So, over three months after it ended, I am finally wrapping up my posts from my California post-bar road trip with my Dad. I don’t have enough for a single post for each meal but I thought I would highlight the best food I sampled on my trip.
The first major stand out of the trip was this grilled cheese sandwich I ate at a tiny restaurant across the street from the entrance to Hearst Castle. The restaurant was a window that you walk up to. They were advertising grilled cheese on brioche so it was a no brainer. I was expecting a run of the mill grilled cheese but what I got was so much more:
Yes, that is oozing white and yellow cheddar cheese with avocado and bacon. I love the huge chunks of creamy avocado and the thick and crispy bacon. The bread was obviously grilled with butter.
The bacon could not be contained.
Crispy and perfect!
The shop also had a great selection of bottled sodas including these more off beat selections:
As a native Midwesterner I was drawn to the sweet corn soda but I restrained myself from actually purchasing it.
The next notable meal that has yet to see the blog is my lunch at Chez Panisse. Yes, that Chez Panisse.
Lunch at Chez Panisse was a big surprise for me. My parents made the reservation far in advance. For those that are not familiar, Chez Panisse is kind of a big deal. The Berkeley restaurant was started by Alice Waters in 1971. Alice is a pioneer of the local, seasonal and sustainable food movement. As a frequent farmer’s market patron and general fan of the local food movement, I was very excited to have the opportunity to dine in her restaurant.
I did not take that many photos when I was there. To be honest, I didn’t want to be “that blogger girl” with her camera out. My dad, my cousin Mary and I ate a three course meal and left no bite behind. The dining room was warm and inviting, like I was sitting down at a fabulous yet homey dinner party.
I did snag a photo of the amazing dessert I ordered:
Peach Tart with Blackberries and Blackberry ice cream. It was complete and total perfection. I actually do not have words to describe it. Suffice to say, if you ever have the opportunity to eat at Chez Panisse you should hop on it. Side note: for the past month I’ve been playing around in my kitchen with a version of Alice’s simple apple tart and it will be posted on the blog eventually. Promise.
While in SF I also dragged my Father along to the Saturday farmer’s market at the Ferry Building aka the greatest farmers market in existence.
I went to my favorite stand and got the pork sandwich with arugula and caramelized onions for breakfast at 8 am.
So much spicy and crispy arugula!
Gooood morning indeed!
After eating around San Francisco we headed into wine country and the food continued to be delicious.
Do you want to know what I love about Healdsburg? It was 60 degrees in the morning and around 85 during the day. This means that I was able to bundle up a bit and get a warm latte in the morning and then got to enjoy sunshine and warmth in the afternoon.
I insisted on more than one trip to Flying Goat Coffee.
No photos came out of the first meal we had in Healdsburg but we ate at a great restaurant that was recommended by family friends called Baci. Baci was notable because I had short rib ravioli. It was amazing. Does it get better than one of my favorite kinds of meat wrapped in homemade pasta? No. The answer is no.
Again, at the recommendation of friends we went wine tasting at several vineyards and tasting rooms. Our family friends are serious wine country veterans and gave several great recommendations in the Dry Creek Valley. First we went to the Williamson Vineyard tasting room off the Healdsburg Square. I splurged with some of my law school graduation money and bought a delicious and expensive Cabernet which I am saving for a special occasion.
Next we went to the Talty Vineyard. The tasting room was not supposed to be open when we were there but they opened up just for us to check it out. Talty exclusively produces Zinfandel. I drink red wine almost exclusively and I really like the spiciness of the Zins. The owner of the Talty Winery was so nice and took time with us even though he was not supposed to be open. I highly recommend checking it out if you ever end up in that region.
After we grabbed a quick bite at a pizza restaurant. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant but the pizza was something to behold.
After the pizza we went to the Teldeschi winery also in the Dry Creek Region. Again, great wine, nice people. I ended up taking home a Zinfandel and a Petite Syrah. Overall, it was a great haul!
My absolute favorite meal in Healdsburg was at Scopa. We barely got in because I forgot to make a reservation (whoops). Once we started eating even my Dad conceded that the food was worth the wait.
To start I had an arugula salad with grilled peaches.
This photo isn’t the best but the peaches were fantastic. The warm peaches mixed with the spicy, crisp arugula. I ate many, many peaches on this trip because they were in season at the time. This is probably my favorite way to eat peaches. They’re just so good when they’re grilled.
For the main course I had homemade ravioli. I can’t remember exactly what it was stuffed with but it was one of the best plates of ravioli I have ever been served bar none.
The photo doesn’t do it justice but I had to give Scopa a shout out. The sauce had rich flavoring but was light at the same time. Seriously, anytime you get anywhere near wine country you need to check out Scopa. The menu is all locally sourced and seasonal.
Oh and we ate this for dessert. Because I’ve irresponsibly waited 3 months to write this post I cannot for the life of me remember what it is (Dad- do you remember?) but I remember eating every last bite and wanting more.
I mean, giant slab of homemade whipped cream. So tasty looking, amiright?
Finally, on the way back to LA my Dad generously offered to drive through Santa Barbara to hit a bakery I had eyeballed on our first pass through. I had not been able to get a treat from said bakery because I had a nasty bout of food poisoning on my birthday. While I wanted a post birthday treat I didn’t feel like it was the right time to test my belly with more than my morning coffee. I realize I was probably gambling putting coffee in my system and I didn’t want to push it.
However, on the second trip I was able to successfully enjoy some New York Olive Oil Cake from Our Daily Bread Bakery in Santa Barbara.
I really like olive oil cake in general. I find that the olive oil makes the cake more spongy and moist than usual. I also love the flavor of olive oil. You can taste a hint of olive oil in the cake but overall the cake itself isn’t very rich. Perfect end of the trip treat!
So that does it for my updates from my road trip. I am so fortunate that my Mom planned this amazing trip for my Dad and I. While my Dad did give the occasional side eye as I marched him from food location to food location, I’m glad that I had a travel companion who wanted to eat as much good food as I did.