Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It's been too long. I will be back with more comestible criticisms soon. Meanwhile, here's what I was eating in Europe; I wish I had captured more.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4.13.2010 - The Woodrose (Garberville, CA)

I am definitely on a lucky streak pertaining to dining out these days (thanks to great and knowledgeable friends and family) and having been dining out often and am probably paying the proverbial dietary price.

The Woodrose is a quaint little cafe nestled in the drug induced affluence of Garberville. They serve hearty, organic style fare for breakfast and lunch only. Their menu was large and diverse, but pretty darn pricey so that you may have to decide between eating there or purchasing that new bulb for your lighting system. The food was good though; I had the ABC Omelet. The eggs were fresh tasting, there was plenty of avocado, the Niman Ranch bacon was delicious (of course), and the white cheddar a nice touch. The omelet also came with some great homefries and wheat bread (not straight out of the bag). Oh, and not to sound like I'm gushing, but the coffee was awesome (which is crucial).

Ok, so it sounds like I kind of like this place, right? Right. But remember, it's pricey. That omelet I so enjoyed? $14.95. Worth it? I don't know. So go with warning, but know your food will be yummy.

911 Redwood Dr.
Garberville, CA

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

4.2.2010 - Milo's City Cafe (Portland, OR)

We came here for breakfast and it was a solid choice. I had the Carbonara Hash (pepper bacon, onions, bell peppers, garlic and potatoes) which is served with two eggs and toast. I feel it was a pretty original and unique twist on regular corned beef hash (which is also served and was tough not to order) and was quite satisfying especially on a cold, rainy Portland morning. The coffee was good and the atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable.

Milo's City Cafe
1325 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

4.1 AND 4.5.2010 - La Hacienda (Orick, CA)

Surprise yum. I couldn't care less if this place is a drug front or an elaborate way to launder money, but something weird is going on here. As far as I can tell the owners and employees all live in Eureka and commute the 45 miles north to Orick with a population of 487 (compared to the over 26,000 people in Eureka) to run a small Mexican restaurant. The town definitely gets a good amount of traffic as highway 101 runs through it, but then again, so does Eureka. Anyway, regardless of the "why?" aspect, the food is good. The three salsas served with the house-made chips (fried corn strips which are sprayed with a salty solution as soon as they are removed from the fryer so that the whole chip has a ton of flavor) are all made fresh everyday and are excellent.

The first time I went, I ordered the carnitas sopes. The carnitas is, as my friend Jamey says, by far the best around. It is crispy yet succulent, sweet yet tangy, and delicious. The base of the sopes- a griddle cooked corn cake slightly thicker than a tortilla- is also house-made and the freshness is apparent. Beans are smeared atop the corn cake and topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and guacamole. Really good.

The second time (a mere four days after the first time), I ordered the pollo asado taco salad. Served in a crispy fried tortilla shell, the taco salad was served with a hefty portion of chicken, rice, whole beans, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and sour cream. The pollo asado - BBQ chicken - was cooked perfectly and had good flavor, but in my opinion was too bbq-saucy. I am now very interested in trying the pollo a la plancha- grilled chicken- but it may be tough to order anything but the carnitas

La Hacienda
121137 Hwy 101
Orick, CA 95555

Monday, March 29, 2010

3.24.2010 - Luke's Joint (Arcata, CA)

I had the pleasure of going to Luke's Joint for the first time today. I had only heard good things about the place and had been dying to go and try what looked like some pretty succulent fare.

I got what was cleverly titled the Great Cornbowlio. Essentially, it was a piece of their homemade cornbread topped with coleslaw which is then topped with pulled pork. This is served with the soup du jour (that day it was a broth-based beef soup with vegetables). The cornbread and coleslaw were fantastic, but the pork was a bit dry, however flavorful. I couldn't quite tell if the pork had been cooked to perfection and then left out in a warming pan all day or if it had been dry from the beginning; I suspect, and hope for, the former. I got the chance to also taste their biscuits in gravy. They were good though I would probably never order them. The biscuits were light and tasty, but the gravy was too busy with bits of vegetable and the like. It seemed to be trying to be something it's not; sometimes really good basic gravy is indeed best. My friend and I went on to share the chocolate mouse with white chocolate and raspberry sauce. Though I don't normally like anything about white chocolate, there is nothing bad I can say about this mousse. It was delicious. In fact, all their baked items looked really good.

I want to and will go back.

Luke's Joint
887 H Street
Arcata, CA 95521

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3.23.2010 - Whiskey Tasting

Yes! This was great! Somehow I convinced some friends to come with me to a whiskey tasting at one of the local casinos, Cher-ae Heights. The tasting itself was put on by Myrtlewood Liquors and John's Fine Cigars and featured a "Whiskey Master" (one of, apparently, only 17 in the world) who is pretty much a liquor distributing company representative who- through that distributing company- represents the drinks giant Diageo, which, in turn, owns brands like Johnnie Walker, Bushmills, Oban, Dalwhinnie and Lagavulin, among many others. Nontheless, he seemed very nonpartisan about which whiskeys to drink; he thought they were all good. He was definitely a good speaker and was knowledgeable; he provided some clever anecdotes and witticisms and guided us through some of the whiskey making and tasting processes. The tasting also included a five course meal that consisted of grilled shrimp with risotto, Brie en croute with microgreens, crispy duck springrolls, roasted lamb chops with coffee and chocolate, and bread pudding with a whiskey caramel sauce. The food was good, but relatively uninspired and was scant and sparse. Notably my favorites were the Brie and bread pudding.

Below is the list of the whiskey we were able to taste. Surprises included serving chilled Johnnie Walker Gold at 28 degrees- it was great and delicious, mellowed the flavors and smoothed out the feel- and how much the bourbon stood out from the others. I came overly enthusiastic about tasting the Johnnie Walker Blue and left largely the same way about how great it was, but intrigued me further were the Oban, Dalwhinnie, and Talisker Distiller's Editions. They were all complex, but different and drinkable.

Johnnie Walker Blue
Johnnie Walker Gold 18 Year
Dalwhinnie 15 Year
Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition
Oban 14 Year
Oban Distiller's Edition
Bushmill's 16 Year
Glenkinchie 12 Year
Talisker 10 Year
Talisker Distiller's Edition
Bulleit Bourbon
Crown Royal Cask 16

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Newest dinner idea

Fillet of salmon on braised leeks with a rhubarb reduction. Could be good...