Browsing Category "California"
Es una salsa ... muy salsa! Si, whatever.

United States of Hot Sauce: Frank’s, Tapatio, and Tabasco

By     |    Feb 2, 2013
Posted in: California, Food, Louisiana, New York     |    5 Comments

Two regional food things surprised me on the trip: beer and hot sauce. Beer is much more regionally varied than the Bud Light commercials suggest — try getting Kokanee in South Carolina … or Yuengling in Yosemite … or Dixie anywhere outside New Orleans. Same with hot sauces. We are not a nation of Tabasco users. Surprised me. Here’s how it breaks down: The Northeast Favorite: Frank’s RedHot From the Garden State, Frank’s […]

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Come for the oysters, stay for the burger.

The 6 Best Burgers in America: Middle-of-Nowhere Edition

By     |    Jan 17, 2013
Posted in: Bars, Booze, Beer, Etc., Best Of, California, Florida, Food, New Mexico, New York, Utah     |    3 Comments

Finding a good burger in a city is easy. There’s Dick’s in Seattle, Kopp’s in Milwaukee, In-N-Out across the Southwest, and Culver’s everywhere in the Midwest. But there’s something about being in the middle of nowhere and finding a great burger place. A cheeseburger in paradise is wonderful, but a cheeseburger in the boondocks is even better. Here are my six favorites: 6. Sebastian’s Store — Hearst Beef Burgers Sebastian’s […]

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Let's all get a picture not as good as Ansel's!

Ansel Adams Ruined Yosemite

By     |    Aug 21, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    No Comments

Ansel Adams ruined Yosemite. Well …. somebody did. Probably, a bunch of people had a hand in it, collectively ruining the park by popularization. Ansel may have just kicked it off. The cool climbers that flock here just sealed its fate. Honestly, though, why even try to take a picture of Yosemite? Ansel’s already taken a better one. You can buy a print at the gift shop. Of course, you can […]

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Before we leave, one last look at Half Dome...

The best view in Yosemite: the Sentinel Dome-Taft Point loop trail

By     |    Aug 20, 2012
Posted in: Best Of, California, Hikes, Parks     |    2 Comments

The most famous view of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park is the vista from Glacier Point. That’s where everyone heads, and you’ve got to see it, but try this first: stop at the Sentinel Dome trailhead and hike the 4.9 mile Sentinel Dome/Taft Point loop trail. Head towards Sentinel Dome first and scramble up its bald, granite head for an amazing, 360 degree view of the granite-coated park. Then […]

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Yum...

We finally visit Ridge, my favorite winery

By     |    Aug 16, 2012
Posted in: Bars, Booze, Beer, Etc., Best Of, California, Wine     |    No Comments

When our friend, Ben, worked at a wine store in Chicago, he was always discovering interesting bottles and generously sharing them with us. This is how I had my first taste of Zinfandel from Ridge. I’ll always remember the bottle of Geyserville 2003 (or 2004?): the simple, clean label, the unexpectedly complex and delicious flavors. After my Ridge introduction, I was always on the lookout for sales or for excuses to […]

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Korbel-Brandy

Wisconsin Drinks a lot of Korbel Brandy

By     |    Aug 16, 2012
Posted in: Bars, Booze, Beer, Etc., California, Wisconsin     |    2 Comments

Fun fact: Wisconsin drinks 1/3 of all the brandy Korbel makes: “Wisconsin is our number one state,” says Margie Healy, director of public relations for the California-based Korbel. “We export 385,000 cases a year, and 139,000 go directly to Wisconsin. That’s one-third of our total production.” Fake fact: 75% of all brandy consumed in the US is consumed in Wisconsin. (Not true, sadly.) Growing up, my grandmother always had a […]

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The Kenwood tasting room.

We Return to Kenwood Winery

By     |    Aug 15, 2012
Posted in: Bars, Booze, Beer, Etc., California, Wine     |    No Comments

We visited Kenwood in 2006, way back in the day, when Lisa and I lucked into a trip to Sonoma. We loved it. Lisa was DD that day, and I’m pretty sure I sampled every one of their wines. There are maybe 30 on the tasting list. We returned to revisit the wines and learn about the Yulupa Zinfandel that Lisa declared the $10 bottle of wine closest to her […]

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$2.50 martini!

Skip Willi’s Wine Bar for Happy Hour at Stark’s Steakhouse in Sonoma

By     |    Aug 15, 2012
Posted in: Bars, Booze, Beer, Etc., California     |    No Comments

We needed a snack. We’d decided to head to Willi’s Wine Bar, so I looked at their website to check their happy hour deals. They had none. Digging deeper, I found that their sister restaurant, Stark’s Steakhouse, has the “best happy hour deals in Sonoma.” Hooray for the internet! Here’s the deal: Beefeater martinis for $2.50, cheap food specials, and wine and beer deals. The place is just north of […]

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Had to pound one taco before I was collected enough to snap a pic.

Yummy Tacos in Sonoma

By     |    Aug 14, 2012
Posted in: California, Food     |    2 Comments

This is why it’s so tough to stay angry at California: Mexican food. Goddamn it’s good here. We had an amazing lunch at a food truck along the side of the road in Sonoma, just north of Healdsburg at the Taqueria Guanajualo Taco Truck. Lisa got a Chorizo-filled quesadilla. I had a grab-bag of three tacos. Everything was amazing. Leaving Oregon, we had lunch at a Mexican place in Brookings. […]

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Iron Horse's tasting "room."

“California Champagne”

By     |    Aug 14, 2012
Posted in: Bars, Booze, Beer, Etc., California, Wine     |    No Comments

We first visited the Sonoma and Napa Valleys in 2006 — we loved Sonoma, but Napa, not so much. Anytime we leave a wine region, we feel like we’ve missed tons of great stuff, or we find a favorite wine after the fact. Happily, we were able to return to Sonoma to visit some new/missed favorites — Korbel Winery and Iron Horse Vineyards. But first, a digression on wine place-names. […]

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