Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
When I was working, I looked so forward to the weekends. Now, not so much. Saturday especially means being alone in this big house with PETE. And PETE always has ants in his pants. I needed to do something today to be productive so I went to the store and bought everything necessary for zucchini bread. The only thing I did not buy was the actual zucchini as we usually have an abudance of them being that my niece's boyfriend is a farmer. I got home and started to prepare the recipe I got from http://www.allrecipes.com/ and realized that there was no viable zucchini in the house. Just a few mushy ones. Ooops. I asked PETE if he would run to the store and pick up two large zucchinis. Here is the exact conversation as it transpired, I kid you not:
Me: Can you please run over and get two really large zucchinis?
PETE: What now?
Me: Zucchinis. They are in the vegetable department.
PETE: What are they?
Me: Let me write it down, just ask someone they will know what it is.
PETE: Do we need anything from the store?
PETE: What are they?
Me: They are vegetables! Just ask someone.
PETE: Do I have to go now?
Me: You don't have to go at all, I will go.
PETE: I am going to the store, do you want anything?
Me: Well, how about if you pick up some zucchinis.
PETE: Ok. Where do I find them?
This continued for quite a while. He finally went and retrieved the zucchini and I made the bread. While I am cooking he says "do we need anything from the store?" I said "why, are you going back?" He replies "what about dinner?" That falls under the category of whatever you choose to do leave me out of it. I just told him I was eating zucchini bread for dinner. He says "what is zucchini bread?".
It's nights like this that I am very glad I don't know where the key to the gun cabinet is.
Thankfully, my son came over and we ordered a pizza.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
So after our positive experience at Ten 22 the Bon and I decided to refer back to Sacramento Magazine's best restaurants edition to find another place to eat at. We were flipping through the pages and reading comments when it was as if the "food force" grabbed us and directed us to page 103 and the following full page picture...
I looked at Bon and said "OMG, the force is strong with this one" and we immediately hopped into my Jeep and raced at warp speed toward Carmichael.
We pulled into the parking lot and I noticed right away that there was a nice patio with umbrella's for outdoor seating; which for me is always a bonus. Bon and I headed inside and were greeted by two smiling hostesses and I immediately felt relaxed and comfortable. I emphasized smiling because I feel many businesses (restaurants in particular) in an effort to seem sophisticated, and classy, forget the simplest rule of customer service - smile to welcome your guests, it lets them know you want them there.
As I glanced around I noted muted and warm colors, soft lighting and the hum of people chatting. There were plenty of tables, a full bar (with flat screens) an adjoining room with tables, booths, and the patio seating I noted earlier...Overall, just the right size for a neighborhood place.
As Bon and I were reviewing, and discussing, the menu I noticed a man in the corner of the room with his laptop computer and I thought ~ how nice that they have Internet access...A few minutes later the man came over to our table and introduced himself as Matt Woolston the owner of the restaurant.
We probably frightened Mr. Woolston with our just out of the trailer park enthusiasm but fortunately for us he was very patient and answered all of our questions and even explained to us about his vision of a casual neighborhood pizza type place for the family run Matteo's. And, we even got to meet Mr. Woolston's son Jake who was working bussing tables.
To begin our meal we ordered what else? the calamari. The Bon decided to have the sirloin (from the picture) and I opted for the California pizza. I ordered my usual water and Bon ordered a Lemon Martini from the bar.
The Calamari arrived and let me tell you folks if Mr. Woolston weren't married I might have dropped to one knee and proposed...I have ranked this calamari as the second best I have ever had! A HUGE plate of calamari was placed on the table and as I greedily snatched a forkful of yummy squidness I was totally unprepared for the flavor explosion that hit me.
The calamari had been prepared perfectly and was seasoned with I dont know what goodness and was then combined with battered onion straws. OH MY HOLY GOD PEOPLE! I would love to wax poetic about the awesomeness of this dish, but honestly I wouldn't do it justice. What I can tell you is that it was fan-freaking-tastic!
The steak and pizza soon followed and my pizza was excellent. There was grilled chicken, a light sauce, goat cheese, bacon and sun dried tomatoes with a perfectly cooked crust. Sadly, I had eaten so much calamari I had to ask for a box to take my pizza home, but I can report that the pizza was even better cold the next morning for breakfast.
Bon's steak was gorgeous, seasoned to perfection, tender and covered in a burgundy demi-glace that was truly sublime. I enjoyed the bite of steak that I sampled immensely, however, my (and Bon's) only complaint of the evening was that the sirloin was served well done and she had ordered it rare...A huge disappointment if you are a red meat eater. The steak was served with fresh veggies of the season including grilled corn, string beans, potatoes, etc.
Mr. Woolston's vision of a casual pizza type place is certainly on the mark as far as the setting, however, his flavorful and creative dishes elevate Matteo's to something much, much more than a neighborhood cafe; and I will definitely be returning to try several more of their dishes.
Bottom line, Matteo's is a must try for anyone who enjoys really good food.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Old Town Sacramento is simply a fun day whether you are a local yocal or a visiting tourista. There are a variety of eateries, sweet shops, galleries and clothiers sprinkled among the landmark buildings and there are some new additions in the form of cafe's, clubs and tattoo parlors and even a speakeasy to open soon. And, of course there is the Railroad museum, the horse drawn carriages and the Sacramento River tours that provide endless amounts of sightseeing and entertainment.
Among the new additions I mentioned earlier is Ten 22. Okay, in all honesty I had no intention of eating at Ten 22 when I headed to Old Town. However as The Bon and I strolled lazily along window shopping, I saw the sign and immediately recalled that Sacramento Magazine had included Ten 22 in its Best Restaurants edition. Ten 22 had been voted one of the best new restaurants in Sacramento and as far as I am concernced the gauntlet was thrown...We were going in!
I immediately loved the decor and atmosphere; there was a warm and casual uptown cafe vibe with a clear view of the bar and the kitchen from all tables. Since it was early evening The Bon and I decided to belly up to the bar and sample some appetizers and adult beverages.
Mike (our server) came right over with a warm welcoming smile and handed us a menu as well as giving the the low-down on the specials. There is a variety of appetizers and salads to choose from but then we fell upon the Holy Grail of appetizers...Calamari. Now, I must let you all know, here and now, that the Bon and I are...Hmmm, how do I put this delicately? Basically, we are calamari whores. Being said "CW's" we have made it our mission in life (much like Star Trek, or the Marines) to seek out all new calamari life forms and then devour them.
We immediately ordered the calamari and then decided to also sample the wings. For drinks I asked for water and Bon ordered a Pommegranate Lemon Drop. I always enjoy watching a bartender mix a drink (and no not just because I am an alcoholic, although I am sure there is something to that) because it reminds me a bit of Tom Cruise in Cocktail and there is just something cool about it. Mike (our server) poured Bon a beautiful, and fragrant drink, and Bon immediately gave two enthusiastic thumbs up; by her "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" response I inferred that the Pommegranate Lemon Drop was a refreshing and tasy adult beverage. My water was well, water.
The appetizer's arrived and were beautifully prepared and served...The aromas of lemon and spice wafting off the plates made my mouth water and I had to remind myself I was in public so as not to go feral on dem wings!
I really enjoyed the lemony zing of the calamari. The dish included rings and tentacles (the way it should be) and was lightly battered (the way it should be) with the meat remaining tender (the way it should be) and the dipping sauce was a perfect tangy compliment.
The wings were an Asian inspired love fest...Garlic, ginger, chili and gooey sweetness all lovingly wrapped around a chicken wing. The heavens wept and the angels sang...Okay, really that was just me crying and singing but those wings deserved praise!
The Bon prefers a more traditional wing of the Buffalo variety and just couldn't muster the weeping and angels response that I had had. Whatever with her.
Anyhoo, my first experience with Ten 22 was positive enough to make me want to head back soon to sample the dinner menu and I will certainly be back for dem angelic wings.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I was thinking of sharing the dining experiences I sometimes have with my brother's ex-father-in-law, AKA Pete. I know what you're thinking....what the heck is she doing having dinner with her brother's ex-father-in-law. Well, it's a long story. I am living with my brother for the time being and for reasons I could never explain, Pete also stays here in the summers because Arizona is too hot. He insists on eating out every night. Problem is that he's getting on in years and can't remember from day to day where he is. He has a passion for giving the food servers a hard time and then complaining about the bill when it arrives. He doesn't seem to get the concept that when you take someone with you, the bill usually is twice as much. Lucky for him I have quit drinking and so he doesn't have to deal with my double martini orders. I'll save that for another time!
Now mind you, I do NOT go out with him most of the time. I only get caught in that trap if I was the elected one to take him to the doctor or some other equally exciting task. You can't go anywhere with him without him wanting to stop for food. You just can't. And there's no such thing as a drive thru or quick bite with him. He needs to go in, sit down, have a Jack on the rocks while he mulls over the same menu he's read almost every other night that week. Each time it's like he's never been there before. For example, before we go into Red Lobster, I can tell you he's going to order something called the Sailor's Platter. But he'll look at the menu and then look again and then call the waiter over and ask if they have the Sailor's Platter. Usually this is when the waiter looks at me like "weren't you just here yesterday and didn't he have that?" and I will just nod and smile. So the Sailor's Platter will finally be ordered, along with a beer. Then he will take 3 times longer than any other human being on earth to eat the food while he tells you that he was in the Navy and has been around the world twice. (Some days it's three times, but usually it's twice). Then it'll be time for dessert. He will take 15 minutes to decide he wants vanilla ice cream. Do you have vanilla ice cream? Ummm, yes. We have it and we had it last night and the night before when you were here, too. Ok, so then the bill will come and he will say "$60.00! What did we have that could add up to $60.00?" And he'll call the waiter over and go over every item on the bill and finally whip out the old wallet and pay, all the while bitching that he can't believe it was $60.00. It's highway robbery!
There is one thing you can count on with Pete though. He makes damn sure we're home by 6:30. Why? Why?????? Three words: Wheel of Fortune.
Alright, I actually am not a full blown foodie...I really don't love all foods. In fact most foods that are of the vegetable persuasian are a definate "no thank you" for me. And, FYI I have already begun a draft entitled 101 Ways To Hide Your Vegetables...But that is another blog designed mostly for kids. However, I digress.
So okay, I am no Anthony Bourdain and I am
However, I am completely willing to trek several miles into dangeous suburbs and downtown areas; battling homeless populations, one way street traffic, totally over priced parking garages and uber snarky seating hostesses to bring you my thoughts and my impressions of the places I visit, the food I eat and the people I meet.
In addition to sharing my restaurant reviews I plan on sharing some family traditions, funny food stories, kitchen nightmares, yummy recipes and helpful hints. And, in an effort to go global with Food A Go-Go, Nancy will be sharing stories from Chicago and Besty Lou will be contributing for the animals who eat other animals population.
No, no don't even mention my effort or sacrifice; I am a total giver. Errrm, well I am more of a taker really, but I am sometimes impressed with unselfish people and I occasionally aspire to be like them and this really seemed like the easiest way to do that...
I hope that you will enjoy my rants and raves.