after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Redd

rando-pictures!

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t says:  It’s my fault.  It’s not due to a lack of eating.  It’s not due to a lack of photo-taking.  It’s not even due to a lack of time to type.  I’m not sure what’s gobbling up my time (it’s clearly not because Scrubs is now on hulu.com … ok … maybe it is …).  Let’s play some catch-up:

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While in SF, we went to Nopalito, where g had her most “craveable” meal. I mean, we ate a LOT of good things, but she chose this place when pushed (g confesses: I think it’s dumb when t asks me these questions, like, “what was your best meal?” – they were all fantastic meals – for different reasons – how do you choose? [t breaks in: ok “every-parent-ever”; “no I can’t choose between my children – I love them all the same – just differently] back to g: *rolls her eyes* whatever … anyways, I was telling t that when I look back, I’d definitely “crave” the food at Nopalito – it’s simple but it’s soooo good, and it’s not too fancy of a place, and the prices are reasonable and it’s not too much of a production when you get there – you pick up a menu, you order, and delicious food comes out! done!)!  t takes over: so above is a seafood and avocado “soup”/gazpacho thing that was wonderful opposite the ?Brussels sprout quesadilla?.  Yes.  Brussels sprouts.  In Quesadilla.  Boom.  Mind blown.  Brain bits splattered on the wall behind you.

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And of courrse, the carnitas, which is like the best tacos I could ever put together. Oh, and the empanada in the foreground? See all those bright colors. As good as it looks, it was 10 times better to taste. Gawd we love this place.  g says:  and it’s different than when we get “fancier” Tex/Mexican food in Philly.  Our dishes weren’t “too heavy” or “too oily”.  I mean this was heavier than Don Pepe that cm’s parent’s delivered, but it still was much lighter than here in Philly.

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Oh yes … Griddle Fresh for brunch … first page of the menu blew my mind – I had no need to read anything else on the pages that followed.

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green tea latte – exactly as you imagine it would taste. It did look like a milkshake, however, which was a funny incongruence with what it tasted like (it’s a warm drink).

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This mess-of-a-dish was fabulous. I should incorporate more parm-reg in all of my morning breakfasts. The savory-salty note really helped me consume more sweet-juicy strawberries and syrup-laden French toast. Dangerous …

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k had some issues with her pancakes. she asked if they were going to be “too cheesy”. The guy said “no – not at all – they’re pancakes”. I think the miscommunication centered around exactly how cooked through the marscapone/ricotta pancakes were going to be. It’s ok – they were delicious.

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If your corned beef hash experiences are like mine, they are courtesy of a Hormel canned product … but not in California … where they use real corned beef slices and real potato chunks to make their hash. I swear cm must have had a whole cow’s worth of beef in this thing (don’t be fooled by the photo – it was a lot of hash – I’m pretty sure he had some leftover).

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g went fruit + egg. No frills. Just fruit and an egg. Snoozeville, right? I agree. Well … just so long as she’s happy …

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Dinner at Redd was “ok”. I mean, the food was good, and in line with what we’d expect to pay for fine dining in Napa. However, they didn’t quite nail the dishes as they did the first time we went. We missed the “spark”.

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I have no idea where I ate this.  I distinctly remembered “wanting to be healthy” … so I got a “salad”.  Of course, it had these little pork cubes on the side – so as a “salad” and it was fabulous. I should routinely take some shreds of pork and fry them together into a chicken-nugget-like objects more often.

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my name is t, and I have a problem. No, the problem is not alcoholism, the problem is that I only have 12 spaces in my wine-bottle-carrier for the airplane. Fortunately, I’m also a master probem-solver (we had to drink a bottle or two right then-and-there …).

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kp has bigger problems than me. He lacks the 55-bottle wine fridge I have. So he had to perform a “draft” of which of his bottles were going to be stored in perfect conditions … and which ones were going to be in “near-perfect” 65-degrees of his SF apartment … cuz, you know, temperatures don’t really get much colder than that in SF … *looks out the window at the 27-degree weather outside right now in Philly*

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We hit up brenda’s “Meat and Three”, which is probably kp’s most frequented restaurant/take-out. This is their watermelon sweet tea. Yes it’s outrageously good. Can’t believe I’ve gone this long without Snapple bottling this stuff. Sooooo good.

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Imagine banana chocolate chip pancakes you might have had at Honey’s. And make them better. Like WAY better. Much fluffier, with a richer more buttermilky taste. I’m thankful my pants couldn’t expand anymore, otherwise I would eaten myself into insulin resistance.

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Meanwhile … back in Philly … a and I hit up Zavino for lunch. Here they started off with a bang – a delicious “ricotta of the day” that was light and sproingy (“sproingy”? is that a word? is it onomatopoiea? sure, why not?) Not as decadent as Barbuzzo, but at least they give you ample bread …

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Also had top-notch meatballs – I was afraid the sauce was going to be too sweet, but these were solid.

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And now: bacon pizza … BACON PIZZA. Slam dunk, right? WRONG. a and I can’t figure out what went wrong. It had bacon and onion and arugula. But it just couldn’t get itself together. It also had some pickle on it, which made it weird – it made it come off like “all-the-toppings-you’d-want-on-a-burger-but-no-burger”. Weird. We won’t be ordered that again. We missed the ‘Stache pizza. Teaches us for committing to “trying something new”.

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As I’ve been eating out a lot, my waistline is growing. It was hard to notice because I spend so much time in pants with drawstrings … but it was noticed! As a result, I had to miss out on a bakesale. How good could the “Ultimate Bake Shop Triple Choc Cake” be? I don’t know.

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g and I hit up Pizzeria Vetri the other day as well. The salad was an interesting concoction of cauliflower, kale, raisins, etc. I felt like it was the best thing we ate!

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This cinnamon-roll-looking thing was actually dough, rolled up with a layer of prosciutto and topped with nuts. It’s funny because all of the visual cues and proprioceptive cues (like the feeling of the fork as I was cutting it) and textural cues were that of a cinnabon … but it tasted like meat and nuts. So bizarre. It didn’t stop me from finishing it.

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g loved the pizza. Personally, I felt like it was a little sweet, but she loved the fennel-on-fennel-sausage combo. She housed it.

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But for me – I saved room for one of the most delicious affogatos ever. Affogato made with soft-serve? Yes please!

Ok, so now my iPhoto is all caught up.  Hooray!  Now I feel far less guilty about not updating the blog.  Ahhhhh.  I’ll be sure to try and keep up with the holiday eating season.  It’s tough, but I’m up for the challenge.

 

Written by afterdinnersneeze

8 December 2014 at 10:36am

Napa in words … Days 3 + 4

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t says:  In an interesting turn of events, g and I realized that we took very few pictures on our last two days in Napa.  And those that we did take turned out pretty bad (which is saying a lot, given the not-so-high standards for pictures that we have here).  So I guess that means we’re left with words, words, words.

We started off Day 3 with a delightful trip to Round Pond vineywards/winery/olive oil place.  After a and v loved it so much on their recent trip, g and I just had to check it out for ourselves.  We did an olive oil tasting to give us a break from the the wine we had been having.  This was fun because g and I know nothing about olive oil except that when we go to Garces Trading Company, it tastes delicious.  It was fun to see and hear the lady talk about olives and olive oils (as well as the growing/harvesting/manufacturing/bottling), but we do have to admit that she wasn’t really the kind of person that g and I really wanted to be listening to first thing in the morning:
1)  She was needlessly perky.
2)  She just kept talking … mindlessly … endlessly … kinda like Rachel Ray …
3)  Asking for a show of hands of “who’s a foodie?” and “who’s a wino?” to a tour group of people visiting a Napa Winery is stupid.  The first rule of being a foodie is not talking about “being a foodie” … you talk about food.  And “wino” … ?  Seriously?  g and I refused to raise our hands for either of these questions.
4)  She attempted to convince the crowd that Thomas Keller recently “bought”/”owned” the fanciest restaurant in Philadelphia (Le Bec-Fin).  (Don’t worry  – we set her straight.)

How were the oils?  Well, to be honest, we’ve had better olive oils at Garces Trading Company (fully recognizing, of course, that perhaps that’s not even considered to be “good” by oil snobs), so that was a little bit of a letdown.  Furthermore, the ones we did like were not able to be purchased unless you join the Round Pound club.  Booooo.  We did get to taste two of their wines, including their workhorse cab, and I have to say that I wasn’t that impressed … sorry a!  What they lacked in sex/fruit appeal they did not make up for in structure/balance/grace.  I suspect that a and I will just have to agree to disagree about their wines … but to be fair, maybe a tasted their higher-end selections that we were not privy to unless we went for a separate tour/tasting.

We then journeyed to Solbar for a light brunch.  The food was pretty good – but it’s not like we were really “testing” them – I had some granola and g had some salad.  Were we being wusses?  Yea!  But that’s because we were pacing ourselves for the deliciosity that was to ensue that evening …

Our next and final winery visit was Larkmead.  Now, we only knew about this place because I was trying to visit a small winery called Massican during our visit, but couldn’t because the winemaker (and seemingly the only person working at the entire winery) was too busy working on the Chardonnay harvest at Larkmead.  I figured, “well … if Massican’t supposed to have fabulous whites, and the winemaker works at Larkmead, maybe Larkmead will have some fabulous wines?”.  And so, as we sat down in some comfy outdoor lounge chairs, peering out over endless vineyards, embracing the peaceful solitude punctuated with gentle rustling from the cool, refreshing breeze every now and then, we prepared for greatness.  And day-um: they were pretty great!  Out of the four wineries we visited this trip (Revana Vineyards, Ehlers Estate, Round Pound, Larkmead), the clear victor in terms of delicious wine was Larkmead – not a single wine neared medicority.  I could have spent all day going back and forth between the wines that we had, contemplating the nuances of each.  The salesman talked a good talk – he wasn’t pushy, rather, a bit matter-of-fact but without being abrasive.  In short, he knew exactly how to appeal to my wallet.  Fortunately, g kept me in check and we left with only one bottle – whew – bankruptcy disaster avoided.  Grade: A+.

For dinner, I donned a button-down shirt and khakis, and we traveled back to Yountville (all three of our dinners this trip were in Yountville) to go to Redd.  Once again, we have no pictures, but let’s just say that this place had the best food of the trip.  We ordered a ton of fish plates (raw and cooked and everything inbetween) and were blow away by the bold and complex flavors and masterful fish cookery.  I didn’t even mind the frequent “Asian spin” in a lot of the dishes – it was pulled off quite well!  The wines by the glass were delicious (and interestingly, the somm that night was a dude we saw “helping out” at Back Room Wines).  And finally, our server, who looked to be no older than 22, was excellent.  It immediately made me forget about the worse-than-mediocre experience we had at Bouchon the night before.

And so concludes our trip to Napa.  The next day, we woke up and began driving to the airport with frowns on our faces.  But don’t be misled – we still had smiles on our faces when we left the hotel (it was a good vacation after all!) – but the traffic hella-sucked … As a note to our future selves: it takes at least 2.5 hours to drive to the airport from Napa on a Monday morning.  And it takes about an hour to drop off the car, check a bag, and get through security.  So leave early.  And bring [more] cupcakes – you’ll need them.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

3 October 2012 at 10:07pm