Sunday, October 14, 2012

Eating Out and Getting Hye

Oh happy day!  Why so happy?  Well, because my hangover isn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been.  If you follow us on the Facebook as well, you'll have seen our braggart's photo of the the bounty of fine beers in our fridge.  And together they're enough hangover fuel to keep us in the bathroom all day, working from both ends if you catch my drift.  Bless Old Doc's for their well focused beer section and enough wine to drown a Frenchman.

But also important to hangover avoidance is having a good food base in your guts before you start upending one bottle after another.  After another.  And boy, oh boy did we ever find ourselves a wicked good base to fight the alcohol wars from!  Just around the shopping complex, past the tiny tiny Ace Hardware, and the art gallery and rather near the Way of Japan dojo is Hye Deli.

I've known of Hye Deli since I was a tiny wee scumbag Fresnan.  Alas, my folks were nowhere as foodly adventurous as their young regrettable spawn.  So I have lain in ignorance these 30 years.  But no more!  I was craving deli, I was craving new and as always craving local.  So we're off to get Hye!

The inside of the deli is the epitome of a generationally owned business.  It's a little sparse, a little hodgepodge in the seating and decorated with pride in the old country.  In this case the old country is Armenia, so you've got the maps and celebrity pictures with famous folks and oddly...judges?  Yup, there are 3 or 4 celeb-type pics of well known law givers of Armenian descent.  Hey, at least it's not another stupid photo of Bubba, right?

In the meantime, I am a hungry little princess!  So hungry in fact that I'm essentially eating for two.  So I order two sandwiches.  One for me and the second for my psychic food baby that is constantly expanding my waistline.  And this being a new culinary tradtion to explore, I really want to step outside of what I already know and try something unique.

But first I've gotta have me some falaffel!  I fell in love with falaffel in Santa Cruz of all places, being ignorant at the time that there were several thriving Fresnan communities that love it as well.  And it's been at least 3 or 4 years since I've had any, so I'm jonesing.  Theirs was lovely.  Crunchy exterior and warm, moist, well spiced center.  All wrapped in a much more pliable and flat type of pita than I've ever experienced.  Sadly tzatziki is Greek, but their tahini sauce was still quite good.  Overall a wonderful revisiting of a favorite sandwich.

Also, it is worth noting that the folks at Hye prepare everything fresh as you order.  So if you're in a rush, make sure to call your order in ahead of time and they'll have it piping hot and ready to go for you. 

Round 2!  Fight!  So our second sandwich contains a meat new to my mouth-world.  It's called soujouk.  From what I've read, it is a popular type of dried sausage, often fried for breakfast.  Somewhat similar to linguica, but larger and with an underlying kick of cumin.  It's sandwich fixings are pretty standard, the awesome pita bread, lettuce, tomato and mustard.  It was extremely delicious, although some might take pause at the unique structure of such a sandwich.  It essentially came together like a salami burrito, which feels a little odd at first, until the the flavor pleasure overrides your confusion.  I'm going to keep an eye out and see if I can buy some of the sausage for home use.

The Mrs. chose a polish sausage sandwich and went with a side of the falaffel.  I really liked the presentation for the side dish.  It was simple but orderly and well balanced.  Just enough pita and tahini for the 3 falaffel patties.  Equally tasty as the aforementioned falaffel.  I can only assume that her sandwich was good, because she devoured it immediately and still won't speak of it to me.  Like some crazy gold prospecter who found El Dorado and will kill to defend the secret.  I'm almost afraid to recommend it, lest one of my dear readers and my beloved wind up in a monkey-knife fight.  That's right, she fights with a monkey who is holding a knife.

What a life!