Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mezcal - San Jose, Ca

A trip to Oak Ridge made me hungry. Hungry enough to wander to Downtown San Jose. After walking what seemed like 3 miles - I finally made up my mind on Mezcal - Oaxacan Bistro & Mezcal Bar. I figured I love Mexican food! Alright!! Little did I know it was so not just Mexican food...

This photo is taken from outside looking in. We sat outside under a propane heater, it was a chilly evening in San Jose.

So we sit down and get these fabulous menus. They were punched tin and totally unique - I like that. So our drink order was taken and I asked for chips and salsa. The waiter then told me that they do not have salsa, but something much better - mole! I said, "Well, great.. bring it out here. I am hungry!" He then described the menu, which included Fried Grasshoppers! He said Oaxacan food was much different than the usual Mexican food - sour cream, salsa, flour tortilla and nachos. Something a tad more authentic and native to Oaxaca. Intriguing...

This is the Mole that they brought out with the chips. The one on the far left is the Black Oaxacan mole made from a base of chocolate. The middle one was my least favorite, I will call it "Red" because of the bright hue. It had too much of a tomato paste flavor and was the last one to go. The last one on the right came in a close second place in the mole tasting. "Yellow" had a tomatillo and peanut base and it was tangy. Yummy. Cheers to Mole!

Enmoladas - Fried corn tortillas topped with black Oaxacan Mole, queso fresco, chopped onions made vegetarian style. This was so yum! You know how I love extra sauce with everything - well, I got it all right! The black beans, sauteed vegetables and rice were served in a trio platter with an unlimited refill journey.

Mole Negro - Chicken covered with black Oaxacan Mole made from chiles, spices, seeds and chocolate served with rice and handmade corn tortillas. So much sauce, very tender piece of chicken. Love.

The food is very unique at Mezcal... at least that's the idea. It's 'authentic Mexican cuisine' you know, the type 'real Mexicans' eat in 'real Mexico.' Anyway, the basics are the same; meat and cheeses within a 'taco, enchilada, tamale' type dishes... good but nothing incredible or especially unique. I had a great time experiencing something new, even if there was not any sour cream or melty cheese. The prices were decent, service kind of slow but atmosphere was great. I like that it was different! Melissa Good Taste says - yes! 1.5 thumbs up.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spending $ at Trader Joe's

Isn't it fun to wander down the aisles and throw things into your basket at Trader Joe's?! I don't mind trying weird, new things because for the most part shopping at Trader Joe's is pretty inexpensive. These are the things I am going to try today:

TJ's Greek Style Apricot Mango Yogurt - Everyone has been "greeking" out lately... I am probably the last person to jump onto the Greek yogurt train. This stuff is good! So good, that it HAD to be fattening... too creamy, too silky -- turn around container... yikes. 300 calories and 16 fat grams are in this little container. Wowza! Pretty tasty though.

Next up... Lobster Roll! Sounds yum. Haven't tried it yet but it looks pretty scrumptious! Lobster salad type action with avocado always will always make me smile! There is also Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce inside. I will you posted on how this one goes... Until then - Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pepsi Natural

Pepsi Natural is made with all-natural ingredients, including lightly sparkling water, natural sugar, natural caramel and kola nut extract. The amber-hued cola gets its color from natural caramel and natural apple extract.

Not too bad, not that great. It doesn't have a real bubbly experience, so if you want that carbonation explosion - this isn't for you. Not bad though. Is it worth 150calories? I would say no. Stick with water or tea...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mariscos Puerto Vallarta - Bakersfield, Ca

After my go at the cutting on Saturday Mom and I needed some relief from the hot sun and mostly the flies! They were brutal. Kathy had overheard a fellow cutter say that they ate dinner here and it was mostly all seafood. Hey, we were in! Mexican and Seafood are my two loves so how could this let me down?

Inside the quaint little Mexican Seafood Restaurant. Nothing fancy, but neat and tidy. Good sign...

Mexican Coke in a bottle and a Corona. I deserved it. I showed well :)

Ok. Now this is where things got a little weird. Mom and I were craving chips and salsa right? Well out came this little seafood concoction. I am going to assume it was a ceviche of sorts... However, it tasted mostly like pico de gallo mixed around with tuna fish. I am not saying it was bad but give me some spice, give me some flavor... can I have real salsa? No. That was all they had. Dohhhhhhhh...

If you know Kathy Good Taste at all you know she can not leave a Mexican restaurant before trying their version of guacamole. We ordered and look what came. A big pot of chunky avocado goodness - yes. It was missing a few things... salt, pepper, salsa and some sort of acidity. We added all those things and it really came together. Maybe we should open our own Mexican restaurant.

Yikes. Sadly, this was my order. Doesn't a Crab Tostada sound terrific on a warm day? Instead of REAL pieces of lump crab meat I got a tostada full of cute little imitation crab nuggets. The lack of salsa or anything besides avocado for that matter, made it extremely difficult to choke down.

Kathy made the same bad decision I did with the Tostada... except her seafood at least swam in the sea at some point in its life. Blah, bland and dry are three words I can come up with to describe this dish. Sigh...

Mariscos Puerto Vallarta had so much potential. They had a menu of all things seafood that sounded so convincingly delicious. What they need to do is get some real salsa in that joint. Serve the tuna fish concoction as an appetizer. I promise it will work. When someone orders a tostada or taco dump that salsa on it, or at least sour cream so it goes down a little better. I thought the waitresses were sweet and kept the restaurant very clean. One thumb up for cold drinks, well salted chips and a friendly service.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crystal Palace - Bakersfield, Ca

Ha ha... Welcome to Bakersfield, California! Kathy and I decided we needed to soak up some Bakersfield charm after our day at the Sundance Feedlot. So we drove under the welcome sign to the wonderful community of Bakersfield.

I had read on Yelp and heard from other once Bakersfield natives that a trip would not be complete had you not stopped into the Crystal Palace. Once home of Buck Owens and many other Country Performers, both legends and up and comers.

Who is Buck Owens you ask? Well, he is right here in the photo of course. No, but really... Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens, Jr., (August 12, 1929 – March 25, 2006) was an American singer and guitarist, who had 21 number-one hits on the Billboard country music charts, with his legendary band, the Buckaroos. Owens and the Buckaroos pioneered what has come to be called the Bakersfield sound — a reference to Bakersfield, California, the city Owens called home and from which he drew inspiration for what he preferred to call "American Music".

Inside the Restaurant there are huge amounts of decor... see that car located in the bar? That was Buck's -- Indian, hand tooled leather seats and all! You can explore all of the memorabilia over the years that Buck Owens has collected. Guitars, suits, album covers and more. There are also several cases of other celebrities he had met and hung with over the years. Very neat.

Kathy had iced tea, and I had a leaded drink. It was a long day at the cutting! A Margarita on the rocks with Patron please. :) Thank you.

My favorite part of our entire meal. There were these little biscuits and they were tasty little buggers! Served with some honey butter, they were warm out of the oven. Tasty! The squaw bread wasn't too bad either.

Kathy's salad was forgettable. The dressing played as a swimming pool to the lettuce and tomato. --Hey joke time-- "What did the tomato blush?" -- "Because he saw the salad dressing" ... get it? The salad... dressing... ha ha... Crack myself up!

I read over the menu and it consisted of a lot of steaks... which is cool but I was in the mood for something different. I came across, "Buck's Favorite Chicken Fried Steak" -- I figured since I was in the House of Buck I might as well order his favorite right? It read as, "Tender southern chicken fried sirloin that hangs over the platter. Smothered in old fashioned country gravy with mashed spuds!" Yee-Haw! lol. Well, I will have to say, I was a little worried about how on point Buck's taste buds were, because if this was his "favorite" he had absolutely none! Not the best, not even average. Sorry Buck you let me down. The best part was the spuds man!

Kathy was the smarter of the two man gang and ordered something that would be hard to screw up. A Rib eye Steak! Perfectly cooked to her liking - just under medium. The baked potato with all the fixings was pretty tasty I mostly ate off her plate!!

The Crystal Palace reminded me a little bit like Disney Land. Not that it was the happiest place on Earth or anything but, the way that they sat you and the quality of food. You are sat all around a stage, that you are charged to sit and watch live performances while you eat your meal. We got in there around 5 so we just missed the first performance that started at around 7. It was an all country theme that made you feel like you were going to watch the Country Bear Jamboree performance in Frontier Land -- I swear that is what it reminded me of. The food is average. I am happy to have said I have gone to this country wonderland. Once is enough for me! 1.25 thumbs up.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Harris Ranch - Coalinga, Ca

My mom and I were all packed up and headed down to the horse show in Bakersfield. About 30 minutes down Interstate 5 we both looked at each other and said, "I am hungry" -- almost in perfect unison. So we patiently wanted until we rolled up on the Harris Ranch compound. They really have the place mastered. Gas station, beautiful hotel, fun gift shop and of course the three restaurants to dine at.

The Ranch Kitchen is a perfect dining setting for families. The extensive menu is sure to please everyone. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Ranch Kitchen is a safe bet for a decent meal along Interstate 5.

Inside the Ranch Kitchen the western way of life is prominent. Old farming and ranch equipment adorn the walls, giving it a cozy ambiance.

Up first was my Lentil Soup. Pretty tasty broth. I never have been a big Lentil soup fan but this one was ok. The bread that was brought to the table really took the soup to the next level. Perfect for dunking!

Kathy's salad was ok. There was a ton of bell peppers lurking underneath the lettuce, which she was not a fan of. The chunks of croutons were gigantic!

I read the description of the BBLT Panini, "Roasted tri- tip, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions, provolone cheese and horseradish cream pressed between crusty Italian Bread." Doesn't that sound just wonderful? Well, I convinced my mom to get it, so I could have a bite of it of course... well, it failed to impress. The best part of the meal was the sweet potato fries! Man, were those suckers good!

You had to guess it was me who ordered the Mexican food at a steak mecca! Traditional Beef Enchiladas - Flour tortillas, Ground Beef, Jack and Cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, Cotija cheese & lime sour cream. Served of course with Spanish rice & refried beans. Well, I made the wrong decision on this one. Not exactly Mexican food - but a tame watered down version. I should have known but when I see "enchilada" I have a brain lapse...

Harris Ranch has so much to offer food wise. Go to The Steakhouse Intimate dining for special dinners and occasions, reservations recommended - it is always busy. Step inside The Ranch Kitchen to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a family atmosphere. Or lastly, the Horseshoe Bar to catch up on a game or the latest news while enjoying a hearty meal and beverage of your choice. So, my mom and I made some poor choices while ordering this go around. Well, I take that back - I did! I forced her into getting what she ordered. My recommendation is to order steak, steak and more steak while visiting the Harris Ranch. It is what they do best. I am the crash test dummy on this one, don't venture off the carnivore option. I give Harris 1.65 thumbs up for a clean, well managed stop along Interstate 5.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kern County Cutting - Bakersfield, Ca

I went to a cutting in Bakersfield this weekend. See that 109 temperature gauge I took a picture of? Well just add 6 more degrees and you will have the temperature of the middle of the day! 115 degrees at a feedlot, showing horses is not fun! Yikes.
My Bakersfield eats will follow this post!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Makeup bag!

Melissa Good Taste wears makeup, yes she does. I love it. I have tried it all. Target bargains, Department stores and Sephora finds. This is what rocks my socks lately...

Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation is a rich foundation that offers full coverage. I like solid coverage. It lasts me months, I buy it at Sephora.

Chanel Powder in hard compact sets my foundation. Doesn't go on too thick, just perfect for setting.

Believe it or not, this Target find is best. Covergirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner is my go to for perfect cat eyes!

For just a kiss of color Benefit's Dallas blush is just what I am after.

Again, Covergirl comes through. This trio of brown and pinks does exactly what it is supposed to without breaking the bank.

MAC does have some normal makeup, most of it makes you look like a circus clown but... the lip liner, Cork, is just perfect.

NARS - A great brand. I would have a whole makeup bag full of it but, they are kind of pricey. The lip gloss duo is super great. Will last you months and months.

Great Sephora product! The Lash Plumper will rival any high dollar mascara. I promise. I have short, straight eyelashes and this mascara really works!

Last but not least, the most important part of my makeup routine - Eye lash curler. This also was a great find from Sephora. It is compact and does great work. Easy to use and small enough to take with you.

What is in your makeup bag?

My camera has the Swine Flu!

My poor blog has been neglected due to my camera's illness. It is currently being worked on and blogging will return to its normal schedule soon. In the mean time...
Keep chowing down on some good eats!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


A huge thank you to my family and friends for the well wishes!
I appreciate and adore you all!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cinco de Mayo - Birthday

My birthday and Cinco de Mayo share the same day. I love Mexican food. I don't think that is just a coincidence...

OMG. I am 27 years old tomorrow!