Thank you, Michelle B, for making reservations at Zuni! Our meal here from start to finish was pure perfection...
Drinks: champagne and wine
Appetizer: Blood orange and avocado salad
Main course: roasted chicken and stead medium rare. With a side of shoestring potatoes and parsnip puree.
NO way to describe this in words, other than it was a fantastic meal.
But don't take my word for it!
Another solid meal in good 'ol San Fran. Gosh, I got food spoiled this week. It's going to make my regular dinner of boxed mac 'n cheese seem so lame (well, even more lame that I already knew it was).
Here's what we ate:
- short ribs
- mac 'n cheese
- Mahi Mahi
- fries with Parmesan and truffle oil
- Creme brulee
accompanied by a bottle of sparkling wine ('cause we were celebrating)
Makes me hungry just thinking about it!
Try the "Death by Pork":
Housemade sinigang chicharonnes (pork rinds). pinakurat vinegar dip. lechon kawali (deep fried pork belly). house made 'mang tomas' sauce. spicy crispy pata (braised, roasted, and fried pig trotter). calamansi-soy sauce.
Gluttonous to say the least!
Still one of my favorite Bay Area restaurants.
Mmm... it's been several months since dining here and I still can't get the Rioja experience out of my head. It's just *that* good!
Came here with a fairly large group (15 or so hungry CM's), which is a pain-in-the-ass for most restaurants. But you'd never know it at Rioja because they handled our group with ease. We were broken up into two smaller tables, but this actually worked in our favor since it's much easier to dine with 5-6 people at once - you don't end up screaming down the table at anyone this way!
Wine- superb! The list was extensive and I enjoyed a hearty Shiraz. Others in my group had some fancy pants cocktails and I think there was one who had a Miller Lite. So the selection is there if you like to drink!
Food - even better! We all shared some appetizers and yummy bread before our meals came out. I *love* a good beet salad and theirs is no joke! For dinner, I had the quince ravioli. It was very simple, yet delicious. I ordered the half plate, thinking that + a salad would do the trick. Next time, I'll get the full order as the food here is rich, but small.
Unfortunately we did not have time for dessert, but I will say that between drinks, appetizers and our meals, we were more than ready to move on to the next destination! But I can only imagine how good they would be if were able to stay longer...
Romantic atmosphere, good company, well-prepared food - all of these are inherent to a fabulous dinner equation. If I was to ever come back to Denver with friends or family, this would definitely be somewhere that I'd choose to dine!
Just the thought of Sansei makes my mouth water. My boyofriend and I went there upon the recommendation of our concierge at the Luna Kai...her eyes lit up after we raved about the sashimi tuna and she said, "I have just the place for you." Our meal there was probably one of the best ever!
We got a 9:30 reservation and were told it was worth the wait. It was! There's a nice sized bar area to wait in and we enjoyed some champagne and conversation with the locals. The staff was friendly and unpretentious. There's nothing especially fancy about the decor, but that's not what people go to Sansei for.
The sushi was amazing! Fresh fish, great sauce, nice presentation. We had several amazing rolls, but the panko crusted ahi tuna was the best! We didn't care that it was a late dinner (and it's a five-hour time difference, so we were really eating at 2 am St. Louis time!) because it was so delicious.
We were in such a good mood afterwards it must have shown, because everyone kept asking if we were honeymooners. I guess the food made us glow! Can't wait to take another trip to Maui and enjoy a meal at Sansei...maybe even two!
Came back here the other night and am still confused about my Peanut Butter Blast Pie. I *think* I liked it, but am not 100% sure...
First of all, it comes out completely frozen solid. You have to sit there and wait for it to thaw out. And that's complete torture! It looks so good but you can't cut a piece - that's just wrong!
And I didn't listen when our server described the pie, so I was surprised when I took a bite and it was spicy. For a second, I thought that I didn't get a clean fork. But it was the chipotle chocolate topping and the jalapeno raspberry puree that had my mouth on fire. And let me tell you, it's weird to eat a frozen ice cream dessert and not be able to quench the flames.
It was tasty, but my mouth doesn't like to be mind fucked like that. I'll go to Serendipity the next time I want ice cream...
I was lucky enough to attend the Sauce Magazine Rick Bayless event last week at Moulin. And yes, you should be jealous because that man makes one hell of a guacamole. With bacon.
But I digress...
The event itself was hosted at Moulin, the event space below Vin de Set on Chouteau. I love Vin de Set! They have great wine and cheese, as well as some of the best views of downtown St. Louis. Because they served only Ricky Bayless recipes at the event, I didn't have a chance to taste anything that Moulin serves for their special events... but I've heard that it's good.
The staff at Moulin was fabulous! From the registration table when you first walk in to the servers who cleared our plates away, this group did a fantastic job. No fuss, no muss and they didn't interrupt a wonderful presentation. If I could afford to host an event here, I totally would!
Great experience overall! Would most definitely come back in the future for another chef series or a special party.
Part Deux of a wonderful Saturday evening. I knew Niche was good and was waiting for the right opportunity to eat at here. When my folks said they were coming into town and wanted to take Mike T and myself to a fancy dinner, Niche was the first restaurant on the list!
Mind you, my parents are a tad bit food snobby. No, they don't watch Top Chef or read Zagat guides; rather, they like to cook themselves and are fairly critical of sloppy chefs. They wouldn't be caught dead inside a Red Lobster, either, which makes me glad that they don't read my Yelp reviews often :)
As soon as we were sat, my Dad's first comment was, "Wow, this place is nice!" which was a good sign, since he was paying. And since he's been to some 5-star restaurants all over the world.
Niche does offer a 5-course tasting menu for $55, but your entire table has to agree to it. That sounded like way too much food for everyone, so instead we went with the 3-course menu for $35. Each of us ordered different menu items so we could share. My favorites were the Pork Pappererdelle - a slow roasted pork on top of a homemade pasta- and the Chilled White Gazpacho.
Dessert was heavenly, too! I had the pound cake with blueberry sorbet. The cake itself was dense with some kind of glaze on top (not like the pound cake I've ever seen before) and the blueberry sorbet was perfectly tart. Normally I'd eat the entire thing but was too full!
Three courses took our group of four about an hour and a half to finish, which is just about enough time for me. We didn't feel rushed but after sitting still anywhere for 90 minutes, I need to get up and move. I wouldn't recommend eating at Niche if you wanted a quick meal - go to Taste next door. But if you're looking for excellent, fresh food in one of St. Louis' best restaurants, go here. Now!
I came, I saw, I got a food baby from Griddle Cafe.
Seriously, this is *the* place for folks who want to pig out on amazing breakfast goodies. And don't feel bad about gorging yourself on giant hotcakes or eggs covered in tequila and cheese because the staff is all smiles (and super cute, btw!) and keeps the food coming!
Obviously if they have over 1200 reviews and an average of 4 stars, Griddle Cafe is no joke. But don't take my word for it...
This 'aint yo' mama's stroganoff!
Both Annie D and I agreed that her dish at Red Stag Supper Club was the BEST damn beef stroganoff that we'd ever tasted, nothing like what our mom's used to make back when we were kids. No idea why she was even tempted to order it (not something I would choose out of a lineup), but in hindsight, it was a stroke of genius.
After a long, cold day of meetings, a warm, meaty meal and a big glass of red wine at Red Stag was just what the doctor ordered. Even the decor (hipster yet cozy) helped us to wind down. We started off with an appetizer of meat balls and they were exactly what you'd expect from an upscale meat ball - large, meaty and warm. Mmm!
As you all know by now, Annie ordered the beef stroganoff and I had a shrimp dish with homemade pasta. It was good, but nothing could compete with that winner of a dish. I ended up eating off her plate and leaving mine a tad neglected...
By the end of the meal, we were stuffed and tired! Not tired enough to call it a night, but relaxed and full - just the way I expect to feel after a few courses of meat and wine. Brought out my inner carnivore in a good way :)
Wow! Katie's, where have you been all my life?
Actually, that's not completely true. I've eaten at Katie's before, but it was several years ago, right when they first opened up. I wasn't terribly impressed (back then my idea of "good" pizza was pepperoni and maybe olives) and didn't think to come back until just recently.
Fast forward to Wednesday night. My gal pals and I just finished up a pedicure at Beautiful Nail and I used the handy Yelp iPhone app to find restaurants nearby. Katie's popped up and I remembered reading so many positive reviews about it, so why not give it another try?
I had completely forgotten how cute it is inside! The interior reminds me of someplace you'd visit that's not St. Louis... perhaps Chicago or LA. Some previous reviews mentioned bad service, but our waitress was awesome. She gave us plenty of time to pick out what we wanted to eat and even suggested a bottle of Chianti that would go well with our selection.
Let me just say that their salads are to die for. Even if you're not a pizza lover, go here and order one of their many delicious leafy green options. One salad can easily be split between two people as an appetizer. We went for the beet salad, which had some of the best dressing I've had in a long time.
For the main course, two of us split the roasted chicken pizza and my other friend had the four cheese pie. Both had a thin, crispy crust with fresh, hot ingredients on top. Hit the spot in so many ways! That was a lot of food for only three people, but we managed to eat almost everything served to us.
I'm happy that Katie's was one of my last meals in STL - it was a perfect evening with my best friends. Glad that I have 'em another shot and that they blew it out of the park.
It's no surprise that Portland is a foodie town. (Thanks Captain Obvious!) From food carts to craft cocktails and fancy restaurants, the city is overflowing with deliciousness; Irving St. Kitchen is no exception.
Without a doubt, my dinner here Wednesday night goes on the "Best Meals Evar" list, and here's why:
- Fresh and unique choice of ingredients
- Warm, friendly staff
- Beautiful decor, yet there's no air of pretentiousness anywhere within
- Fantastic wine list
- Anytime lobster and butter are offered together in a dish on your menu, you've got my vote
- Butterscotch pudding - 'nuff said!
This place gives me the warm fuzzies and I wouldn't hesitate going back with friends, family or my lovely co-workers again.
Pretty sure that I died and went to heaven after trying a Sam's lobster roll yesterday. I am not kidding - it was everything one could ever want out of a sandwich: butter, bread, a little green pepper and a LOT of lobster. Drool-worthy for sure!
Sam's - I am now going to stalk you at every given opportunity. Watch out!
Jack's really came to the rescue a few Sundays ago. It was late, I was hungry and they stay open until 10 p.m. What more could I ask for?
Oh yeah, a mouthwatering burger. You know that's always on the forefront of my mind :)
Props to them for having a menu available online so I was easily able to call in an order for pickup. However, I didn't even see that milkshakes were available until I went to get my order. It's practically sacrilege to order a burger without a shake, so that got added into the mix.
The folks at Jack's aren't messing around when it comes to burgers, fries or shakes. And I respect that 100%. That was, by far, the best beef patty I've had in a looong time. I slept like a baby that night, thanks to Jack's!
It's been over 3 years since last visiting and Foreign Cinema and it's still one of my SF faves.
This time I came here with gal pals to celebrate a 30th b-day and it couldn't have been more lovely. Actually, things started off a little wonky since we were seated inside on a hot night (one of the few in San Francisco for the year). Since the warmer than average temps made us all feel a bit menopause-ish, one of the ladies in our party requested we move out to the patio. Because they were so busy, it took awhile but they did accommodate the request by the time we were ready for dessert. Thank you, sweet hostess!
When in doubt, get the fried chicken. Need I say more?
Service out on the patio was superb! Justin our waiter had a great sense of humor and even brought out an extra special dessert with a candle to commemorate our friend's special night.
Meals here don't come cheap, but the food and ambiance are well worth it. Romantic yet playful, and always a memorable experience.
Correction: it's actually butterscotch and chocolate pudding. Either way, it's served with a hefty portion of whipping cream and a small homemade peanut butter cookie.
Never did I think that the words "tofu" and "mouthwatering" would ever be used in the same sentence. Although I've had different versions of Japanese food before, Raku takes the prize hands down.
Hidden in a strip mall way away from all the casinos and bright lights, Raku prefers to keep it understated. The restaurant only has about 10-12 tables along with a small room for groups near the back. I'd suggest calling ahead for a reservation, but since they stay open so late (someone tells me 3 a.m.?), chances are you'll be seated eventually.
If you've never had traditional Japanese food before, the menu is pretty overwhelming. I was lucky enough to dine here with a local and he did all of the ordering. Good thing, too, because I had no idea where to start. We definitely had the tofu (get it! so good!) and a myriad of small plates, including scallops and salmon- two fish that I normally turn my nose up at, but were SO good! These chefs know their sauces. That's all I have to say about that...
Go here with someone (or a few someones) that you really like, order yourselves a ton of food and plan on "oohing" and "aahing" the entire time.
Go here. Now!
OMG, I've driven by Donato Enoteca a few times before and had no idea how good it was! Duh, I should have read the Yelp reviews closer...
Was invited to attend dinner here this week and sample some new menu items and I must tell you, my experience here was 5-stars from start to finish!
First of all, the staff is all super friendly. I arrived before my +1, so I sat at the bar and waited for her to arrive. It couldn't have been there for more than a minute and someone asked if the bartender had taken my drink order yet. I love how they were so concerned with my need for an alcoholic bevvy :) Try the sparkling rose - so good and perfect for a summer evening!
When my date arrived, she and I were seated in a quiet corner of the main dining room. How romantical... Too bad we're just friends :) Our server was beyond friendly and recommended that we try the grilled calamari. Neither one of us are big calamari fans, but when a server recommends a dish, you have to try it, right? Oh boy, we were in for a treat. This was not your typical deep-fried greasy appetizer - it was light, perfectly cooked and came with a side of fava beans and spinach. Very tasty.
Any carb lover would be in heaven at Donato Enoteca - the pasta options are mind boggling! And they make it from scratch, so you know it's extra good. I opted for the papperdelle while my gal pal had the oxtail risotto. Seriously, one of the best meals I've had in South Bay! Portions were just right and the flavor was inexplicably good.
For dessert ('cause there's always room, right?) we had the lemon panna cotta with a blood orange dipping sauce. Those who know me well are quite aware of my lemon obsession, followed by my love of blood orange - it was like the dessert was made for me! Amazing, especially if you are able to mix in a little chocolate from someone else's plate.
Such a nice, sunny evening in RWC. I will definitely be back!
En route from Vegas to Sedona, my favorite +1 and I made a pit stop in Jerome. It's such a cute little town overlooking the giant red rock dessert. Scenic as shit. Quince has great reviews on Yelp and this spot was highly recommended, so we just *had* to stop in for a bite.
We were greeted immediately by a friendly hostess outside - there was a short wait OR we could sit at the bar. Never ones to shy away from alcohol, we picked the bar seats. Do yourself a favor here and order a margarita. There's about 5-6 to choose from and they are all delicious.
As for the grub, I chowed down on tacos. The servings here are pretty large, so this dish could easily be split by two people. But what's the fun in that? Can't even remember what my travel companion ate 'cause I was face down in the plate... It was just so good that I didn't leave room for dessert (salt water taffy and fudge sold a few shops away). That's saying something right there!
If you find yourself in Jerome and needing a good bite to eat, definitely stop in at Quince. The service is impeccable, the food to die for and the drinks extra strong. 5 stars for sure!
Why have I not been here before?
Gourmet burgers and tacos? Check
Garlic Fries? Check
Benches in the sunshine? Check, check
Sure, you could stop off somewhere fancier on your way in or out of wine country, but sometimes you just want eat picnic-style. Well, fancy picnic-style, but it still feels like you're "roughing it" a little bit :)
Although I am an admitted burger addict, this time I ordered the Ahi fish tacos. Amazing! Normally I do not finish what's on my plate but these suckers were gobbled up within minutes. My +1 had a delicious burger and we shared an order of fries along with a chocolate shake. Between the wine tastings we had just done a few hours prior and this gut-bustingly good meal, I wasn't sure if I'd stay awake for the ride home. But I did.
Holy Smokes! This was one of the best lunches I've ever had, hands down. Who knew that Bakersfield had such good food?
Stopped in to the Noriega Hotel on a whim while making the trek from Las Vegas back to the Bay Area. Found this place on Yelp and was intrigued. We did not have a reservation, but, by some stroke of luck, managed to arrive about 10 minutes before they served lunch and they let us in without hesitation. Yesss!
While we waited to be seated, I eyed a delicious-looking Bloody Mary at the bar. So, of course, I had to try one. Very old school: rail vodka, mix, a lot of seasoning/hot sauce and garnished with a green oive. Just how I like it! That alone is worth 5-stars.
After a meal here, you're never going to want to dine family-style anywhere else. We started with a simple soup and salad combo, alongside bread and bleu cheese. That alone was more than I normally eat for a noontime meal, but I was hungry and ready to keep eating. Next course was fresh fried red snapper. Perfectly cooked. Not too greasy and definitely the right temperature. It came with some lemon wedges as well as tartar sauce, but really, you didn't need either since the fish was so tasty. Next? Tri-tip roast. It was good, but I couldn't stop eating the fish.
$14/person + tip included everything, including unmarked bottles of red and white wine at the table. It's really a deal! Granted, there's nothing fancy about this joint, but if that's what you're into, just keep driving 'cause Noriega's isn't your scene. BUT if you're after a good meal and meeting new people, then yes, come here. It's worth the trip!
Stopped mid-road trip for some Moo Creamery deliciousness. And if there ever was a question about whether or not their food is as good as their ice cream, it's been answered. Y-E-S!
We sampled the mushroom melt, pulled pork sandwich and the Vietnamese pork burger, all with a big basket of truffle fries. Not a bad meal between the three of us, either. Oh, and between the hours of 2-5 pm they have $2 draft beers AND french fries come free with any purchase of an entree.
Of course we had to order a milkshake to-go, too. This time we went with the Bourbon Whiskey shake, complete with pecan pieces in the cup. Yum!
Pretty sure that Moo Creamery will be a regular stop on the way from Vegas to SF - it's delicious, affordable and definitely unique!
Mad props to the East Bay Yelp crew for showing me the awesomeness that is Pizzaiolo! Just now discovering how cool Oakland really is... took a little while, but better late than never.
Love the fact that they're open late, even on Mondays. It was close to 9 pm when we rolled in, which isn't a server's dream. You never would have known it, though, as our waitress was peachy keen the entire meal. Drinks were in order as soon as we sat down. They serve delish craft cocktails as well as wine by the bottle/glass. Of course I had wine. Duh! Grenache blend is to die for. Had two glasses, thank you very much.
Although everyone raved about the pizza at Pizzaiolo (hence the name), I tried their papperdelle. I ate the entire thing in about 2 minutes. What's not to like about freshly made pasta with tender pieces of meat on top? Makes me hungry just thinking about it... And of course we had to have dessert. Apple tart with ice cream on the side? Yes, please. Tried the panna cotta and it was also very good.
Our group probably lingered a little too long, but no one said a word. Would love to come back on a busy night and try the pizza... Any takers?
You know how must guys wait until the last possible minute to pick out a Valentine's gift for their special lady? And they usually come up with something random or just plain stupid, like a life-sized teddy bear? Or a heart shaped box of Russel Stover candies?
Not mine, he planned ahead. At least a few weeks in advance, 'cause reservations at Frances are hard to get most of the time, let alone the Saturday before Valentine's Day. Five stars to him, but you can't review people on Yelp, so Frances reaps the benefits.
Totally understand why it's a tough seat to nab. It's quaint, intimate and the food is quite memorable. When we arrived around 9:30 pm, this places was hoppin'. Most restaurants are winding down about that time, but Frances was still getting her groove on. Rather than lurk in the very small bar area, we walked around the Castro for 10-15 minutes and came back for our 10 pm reservation. They sat us right away and drinks were in order.
If you are a wino like moi, definitely go with their house varietal. Not only is it good, but they charge you by the ounce. It's brought out in a marked beaker with a wine glass and you can self-serve as much as you like. You only pay for what you drink. What a deal! OR if you're more of a cocktail connoisseur, definitely go with their lavender champagne concoction.
For a light bite (or bouches as Frances calls them), we split the calamari, Panisse frites and bacon beignets. Food came out hot and the servings were much larger than expected. I particularly like the frites, as they were a cute little play on fish sticks. Sophisticated fish sticks, of course. And the bacon beignets were out of this world. If you order anything at this restaurant, go with the beignets!
Main dishes are exquisite, both the steak and the duck. Just the right amount of meat with a rich, velvety sauce on top. Because I was so full from the dishes above, plus the fact that it was 10:30 pm (go ahead, call me a weenie), I was starting to fade fast and couldn't finish everything on the plate. Oh, but I wanted to! Just... Couldn't... Eat... Everything... So... Tired. Pretty sure my 10 oz. of red wine didn't help, either.
That didn't mean that we skipped dessert. It was our Valentine's dinner, duh! We split the lumberjack cake, which came with some Humphrey Slocombe ice cream on the side. My +1 is a big fan of this date-flavored anything, so this was mostly for him. But since I didn't finish my meal and was only able to pick at the cake, it was totally OK.
We left Frances stuffed and completely satisfied. And exhausted! As soon as we got home, headed straight for some SNL in bed. In my world, that's a pretty freakin' fantastic way to end a romantic meal. Wouldn't have had it any other way.
Three words: ahi tuna poke
Got off the plane and headed straight to Ono, as it was just a few miles from the hotel. Plus, after a 5 hour flight, wanted something delicious, fresh and authentic. Ono Hawaiian Foods is all of those things, and then some.
No, it's not fancy! If all the 5-star Yelp reviews hadn't veered us into its direction, I would be slightly hesitant to walk in off the street. But because of everyone who gave it such positive feedback, I new we were safe!
Kalua pork is good, but my fave dish by far was the ahi tuna poke. Straight from the ocean and into my mouth :) With a little sea salt on top and chili paste/soy sauce for dipping and it was indescribably good. This is one of those meals that I'll dream about for years to come.
Had the pleasure of attending my first Michi Vino over the weekend... Michi himself invited me as his special guest! What an honor :)
In case you don't know what Michi Vino is, it's an offshoot of the Campbell restaurant, where their catering company partners with a local winery to serve up the best sushi and vino in South Bay. Hence the name "Michi Vino". Although Michi's restaurant is a bit small, the sushi is anything but. Plus, Mr. Shin and his crew LOVE doing over-the-top events... Just ask to see pics or check out the website to see what they're up to on the weekends. We're talking partnerships with Silicon Valley moguls and shoe sensations like Donald J Pilner. Def not small potatoes, or small tuna in this case :)
This particular Michi Vino brought us to Black Ridge Winery, up in the Los Gatos hills. I knew that there were wineries hidden around these parts, but am always a tad nervous to be driving around these meandering, narrow roads. It's easy to take a wrong turn and end up careening down. Lucky for us, Black Ridge isn't too far up and very easily identifiable with a big "BR" embossed gate. Once you enter the property, prepare to be amazed. What a view! I could see someone having a small wedding or birthday party here, with a few picnic tables, gardens and "guest house" event space right by each other. It would be a classy affair for sure!
Once the other guests arrived, Michi's and Black Ridge brought their A-game out to play. Appetizers, tastings and the sunset? And that was just the beginning. We were all seated at round tables with what appeared to be a million wine glasses. And if that was a preview of what was to come, everyone at the table was a little anxious. Excited, 'cause it was a Saturday night, but a little curious to know exactly how much wine we'd be drinking...
Lucky for us, it wasn't overwhelming. 8-courses of food *is* a lot, but it's a tasting menu, so portions aren't huge. Just enough. Wine pours were "just right", like in Goldilocks. My favorite course had to be the short ribs, which is a Michi's family secret recipe. Also, it's a little different from what they serve at the restaurant, which was nice to try. My favorite wine was Black Ridge's Malbec, which was dark and jammy. It tasted more like a Syrah to me, but hey, what do I know? After about 3 hours of eating, drinking and meeting new friends, we left the winery stuffed and ready for some SNL action on the couch!
Tickets are purchased ahead of time, either for just the 8-course dinner + wine or the dinner + wine + limo ride to the winery. At $100 per person, it is a bit pricey, but now knowing what you get, it's not a bad deal at all. If you think about what you'd throw down on a nice dinner for yourself or you and a +1, seems par-for-the-course in the area. michisushi.com/wine-tast… Plus, you get a unique experience that someone else plans for you. And you get to meet new people and hopefully get introduced to some vino that you've never tried before.
5-stars to the Michi's team, Black Ridge Winery and to my +1 for coming along on this winetastic adventure!
I remember my first Sprinkles experience, many moons ago in Dallas. It was a hot, sticky summer afternoon and a peanut butter cupcake paired with a carton of milk just hit the spot. Since that fateful day, I've been a Sprinkles girl tried and true :) It's almost like being part of a sorority, only much more fun and tasty!
Woah, Nelly! The Stanford Mall location is packed all the time! Totally understand why, since Sprinkles is the O.G. cupcake purveyor. Seriously, the line goes out the door on occasion, but the lovely ladies behind the counter keep the crowds moving at a reasonable pace. The hardest part is getting customers to decide which flavor to try. It's surprising to find that many are trying a Sprinkles cupcake for the very first time. Cute, but seriously, where have they been living for the past 5 years?
Anyhoo, I recently found out that Sprinkles sells dog treat versions of their cupcakes. Same basic recipe, minus the sugar and frosting that would be detrimental to a doggy. But from what I could tell, the mutts gobble 'em up just like humans do. So ideally, you could take your four legged friend to Stanford mall, pick up a cupcake for both of you and make it a doggy date. Cute!
"I'm not big on social graces, think I'll slip on down to The Oasis. Oh, I've got friends in low places."
Yep, that's some Garth Brooks comin' at ya. You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl.
The Oasis is exactly what you'd think it would be, based on "Friends in Low Places." Low-key, completely casual, order-at-the counter kind of place. LOVE IT! Add burgers, fries and beer to the mix and there's a happy camper sitting in the booth. Yes, get a burger 'cause they're the best on the menu (don't go for buffalo chicken sandwich, not so awesome) and pair it with a raspberry cider. 'Nuff said.
Still my favorite burger in the entire U.S. of A! That's saying a lot too, since I have quite the extensive cheeseburger list on Yelp. Grew up eating Krekel's and, if I'm lucky, this will be my last meal on Earth, complete with a lemon ice cream.
For those of you who haven't ever tried this Decatur delicacy, it's pretty simple: small balls of beef, smashed on to a griddle. They might add a little butter, but I cannot confirm. The end result? A thin, crispy patty that tastes like perfection. It's not unusual to order a double or even triple, since the burger itself comes out very thin. My regular order: double cheese, ketchup and mustard. This time? I added pickles. All that Bay Area living has made me a fancy pants :)
Fries are so-so, but if you're dining in just go ahead and get them. Add lots of salt 'cause at this point we know no one's going for healthy.
The highlight of your Krekel's experience has to be their ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate, Lemon and a few other flavors unbeknownst to me since those are the only ones I order. Soft serve in a cone or a shake, either way is a mouthful of heaven.
Oh, Krekels! I miss you... But when I go visit the 'rents in Decatur (which isn't often anymore), a greasy bag of goodness to-go is the highlight of the trip!
No longer open for brunch on weekends or lunch on weekdays. Sadly, you can no longer have champagne and pork belly before noon here. Good news? They're still open for dinner, where pork belly and champagne are most definitely on the menu.
What a find! And I can't even take the credit...
The BF's co-workers recommended Sweet Basil. Since we rarely venture over to Foster City, why not? Tucked away in a charming little shopping center, you'll find this 5-star gem. Don't let the outside 80's facade fool you, this restaurant is legit!
Love the contemporary decor inside! It's definitely more upscale than a lot of the Thai spots I've been to before. Not that any of them have been gross or terrible, but Sweet Basil makes you feel like you're having a special meal out on the town. Even the bathrooms are large, clean and well-kept.
We ordered crispy spring rolls, which came beautifully presented in a small dish of sauce and a flower on top. Classy! Perfectly cooked and not too hot for gobbling down immediately. Entrees consisted of pad ginger w/chicken alongside squid basil. The pad ginger was even better than I expected, with thin slices of ginger and a nice sauce on the bottom. Basil squid was spicy, but not too much, even for a weenie like myself. We had leftovers with both dishes, perfect for one more lunch the next day.
Am not surprised about their Michelin star, as it's excellent food, great service and wonderful ambiance. If you have time before or after your meal, take a walk along the Bay and get a wonderful view of SF!
Everything about the sausage and honey pizza is true. One of the most delicious slices I've had in a long time... Perfectly crisp crust, rich, creamy cheese, spicy sausage and honey on top. So good!
I'm a little angry that the BF took our leftovers for lunch today and I'll be stuck eating Subway or something equally as terrible.
Palo Alto is full of fancy people and places, but The Sea by Alexander's is truly a unique dining destination unlike anything I've experienced in the Bay Area.
Let me first start off by complimenting the restaurant designers, who turned a Trader Vic's into a 5-star seafood restaurant. As soon as you walk in, it feels like you've been transported to a sexy Vegas dining room (the good kind, of course). Just dark enough, but you can still see everything happening, including your food. There's a small dining room in front, along with a large bar that's begging for me to come back for drinks. No happy hour here, this is a very classy joint. Might I also add that it does NOT smell like seafood when you walk inside? Instead, the essence of truffle (or truffle oil) wafted my way... so good!
The main dining room is comprised of large, comfy booths and you have a perfect view of what's happening in the kitchen. God bless the GM, who politely asked if we'd like to be moved since we were seated behind a family with a small child who was getting slightly rowdy. I have nieces and a nephew, so it didn't bother me too much. Regardless, he gave the parents a stern look and that kid was settled down in no time. Thank you, GM, as I'm not a fan of restaurants who look the other way when a guest isn't behaving.
On to the food and drink! We began with Togarashi Tuna Tatake + Roederer Sparking Rose (me), alongside giant sea scallops + 'Ürziger Würtzgarten' Kabinett Mosel, Germany (my friend). The tuna was everything I hoped for and more... loved the texture and the soy vinaigrette sauce could be used on anything! Not a huge fan of scallops, the ones served at The Sea were exceptional, cooked perfectly without any hint of rubber texture or oozing fishy flavored sea water. And we cannot forget the half dozen Kumomoto oysters served with a house-made mignonette. Creamy, buttery and pairs perfectly with sparkling wine.
For our main dishes, I had the evening's special, a red snapper with the tiniest little mushrooms and delicious, fresh peas on top paired with the Oakwood Ranch Pinot Noir from Russian River (gotta go with Russian River when given the opportunity). +1 had the King Salmon and another glass of the Riesling. Portions were spot-on, definitely more than a bite or two, but not something where you would eat yourself sick, either. See for yourself:
We obviously weren't too stuffed to share a dessert! Upon closer examination of the menu, a chocolate souffle sounded perfect. If you're ordering said item, it does take an extra 20 minutes to prepare, so be patient! Souffle was light, fluffy and, in perfect Goldilock's style, just right. A side of peppermint macaroons accompanies the dish, but we focused solely on the chocolate. And if you're not a big dessert lover, you'll at least get a kick out of the cherry flavored cotton candy served at the end of the meal.
After dessert, a quick tour of the restaurant was in order. TONS of "behind the scenes" event space, perfect for private parties. Pastry kitchen is kept separate from the seafood (very good idea) and Chef Lin even made an appearance! VIP treatment, all the way...
The Sea is definitely not an everyday sort of restaurant, at least not in my world. However, I can see why they popped up in Palo Alto, as there's a need for something extra special in Silicon Valley. People have money to burn and want to feel like they're important. Take your SO here for a special meal, bring your parents from out of town, or just come by and have a drink at the bar. You must see it to believe it!
If there was a foodie police, I'd definitely be cited for ordering the same thing over and over again at a restaurant. Why mess with a good thing if you like it?
Sure, it's fun to be adventurous and try new things. I do it all the time! But with every risk comes the occasional terrible meal, like a sour cabbage soup story: yelp.com/biz/suns-chines…
Frankly, I do enough urban exploration on a regular basis. It's not a huge crime for knowing what you like!
Which brings me back to Pescadero Country Store. I love visiting Pescadero, it's so cute and everything an out-of-towner would want to see is either at the ocean or within one or two blocks of town. On our second visit, we really wanted to try Duarte's, which is famous for pie, artichoke soup and all sorts of home cooked goodness. But it was packed and we were starving!
Pescadero Country Store wasn't too busy and their pizza is good! Really good. Crispy thin crust with locally made goat cheese and sausage on top. That and an appetizer of fried artichokes makes me happy. Although fried, the artichokes are perfectly battered and not greasy at all! And hey, you're in artichoke country... When in Rome, right?
Pizza, fried artichokes and a beer on a sunny Sunday afternoon? Doesn't get much better than this. Even the second time around!
***To the tune of Wiz Kalifa's "Black and Yellow"***
"Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is
Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo
Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is
Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo
Yeah, uh huh, you know what it is
Everything I do, I do it with extra corn
Yeah, uh huh, spicy broth you should be warned
What I got in line, it's worth waiting
Reppin' San Mateo, when you see me you know everything
Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo
I suck up noodles with my chopsticks, I'm at
Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo, Ramen Dojo"
Yeah, it's just that good. Now I understand what the fuss is about. Rolled up Friday night around 6-6:30 pm and there was only about a 15 minute wait outside. Nothing else planned for the night, so we put our name on the list and did that awkward stand around, peering in the front window.
The good news? They get customers in and out fast. The menu is simple, Ramen plus a few appetizers and desserts. In addition to mild spicy garlic broth, we split some fried octopus (takoyaki-style). YUM! That broth is a wonderfully dangerous intestinal adventure. If you're having digestive issues, come here and have a bowl, you'll be feeling better within hours, assuming there's a toilet nearby.
Two bowls of Ramen, one large Sapporo, one appetizer = $36, not bad for a belly full of goodness.
As many reviews have already indicated, Norm's is THE place to purchase freshly made artichoke bread. Never had it before? Me either, up until recently. It comes in several different varieties, but I'm going to go out on a limb to say that all of them have a very distinct artichoke flavor. Goes very well with some Harley Farms goat cheese - which also can be found at the market, or just down the road in Pescadero!
On the weekends, Norm's can get pretty crowded. Don't be alarmed at all of the wide-eyed tourists, with their arms full of locally made jams, wine, cheese and baked goods! Either they just don't get out of the house too often or aren't aware that you can order from Norm's online: normsmarket.com/store, but I will say you should get the bread fresh. They also sell a Pescadero "Hurtin' Head" wine that I didn't see available on the site, for $12 it's not too bad.
What else did we buy? A peach pie, of course! Which paired so well with the La Nebbia sweet California sparkling wine, purchased on the way home from Pescadero! lanebbiawinery.com/wines… - Don't worry, we shared with friends who came over that night for dinner. Otherwise, we would have been drunk and full of very rich food!
If you live in South Bay, the Peninsula, San Francisco or even in the lower perimeter of East Bay, a trip to Pescadero isn't too far out of the way and a wonderful excuse for a day trip. It only takes an hour or two to get to the coast and you can celebrate with local produce or a home-cooked meal after!
Yum! A perfect Monday lunch on the run...
If you haven't yet tried Ike's, get your ass over to one of the handful of sandwich shops in the Bay Area (Oakland, San Francisco, Danville, Redwood City, Stanford, Cupertino... AND coming soon to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.!) It's an institution.
Don't let the line that forms outside by 11:30 am freak you out. It moves fast and sandwiches come out even faster. It helps to view a menu online ahead of time, otherwise the selections will overwhelm you and your rumbling stomach. The "Menage a Trois" is always a hit if you're unsure of what to order... it comes with Ike's "dirty sauce" slathered all over it. I've met *the* Ike in person and he said the dirty sauce would be his last condiment on Earth if he only had to pick one! That says something coming from a sandwich master.
A sandwich at Ike's costs about $9-10 but really could be split between two people, depending on the level of hunger. That and a bag of BBQ/Ranch potato chips. Or you could eat half at lunch and eat the other half for an afternoon snack. Wouldn't recommend right before a workout, but hopefully you already knew that wouldn't be a good idea.
Ike, you da man! Love your food :)
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|Traveling to SF? Here's a list of my favorite places!||Seafood and I eat it!|
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|Where I like to eat brunch||Some cool places to try in Sin City|
|When someone behind the counter/phone goes above and beyond the call of duty||You see, there is life south of San Francisco|
|Quite possibly the quickest, easiest (and most delicious) meal on earth||It's not easy looking this good!|
"Geeking Out bit.ly/1sXTqFu"
San Francisco, CA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Mai 2008Dinge, die ich mag
Sparkling Malbec, California, St. Louis BBQ, tuxedo cats, lemon flavored anything, exploring old buildings, surf rock, Squirt and tequila, having new adventures, naps on the beach, day trips, vintage movie theaters, making mix CD'sHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
my backyard garden, trying *not* to kill the plants!Heimatort
Decatur, ILMein Blog oder meine Website Wenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm thinking about Yelping :)Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
My reviews usually have a personal story attachedMeine zweitliebste Website Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
"Cat Sense" by John BradshawMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
Beach Boys with my parents at the IL state fair, sans Uncle JessieMein Lieblingsfilm
The GraduateMeine Henkersmahlzeit
Cake, candy and French friesErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I forgot how to ride a bike. That saying is not true!Meine neueste Entdeckung
Wild parrots of Telegraph HillIch schwärme gerade für
Bunny jumping competitions: youtube.com/watch?v=qM9Y…