Friday, October 30, 2015

101 South: San Mateo, Pacific Catch


Pacific Catch  243 S B St./E. 3rd Ave., (650) 389-2482.  L-D daily.  The original restaurant in this Bay Area mini-chain is on Chestnut Street in San Francisco.  This newish branch operates inside a spare, clean-lined dining room featuring rust-colored walls, bamboo-style room dividers, giant rice paper chandeliers, and--surprisingly in such a sleek space, but most appreciated--comfy booths.


Before we ordered, the server offered us complimentary still or sprinkling house-filtered water in lovely blue bottles along with a little plate of fish-shaped pretzels and edamame.

The menu stresses sustainable seafood with an Asian and Hawaiian bent.  Signature items include six kinds of Hawaiian Poke, sushi rolls, rice bowls, fish & chips, salads, and island tacos--all in a variety of styles.  I ordered a Hawaiian teriyaki bowl with a half rice, half lettuce base and topped with a small slab of grilled salmon.  It was so big and yummy that I took my leftovers home for lunch the next day.

Appetizers include spicy Cabo calamari, Korean sticky ribs, and crispy Thai coconut shrimp.  A special themed menu is added periodically, and when I visited it featured dishes made famous in San Francisco.  From it we chose a crisp, avocado-heavy Green Goddess shrimp salad to share.

From it, he also chose a tasty pan-seared petrale sole with Dungeness crab-topped mashed potatoes,

 and we both were unable to resist the pull of what turned out to be strong and really good Mai Tais.  

Service was a little slow, but our waitress checked in and reassured us that “perfection takes time.”  I planned to order an It's-It for dessert from the S.F. menu, but we decided instead to share chocolate and vanilla mochis.  
Pacific Catch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

More things to do in San Mateo.

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©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

101 North: Boonville, Farmhouse Mercantile


Farmhouse Mercantile  14111 Hwy 128, (707) 895-3996.  Thur-M 11-5.  Operating within a historic barn-like building with original shelving, this general store provides an interesting browse of kitchen and home accoutrements.  Philo Apple Farm chutneys, juices, and jams are also for sale (the apricot jam is made with rare old-time Royal Blenheims and the colorful plum jam is made with the Santa Rosa variety picked from the property’s own trees).  

jams and juices at Farmhouse Mercantile in Boonville, California

colorful reading glasses at Farmhouse Mercantile in Boonville, California

racks of ribbon at Farmhouse Mercantile in Boonville, California

More things to do in Boonville.

Things to do in nearby Philo.

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

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

101 North: Boonville, Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar


Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar  14025 Hwy. 128, Boonville, (707) 895-2767.  D F-M.  Reservations advised.  Diners can make a delightful meal here of appetizers.  My party of two ordered an arugula-endive salad, pan-seared fish tacos (two small ones per serving), wild-caught Mexican prawns sautéed in garlic-butter sauce and topped with a golden nasturtium (four firm, meaty prawns), and two grilled Moroccan meatballs made with Niman Ranch grass-fed beef and topped with pickled red onions.  This was plenty, and left us no room for dessert.  Originally, I had wanted to try the soup and the red Russian kale Caesar salad, but the soup was fini and the kale didn’t arrive that day.  Other popular menu items include truffle fries and steamed mussels in a yellow curry broth, and large-plate versions of some items are available.  A large outdoor area is available in front—nice in good weather—and one large room and a small bar that seems perfect for solo diners make up the dining area inside.  Both decor and atmosphere are informal and unpretentious, with tables covered in butcher paper.  Leftover food is given to farm animals, and leftover drinking water is emptied from glasses into a very happy rosemary plant.  
Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


arugula-endive salad at Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar in Boonville, California

fish tacos at Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar in Boonville, California

prawns in garlic-butter sauce at Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar in Boonville, California


Moroccan meatballs at Aquarelle Cafe & Wine Bar in Boonville, California


More things to do in Boonville.

Things to do in nearby Philo.

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

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Friday, October 23, 2015

101 North: Boonville, Boonville General Store


Boonville General Store  14077 Hwy. 128, in Boonville, (707) 895-9477.  B-L daily; $$.  Though it is inside a new building, this cafe-bakery-deli has an old-time feel and offers seating both indoors and out at wood picnic tables.  Among the best choices are freshly baked items, including fruit scones, breakfast hand pies (empanadas), thin-crust pizza, and quiche.  Breakfast includes housemade granola and omelets, and lunch brings on sandwiches made with house-baked bread.  We enjoyed a thick, colorful carrot soup and a hand pie stuffed with potatoes and eggs.  They often run out of things early (I wanted a hand pie stuffed with chorizo and goat cheese and a chocolate-cheese Danish, but that was not to be).  Everything is organic and made from scratch, and no corn syrup or hydrogenated oils are used.  Taylor Maid organic fair trade coffee and tea is served along with local wine and beer.
Boonville General Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Zina Hyde Cunningham Tasting Room adjoins. 


order counter at Boonville General Store in Boonville, California


menu board at Boonville General Store in Boonville, California


front patio at Boonville General Store in Boonville, California


carrot soup and salad at Boonville General Store in Boonville, California


hand pie at Boonville General Store in Boonville, California


More things to do in Boonville.

Things to do in nearby Philo.

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

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

101 North: Boonville, Boont Berry Farm Store

update/p.252

Boont Berry Farm Store  13981 Hwy. 128, Boonville, (707) 895-3576.  M-Sat 10-6, Sun 12-6.  Decidedly uncutesy, this rustic little store instead has a cozy, old-time atmosphere that includes antique food coolers, old wood floors, and a front door that squeaks every time it is opened.  Inventory includes locally grown organic produce, whole-grain breads, and homemade ice cream.  A deli in a back alcove with seating serves items prepared in-house, including green chili enchiladas, pesto pizza, lasagna, a meatless loaf, and tofu with mashed potatoes.  Most prepared food is vegan or vegetarian.  I liked the roasted root salad (ask for it heated) and the generously sized black-bean burritos.  Cookies, brownies, and flaky rugelach are described as “awesome,” and the peach-mango scones and vegan cupcakes “to die for.”  On Fridays, you should definitely try the jalapeño cheese bread.  



exterior of Boont Berry Farm Store in Boonville, California


interior of Boont Berry Farm Store in Boonville, California


black-bean burrito at Boont Berry Farm Store in Boonville, California


More things to do in Boonville.

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More vegan-vegetarian places.  




More ice cream shops.  

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Monday, October 19, 2015

880 South: Berkeley, Mission Heirloom Cafe


Mission Heirloom Cafe  2085 Vine St./Shattuck Ave., Gourmet Ghetto, (510) 859-4501.  Tu-F 8am-7pm, Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 9am-2pm; $$.  As usual, Berkeley is in the forefront of food trends.  Have you heard about the Paleo Diet--no processed or refined oils, sugar, gluten, grains, legumes; no cooking with plastic or aluminum, which introduce toxins; and no ingredients that sound like chemicals.  And if you have food allergies, you can eat here--at the Bay Area’s first paleo eatery--worry free.  Everything is organic, dairy and grain/gluten free, non-GMO, and prepared from scratch in house.  Sit either inside in the cool contemporary area in front, or in the big sheltered outdoor area in back that is furnished with a mix-match furniture collection and alive with blooming flowers and butterflies.  On the short and sweet seasonal menu items are sweetened only with raw coconut sugar or raw local honey—no sugar.  For breakfast look for an egg and scone or maybe a shiso-epazote waffle with fried chicken, for lunch maybe a beef burger salad, and for an afternoon snack perhaps a paleo gelato.  Raw milk as well as vanilla and chai almond milk made from scratch and available for coffees.  I came here specifically to try the trendy bulletproof coffee (some people refer to it as Sherpa coffee), which has Straus unsalted butter added to it and isn’t cheap ($6.50).  Made with a special mix of beans and frothed up in a blender, it is said to gently boost your metabolism and give you consistent energy all day without any crashes.  I enjoyed it, but I did become jittery a few hours later.  Whatever you do, don’t drink it after noon or you might be up all night!  No decaf coffee is available, though you can get a shot of matcha green tea or velvet cocao tea.  In addition to many house-packaged foods, they sell camel milk to go!  Why?  Because it is reputedly tasty, of similar consistency as breast milk, and easy to digest.  As at Chez Panisse, dishes are from Heath ceramics.  Related classes and events are sometimes scheduled. 
Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

counter at Mission Heirloom Cafe in Berkeley, California
 
back patio at Mission Heirloom Cafe in Berkeley, California

menu at Mission Heirloom Cafe in Berkeley, California

bulletproof coffee at Mission Heirloom Cafe in Berkeley, California

zebra coconut macaroons at Mission Heirloom Cafe in Berkeley, California

bottled camel milk at Mission Heirloom Cafe 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 ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  


Friday, October 16, 2015

101 North: Hopland, Solar Living Center

update/p.253

Solar Living Center  13771 S. Hwy. 101, (707) 472-2450.  M-Sat 10-5, Sun 11-4.  $3/car.  Self-guided tour:  daily 10-6; free.  Guided tour:  F-Sun at 11, Apr-Oct; by donation, $5/family.  Carousel:  daily 12-4, on the hr.  Pick up a self-guided tour brochure at the entrance to this surprising, impressive 12½-acre complex, or time your visit for a guided tour.  An especially refreshing stop on a hot day--it can soar to 110 degrees around here in summer, and the town claims 300 days of sunshine every year--this small oasis has an Agave Cooling Tower that dispenses a refreshing mist.  For kids, a play area with an optional pipe-tunnel entrance, a sandbox, and a water pump is on hand along with a seasonal solar-powered carousel designed by Bill Dentzel (a descendant of the famous carousel maker) that features salmon, skunk, and mountain lion mounts.  The Central Oasis is a sort of a mini-Yellowstone fountain of dancing geysers, and the Solar Calendar is a sort of mini-Stonehenge designed to connect visitors to the changing seasons.  Once inside the cool Real Goods Store--double-entendre intended--you can browse the useful merchandise and check out a wall cutaway revealing the building’s unusual straw-bale construction.  On the way out, a sign urges, “Turn inspiration into action.”  Frey Vineyards operates a free tasting bar in the back.  Their wines are organic and biodynamic.  And if you like, you can book in for the night in the site’s Tumbleweed Tiny House, a compact two-story building on wheels.  Campsites are available April through October.  


Solar Living Center in Hopland, California


children's play area at Solar Living Center in Hopland, California


solar power at work at Solar Living Center in Hopland, California


Solar Living Center in Hopland, California


table setting for sale at Solar Living Center in Hopland, California


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


images © 2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

San Francisco: Borobudur Restaurant


Borobudur Restaurant  700 Post St./Jones St., Lower Nob Hill, 3 blks. from Union Square, (415) 775-1512.  L M-Sat, D daily (Sun from 1pm); $$.  Reservations advised.  A bank of comfy booths line either wall in this simple, often quiet spot specializing in an extensive menu of exotic Indonesian fare.  A favorite cuisine of mine, I didn’t know where to begin or end my order.  So I started with an appetizer of roti prata, a delicious pile of pan-fried layered bread served with an enhancing curry dipping sauce.  I would be happy with a meal of just this.  But it was followed by rendang beef (a classic stew cooked with spices and coconut milk) and ayam bakar cabe (spicy barbecued chicken).  Both were tasty and slow-cooked so that the tender meat just fell apart.  Portions are large, and so we had enough food left over for dinner the next night.  If you don’t want leftovers but want to try several items, the rice plates—which are a available at both lunch and dinner--make a good choice.  The Nasi Padang rice plate combines rendang beef, crispy tofu in a sweet-and-sour chili sauce, and chicken curry.  A rijsttafel feast is also available.  Next time I plan to try the corn fritters, ayam goreng kalasan (fried honey chicken), and a noodle dish.  
Borobudur Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


interior of Borobudur Indonesian restaurant in San Francisco

roti prata at Borobudur Indonesian restaurant in San Francisco


rendang beef at Borobudur Indonesian restaurant in San Francisco


ayam bakar cabe (spicy barbecued chicken) at Borobudur Indonesian restaurant in San Francisco

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco. 


Read a blog post and view some images of Borobudur in Indonesia.

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

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Highway 49--Gold Rush Country: Nevada City, Fall Colors


Fall Colors in Nevada City and Nevada County.  Mid-October to mid-November.  (800) 655-NJOY, (530) 265-2692.   
This area is one of California’s best for viewing autumn foliage.  The most spectacular displays are made by century-old Red Maple trees planted by early settlers.  These colorful displays are found in neighborhoods filled with Victorian homes near the downtown Nevada City historic districts and on leafy back roads.

More popular places to view fall colors in California.

Current California color reports. 

fall colors in Nevada City, California

fall colors in Nevada City, California
 
fall colors in Nevada City, California

More things to do in Nevada City.

More things to do in Gold Rush Country.

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

image ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers