Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week on the West Coast: Wine Country, SF

I didn't get a chance to post about the meal we shared with friends at the Bounty Hunter in downtown Napa, but sitting here in SF after tonight's meal gave me the necessary motivation.

BBQ and wine (and champagne) together? Hell, yes! says the Hunter. Four and a half** hungry people sat down for this meal, and little was left of the ribs, brisket, and pulled pork when we finished. A lovely charcuterie plate was a nice beginning, multiple wine flights gave us enough variety to satisfy any palate, and even the chocolate dessert confection was rich and tasty. A mostly unknown find turned out to be a favorite!

As for tonight, we went a little coastal at the Blue Mermaid in the famous Argonaut Hotel. I sampled three chowdahs: mussels & sausage (the red one), crab and corn (the white one), and California style (the pink one). The first was spicy and tomato-based, reminding me strongly of conch chowder. The second was hearty and flavorful, with a base nearly identical to classic New England style. The third was an unexpected pleasure, though a tad on the salty side.

Paired with fresh sourdough bread, there was little to detract from this palatable diversion. I would order larger servings of all three any day!

** The "half" is our dear friends' little girl, currently still a "player to be named later."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week on the West Coast: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

There are many ways to measure a trip: miles, days, cities, coffee cups. I thought it would be a nice diversion for me to catalogue this vacation here on the blog in meals -- good food (or perhaps just memorable food) is an easy marker with which I can measure out how we spent our time.

Now, I don't intend to relentlessly snap-and-post every single meal and snack we consume, but the notable surely deserve their place in the sun.

Pictured here is the basil tomato soup and grilled cheese I enjoyed on our first night in Yosemite. Lodge food is notoriously unreliable, but this meal was a very pleasant surprise. The soup was thick and flavorful, and the sourdough bread gave my sandwich a nice kick. After long hours of weary travel, it was a satisfying end to the day.