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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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June 24-30, 2009


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  Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We took a scenic drive to Cetrella in Half Moon Bay:

... where we sat down to a bowl of corn soup ($9.00):

... with little crab cake islands and waves of arugula pesto. Roasted corn kernels lent texture to this shucked and shelled cob-ination.

A souffle-like “goron” of goat cheese ($9.00):

... was filled with rhubarb jam and bordered by salad and spiced, candied pecans. A tip of the syringe to molecular gastronomy was made with fig caviar to egg-sentuate this Harley Farm wheel. This scheme was capped by a Ponzi vineyards 2008 Pinot Gris from Oregon’s Williamette Valley.

The kampachi sashimi ($14.00):

... swam in a dashi sea with jalapeño-yuzu caviar. These caliente-vegetal-citrus spheres worked well with the fish, pickled cherries, daikon, and seaweed.

Seared foie gras ($18.00):

... came on a oatmeal streusel pedestal with a snow of powdered almond butter, pickled ramp and blueberries to further fortify this luxe liver.

Fulton Valley chicken breast ($20.00):

... was moist and perfectly seasoned beside a chicken apple sausage (which was rewrapped in its original casing of chicken skin to give it a flavorful leg up.) This wood roasted bird roosted with carrots, parsnips, tapenade and crunchy, puffed faro accompanied by a 2007 Martin Alfaro Pinot Noir.

I could tell that the halibut ($30.00):

... was going to be good as my fork exposed the perfectly cooked flesh. This pristine, line-caught fish came with a bouillabaisse of tuna, salmon, and tomato in the form of half moons that formed a bay when punctured. Deeply caramelized cippolini onions, greens and a garlicy fava bean toast completed this hali-good entree washed down with Acacia Vineyard “A” 2005 Chardonnay.

A Valrhona chocolate mousse bar ($10.00):

... had little crispy bits to contrast with the creamy richness of this silky cacao-intensive cake. The Smith Woodhouse 10 year old Tawny Port was the tonic for this toothsome tidbit.

Frog hollow cherries made an encore appearance in a clafoutis ($8.00):

... which arrived warm with a scoop of fromage blanc sorbet. This frozen goat milk ball was wonderfully tangy and Binged all of the elements together to Rainier supreme.

References to Executive Chef Sylvain Montassier’s experience at Alinea, Boulevard and The Waterside Inn in Bray are all apparent in the menu at this friendly coastside restaurant.

Cetrella Restaurant

845 Main St.
Half Moon Bay, CA



  Monday, June 29, 2009

It was time to exPort ourselves from the land to the north. We said goodbye to our friends W&J and their restful riverside retreat before throwing ourselves at the mercy of roadside restaurants.

We pulled over at Coyote Jack’s:

... which is everything you would expect. The only remarkable element was the service. A diner at a neighboring table called the waitress over because his diet coke “tasted funny.” We thought that she was extremely diplomatic by not pointing out that this is actually the intended flavor profile of this particular beverage. In a continued display of her restraint, she didn’t summon the diet Coke sommelier - she simply brought a new one.

We drank our funny tasting coffee along with our Marin Sun Farms, Fatted Calf, June Taylor, Acme and Farmer’s Market-free chow:

... which was competently cooked by a kitchen that knows its audience.

Our drive home was punctuated by this song:


...whenever we saw the proper signage (although we did not encounter a combination establishment since we weren’t on Jamaica Avenue.)




  Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Byways Cafe has more plates on the wall than on the tables:

This flea market festooned firm is all about diner food.

My basic breakfast ($5.50):

... had eggs that were firmer than my specified “soft” but not horribly overdone while Chubby’s “Alamo” ($8.50):

... scramble with onions, peppers, jack cheese and avocado was perfectly decent although the home fries lacked crispy bits.

Aside from these picky little issues, it’s a comfort food stop with a friendly staff and a serious following. There was a half hour wait for our table so we took a walk around the Pearl District:

... and we may have located Tyler Florence’s missing fork: looks a little different than it did originally, but that’s probably because it went under the knife...

The Byways Cafe

1212 NW Glisan St.
Portland, CA



  Saturday, June 27, 2009

We tromped all over Portland catching up with friends and were reminded of the regional differences between the Bay Area and our Northerly neighbors when a gas station attendant reminded us that it was not possible for us to pump our own petrol. There is no sales tax on anything including the fireworks for sale:

... in the Whole Foods parking lot.

The evening was devoted to the fireworks between B+T:

... pumped up by music and toasts that were anything but taxing.




  Friday, June 26, 2009

We had dinner at W&J’s gorgeous Portland home before catching a party, meeting up with friends at a bar and stopping for a midnight snack at the Grilled Cheese Grill:

The grilled cheese menu had the expected American cheese on white (this IS a trailer) as well as fancier options with brie and artichoke hearts.

They also sell a Cheesus Burger ($8.00) which consists of two grilled cheese sandwiches (in place of the top and bottom portion of the usual bun) one with pickles and American cheese, the other with grilled onions and Colby with a 1/3 pound burger and bag of chips.

For dessert, the Elvis ($4.00) with banana, peanut butter on white can be turned into a “Fat Elvis” for an extra $1.75 if bacon beckons.

This trailer based business has outdoor picnic table seating as well as a customed out bus:

... with laminated school picture table tops, lighting, speakers and an amazingly cool mural on the ceiling:

... like a sistine school bus. We grilled each other with Trivial Pursuit cards as our snack was experiencing a non-trivial grilling.

We got the Jalapeño popper ($5.00):

... with roasted jalapeños, Colby, cream cheese and crumpled up corn chips on grilled white. This is exactly the kind of food you want to eat after leaving a bar. Hot crisp crusted, melty, flavorful fat with a little peppery perk and salty crunch. Not fancy, just fun.

Grilled Cheese Grill

1027 NE Alberta Ave.
Portland, OR



  Thursday, June 25, 2009

You know how some people decide to settle where they see an eagle and a snake? We decided that it was time to pull over when we saw an eagle and a salmon:

This place ain’t the Ritz but they’ve got 3 hots and a cot...and some slots for the price of a thought:

The mood is geriatric and so is the food, but you can get your prime rib:

... with a side of Keno but we skipped the pie which they sweetened with Equal - yikes!)

It’s always a gamble:

... when you set off on a road trip, but for the campy factor:

... we hit the jackpot.


Seven Feathers Hotel & Casino Resort



  Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Winemaker Ed Kurtzman:

...brought the fruits of his labor to Fort Mason as one of the kick off events: for this year’s Pinot Days.

The first flight was elevated by the 2004 Sandler Santa Lucia Highlands, the second had the sound 2007 ROAR Gary’s Vineyard, while the 2007 August West Graham Family Vineyard and the 2004 August West Rosella’s Vineyard were among our faves from the remaining rounds.

Ed Kurtzman’s easygoing style made for a fun evening as he led us through his liquid resumé.

Pinot Days events continue through the 28th and include the grand festival, dinners, focus tastings, bbq and music. Check the website for a full list of events.

Pinot Days San Francisco
June 24-28, 2009
Fort Mason
San Francisco


It appears that they have put the carts before the source: the under construction site of Larkspur’s Trader Joe’s:

After many delays, the deadline is now August.










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