Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bay Area Holidays - a retrospect
I've been seriously behind on my postings...so here's a quick post that's basically going to quickly go through my food adventures when I went back home to the Bay area for the holidays. I had some great food and I wanted to at least point these places out...at least, before the next holiday season comes around!First stop, St. John's Grill. I came here with almost all my immediate family members, and chowed down on some of the best burgers I've ever had. This is one of the places that I really wish they had in Southern California. Unfortunately, there's only one St. John's. And this is it.
Garlic fries will give you a kick start in the head...or in the gut. This plate of heaven is loaded with garlic, parsley, parmesan cheese and crispy - not oily - fries. The skin of the potato actually adds a really nice texture to each fry.
More bar food...fried zucchini rounds, with ranch sauce. Fried goodness. Enough said about those. These onion rings are to-die-for. Battered, fried, crispy, golden, sweet. Everything you want in a onion ring.
Owen went all out with his bacon-guacamole burger. Juicy meat, creamy avocado and thick bacon. Can't get any better thaDid I mention that on Saturdays, St. John's burgers are half priced?? Here's a blown out flash close up. Gotta work on my camera skills. I had a mushroom swiss burger. It was soo filling, I didn't even eat half of my burger. I think I filled up on fries. I guess the burgers USED to be bigger...although maybe it's better that they're smaller now...less gluttony. Each burger comes with a bag of Lay's original potato chips. I don't think any of us opened one. But we saved all of them (ew the bags were covered in burger grease) and took them home for later. Waste not want not!!!Next up with Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi's. We went to the original location in Mountain View. Great place, I've been to the other location closer to my house, but this is the ORIGINAL!! These are what was left of a plate of Ravoil Compare - Breaded cheese ravioli, deep fried, served with a chipotle-ranch sauce. The plate that came to us had more ravioli, but everyone took one before I remember to snap a picture. The plate was practically licked clean 2 minutes after taking this picture.
Horribly blurry picture of bread. This bread is awesome, (white, good crust, carby, warm) but what makes this an amazing bread is the butter herb spread. It's soft, light as air, easily spreadable, and completely delicious. We were warned not to eat too much of it because we had this coming up...
A MASSIVE beautiful pizza. This is the Stromboli, holding the holy trinity of meats - Sausage, pepperoni and salami, with some mushrooms thrown on there for good measure. The sausage is amazing, not that fake crap from Domino's or Pizza hut. It's freshly made, huge chunks of meat with great flavor. This pizza is meat-coma inducing. The crust is great too - chewy, crunchy, flavorful.
We also got a Fresh Tomato, Basil and Garlic pizza to balance out the Stromboli. I thought it was a great choice and really highlighted the perfection of the bread.
During Christmas break, I went to Rosie McCann's, an Irish Pub restaurant to meet up with some old friends. I ordered some garlic fries for the table. This was not as good as the garlic fries I got from St. John's during Thanksgiving break, but they were still of decent quality and consumed quickly.
Here's a crappy picture of Krang's California Chicken burger. Grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, rabbit food and fries. He seemed to enjoy it.
Here's an extremely blurry picture of Jay's Irish Nachos. I think Irish nachos are Jay's favorite comfort/junk food, because I remember him ordering irish nachos often at THE ROWS (Carrows...the only 24 hour restaurant open close to my house in San Jose.) back in high school. Basically, Irish nachos are just like regular Mexican nachos...but instead of tortilla chips, they use sliced baked/fried/extreme potatoes. They're sinfully good.
Chris and I decided to be good and split a plate of Wild Salmon fish and chips, with wasabi mayo. If anyone knows me, they know that I love wasabi infused...anything. So the wasabi mayo was great. The fried fish was alright...it had a crispy panko-crumb outside. I prefer the thicker batter type of fried fish, like from King's Head, but this wasn't bad. I liked the salmon itself, which was a decent cut of fish. The fries were alright. Slaw was edible but I don't really love slaw. Saved the WORST for last. Vicky and I met up and had a quick bite at The Village: California Bistro and Wine Bar. For a trendy space and dark mood lighting, the food was completely lacking. I got the Crispy Monterey Calamari with Garlic Aioli. The word to describe this was: Whatever. Not special, not outstanding, but not completely unedible. I've had better, but I've had worse. I guess I was just hoping for...something more special.
Vicky chose the Curried Seared Tofu - "Lightly Breaded & Seared Tofu, Jasmine Rice, Bok Choy, Garlic, Carrot & Tomato, Thai Red Curry Broth, Bean Sprouts, Peanuts". This was totally and completely lacking of flavor! How could anyone mess up tofu! AND to use curry, and to not even infuse the tofu with something so flavorful as curry...lame! For a 15 dollar vegetarian plate, this was supposed to be knock your socks off, but instead it was a waste of bean curd. Shame on you "The Village". (Doesn't help that the restaurant is named after an M. Night Shymalan movie. I hate his movies. And his ego.)

I had a great time during the holidays - it was good to get away for awhile. How I miss the bay area.

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