This is the other half of my two-part look at last month's solo road trip. Besides driving 787 miles, I ate food. Out. Didn't cook. Was fun.
One of my joys of Life is eating out. This is something I kind of inherited from my mom...if you can indeed "inherit" that sort of thing. For mom, eating out was to ask for a booth at her favorite diner. She wasn't a "fast food" person nor was she a gourmand; no 5-star restaurants for her. After my dad passed away, mom's interest in cooking just about disappeared and she would manage her little monthly budget so that she could eat her dinners out. She had about a dozen favorite spots in and about her community and would alternate. Sometimes she went to I-Hop. Other times to Perko's. These were more family-oriented in both style and menu and that suited her.
Me? I, too like diners. My favorite right now is a chain called Black Bear Diner. In fact, the day before I left on my trip I had lunch at the BBD in Paradise, CA and the day I headed home I had dinner at the BBD in Gridley, CA. Like it says on their website:
Where servers look you in the eye and smile when they take your order. Where the food tastes a lot like your grandma’s favorite recipes. And where you feel, every time you visit, like you’ve finally come home.
However, I differ from my momma in that I love a little 4- and 5-star cuisine from time-to-time.
Not saying that I reserved a table at a fancy eatery. However, I did have some good stuff at the hotel I stayed for two nights to begin the second week of my trip. Went to the Sheraton Sonoma County-Petaluma Hotel. The hotel itself is beautiful. My room was comfortable. The cafe overlooked the pool which itself overlooked a tiny marina. Took all my meals there for two days.
In fact, my first lunch included a lovely salad and a cheese tray. In fact, it was delicious. Thinly sliced, lightly toasted baguette; honey and quince jam; roasted almonds; three cheeses, one of which was Brie. I love Brie! I spread some honey on a slice of baguette and then topped that with a smear of Brie. Heaven for the taste bubs. [One of my daughters called taste 'buds' bubs when she was a bitty thing.] Gotta say, sometimes it's the simple things that are best. However, that night for supper I had this huge steak, served rare. Again, yum. [hmmm, have to stop at the grocery store tomorrow, maybe I'll get honey, Brie and a baguette.]
Other food highlights of my trip were: 1) chocolate ice cream at a Foster's Freeze; 2) fish and chips at a Red Robin; 3) bacon [!] at my aunt's house; 4) potato salad at another aunt's house; 5) chips and salsa at a restaurant in Old Sacramento. And a super tasty, but waaaaay too spicy chile relleno at a little place in Salinas [CA].
And, speaking of food...right now I have beef short ribs in the crock pot. Sometime soon I'm going to share a recipe I came up with for French-style cornichon pickles. They turned out so yum!