Friday, November 29, 2013

Grower's Pub - Salinas, CA

On my first night into town my brother, James, wanted me to experience a night out at the Grower's Pub in Salinas. He likes their Tuesday Night Special, "Chicken Catroville" so we all loaded up and made our way to downtown.

While the rest of the group started their meals with salads, I opted for their French Onion Soup and a glass of Poppy chardonnay. They were very generous with the amount of cheese and the broth was very rich.

This was my meal, I saw Salmon & Risotto and could not break my frequent chain of ordering the "same" thing. The salmon was perfectly cooked, in fact almost a tad rare but it was outsatnding. So moist! The risotto was classic and the Swiss girl in me just loved it. There was so much that I took the bulk of it home for my snack the next day.

Of course Kate ordered like a good little gal and had the Chicken Marsala with sauce on the side. Vegetables only too! Kate is going to live to be 100 years old.

This was the reason we came! "Chicken Castroville" - James was a little disapointed with it this trip because they changed their cooking method from the original time he had tried it. They used to only bake it and now they flash fry it at the end. He still enjoyed it but thought the first method of cooking was more desirable.

And this was our party! It was so nice for me to be welcomed home by a nice meal and family. I am looking forward to visiting with my sister tonight. There is always too little time to get all the socializing in! There really is nothing better than coming home!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Progresso's - Hollister, CA

One of the things I like doing most when I am home is taste testing my favorite shredded beef enchiladas at Progresso's in Hollister and Dona Ester's in San Juan Bautista...
This is picture is my childhood, teenage years and early adulthood. It is celebrating happy memories, tough defeats and regular work day lunches. This is time with family, friends and celebration of where I am from. It may not be five star or even the best in the World but it is what I know. This is home to me. So just consider me a "Shredded Beef Enchilada, with extra sauce" kind of gal. That really made me laugh out loud typing that but it is so true!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I am back!

I am back on the internet! Scott whisked away the regular blogging computer on a trip to Fort Worth so I was on a forced updating hiatus. I traveled North to visit my parents for Thanksgiving and am finally back on the World Wide Web! It seems so minor, but a big deal to this little bloggin' foodie! I am happy to be in my hometown and with my family so lets get eating, cooking and blogging! I have missed you all!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fresco II - Oxnard, CA

Please excuse the lack of posts, Scott took the computer for a work trip and I was left without means for blogging. So lets get caught up! Last week before Scott hit the road he took me out for a lovely lunch at the Channel Islands Harbor. How about that for a view?

Fresco II serves up Mediterranean cuisine, sometimes when I hear that I wonder what exactly does that mean? When I sum it up in my head I figure it is a mish mash of a lot of cultures so an eclectic menu is what I hope for.

Scott went for healthy an ordered a beautiful Chicken Salad with tons of sliced vegetables. I was pondering on ordering it but it sounded entirely too boring so I ventured down deeper into the menu.

I saw the spicy Shrimp and Scallop Pasta and decided right then that is what I wanted. They don't joke when they say it is spicy, slices of jalapenos don the dish and it kept me addicted bite after bite. The seafood was cooked lovely and the broth was worthy of bread dipping.

I heard that the restaurant becomes quite the night club and happy hour specials are visit worthy. I was more than impressed with my dish, and even just thinking about it now makes me hungry for more.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

KCCHA Champion Weekend!

Last Saturday was a great day! My brother's horse, Hallowed Be was crowned champion of the Open Derby in the Kern County Cutting Horse Association and won a beautiful saddle. Our barn set goals at the beginning of this year and Deb also won a saddle in the 35,000 Non Pro! That makes a solid, 3 straight year of Scott Weis clients winning the 35 Saddle. Impressive...

I celebrated the day by ordering Pulled Pork Nachos from the food stand. I also won my class that day on Hip Hip Roo Rey, marking a 73. Cheers!

Scotty is becoming so famous I need to start a scrap book on him, this article came out on us in the Quarter Horse News. That little guy has sure been a surprise blessing!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Social Tap - Ventura, CA

Scott and I have been quite social within our community these past few days. Running errands together and enjoying where we live has kept us busy. On one particular evening we stopped into Social Tap and it was packed. Definitely popular and particularly hard to find a parking spot.

We cooled our jets with an 805. I wonder if anyone makes an 831?

We ordered the four taco pack to sample one of each. These being chicken and pork, my favorites. The salsa was not spicy, very tomatoey. So if you looking for that punch of spice, this will not be your thing.

The other two tacos were my least favorites, vegetarian and steak. I did not care for the veggie one because it was crammed with under cooked bell peppers and bland quinoa. The steak one had nothing wrong with it, I just preferred the others. It is too bad the salsa isn't very good because their chips are terrific!

We since returned to Social Tap this past weekend to catch the tail end of the 49er game. We sampled an order of their Truffle Fries and they were amazing! Knowing what to order where is the key to happy dining! Cheers!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Jolly Oyster - Ventura, CA

Scott and I set out on a date day hoping to spend the whole day at the beach, but the wind nixed those plans. We instead switched it up and decided to run some errands. One of our stops included running into Dan and Laura Dotson from the television show, "Storage Wars". They were so nice! 

I have wanted to dine at The Jolly Oyster for ever, but they are only set up on Fridays and weekends when we are usually out of town horse showing it. They are set up at the Buenaventura State Beach Park so go through the gate and wrap around to the back of the lot to find them.

Everything on the menu sounded great but Scott and I controlled ourselves and only ordered a few things to share.

We started with a split of "Jolly Oysters" on the right which were baked with leeks, thyme,bacon in a white wine cream sauce. It sort of tasted like a clam chowder baked oyster. They were Scott's favorite. On the left were "Creole Baked Oysters" baked with garlic, butter, herbs, green onions, creole seasonings, white wine, parmesan and lemon zest. And, I preferred these.

We both saw the Baja Stone Crab Spring Roll and wanted to try it. It was delicious crisp roll of stone crab, shitake mushrooms, cabbage, green onions and carrots. The sweet and sour dipping sauce just made this! 

I was surprised when Scott wanted to try the Clam Chowder but he did and I happily shared it with him as well. The Clam Chowder was much more reminiscent of an Oyster Stew. It was packed full of them and the consistency was much thinner than your average chowder. I thought it was delicious!

All in all, I was very impressed with The Jolly Oyster. The quality of the food that came out of that food truck was amazing! I will return, hopefully on a less windy day!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Our little C-Dory...

When I first met Scott he was on the search for the most perfect surf boat his money could buy. We looked at boats in the North to the South until finally one early morning after a night at Oktoberfest 2010 we drove down south to Laguna to buy this little gem. Meet C-Dory...

Throughout the years he made improvements to his boat that would make navigating and caring for his boat a little easier.

Finally, after 3 years in the making he got to do his first trial run with his friend Gary. They loaded up the boat and made sure everything was working properly. I saw them off and prayed for their safe return.

I randomly got pictures sent to me as Gary's Verizon signal worked quite nicely in spots. They were camped and surfed at Point Conception, "Governments", "Left and Rights", "Coho" and a lot of of other little places along the way.
 Beautiful right? The sea is really our last wild frontier!

I am proud of the little C-Dory and Scott for making their dreams happen!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Panolivo Family Bistro - Paso Robles, CA

On my particularly late evening at the cutting we found ourselves hungry and went in search of something warm to fill our tummies. I suggested one of our all time go to favorites in Paso Robles... Panolivo. You don't usually need a reservation so I enjoy walking in and being welcomed to sit and enjoy. A bowl of French Onion Soup was sat before me very quickly so I was happy as a clam.

James ordered the Beef Bourguignon. I had suggested that he substitute the pasta noodles for mashed potatoes. That is what I would have done for ultimate comfort! He said in the end he would have preferred it my way, I am so smart! He did say the stew was lovely so I was happy that he was satisfied.

I ordered the Salmon like I always do. I like how they roll it into a pinwheel and cook it up tight. It is fun. What I love even more is the crispy, oven roasted potatoes, cream sauces and cooked spinach. I love grabbing a bite that contains each element and then sit back and chew!

My husband usually orders the Vegetable Lasagna but this time he ventured off and ordered the Butternut Squash Raviloi. The cream sauce looked divine, you all know I cannot pull myself off anything creamy! I like how they added some "crunch" with the slivered almonds! I sort of wish I was eating this for breakfast right now.

Paso Robles eats were wrapped up with his final dining night! Cheers to fine restaurants, new finds and consistent classics!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Paso Terra - Paso Robles, CA

I have been dining in Paso Robles for years. I have found myself visiting the same restaurants trip after trip so you could only imagine my elation after coming across Paso Terra, a French Seafood resturant. I was very excited to give it a try. Upon sitting, they greeted us with a glass of sparkling wine and an amuse of tuna on a cracker shell. A wonderful bite, it almost represented an Asian taste. I thought it was a wonderful start to any meal...

The artwork was charming, I love the whole under the sea look. The bathroom was charming as well, I like it when places take pride in the little things, it isn't always all about the food!

I just had to try the Lobster Bisque, I never pass it up when it is on the menu. It was fantastic! Truly authentic, not from a can or delivery service. It was not thickened with flour or skimpy on the seafood. I loved this, they should be very proud!

For entrees, Scott went with a special of Mahi Mahi, served with a crescent of puff pastry on top. The fish was cooked lovely and the vegetables on his plate were loud and beautifully colored.

Scallops served with beurre blanc and caviar, vodka sauce! My scallops were also served on top a bed of sea beans! The salty beans paired wonderfully with the lump scallops. I loved this dish so much. I loved the stacked vegetables, I love plate organization!

We felt like something sweet after our meals and our waitress knew just what we wanted, Lemon Cheesecake. It was not heavy like a traditional slice but light and fluffy. It was a small portion but perfect enough for just a taste to cap off a lovely meal.

I was pleasantly surprised by Paso Terra, I usually study my restaurant hunting grounds very well and  just missed this place. I am happy to have found it and cannot wait for another bowl of that Lobster Bisque!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Il Cortile - Paso Robles, CA

I am back! I have ignored my blog for a week and I am so sorry! We have been busy doing the horse show thing and the days just slipped away from me! We also have been RV'ing it so blogging at the end of the day has been hard to do. We have been eating though so lets get to it!

We made a reservation at one of our favorite Paso restaurants, Il Cortile. We were seated in between two nice couples who were going to, and coming from Ojai. What a small world, and great conversation! Back to the food, I had the Burrata Crostini to start because I have had it in the past and loved it. It was much, much too sweet than what I had remembered it to be. The salty punch was not powerful enough!

Scott's house salad was blanketed with sheets of parmesan cheese. How fantastic!

Scott was craving all things pasta so he went with the Spaghetti di Gamberetti - Spaghetti with black tiger prawns, light tomato sauce and finished with a spicy lobster oil. It enjoyed it just fine. The portion size was not huge so he finished it quickly.

I had the fish special of Chilean Sea Bass with a garden risotto. I felt the fish was cooked nicely but it was sliced very thin. I noticed the size of the fish at another table and noticed it was vey uniform. I have to admit I too, was left a little hungry. The risotto was tasty but I wanted more!

It must be their trick to get people to order dessert because we sure did! We ordered the molten chocolate cake to savor with what was left in our wine glasses.

I love the atmosphere and the delicious menu at Il Cortile but was left feeling a little hungry. Maybe I needed to order a "stick to your ribs" kind of meal like the Osso Bucco because I know it is good, and it was on special that night. 

Happy eating folks!