Friday, October 26, 2007

Food, fat and fillings

Damn teeth.

What are you good for anyways? Eating? Smiling? Opening mail?

Yesterday I suffered through day 1 of my oral overhaul.
Fillings replaced, the beginnings of a crown and two bondings yet to come at appointment #2.

At one point I had 5 different instruments and two hands in my mouth. Not pretty.

Today my jaw feels like I spent the last few days on the road as a Motley Crue groupie. But luckily I know for sure I couldn't have been as my ass seems to feel fine.

And all this for the modest sum of $1000-1200.00. That's AFTER insurance.

Damn teeth.

I guess I should be happy. Without the lovely choppers I wouldn't have been able to eat all the gloriously glorious delights that I did this weekend in Sonoma and SF. And boy howdy, did I eat a LOT.

Our gastronomic journey:

Friday night, after we landed, we rented a car and headed North. The roads get all twisty and narrow where my sister lives, so she met us in the lovely village of Villa Grande, home of the Pink Elephant bar.

We settled in at the lovely Casa de SisterofWhiskeymarie in the tiny community of Villa Grande, CA.

By this point all I had eaten was bad airline food, antianxiety pills and sparkling wine, so we decided that food was a good idea.

It's a little fuzzy for me still, but I know we had dinner at the Cape Fear Cafe in Duncans Mills, yet another quaint little nook surrounded by redwoods and hills in the N. California landscape. I had really good smoked salmon tortellini and a glass of Sauvignon blanc, if my memory serves me right. Later that evening, back at the Casa, I tried to drink a glass of wine with my ear, while seeming to have mysteriously grown a double chin:

I only remember this vaguely.

The next morning I was surprisingly chipper, considering that most of the previous day was a complete blur- thank you Ativan. Actually, I wish I could fly without the aid of pharmaceuticals, as I honestly "lose" an entire day from them, but I'm not at that point yet. I think I'm too much of a control freak to ever get there, unfortunately.
Damn flying.

Anyways, I was feeling fine and dandy, so I made omlettes (potato, bacon, jalapeno, onion and Cotswold cheese) and we drank gallons of coffee.

Saturday was spent tasting wine here and here, but we got kicked out of the one I really wanted to see as we didn't notice that they had a sign up saying they were closed for a private event. We just walked in and some dude gave us some wine, so we thought everything was hunky-dory. Guess not. Oops. But hey- thanks for the free wine, it was delicious.

After lunch here (a lovely and sophisticated burger with avocado and a couple of beers), we meandered around town shopping.
My favorite shop (shout-out to Dr. Monkey- didn't know you were such an entrepreneur):

Sadly, there was only minimal monkey merchandise to purchase here.

I felt misled and cheated by the false advertising.

Whatever- I didn't need a new monkey anyways. Mr. Wiggles has a few more good years left in him, as long as the mange doesn't become too much of a problem...

Back on track-

Dinner was here. Meh. Kind of like and upscale Perkins with booze and seafood for about $50/person. I had grilled salmon with Bearnaise, bland rice and steamed veggies. Whatever. It seemed geared towards the upwardly-mobile geriatric shuffleboarders that eat dinner at 4:30. It was fine- just not great.
But, the drive there was gorgeous- along Hwy. 1 at dusk with the huge waves crashing into the rocks. The drive was as perfect as it gets. And we did eat right on the water where pelicans and the like gathered right outside the windows while we ate.
Which was nice.

Breakfast Sunday was at the quaint little Cafe les Jumelles in Monte Rio. Best biscuits and gravy EVER. Holy crap they were good. Totally worth the clogged arteries. Best part was, they came as a side to most of the other items- so I got to have an amazing breakfast burrito AND biscuits and gravy.
Oh lordy, it was good. I won't be getting my cholesterol tested anytime soon, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure my veins are running thick with butter and gravy at this point.

Unfortunately this was the last stop for us in that part of the world. We needed to hit the road to get the car back in time. So we bid SisterWM and husband of SisterWM adieu and hit Highway 1 for San Francisco.

We once again stayed at The Hotel Carlton on Sutter St.
I love this hotel. Super cute, super clean, and the staff is disgustingly helpful and friendly. Plus the location is fantastic and the price is right. And they have really, really nice bedding and a cute Middle-Eastern-esque restaurant.

For dinner, we went (conveniently) next door to Brick. I cannot say enough good things about this meal. It is easily in my top three or four meals of ALL TIME.
We had hamachi sashimi with ginger and such and such for an appetizer- it was like Asian-y butter. I could have eaten a pound.
Then I had the goat cheese-crusted lamb. Kind of a pedestrian choice, but I really wanted lamb. holy shit it was good. Every bite was perfect. I could have licked the plate.
Equally good was the Mr's olive oil poached halibut on squid ink risotto with fried calamari. That halibut just melted in your mouth. Mmmm....

Dessert, as darkly pictured in my last post, was uh-ma-zing. I am the worst kind of dessert snob there is: a former pastry chef that only rarely eats the stuff. So when I do- it damn well better be worth it.
It was.
Caramel pots de creme for two sprinkled with candied cocoa nibs and black salt.
Weird? Indeed.
But the caramely creaminess with the crunchy nibs and the lingering salt...
Oh my.
I could have eaten two.

Later: Drinks at Lush, then drunky drunk sleep.

Other dining highlights and lowlights:
* Breakfast here. Sure, it's a hotel restaurant, but it is such a charming little room and the food is so good that I don't care. We have had breakfast here twice and dessert once and it has been exceptional each time. I had a spinach and gruyere omlette, the Mr. had a chorizo and mozzerella omlette. A very nice way to start the day.

*Lunch here at table on a sidewalk in North Beach. The service was just o.k, but the food was great. I had a salad with house-made pasta, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, greens and fresh basil. the Mr. had a tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella sandwich. Both were really simple, but really good. The champagne cocktail didn't hurt things either.

*After lunch cookies at Stella's Pastries. They sold them by weight, which I thought was funny. But we bought an assortment of tasty little treats and ate them as we walked back to the hotel. My favorites were the little cookies with a buttercream filling and the mini almond pastries. Yum.

*Dinner here. The Mr's was really good, mine not so much. I had to send the first thing I ordered back, which I NEVER do, but it was so gross there was no way I could power through it (cold ground pork? I don't think so. Really- if you are going to serve something that is normally hot ICE COLD- well, it really should say so on the menu. Really- we need to be warned.) I got the carnitas as a hurried replacement, and it was more than a little disappointing. But, the ceviche was stellar and I enjoyed the atmosphere and the sangria, so overall it wasn't the worst meal I've had.

Other than that, the rest of the gorging was fine, if not better than fine, but nothing worth noting.

I'm pretty sure I gained 27 pounds in 5 days- but it was totally worth it.

Gotta go- the elliptical is calling my name and I need ibuprofen for my side job-related jaw injury.

So, my little cocoa nib-sprinkled chocolate-dipped tomatoes- go out and eat something nice this weekend- hopefully something that doesn't involve Tommy Lee, a 12-pack and bruised knees.



nancypearlwannabe said...

I couldn't even finish this post because I am SO HUNGRY and all I've eaten today were a disgusting orange flavored 100 calorie shake and a microwave vegetable lasagna from Trader Joe's.

I need to eat something delicious tonight and then come back to comment. Damn you and your fine restaurantery.

McGone said...

This totally makes me think of the fine dining I just had on my lunch break. It was at a quaint bistro called Le Subway. Chicken & Bacon Ranch on wheat bread.

Hamachi sashimi sounds like what Ralph Cramden would say when he got flustered.

Gretta said...

I know it's close to Halloween and all, but NO MORE SCARY DENTIST STORIES!
More about the pots de creme, though. That's fun to say.

Sean said...

God I love vacations where you eat your way through a town or region. Thats what I did when I went to Seattle last year. Glad you had fun (well except for the dog poop and blisters)and thanks for the great food links.

Nature Girl said...

Wow! I'm quite sure I gained 27 pounds just READING about all that fabulous food! How on earth do you say so skinny? Seriously? How?

I laughed and laughed my ass off at the bit about being a groupie..that was freakin' hilarious. Glad to have you back WM!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I'll speak to my peeps at Shiki Monkey, next time you go they'll have some good monkey stuff, I promise.

Disco and Dexter - Friends at Best said...

The Pub Cheese!

Teeth really are useless. Take wisdom teeth for example. Less and less people have them. Soon, we'll all be toothless. *shows off her gums*

And now... time for a classy fish fry, complete with wine.

Whiskeymarie said...

NPW- Eat something for me too, cause I think I'm on a diet now.

McGone- Me & the Mr. were walking down a street in San Fran & he goes: "It smells like Subway". I say: "No, It just smells like fresh bread"
Two seconds later we walk by Le Subway.
he goes: "See? Huh?" with more than just a little pride in his voice that he was right and I was just being snooty.

TG- I try and I try to not be gross, but that's just my life.
One gross thing after another.

Sean- We'll be doing Seattle & Oregon next summer- any tips from you would be great!

Stacie- Skinny is not a word I would use to describe myself right now. However- Bloated, jiggly, and polluted- those are words I WOULD use.

Dr M- Get on that, would you?

N- Cotswold, the pub cheese, makes me so happy I could cry. Try making a grilled cheese with it sometime- it will change your life. Seriously. Plus, it's nice and soft, so I can easily "gum" it when all of my teeth fall out.

Christa said...

sometimes i think i'd like to have all fake teeth.

Flenker said...

It's a good thing I don't have any souffle dishes or custard cups, because I would them attempt to make the pots de creme, and then attempt to eat all of them.

And now I really want to go back to San Fran. This time to actually enjoy all of the wineries and my uncles home brews. Not to mention the food.

Mariposa said...

I don't like going to the, I agree, no more dentist scary stories please... :D

I'm hungry now...will look for something really yummy... ;)

Fran said...

STFU sister. The teeth - that sucks, but that trip. The food. The drink. The Shiki Monkey.

My desire to be your evil step twin and become Whiskey Fran (despite the fact that I am bout 22 years older than you, but that's a mere detail) is fueled by this trip.

I have to post an Elvis Yoga video that I found,I think you will likee.

abbersnail said...

See, every time I start to feel cranky that it costs so much to live here, someone goes and reminds me that it is TOTALLY worth it! Also, you've given me like five more places I want to go eat now.

le sigh

Nocturnal said...

Damn choppers, they always bite you in the end.

Yes that was lame.


LittlePea said...

So jealous. I need to go on an eating expedition.

Katrin said...

Sounds like you had a food-tour through northern CA. We did indeed have fantastic food today: assortment of french cheeses (for €17, market bought! OMG, we are students, so better not tell my mom), tomatoes and fresh figs, dried dates, fresh plums, olive ciabatta, olives, garlice that has marinated for 13 years, hummus and tamara salad, fresh grapes and Italian red wine (better not tell a frenchman). Mmmmmh...

Distributorcap said...

can i go on yourr next trip -- you know how to have fun

Freida Bee, MD said...

I'm jealous of your dental work. (really) Please take me in your suitcase next time and slip me avocado burgers through the hole.