Monday, September 1, 2014

Second Press - Paso Robles, CA

We spent the last few days cutting up at the Double R Cutting held at the Mid State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles. Scott did extremely well showing his futurity, derby and novice horse so I was very proud of him. Our customers showed in the pen as well and took a little bit of the pie with them as well! It was a great show for Team Weis that is for sure!

On Friday night we got to visit I had never been to before. Second Press is located on 12th Street just down from the movie thearter. Parking n this area is pretty sparse so be prepared to find a side street. Our reservation was for about 8:30 so I knew the waitresses were probably running out of steam on their shifts. I was right, we were greeted with not much enthusiasm. Scott and Ron grabbed draft beers and I the Lone madrone Cab.

Our food came out as described to us and I was really torn on ordering this dish. Ron had this Pork Belly served on a potato puree and he drizzle. He said it was nice and I believed him. I love a good braised pork belly! 

Scott went for the Cheeseburger and opted his fries out for salad. Unfortunately it was not the best burger he has ever had. He thought the meat tasted gamey and thought maybe the grass feed beef was the reason. I guess he likes his beef raised on corn in a feedlot! 

Deb went for something very boring... A Caesar with chicken added to it. The only cool thing about this dish was the parmesan lattice crisp. I have always loved when salads are served with these. 

Cara and I both ordered the Salmon served with gnocchi in a saffron white wine sauce, sunburst squash, baby zucchini and roasted tomatoes. First off the portion size and temperature of the salmon came out perfect! Wonderfully cooked. I was served five pieces of gnocchi which seemed a little skimpy, it was delicious though. Now here is the my issue, the tomatoes were cooked until mush but then the squash and zucchini were hard as bricks! It should be the other way around my friends, I couldn't even slice the squash with a knife because it was so hard and slipped around the plate, completely a waste.

 My table mates and I were talked into the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Chocolate Fondant served with whipped cream and ganache. They were fine, nice for sharing. The chocolate helped me finish up the rest of my red wine.

I am very conflicted on this review. I was disappointed in lack of enthusiasm from our server, I liked portions of dishes. I thought the prices were reasonable, but twas disappointed with portions of main entrees. I go back and forth and settle a probably a 'B' rating. It is not good enough to stand up to some greats located across the Paso Square but it is not bad enough to be completely reemed. You be the judge...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reservoir - Fort Worth, TX

Hey y'all I stumbled across this review that I did in Texas last month and wanted to share it with you here! The Reservoir is a bar, patio and kitchen located on Foch Street. It is one of many upcoming cool places to hang out. Fort Worth has been growing, growing and plans on even more restaurants and bars coming to the area.

Our bartender was a cool chick with a modern mohawk, she could really pull it off. I, on the other hand, would have looked ridiculous... some people just can look good in any style. I had the Tito's Punch, it was lemon and orange juices, muddled with black berries and mixed with Tito's Vodka. It was very refreshing!

As Scott and I hung out at the cool bar we decided to get some bar snacks to have with our cocktails. I ordered the Chicken Tortilla Soup based on our bartender's recommendation and it was good. Totally cheesy tough, so every bite there were strands of cheese stuck to my chin. That would be my one complaint as it was delicious tasting! 

Scott was eyeing some pizza as they were leaving the kitchen and I didn't blame him, They looked great! We opted for The Balboa pizza complete with Genoa Salami, and Tito's Vodka Sauce. Do you notice a theme here with Tito's Vodka... Lol, they must have a good relationship with the Vodka company! Anyway, the pizza was great the crust made for very good bar food. 

The Reservoir was a cool place to kill sometime and visit with friendly bartenders. I would give their service an A for effort that is for sure!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Victoria Pub - Ventura, CA

I love a good food adventure so when my friends called me to meet up for lunch for Ventura I was all in. Victoria's Pub was a place I think Scott and I walked into one time a long, long time ago but never stayed for eats of a drink. I recognized the place right away as I walked in.

I met up with Lisa and Dana as they were already waiting for me to join them. They were probably starving and wanted me to hurry up! 

 I love a place that has Fish and Chips on the menu but I just absolutely ADORE a place that has an option to upgrade to halibut from cod. What a treat! The fish was fried perfectly and the huge fries were creamy delicious. 

The Victoria Pub is an excellent place to watch a game, meet for friends or just grab a good meal. I like the feeling of the cool, dark pub as it is mostly all hardwood. It made me feel like I could possibly in Ireland or England. It has that far away feel.

Gosh, I am obsessed with finding the World's Best Fish and Chips...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mar Meadows - Channel Islands, CA

Up way before the sun, I anxiously got dressed and threw on my favorite suit. Today was the day I was going to get to go to the Channel Islands! Technically, we were going to Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the collection of islands. It is 22 miles long and 6 miles wide. Full of caves, beach and volcanic rock! Also home to some really cool surf spots...

My Captain!

My view of the sun rising up over the Pacific Ocean, so beautiful! The ride from the Ventura Harbor to the islands in our little C-Dory is about an hour and a half. The ride out of easy, maybe a bit chilly but nothing more than a sweat shirt and sweat pants could not handle.

We have arrived! We anchored the boat at Mar Meadows, a surf spot that is known for it's easy riding wave. We anchored in front of the wave break so I couldn't grab any cool surf action shots.

I loved the cool foggy photos because it was such a neat place. I felt like I was in a different part of the world. When you are at the Channel Islands you feel so far out of touch, yet you truly are not that far away at all. 

The crest of a wave that Scott was probably surfing on!

I had a pretty cool suit to rock while at the islands and splash around on my foam board but to be perfectly honest, it was pretty chilly! The suit is made by Seea, a super cool suit company. I opted to stay snuggled up on the boat and try to read my new book...
I got through the first chapter nodded off and seriously napped. This was the first day nap that I have taken in a long, long time. I woke up feeling totally refreshed and happy. Boat naps are the best!

The boys came back on the boat and I served up sandwiches that I had made the night before and put in the cooler. Milton's bread, swiss cheese, turkey, avocado, tomato and sprouts were the perfect fuel for the two surfers.

Vanilla Cream Soda's are my new favorite thing. So I supplied these to wash down the sandwiches. If you have not tried them yet please do!

I cannot express how relaxing, breath taking and just how special my day was. It was just a short little half day trip but it felt like I went around the world. I feel blessed to have experienced the joy of the channel islands, hopefully with more adventures to come!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tlaquepaque - Santa Paula, CA

So we have been home from Texas for a few weeks now and I have been enjoying the time home. So much so that I designed an outdoor living space. We have a wrap around porch with two large bays so I decided to create a cute, comfy spot of early morning coffee and late evening cocktails. It is a work in progress but I love it.

Melissa Weis, Porch Decorator Extraordinaire.  

Spray painting all that wicker made me quite hungry one afternoon so I decided I better treat myself to a nice lunch. When I am looking to fill my tummy I always choose Mexican food and so I turned to Tlaquepaque to do the job. It has higher Yelp reviews than Familia Diaz or La Cabana, my usual spots so I was curious to see what the hype was all about.

The chips and salsa was ok. I munched on them aimlessly rather than for flavor. I think based on this course Famila Diaz has them beat and a tie with La Cabana.

 It is going to be hard to compare my main course with the two other restaurants because I went off course and just ordered a shredded beef taco with rice and beans here. But I will say, it is the best darn taco I have had in a long time. I appreciated that they made a little foil taco holder, so the shell did not get soggy or contents fall out. How clever! The shredded beef was totally flavorful. A winner. 

I cannot wait to come back and see how my beloved enchilada stacks up but I am sure it will be good as the meat was just really on point. The restaurant was packed at noon so it must be doing something right, a local's favorite.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sakura Downtown - Ojai, CA

I love a good sushi spot! I had heard months ago that Sakura was opening up a second location and it would conveniently be located downtown. It is just steps from Rainbow Bridge and Wells Fargo, how handy is that?!

Scott and I decided to head into town last Sunday evening for an early dinner. When we walked in we could not help but notice is is a small space but that it was also quite warm inside. Withe the Teppan Yaki table it warmed the room quite a bit. Almost a little uncomfortable. We snagged a tall top and settled in.

Scott started his meal off with a Cucumber Salad just like he always does at sushi. it was not very tasty. The cucumbers were not marinated with any flavor at all. The vinaigrette did not add much to the dish.

My starter of Tempura Vegetables were lovely. I love the squash and onion the most. So tasty with the dipping sauce. I even like dunking my sushi in the warm sauce as well.

First up the "Wild Thing" complete with crab and avocado inside and baked salmon on top. This was was very good. I just love a baked roll. They are so tasty. I don't even know why I try and order anything other kind.

I forgot the name of this roll! I do remember the contents though... I never forget food. Inside was spicy crba, tempura shrimp and cucumber and on top was BBQ eel and tuna. It was just ok. It was one of the higher end rolls and it did not deliver on high end flavor. I liked the baked options much better. I think I measure big flavor by big calories! All the good things are bad for you!

Was Downtown Sakura the bomb? Well, not really. I do enjoy another downtown dining option though. Living in a small town we like variety and this just brings one more option to the map!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Tavern - Fort Worth, TX

Hello fellow readers! I am back... Taking a few days off from blogging makes me really miss posting! We still have a few more Fort Worth eats left so here we go... On one of the last few night in town Scott and I enjoyed a meal at one of our usual spots while working in Texas, The Tavern.

Nothing is more fun than interactive meal. I like that Grilled Artichokes taste great but what I also love is that they take a while to eat. I like to linger over food rather than gorge it down quickly. That is why this is the perfect starter, food and entertainment.

Crab Cakes, Cole Slaw and Mashed Potatoes?! Heck yes! I loved taking bites of the savory crab cake with fresh, crisp cole slaw and than alternating with the smooth, creamy potatoes. A feast for all the senses! 

 I was seriously torn on what to order before settling on my order above. My other choice is exactly what Scott ordered! How funny, two peas in a pod! He got the the Zuni Chicken Salad with roasted chicken, chopped egg, julienned apples, pecans, goat cheese, golden raisins and tossed in a bacon vinaigrette. How delicious does that sound? If there was one complaint it was kind of a small salad for a dinner portion. They could double up on the fixings to make you feel like you had a meal.

That is pretty much a wrap on Texas feasts... Time to get make to posting about California eats! Are you ready for more food?!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Flying Fish! - Fort Worth, TX

And we are back at Flying Fish! Like I told you before our Texas trip began we would be here at least once and here we are! With my VIP/Frequent Diner Card stamped and seated. I soaked in the air conditioning as much as possible. Besides having really good Dr. Pepper and crunch ice, the freezing air is probably one of the most memorable things about the place.  

They asked for it... 

Scott ordered the Tilapia Po Boy and he asked them to make it Snappy! Snappy equals spicy in this joint. The sandwich was delicious according to my faithful reviewer. The fries were also tasty. A little salt and a lot of ketchup was going on over there! 

I went for a classic in the fish house, Fried Catfish. The hush puppies that came with the fries are like little teasers. It makes me regret not ordering a whole basketful. The dipping sauce for my fish is always a heavy 2:1 tartar sauce to ketchup ratio. Just so it is pink. I end up using it for fry sauce too.

Well, that is our visit in a nutshell. Easy to order, cheap bill and satisfied tummy. You can't get much better than that! I should have ordered a few oysters while I was there, I sense a craving coming on...