Thursday, August 18, 2016

San Francisco: Cafe de la Presse


Cafe de la Presse  352 Grant Ave./Bush St., Financial District.  This corner just might be the sunniest spot in the city, and outdoor sidewalk-side tables here are enticing on nice days.
sidewalk seating at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
sidewalk seating at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

Also on the west side of the cafe, large windows offering views of the sidewalk make the interior room the place to be for breakfast.  Dine then on housemade croissants and lattes as well as waffles, pancakes, and oatmeal.
almond croissant and latte at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
almond croissant and latte at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

Lunch brings on a refreshing Nicoise salad, a good-old-American hamburger, and a classic croque monsieur.
croque monsieur at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
croque monsieur at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

For dinner, the sunken main dining room in the back on the east side becomes a comfortable place to enjoy a Very French brasserie dinner.  It features a brick wall, high ceiling with turning fans, and wood banquettes along either wall.
sunken dining room at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
sunken dining room at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

The establishment’s changing menu, which is the same for all dining spaces, might include a warm fingerling potato salad topped with goat cheese and olive tapenade, grilled sea bass with mashed potatoes made delicious with a sauce Vierge, and for dessert if you’re really lucky, Ile Flottante (Floating Island)—the lightest-ever meringue floating in vanilla crème Anglaise.  Recently I enjoyed a Salade de Laitue consisting of crispy romaine lettuce with hazelnut oil-Dijon mustard dressing;
salade de laitue at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
salade de laitue at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

a Steak Frites with a flavorful Bordelaise sauce, caramelized onions, and a pile of crispy French fries that were way better than McD’s;
steak frites at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
steak frites at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

plus a mildly disappointing Croissant Pudding with chocolate and toffee sauce, caramelized hazelnuts, and vanilla gelato (the bread was too compressed).
croissant pudding at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
croissant pudding at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

My companion had a tender and juicy, long-cooked, falling-off-the-bone Poulet au Citron Confit that was infused with flavor and served with braised summer vegetables and lemongrass sauce.
poulet au citron confit at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
poulet au citron confit at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

Our delicious wine was a smooth 2014 Erath Pinot Noir from Oregon.  Additional noteworthy items on the menu include Duck Foie Gras (which I was surprised to see), escargots, mussels, and a burger.  Special three- and four-course fixed-price menus are also available.  It is enjoyable to have a drink at the impressive horseshoe-shaped alder-wood bar, and 15 wines are poured by the glass.
bar at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
bar at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

International newspapers and magazines are displayed along a wall and for sale.
magazine stand at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
magazine stand at Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California

The surrounding neighborhood is filled with French cafes and has become popular with French visitors, and the ornate gate leading into Chinatown is just across the street. 
Chinatown gate seen from Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
Chinatown gate seen from Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, California
Cafe De La Presse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

5 North: Woodland, Velocity Island Park


Velocity Island Park   755 N. East St., right off Hwy. 5, (530) 723-6885.  $34/2 hr.+.  Though cable parks are super popular in Europe, in California the trend is taking a while longer to catch on.  This cable wakeboard park is only California’s second.  Instead of a boat, an overhead cable system is used to tow participants.  The man-made lake here is 8-feet deep in the middle and has plenty of smooth water.  Paddle boarding is available before the cable opens.  Rentals, packages, and lessons are available.  The Black Pearl cafe dispenses snacks and meals.  


Velocity Island Park in Woodland, California
Velocity Island Park in Woodland, California


wakeboard takeoff at Velocity Island Park in Woodland, California
wakeboard takeoff at Velocity Island Park in Woodland, California




More things to do in nearby Davis.

More things to do in Woodland.  

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.


images c2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

80 North: Berkeley, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

update/p.285; also an update of these former blog posts

The dramatic new incarnation of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is now open downtown at 2155 Center Street/Oxford Street.  Read my detailed blog post about it at Visit Berkeley. 

A new exhibit, "Berkeley Eye:  Perspectives on the Collection," runs through December 11, 2016.  It draws from the University of California, Berkeley's extensive art collection and is presented in thematic groupings. 
Berkeley Eye:  Perspectives on the Collection exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, California
Berkeley Eye:  Perspectives on the Collection exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, California

Among the standouts are Andy Warhol's 1964 "Race Riot," Alexander Calder's 1926 "Circus Scene," and Richard Serra's 1972 "Circuit" litograph.  Some of my other favorites are:

"The Finding of Moses," 1924, James Ensor
detail from "The Finding of Moses," 1924, James Ensor, in exhibit at Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, California


"Berkeley #4," 1953, Richard Diebenkorn
"Berkeley #4," 1953, Richard Diebenkorn, at Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, California


"Typewriter," 1965, Robert Arneson
"Typewriter," 1965, Robert Arneson, at Berkeley Art Museum in Berkeley, California


 More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

5 North: Woodland, The Burger Saloon


The Burger Saloon  601 Main St., (530) 668-2747.  L-D.
exterior of The Burger Barn in Woodland, California
exterior of The Burger Barn in Woodland, California

Consisting of one huge open room with brick walls, a big bar, and plenty of tables, plus another smaller room with just tables, this might better be called The Burger Barn.
interior of The Burger Barn in Woodland, California
interior of The Burger Barn in Woodland, California

Since I was dining here solo, I was able to sit down immediately at the bar and skip the usual wait.  I secured myself a seat by the wall, where I could sit back and observe the crowd.  I found the natives to be friendly and helpful and talked a bit with a chatty local who sat next to me.
bar at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California
bar at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California

The menu offers an enormous variety of burgers—everything from the relatively tame Sophisticate with brie and roasted garlic to the Humongous Fungus with marsala mushrooms, Swiss cheese, crispy onion strings, and roasted garlic aioli, to the Gluten-Free sandwiched between butter leaf lettuce used in place of buns.
gluten-free burger at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California
gluten-free burger at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California

But still I ordered the relatively boring Classic Cheeseburger with aged cheddar and house sauce and was quite pleased.  The deal here is your first pick the style you want, then pick the meat, and then pick the bun.  I specified certified Angus beef on a whole wheat bun with a side of sweet potato fries.  All are served stabbed with a steak knife.
Classic Cheeseburger at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California
Classic Cheeseburger at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California

The menu is rounded out with housemade soup, bacon mac ‘n cheese, and deep-fried pickles.  I washed it all down with a tasty, rum-soaked Endless Summer cocktail, but draught beer is also an option.  
Endless Summer cocktail at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California
Endless Summer cocktail at The Burger Barn in Woodland, California
The Burger Saloon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


More things to do in nearby Davis.

More things to do in Woodland.  

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.


images c2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

San Francisco: Adolph Gasser Photography show


Adolph Gasser Photography  181 Second St./Howard St., South of Market, (415) 495-3852.  Shop and parking lot open M–F 9am–6pm, Sat 10am–5pm, Sun closed.  This full-service photography store with lab services is sponsoring an art exhibit in its free parking lot across the street.  Titled “City at Large III,” it is a display of black-and-white images wheat-pasted to the brick exterior walls around the lot.  The striking images include a giant one of the Golden Gate Bridge on its 50th anniversary in 1987, when it was loaded with pedestrians taking advantage of the opportunity to walk across.  But I was drawn in by the series depicting the now-deceased Brown twins who we used to spot around town, always dressed identically.  This exhibit will be on display at least through February 2017, and perhaps longer.  Almost as interesting as the show to me is the fact that this free parking lots exists in San Francisco--it is a concept as old as the much-missed Brown twins.  


exterior of Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California
exterior of Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California


City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California
City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California


City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California
City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California


City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California
City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California


Brown twins in City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California
Brown twins in City at Large III photography exhibit at Adolph Gasser Photography store in San Francisco, California


More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers