now, back to Lascari’s…..

This one dish aside, I will say that the food at Lascari’s is always good.  The portions are filling and there is usually leftovers to take home.

What really stands out in my mind about Lascari’s is their commitment to the community.  Having had a daughter in Pop Warner and High School competitive cheer, Lascari’s has always been there to help the teams in the area with fund-raisers, both in their restaurant and on-site at football games and cheer camps.  I have had my fill of fund-raiser food over the many years.   Lascari’s is the one place that will always provide a high quality tasty meal.

Lascari's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

Salmon Saturday Afternoon: Salmon with Pesto and Pasta

Salmon Saturday Afternoon: Grilled Salmon from California Fish Grill

Salmon Saturday: Because there are so many great ways to make Salmon and someone has to start writing them down.  Take these ideas and make them your own.

A few weeks back I reviewed the Cajun Salmon Salad  from the California Fish Grill.This week, we tried the Charbroiled Salmon.  The Charbroiled  menu options include Swahi, Salmon, Trout, Tilapia, Ahi, Mahi Mahi, Catfish, Swordfish, Shrimp, and Barramundi. All charbroiled items topped with either garlic butter sauce or cajun style and presented with coleslaw, bread and the choice of fries or rice.

Charbroiled Salmon from the California Fish Grill

My first impulse was to go with the cajun spiced salmon, but as I reviewed a few cajun salmon ideas recently, I decided to go with the garlic butter.  The garlic butter was nice, but a bit bland.  I didn’t really taste the garlic at all.  I enjoyed this light meal and I wished I had gone with the cajun seasoned option.

The grilled zucchini was quite good.   It was cooked perfectly.   California Fish Grill does do great side dishes.

This place is always a good place to sit down and have a nice meal, no matter if you like salmon, ahi or catfish. Everything is good.

California Fish Grill on Urbanspoon

Salmon Saturday Afternoon: Grilled Salmon from California Fish Grill

Salmon Saturday: Salmon & Asparagus on Orzo

Salmon Saturday: Because there are so many great ways to make Salmon and someone has to start writing them down.

This Salmon Saturday is brought to you by Calzone’s Italian Restaurant on the North Beach in San Francisco.  While having a visit with my cousins in San Francisco, they thought dinner at Calzone’s might be nice.  I was looking for Italian food the night before running the San Francisco Marathon.   The menu had pretty broad appeal, but as always, I looked for the salmon dishes first.

When I saw the salmon and asparagus on the pasta menu, had in my mind’s eye that it would be served with angel hair pasta.   Mixing the dish with orzo was a very pleasant surprise.

salmon & asparagus green onions & lemon parsley butter

This find was the highlight of my salmon-seeking month.  The dish was light and filled with flavor.  There was just enough hint of olive oil for flavor without it being greasy.      The parmesan cheese the waiter added touched up of flavor nicely.  The serving size was just right, unless one is carbo-loading for a marathon the next day.

Avocado and crab pizza

My cousin tried the dungeness crab avocado, onions & fontina. He was willing to part with and half a slice and when I sampled it, I understood why. The mixture of the crab taste with the avocado had an amazing flavor that was strong but no overpowering.
My lovely wife tried the margherita pizza, made with san marzano tomatoes, panna, garlic fresh basil & fresh mozzarella.   Again, very tasty and an excellent choice.

Calzone’s is a nice place to go sit and enjoy a meal.  It’s cozy, the service is good and the prices reasonable.

The tables lining the street which gave it a nice European flare, but let’s be completely clear on one point: DO NOT TAKE YOUR FRIENDS VISITING FROM ITALY TO THIS RESTAURANT AND EXPECT THEM TO THINK IT’S JUST LIKE HOME.  They will like the food, and it’s an very good American interpretation of Italian food.

I wouldn’t drive across San Francisco to eat here, but I would certainly go again if I were around the North Beach.

Calzone's Pizza Cucina on Urbanspoon

Salmon Saturday: Salmon & Asparagus on Orzo

Salmon Saturday: Roasted Salmon with Blackberry Jalapeno Butter Sauce

Salmon Saturday: Because there are so many great ways to make Salmon and someone has to start bringing them together and writing them down.

This Salmon Saturday is brought to you by the Frugal Foodie Family!

Roasted Salmon with Blackberry Jalapeno Butter Sauce.

The blackberry Jalapeno butter sauce brings a great deal of flavor and actually overwhelms the taste of the salmon.  This is good if you have children or spouses who don’t like fish. It’s also good if you are using farm-raised salmon which tends to have less flavor.

I would not use expense salmon that has a lot of flavor in it.   Definitely a make again.

Salmon Saturday: Roasted Salmon with Blackberry Jalapeno Butter Sauce