Thursday, April 27, 2017

80 North: Berkeley, Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers


Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers  1591 Solano Ave., (510) 526-8185.  This burger specialist offers a comfortable atmosphere with seating in booths and at tables with chairs, plus that in-between solution--comfortable banquettes.  And the menu has something for everyone.  I prefer a very basic burger, without even cheese.  Here you can choose your type of flame-broiled patty--Niman Ranch ground beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, vegetarian--and you can make it simple or complex.  Among the more than 20 specialty versions is a Voodoo Burger stuffed with provolone and blue cheese, bacon, and mushrooms sautéed in spicy voodoo sauce.  And these burgers are BIG.  An assortment of fries includes a good-for-you sweet potato version, and you can order up a float or milkshake that let’s you have dessert with your meal--the blackberry-chocolate is superb, and the Turkish coffee is on my to-do list.   All this, plus hot dogs, salads and sandwiches, too.  


interior at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California
interior at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California


hamburger at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California
hamburger at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California

sweet potato fries at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California
sweet potato fries at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California

blackberry-chocolate shake at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California
blackberry-chocolate shake at Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers in Berkeley, California
Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


More things to do in Berkeley.
 
Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 
 
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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

80 North: Berkeley, The Bear’s Lair


The Bear’s Lair  2465 Bancroft Way/Telegraph Ave., in Eshleman Student Union, University of California, (510) 665-3968.  L-D daily; $.  No longer the dingy downstairs retreat of yesteryear--a real lair--the Lair today is a first-floor, table-and-chairs kind of place with an abundance of light from walls of windows, one of which overlooks Lower Sproul Plaza and has a view of the Campanile.  Plenty of taps dispense an assortment of brews, and a large menu presents cocktail choices.  The house burger is unexpectedly good and the large fries are exceptional, but you can forget the apple-heavy, too-juicy coleslaw.  The avocado toast appetizer is sprinkled with tomatoes and pepper and comes with soup and salad, and a pizza can be shared by two if you aren’t starving.

interior of The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California
interior of The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California

bar at The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California
bar at The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California

view from The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California
view from The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California

burger at The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California
burger at The Bear's Lair on the U.C. campus in Berkeley, California
 The Bear's Lair Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Friday, April 21, 2017

1 South: Pacifica, Pacifica Coastside Museum in Little Brown Church


Pacifica Coastside Museum  In Little Brown Church, 1850 Francisco Blvd./Salada Ave.  Tu, Thur, Sat 1-4pm.  Free.  Rummage sale:  2nd week of month; F 9am-4pm, Sat 1-4pm; free.  Constructed in 1910 as a community church, this sweet little structure is the second oldest building in town (the Sanchez Adobe is the oldest).  

Little Brown Church in Pacifica, California
Little Brown Church in Pacifica, California

It later housed the Pacifica Police Department, then was converted into a small museum.  Off the entry area you can peruse a tiny gift shop (do pick up a brick of the locally-made Pacifica Jack cheese that is made especially for the museum and which they sell here).  

gift shop in Little Brown Church in Pacifica, California
gift shop in Little Brown Church in Pacifica, California

On display just outside the shop is a 1/10-size replica tribute to the 80-foot-tall Pacifica Statue displayed at the Pan-Pacific Exhibition in 1915.  

Pacifica Statue in Little Brown Church in Pacifica, California
Pacifica Statue in Little Brown Church in Pacifica, California

In the small museum that is up some stairs in the back, I learned that Jack London went to kindergarten in Pacifica, and I saw delightful vintage photos--one depicted an open car of The Ocean Shore Railroad as it traveled along Devil’s Slide.  My favorite story is about the parachuting Santa who in 1964 was blown off course across Sweeney Ridge into the surf and was fished out and saved by some savvy surfers.  A video room shows a collection of historical film.  The monthly rummage sale is an especially good time to visit.  

Kathleen Manning explains display in Pacifica Coastside Museum in Pacifica, California
Kathleen Manning explains display in Pacifica Coastside Museum in Pacifica, California

Paul Slavin explains display in Pacifica Coastside Museum in Pacifica, Californiadisplay in Pacifica Coastside Museum in Pacifica, California
Paul Slavin explains display in Pacifica Coastside Museum in Pacifica, Californiadisplay in Pacifica Coastside Museum in Pacifica, California

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images c2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

1 South: Pacifica, Pacifica Beach Hotel and Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar


Pacifica Beach Hotel  525 Crespi Dr., (650) 355-9999.  52 rooms.  Some fireplaces.  Indoor heated pool.  Continental breakfast.  No pets.  Featuring contemporary Victorian-style architecture with colorful red-roofed cupolas, this hotel offers stunning ocean views of Linda Mar Beach--across the street--and Pedro Point.  All guest rooms have an ocean view, a balcony, and a Jacuzzi tub in the bedroom, and everyone gets a rose-petal welcome.





Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar  (650) 733-7343.  L M-F, D daily, Sat-SunBr; $$$.  This hotel restaurant serves a Peruvian menu and features a 20-foot high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Linda Mar Beach and the ocean, which is usually filled with surfers.

interior of Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
interior of Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

view from Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
view from Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
Menu items are meant to be shared family-style and include fried rice with sea urchin sauce, pork belly with Andean-style potato stew, paella, and anticuchos (Peruvian skewers), as well as a variety of ceviches.  Lunch includes charcoal-fragrant Lomo Saltado--sirloin steak pieces sautéed with onion, tomato, and cliantro and served on top of fries;

Lomo Saltado at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
Lomo Saltado at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

Pollo a la Brasa--half of a delicious rotisseried Mary’s organic chicken;

rotisseried chicken at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
rotisseried chicken at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

and Locro de Quinoa--a tasty and colorful vegetarian Kabocha squash stew with potatoes, green beans, and quinoa topped with a sunny-side-up egg.

Locro de Quinoa at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
Locro de Quinoa at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

At brunch, several Benedicts, a variety of egg dishes, and some sandwiches compose the menu.  The unusual and scrumptious starter known as Causa Masaki is a don’t-miss.  A sushi-esque dish composed of crispy shrimp and Dungeness crab rolled up in a mashed yellow-potato wrap, it was developed by Japanese immigrants to Peru who didn’t have access to their usual ingredients.

Causa Masaki at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
Causa Masaki at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

For dessert, housemade Alfajore cookies are just right, 

Alfajores at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
Alfajores at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

but the dramatic Tres Leches Cake decorated with orchids is also a treat.

Tres Leches Cake at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
Tres Leches Cake at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

Several kinds of pisco cocktails are available, but it’s hard to beat the classic version.

pisco cocktail at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
pisco cocktail at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

Non-alcoholic mocktails include a spectacular Apasionado made with passion fruit, mint, and ginger ale.

Apasionado mocktail at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California
Apasionado mocktail at Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen in Pacifica, California

Tables circle the central bar featuring a Caesarstone counter top and chocolate-colored leather high stools.  The hard surfaces of a glass wall of windows and polished concrete floors combine for a noisy interior.
Puerto 27 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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hotel images courtesy of venue; restaurant images c2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Friday, April 14, 2017

880 South: Oakland, Daughter Thai Kitchen


Daughter Thai Kitchen  6118 Medau Pl./Mountain Blvd., Montclair Village, (510) 823-2354.  L-D daily; $$$.  This Thai spot offers the surprise of a front door tucked down a short English-style lane and an elegant-yet-comfortable contemporary interior with high ceilings.

exterior of Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California
exterior of Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California

I also enjoyed the delight of the artistically arranged dishes, which began with a Thai iced tea served in a metal cup.  It looked like an ice cream cone, with a scoop of cream-infused shave ice on top that then melted its creamy goodness down into the tea.  (Next time I’d like to try the Honey Milk Lavender made with steamed milk.).

Thai iced tea at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California
Thai iced tea at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California

My group of three shared Tom Yum soup that was loaded with vegetables,

Tom Yum soup at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California
Tom Yum soup at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California

Pad spicy eggplant from the Thai Street Food section of the menu (it was very lightly spiced but colorful and tasty),

Pad spicy eggplant at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California
Pad spicy eggplant at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California

and delicious Pad Thai “Chai Ya” (prepared with thin rice noodles).

Pad Thai "Chai Ya" at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California
Pad Thai "Chai Ya" at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California

When I asked for some hot sauce, the waiter delivered a lovely tray of condiments for me to choose from.

condiment tray at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California
condiment tray at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California

I plan to return to try some of the popular Hat Yai fried chicken (made with Mary’s organic chicken and served with yellow potato curry and roti); 24-hours beef noodle soup (made with beef short ribs); Mieng Kum Kung (crispy-fried prawns with a tamarind sauce served on a little toasted-coconut nest); Pad Kee Mow (spicy wide noodles); vibrant green curry with eggplant; and Yum Moo Krob (crispy pork belly salad).  Among the desserts are Mom’s Fried Banana with fresh coconut cream, Choco Cake, and the enticingly-named Thai Vacation (warm sticky rice with coconut sorbet served in a coconut shell), but we opted for the unusual Taro Puff with ice cream wrapped in taro pastry.

Taro Puff dessert at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California
Taro Puff dessert at Daughter Thai Kitchen in Oakland, California

After, a stroll through the pleasant surrounding Montclair neighborhood filled with shops and more restaurants is delightful. 


More things to do in Oakland.

Way more things to do in Oakland. 

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

San Francisco: Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery


Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery  1398 Haight St., (415) 864.7468.  L-D daily, Sat-SunBr.  Named with nods to both the Grateful Dead song “Sugar Magnolia” and to the 24-hour erotic bakery called Magnolia Thunderpussy (after the burlesque queen owner of the same name) that was in this space in the 1960s, this brewpub produces good vibes and an ever-changing line-up of artisan ales (the brewing takes place in the basement).  More Magnolia pub history.

exterior of Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
exterior of Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

One is a big, bold ale that is gloriously tagged Old Thunderpussy Barleywine, but the tasty customer favorite is the pub’s flagship Blue Bell Bitter--a well-balanced classic English-style delight and the first beer they ever brewed when they opened in 1997.  In fact, you’ll notice that most beers are named for Grateful Dead songs.  Several images of the Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia are displayed in the pub.

beer board at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
beer board at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

beer taps at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
beer taps at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

Seating is available indoors at a bar, at a high shared table, and in comfy leather booths, plus sidewalk-side outdoors.

interior at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
interior at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

street view from Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
street view from Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

The brunch menu offers both grapefruit and orange mimosas that are perfect with “Devils on Horseback” appetizer dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon.

"Devils on Horseback" at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
"Devils on Horseback" at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

I was delighted with my German cheese-filled kasekrainer sausage served atop some sweet roasted baby carrots sprinkled with pickled mustard seed, and I used my side of lavain toast to sop up the juices.

kasekrainer sausage plate at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
kasekrainer sausage plate at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

My dining partner had the full English breakfast with a banger and bacon plus two eggs, butter beans, and grilled tomatoes.

full English breakfast at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California
full English breakfast at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery in San Francisco, California

A breakfast sandwich with a fried egg, pork sausage patty, and brioche bun burger are also on the menu.  While we were here, we went back in time to the ‘60s via memory-inducing rock in the background--“Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Shelter from the Storm,” and our exit song--“White Rabbit.”  Also see, Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing Co. in Dogpatch

Magnolia Gastropub And Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Friday, April 7, 2017

101 North: Willits, Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa


Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa  101 Gregory Lane, (800) 459-9911, (707) 459-9063.  45 rooms.  Pool, hot tub.  Buffet breakfast.  Kids ok.  Pets ok.  Situated back from the highway in a creek-side setting, this comfortable motel offers guest rooms with attractive tiled open showers with no curtains and beds topped with white cotton duvets.  The pleasant breakfast area is in a nook at the back of the lobby with a view of the creek.  However, all guest rooms in the motel front on the parking lot, and none have windows with a creek view.  Access to a fitness center across the street is available for a small fee. 

front exterior of Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California
front exterior of Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California

guest room at Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California
guest room at Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California

breakfast buffet at Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California
breakfast buffet at Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California

view from breakfast room at Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California
view from breakfast room at Baechtel Creek Inn and Spa in Willits, California


More things to do in Willits. 

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

101 North: Willits, The Book Juggler and Willits Center for the Arts


The Book Juggler  182 S Main St., (707) 459-4075.  Tu-Sat 10am-6pm.  Watched over by Zeus, the store dog, this atmospheric used bookstore has narrow aisles line with books in a warren of tiny rooms.  It has an interesting collection and is a delight to browse.  Bring along some of books to trade in for credits toward purchase.  Also a music store, it claims to have “the best selection of strings, accessories for guitarists, ukuleles, harmonicas and sheet music on the North Coast.”

exterior of The Book Juggler in Willits, California
exterior of The Book Juggler in Willits, California


guard dog Zeus at The Book Juggler in Willits, California
guard dog Zeus at The Book Juggler in Willits, California

atmospheric book stacks at The Book Juggler in Willits, California
atmospheric book stacks at The Book Juggler in Willits, California

cozy book nook at The Book Juggler in Willits, California
cozy book nook at The Book Juggler in Willits, California

Willits Center for the Arts  71 E. Commercial St., (707) 459-1726.  W-Sun 11am-5pm.  Situated within a grand 1930s building, this center produces gallery shows of local artists--including jewelry makers--that change regularly.  When I visited, a pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day was happening, and with the power of suggestion my husband bought me some gorgeous heart earrings by Teplow.

gift shop at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California
gift shop at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California

art display at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California
art display at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California

art display at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California
art display at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California

heart earrings for sale at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California
heart earrings for sale at Willits Center for the Arts in Willits, California



More things to do in Willits. 

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers