16 April 2011

Adventures in Eating

Sunflower readers beware:  this will be a completely hedonistic posting about...FOOD.  You might want to put on your stretchy pants and grab something yummy. 

I'm not the first person to fall in love with flavor.  Just look at the ever growing number of television shows, websites, and stores dedicated to the art of cuisine and the pursuit of culinary bliss. Even J.R.R. Tolkien wrote that "if more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, the world would be a merrier place."  Well, according to my pampered palate, the world is a merry place indeed. 

My latest discovery (are you ready for THIS?)....chocolate covered bacon! Oh yes.

Introducing Mo's Bacon Bar from Vosges Haut Chocolat.  We discovered this taste sensation at a local wine bar.  Paired with a Paso Robles zinfandel, I was officially infatuated!  Wowza!

Remember that scene from Ratatouille when the Parisian chef, with one spoonful of those succulent Mediterranean vegetables, was instantly transported to his tender childhood? 

That's what good food does.  It transports.  To the past, to the future, to a place of rapturous euphoria. 

At least, that's what it does for me.

Fortunately, I live in an area with abundant edible options.  And while we dine-in far more than we ever dine-out (for my waist-line and my budget), my taste buds have remembered and relished in their flavorful feats.  Here is a (short) list of some of my favorite foodie establishments (within a day's drive):

Morning Glory Restaurant
Ashland, OR
Favorite Item: Lemon ricotta stuffed French toast with raspberry syrup and a giant mug of coffee.  This place is a MUST whenever we are cruising through Oregon.

900 Grayson
Berkeley, CA
Favorite Item: The Demon Lover
-Spicy buttermilk fried Fulton Valley chicken Paillard, buttermilk waffle, and old-fashioned cream gravy. Oh. My. God. 

Christian Michael's Ristorante
Chico, CA
Favorite Item: the asparagus risotto or seared ahi tuna salad
-The bar is relaxed and well-stocked and they have an excellent happy hour menu too!

The Raw Bar
Chico, CA
Favorite Item: anything sushi! 
-I especially enjoy their selection of sakitinis, including the Gingertini and the Thai Lemon Drop.  Saki-to-me!

Palapas Restaurant and Cantina
Aptos, CA
Favorite Item: Tierra y Mar
-a combination of charboiled skirt steak and sauteed chipotle prawns, served with rice, beans, and handmade corn tortillas

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Favorite Item: Oysters Rockefeller
-The incredible menu is seasonal and changes daily.  The also have one of the finest wine lists I've ever seen, and if you aren't quite sure what to order, the sommelier will gladly assist you.  A truly romantic spot in the heart of Carmel.

Big Sur, CA
Favorite Item: The Famous Ambrosia Burger
-a ground steak sandwich, served on a French roll with their secret ambrosia sauce.  Really, people come here for the breathtaking coastal views, but the food is a tasty bonus!

So, who's hungry? (I did try to warn you.)  It's okay, a little hunger is good for the soul.  And it IS acceptable to indulge every once in awhile.  What is life without a bit of  joy now and then?  After all, it's a rather long journey "to there and back again." Better pack a chocolate covered bacon bar, just in case.

Bon Appetite!

Today's Gratitude List:
  • progress made on the stack of papers I brought home to grade (despite Molly's attempts to steal my paperclips and gnaw on the Oedipus essays)
  • a morning full of sunshine-perfect for my stroll through the neighborhood
  • a mostly healthy body image
  • re-runs of Stargate (Yes, I'm a secret sci-fi junkie!)

1 comment:

  1. I need to post these on a map and start working on a food crawl! I'm so into sushi right now I just took an informal class on the basics of creating my own roles and have decided to institute a weekly sushi night in casa Liebelt! the experimenting begins!!


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