When I was in San Diego earlier this month, there was a lot of – um – tension about where to eat. That’s putting it politely. We were all on edge: tired, hot, sunburned, and hungry. We ended up eating our final dinner in town at Jimmy Love’s, which is more of a nightclub than a restaurant.
We still had a handful of menu options and I ended up getting the spaghetti pomodoro. It was surprisingly good. That was one of those dishes that reminds me how good plain marinara sauce with lots of tomatoes can be. Let’s be honest, though, it was not worth the $15 it cost, but it was better than I expected from a menu that misspelled tomato.
So I recreated it at home, but I made it better.
This is Alex’s plate. He likes for me to photograph his food sometimes, too, and in this case his Ninja Warrior training, hungry-man portion is perfect to show all the tomatoes.
I riffed from a recipe from an Italian restaurant we frequent, often with Alex’s mom, in Philadelphia, Ralph’s. They actually have a few recipes on their website, including the marinara. It’s so simple there’s no reason to keep it a secret, and Ralph’s is never short on customers. And if I were Italian instead of Southern, I probably wouldn’t have to bother looking up the recipe.
This is my plate, on which you can see the portabella slices. I sauteed half of the grape tomatoes with garlic and onion, then added some tomato sauce and the seasonings and cooked for an hour. I finished with fresh basil and the other tomatoes, which I just heated through. The spinach and mushrooms were cooked separately. So simple that the only reason for my lead-in was to tell a story. I have another restaurant recreation for you tomorrow. It’s actually more interesting.
When you eat out, do you enjoy another person doing the cooking, or do think how you could do better? I do a bit of both, depending on where I’m eating.