Making In-N-Out Animal-Style Burgers at Home

Making In-N-Out Animal-Style Burgers at Home

Coworker: “Can you go to California in two weeks? We need someone to do a field study for one of our clients and the regular team is booked.” Lisa: “California? Absolutely.” Coworker: “Don’t you need to check with your husband or something?” Lisa: “No, no, …

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

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

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. …

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

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

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 …

Ansel Adams Ruined Yosemite

Ansel Adams Ruined Yosemite

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 …

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

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

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 …

We finally visit Ridge, my favorite winery

We finally visit Ridge, my favorite winery

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 …

Wisconsin Drinks a lot of Korbel Brandy

Wisconsin Drinks a lot of Korbel Brandy

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 …

We Return to Kenwood Winery

We Return to Kenwood Winery

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 …

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

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

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.” …

Yummy Tacos in Sonoma

Yummy Tacos in Sonoma

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 …

“California Champagne”

“California Champagne”

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 …

Highway 101/ Route 1 Live Up To the Hype

Highway 101/ Route 1 Live Up To the Hype

It’s true: driving Highway 101/Route 1 is as awesome as everyone says it is. You could make an entire vacation out of driving the 101 from Seattle to San Francisco (just veer off the 101 on the 1 in northern California). Wait, you should make …