Category Archives: Sustainabilty

PrepKitchen – The Latest Hot Spot in Little Italy

My lucky star was shining above me tonight when I parked my car on India Street directly in front of the new PREPKITCHEN location in Little Italy. I left work early to make the trek home from my office in Irvine and my agenda was picking up dinner to bring home. When I got out of the car I noticed all signs of construction were gone at the highly anticipated location and I stopped to look at the menu posted in the window. A really nice guy appeared at the door and asked if I wanted to come in and have a drink while they tested out their service. Why yes thank you…that sounds perfect!

I walked up the stairs and was gobsmacked when I saw the space! The transformation from the bizarro water boutique to this absolutely stunning restaurant and lounge is incredible. Prepkitchen is the latest addition to the very popular Whisknladle Hospitality creation’s of Ryan Johnston and Arturo Kassel. These guys clearly have a formula for success. Reclaimed wood, eclectic details and fantastic lighting make for a warm and inviting space. I had no clue this place was so big based on appearance from the street but the architect really did a good job creating division so that it feels cozy in each of the defined areas.

The bar is stocked with great craft spirits. My heart fluttered when I spotted the Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve and the Family Reserve Rye! Holy Impressive Bourbon Selection Batman! The craft beer selection is also notable. They actually represent a diverse style range which encourages experimenting with food pairings. I love that they have Rodenbach on tap and I am hopeful that Prepkitchen Little Italy will consider some innovative “Craft Beer Cocktails” as an addition to the very interesting list of Craft Cocktails and Wine. The prices are, in my opinion, par for the high quality of the ingredients. Their concept is definitely Farm-to-Table and this definitely appeals to the ethical foodie in me. The staff was attentive, friendly and best of all — void of hipster attitude! Please don’t get me wrong — there are times when I enjoy a hipster vibe, but really…I like people who are nice and that take a few moments to engage in conversation. My server behind the bar, John, was awesome. His knowledge of the product was exceptional. It’s hard to believe they had just opened. He made mention of the fact that several people there came from PF Chang’s. This is impressive. Paul Fleming wrote the book on consistent, superior service and I have always had respect for the PF Chang’s culture.

I ordered the Bone Marrow appetizer and a Warm White Bean & Arugula Salad. My cocktail choice was a Manhattan made with Basil Hayden’s Small Batch Bourbon and Antica Formula Vermouth. Wow, wow and WOW! The Bone Marrow was cooked to buttery perfection; topped with red onion, parsley, lemon and served with what I would describe as a ranch-style toast. The Pesto-Tossed White Beans and Arugula were topped with shaved-Parmigiano-Reggiano and the combination was scrumptious. I was totally checking out what other people ordered and everything looked delicious. I have a feeling it will take many future visits to make it through the menu which incidentally, will change daily based on available, seasonal, local ingredients. Prepkitchen sources produce from Suzie’s Farm (My CSA Provider) and several other local farms. This is another great notch in San Diego’s already stellar belt Slow Food restaurants.

Warm White Bean Arugula Salad

Bone Marrow

The official opening is Monday, January 30th. I highly recommend you hustle over to PREPKITCHEN and be one of the early fans! This is a much welcomed addition to my beloved and vibrant Little Italy neighborhood.

Cheers…TheArtofBeer
xoxo

You can check out their website for other locations and get an idea of their concept here ➙➙➙➙➙➙

http://whisknladle.com/about

Water in the Medina

Many homes in the Medina of Fes, Morroco do not have running water and few have heated water.  Those that do and that can afford it, use propane-type heating and Solar Thermal rooftop (drain-back) systems which were introduced a few years ago.  The supply is “very” limited and recovery time can take hours.  Waste is not an option here.

For the common person, bathing happens about once per week at the Hamman which are public baths in Morocco.  Some are very simple with the purpose of “bathing only” but there are also more luxurious Hamman’s.   The women may go more often, similar to the Spa days for women in our society.

There is access to free “city” water at places like this throughout the Medina.  Even those fortunate enough to have running water in their homes will go there because it is an important social gathering place within the Medina.

As a side note…There are no trash cans in these very narrow streets.  People buy their food fresh daily and only what they need.  What little trash they generate is left on the street at night or in the early morning when it collected and transported by Donkey’s.

I have learned a serious lesson from this…

Reducing My Impact on the Planet

You have to start somewhere and I began this journey a few years back.  I have done very well with some of the things I set out to change, but I need improvement on others.  Here you will find my list and I encourage you to start your own.  It takes a lot of drops to fill a bucket and any contribution you make will help the bigger cause.

My List…

1.    Use no plastic bags – use only canvas, reusable shopping bags

2.    Drink water from a glass or stainless steel bottle – avoid plastic water bottles at all costs

3.    Carry reusable travel cup for coffee

4.    No High Fructose Corn Syrup – No Exceptions!

5.    Use reusable containers for food storage and taking lunch to work

6.    Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and that are grown in CA

7.    Buy ethically and humanely raised meat and eggs – must be pasture raised

8.    Shop for 50% of food at Farmer’s Market and avoid anything in a package

9.    Eliminate 25% of my “stuff”  – Donate to charity.  If it has not been used in 6 months, donate it

10. Use no Styrofoam products

11. Reduce trash by avoiding packaged products

12. Eat out less – target goal 75% of food consumed should be cooked at home when not traveling for work

13. Reduce purchases of anything new to 2 items per month – clothing, shoes, accessories

14. Return egg cartons to farmers market

15. Buy milk and crème in glass bottles that can be returned and reused

16. Purchase recycled paper products – toilet paper, tissues

17. Use cloth napkins and towels whenever possible

18. Use natural cleaning products – enzyme and citrus based

19. Do not buy foods with ingredients I cannot pronounce or identify

20. Volunteer for sustainable food charity that promotes healthy, natural food choices for children

Words of advice…Start small so you feel a sense of accomplishment early on.  The more you feel you are succeeding, the more you will want to do.  Convert a few friends.  Doing the right thing is contagious and it feels great.  Celebrate even the smallest victories.  Drink a beautiful Craft Beer in honor of your accomplishment.

http://noimpactman.typepad.com/

Life is short-make a difference!

Peace…

TheArtofBeer