West Coast Trip: starting out

Hello! I am in Sunny CA for a vacation again. This time I am traveling almost the entire west coast from LA to the Pacific NorthWest. My friends Janeen and Carrie are joining me up to San Francisco and then my husband Dan is meeting me and we are going North! I couldn’t tell you lovely people about the awesome month I had in June because my computer decided to break down right before I left… Oh we’ll, it’s vacation time! I left my worries at home and headed out.

This LA visit started out great. After Carrie and I had to starve on the way here (our flights were so close together we literally had to run so we didn’t miss our connection) and after I had to finagle us a car with a trunk (they tried to give us a little smart car type vehicle) we finally got to eat a good lunch. yes.

20130706-093750.jpg

We went immediately to the restaurant where our awesome friend Erin works (with whom we are staying with in LA) called The Park in Echo Park. Thank god we got to eat. I went a little over board and ordered a lot of things: a chicken-avocado-gruyere-tomato sandwich, tuscan white bean soup, and home fries with buttermilk ranch dressing. I also wanted to order an egg because I was really hungry for an egg but I refrained. Anyway, it was all awesome.

The rest of our first day was napping, porch hangin’, and going out and about in Silver Lake.

We celebrated July 4th in true LA style… or at least what I think of as true LA style – POOL PARTY! Ace of Base was blasting, the pool was full, and the grill was smoking. Needless to say, we had a really great time.

20130706-093952.jpg

20130706-094002.jpg

We went to a few other parties that were also fun. I think my favorite thing at the end of the evening was that there were a bunch of really cute dogs around and the neighbors were having a firework battle – who can make the loudest boom-sparkle?!

20130706-094257.jpg

Today we decided to have a beach day and go to Malibu. But first I needed to get
my egg fix, so we stopped at Silver Lake Coffee for breakfast. They have great egg sandwiches. I got an everything bagel with scrambled eggs, tomato, avocado and cream cheese – yea cream cheese and eggs – try it! They also have great coffee here.

We went to one of my favorite beaches ever – El Matador. Beautiful views, beautiful weather, and some really awesome rocks. You have to climb down the bluffs to get to the beach. Its pretty steep but a lot of people seemed to make the trek today. Once a hidden gem, El Matador was pretty full. Each rock is a little mini ecosystem full of muscles, anemones, barnacles, these weird tube worms that look like they have dragon scales, limpets, snails, and chiton – and of course there are all different types of seaweed everywhere! The rocks are eroded away into pretty formations, some with windows that you can walk through and some little caves to crawl up in and under. We stayed there for most of the day before heading out to get dinner.

20130706-094511.jpg

20130706-094504.jpg

We decided to go to Paradise Cove. It is kind of famous I think, being a place where some older TV shows and retro movies were filmed. Their motto is “probably the best beach in the world” I think it is probably not the best beach in the world. It was very pretty and it did have nice views, but it was not nearly as cool as El Matador. The visit is pricey – if you do not go to the restaurant, it costs $40 for day use. We were eating there so we only had to pay $6 to park. We sat down at an outside beach table, which was cozy – You are definitely paying for location here. I started my dinner with clam chowder, which was creamy and really good. The clams tasted super fresh and it was really filling. However, in between the clam chowder and my fish and shrimp tacos coming out… I started feeling not so good. So I couldn’t eat my dinner at all and I ended up having to take it home. I was feeling ok by the time we got back to Erin’s house and I tried to eat some of it but everything just tasted a little off, except the rice, that was ok. So my opinion of this restaurant is that it is way too overpriced and probably not worth the venture. There are much better places in Malibu with and without the lofty price.

20130706-094700.jpg

20130706-094718.jpg

So overall, we had a nice start to our travels. We are going camping today near Santa Barbara at Lake Cachuma. We plan on exploring the area and doing a little wine tasting over the next few days.

Advertisements

Friendly Reminder: Guber Ball Day is Tomorrow!

Hello everyone!

I am writing to remind you that the observance of Guber Ball day is tomorrow – Saturday, December 22, 2012.

The Distlefink Inn/Dirty Ol’ Tavern opens in the morning… with festivities beginning at 10:30am.

Need a map to get there? Here ya go.

If you are curious about this holiday, read the link that describes last year’s Guber Ball Day party.

Bring your condiments and wear your Santa hat and dancing shoes… See you tomorrow!

Sunday brunch at POUR

I had a brunch date with my husband on Sunday. Brunch just might be my favorite meal to go out and eat. It is always relaxing and fun whether it be with two people or a bunch. You could dress up in your fancy pants, or dress down in jeans and bring along your market bags. It’s a great way to start your day.

Dan and I decided to try POUR on Prince Street. It was kind of a rainy and cold day so we couldn’t sit outside. It was cozy inside and they have awesome coffee that warmed us up from the cold.

POUR has a small but well put together menu that had a nice variety of brunch choices. We both chose egg dishes that included some delicious meats. I had the toad-in-the-hole which was topped with two local sausage links. The bread was a piece of thick cut brioche with a fried egg inside a cut out ring. My only slight disappointment was that the egg was really runny. I like a runny yolk but I don’t like when the white is runny… a little too much slime for me. The sausages were delicious and topped with a mustard gravy. Very Oktoberfest, appropriate for fall, and very tasty.

20121011-180843.jpg

Dan had the steak and eggs. His egg was poached perfectly- soft yolk and cooked white, not too slimy. The steak was also cooked exactly how he ordered it (medium). The wild chanterelle mushrooms on the side made this dish a step above your regular steak and eggs breakfast. Everything was served atop creamy grits. Of course I had a taste, a little bite of all of it, and it was delicious.

20121011-180922.jpg

We finished up brunch with an order of drinks instead of dessert. The beer menu is impressive here, pretty well curated. Dan ended up with a Hennepin from Ommegang Brewery. I had a Bloody Mary – ordered a little less spicy than they normally make it. It was garnished with some of my favorite things… meat, cheese, an olives… so I loved it!

20121011-180934.jpg

One thing that I really wanted to try was the charcuterie offerings. I was so stuffed that I couldn’t create a tray for myself this time but I will be ordering it first next time I come to POUR. They had a variety of meats and cheeses that seemed to all catch my eye. You choose the ones you want and they create a board just for you. This is right up my alley… I need to go back.

Guber Ball Day

Guber Ball day is long-standing tradition at the Dirty Ol’ Tavern (The Distelfink Inn) in Lancaster, Pa.

It comes but once a year, around Christmas time, and there is not really any information about it anywhere. Go ahead, try to Google it, you won’t find much. The Dirty Ol’ Tavern doesn’t even have an official website (or at least I couldn’t find one). You’ll just have to go down South Prince Street to the fringes of Lancaster city next holiday season and see for yourself. I don’t really know how the tradition began but it has been celebrated for 65 years and counting!

I have been attending the Guber Ball Christmas Party for 3 years now. My first one was quite epic. There was a wicked snowstorm one day in mid-December that kept most people cooped up in their homes. Luckily we live right in town and we like to walk everywhere. So we bundled up, put our snow boots on, and marched from one end of the city to the other. We arrived at the Dirty Ol’ Tavern kind of late in the evening, long after the usual Guber Ball serving time…

But this day we were lucky! There were plenty of Guber balls to pass around! The snow storm kept many of the party-goers home and the Distelfink Inn had an enormous amount left to fry up for us. And so began the Guber Ball Day tradition for my group of friends.

This year my very good friend Matt (that’s him in the picture!) and I decided to make some special sauces for the Guber Ball Day Christmas party. This year the party was held on December 17th. I’ll be sure to put up a reminder post next year to let you all know when the special day is because I know you all want to attend next holiday season.

Here are our special sauce creations:

From right to left…

Top row: homemade pickle and onion creamy relish, horseradish mustard mix, and hot sesame soy dipping sauce.

Bottom row: Garlic and winter herb aoli, regular sesame soy dipping sauce, and curried sweet chili ketchup.

I think that everyone pretty much voted the regular and hot sesame soy dipping sauces went the best with the Guber balls. The sesame soy dipping sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions, garlic, and ginger. The hot version includes a squirt of sriracha sauce. I originally made this sauce for cabbage and shrimp pot stickers but it’s really good for a variety of dippable foods.

So… What exactly is a Guber Ball? I can tell you are wondering…

We don’t actually know what a Guber ball is made of, but we do know that the recipe is a heavily guarded secret among the Dirty”Ol Tavern family. We have also been debating on spelling – Goober ball or Guber ball? I think it is spelled Guber due to the German heritage of many Lancaster folk. If anyone thinks otherwise, let me know.

Here’s what the outside looks like:

I think Dan said it best when he described them as a “meat hush puppy.” They look a lot like round hush puppies. I can only speculate that they are made with some kind of ground meat and maybe some vegetables and spices… possibly pork and celery? I have no guesses on the spices. They are rolled in breadcrumbs and fried, making a crispy outer shell and a mushy center.

Here’s what the inside of a Guber ball looks like:

I’ll probably get the evil eye for posting that picture… like I said, the Guber ball recipe is a heavily guarded secret. If you try to take one out with you, you’ll get in big trouble. Guber balls are to be enjoyed only at the Dirty Ol’ Tavern and only on Guber Ball Day.

Guber balls come out of the kitchen in baskets. You don’t order them and you don’t even pay for them. Guber balls are just there to pass around and enjoy. I actually can’t say that I love them but they only come but once a year so you have to eat at least one. Who wouldn’t want to participate in the tradition and novelty of it all? You never know… they might bring you luck in the new year!

The Fridge

It’s Friday! I’m going to make a recommendation for a great place to grab a few drinks if you are in the Lancaster area.

If you like good beer, you should stop by The Fridge! I’ve been there a few times so far, and I’m headed there tonight…

They make some fancy pizzas and they have an excellent beer selection.

Here’s some of the pizza’s the have featured in the past two months:

Every pizza I’ve had there was great! If you want the best selection, get there early. They make pizzas until they run out of ingredients then they are gone for the evening. It’s worth making a trip in a little early to get some.

They have some great beers in the giant fridge that they have in the center of the place. You could drink any one you want while you are there or make a mixed 6-pack to take with you. They also have beers that are not refrigerated to take home. It’s a big selection.

Last month Dan and I shared this gem:

Duvel Triple Hop, excellent beer! perfect to share, it’s pretty strong but super smooth… It’s a little dangerous for the afternoon.

Last Friday I went in with Dan to have some drinks. We shared some of the daft beers. They always have great beers on tap that are constantly changing. You could also fill a growler to take home with you or drink while you are hanging out.

Here’s the beers we tried last weekend:

471 Small Batch Double IPA from Breckenridge

Autumnation from Sixpoint

Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale

Extreme Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout from Rock Art

All were good, I don’t have anything bad to say about any of them. My favorite was the Autumnnation from Sixpoint. It was kind of pumpkin flavored but not too strong, and a little hoppy, a great fall beer.

The draft beers are constantly changing. Check out the Fridge’s Facebook page for updates!


NOLA Eats – Po’Boys for Sandwich Wednesday!

I started looking through some of my vacation photos this week and it’s been making me miss summer. I never finished blogging about my week in New Orleans. I was really on the go with no time to hang out at the computer. I’ll be sharing some more vacation posts this week, just because I’m kind of missing summer…

I ate a few Po’boys throughout the week. After our day at the Audubon Zoo we stopped at Mahony’s, one of Dan’s favorite spots.

In addition to being all talked up by Dan, Mahony’s has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network. Dan keeps telling me of this Pork Belly and Pepper Jelly sandwich that they make sometimes… if you’re lucky enough to be there when they have it on the menu.  He claims that it is his favorite sandwich ever. That’s a big claim, to say a sandwich is your favorite sandwich of all time. So I was excited to try this elusive sandwich… no luck the day we were there – it’s a special they rarely have, Dan must have gotten lucky last time… or is he making it up? We will never know.

I ordered the grilled shrimp and friend green tomato po’boy with remoulade sauce, along with super skinny fried onion rings.


It was good, I was stuffed by the time I got to the end of it. The shrimp was cooked well and not over done. The Fried green tomatoes were great and it had remoulade sauce spread on it. I think it probably could have used a little more remoulade.

Dan got the cochon sandwich with creole cole slaw. I have to be honest… this was the superior po’boy. They meat was cooked perfectly and the cole slaw was creamy and delicious. It was very well-balanced. yum.

I ate my second po’boy at a restaurant outside of New Orleans in a way smaller town called Lafitte. It was on the way back from our awesome air boat ride through the swamps where our boat captain feed marshmallows to the gators.

The restaurant was called Restaurant des Familles because it was right on the Bayou des Familles. It doesn’t look like much from the front but it was actually a pretty fancy restaurant inside. The whole back of the building is a wall of windows that’s right up against the water and you can gator watch while you eat.

I started with a cup of Gumbo.

And then I had the fried catfish po’boy.

It was pretty awesome.

I think I had a pretty good po’boy experience while in Louisiana. There are a bunch of places that I didn’t get to go to… so I already have my sandwiches picked out for my next visit!

Lovely Saturdays

I brought a visitor to market with me this weekend – my Mom! My parents were visiting and I showed my mom around downtown.  She loved it! It makes me really happy to share the places I love with the people I love. The weather was a little dreary but we still had a great time walking around.

I had a great Saturday last weekend as well… I have been feeling like this lately:

*letter pressed post card created by Moxie House and available at FIG Central.

Let me tell you about last weekend…

Last Saturday I went down to Central Market as usual. My intent was just to run down and get some veggies, make my way home and get some house work done. Instead I ended up spending all afternoon downtown enjoyably wasting the day.

The day started off pretty gloomy and rainy. By the time I was ready to leave the house it started clearing up so I decided to take my chances and walk downtown. It turned out to be a beautiful day! The sun came out – it felt so good! We have been having so many rainy days lately it was nice to be outside as the summer days are turning into fall.

I wandered in and out of a few shops along King and Queen Streets. I stopped in Fig central and Party Perfect, Zanzibar, Festoon and a few more places. I like to go in and out of the downtown shops from time to time just to see what’s new. I usually don’t end up buying much but it’s pretty fun to look at all of the odds and ends that are hidden inside.

Market was hustling and bustling. All the vegetables are starting to change. The bounty of summer is becoming the harvest of fall. Which is ok with me, it just means warm comfort foods will start being made in my kitchen. For a few short market days, you can get the last of the summer veggies and the first of the fall veggies at the same time.

I bought my last box of local multicolored cherry tomatoes last week, along with my last bunches of local basil with giant leaves. I didn’t find any of them at market this week. I am sad to say good-bye to some of my favorite ingredients but happy to start buying squashes again.

There is a pepper boom right now. Everyone has homegrown peppers. One thing that I love about the homegrown peppers around here is that they are always a mixture of colors. The yellow peppers are always yellow and green, the red and red and green, and the green are green and purple! Peppers are also really cheap right now (3 for $1!) so I bought a bunch and decided that I am going to make stuffed peppers this week.

I made a very welcomed discovery while inside market… there is a stand that carries local garlic! I can’t believe I haven’t noticed it until now. I always wanted a steady source of local garlic at central market. Occasionally, the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative carries local garlic, but it sells out quickly and it’s not there all the time. I was really happy to find that Rafiki’s Deli had a special table dedicated to garlic from Promised Land Farms.

I chose to two varieties to try: Artichoke and Siberian. They are both really fragrant. I definitely notice a difference between the local garlic and the varieties imported from California and China. There is so much more flavor! One thing I can not understand is why we import garlic from so far away – It seems really silly when you think about how much it must cost to ship it that far.

I was meeting Janeen for lunch and I decided to wait outside for her since the sun was shining. I sat looking at market alley wishing that someone would put some tables out there…

They already block off the entrance so cars can’t drive down here. And what a prefect place for tables! You would be able to get food inside of market and sit outside, enjoying your lunch in the fresh air. It would be awesome! A restaurant could even take over that area. I would love to have a good lunch with a lunch-time beer outside.

We had lunch at Spring House Brewery’s TapRoom. Which is inside, but there are a lot of big windows so at least it was sunny and bright.

We tried the Mango IPA and Braaaiiins (pumpkin ale). The mango IPA was fruity but not too sweet. I thought it was going to be too flavored for me but it was delicious, a really nicely balanced fruit beer.

I always like a good pumpkin ale, so I was hoping Braaaiiins was a good one. Spring House’s version of pumpkin beer tasted like pumpkin pie, nice and spicy with a hint of nutmeg. Not my favorite pumpkin beer (more on that one at a later date), but I have to say, Braaaiiins is pretty solid. It will probably be my beer of choice whenever I go into the TapRoom this month.

This was my first time eating lunch at the TapRoom. I’ve had a few bar snacks there at night like the pulled pork quesadilla. I was never disappointed with the bar food so I assumed lunch would be pretty good. I had the split pea and ham soup and a garden salad. Both were good and the basil balsamic dressing on the salad was excellent.

Vacation Eats – Morro Bay Adventure

More from our California Adventure…

We drove from San Luis Obispo to Morrow Bay on Thursday (August 4th). We stayed at the Hostel Obispo the night before and had their sourdough pancakes in the morning. The batter was mixed but Janeen cooked them, so I had to do the dishes.

There were no available rooms at the hostel for Thursday night so we were hoping to get a camp site by the bay. We headed out early and tried to get a camp site at Montaña de Oro State Park, with its beautiful golden hillsides looking out on to the ocean… but it was full! We did scored a camp site at Morro Bay State Park. The campground was really close to everything, only a short ride to the center of Morro Bay town. There was also a great coastal Natural History Museum with info about the bay and a very helpful volunteer who told us where we could see otters and elephant seals!

Just a note about the California coast** The campgrounds, hostels, and hotels up the coast fill up quick in the summer months. We hadn’t made any plans but we kind of lucked out every night and found somewhere to sleep. If I make this drive again I’ll probably try to make some plans. I should have learned that from the time I visited with Dan two years ago. We had a really hard time finding places to stay and camp. It may cramp my go-with-the-flow adventure style, but it might save some morning hours spent searching for somewhere to sleep at night.

We started our Day in Morro Bay walking Embarcadero Street and checking out the shops and looking at sea lions from the docks.

We decided to go to Giovanni’s Fish Market for an early lunch. I knew we made the right choice when I saw that the line outside the order window was long and the tables were busy.

I couldn’t decide what kind of seafood to try but I did know that I wanted their famous fish and chips. I started with a cup of clam chowder. So fresh, creamy and loaded with clams. We washed it all down with a Hefeweizen from Widmer Brothers brewery in Oregon, This seemed to be a popular brewery around CA, I kept seeing it everywhere. I was a really good Hefe and it went great with the fish.

I ended up with a variety basket of fish, shrimp, scallops, and squid. The fish was the best thing in the basket! The fish and squid were coated with  light beer batter that was much better than the bread-crummy batter coating the shrimp and scallops. I recommend sticking with the classic if you go here.

I would upgrade the french fries to garlic fries! I saw this on the menu and I wondered what it was… I thought maybe they just threw some garlic powder on top but it was $2 extra so I thought that it had to be something more special than that. I was right! They took fries that were already great and added fresh garlic, fresh chopped parsley and real Parmesan cheese to them. The result is delicious and right up my alley.

After completely stuffing ourselves for lunch we need to take a walk. We walked all the way out to Morrow Rock – a volcanic rock that separates the bay from the ocean. The town saved it from being demolished a while ago and now it is a huge nesting ground for shore birds. You can see it in the top picture behind me and Janeen. There were otters playing in the kelp at the bay, squirrels making boroughs in between the rocks, and birds flying everywhere. Here’s some of the sea otter family floating in the kelp, enjoying their lunch of urchins and shellfish.

Our walk inspired us to rent a kayak and get right in the bay. A good idea but it was super windy that day and a bit harder than it seemed it should be. We did get closer to the sea lions and otters, and we got to paddle through the shallow waters where jellyfish were floating and seaweeds were growing.

So the kayaking was kind of hard. I got totally soaked and full of sand. I tried to get off on the sand bar island and sank into the muddy sand, it was still fun though.  We were a little exhausted but we still had a great night – We went back to San Luis Obispo for an epic farmers market… stay tuned!

Vacation Eats – Tar Pits and Hitting the Road

Back to the California trip… It’s about time for a famous eatery stop. So on Wednesday (August 3rd) we had hot dogs for breakfast.

We choose Pink’s Famous Hot Dog Stand on LaBrea Avenue in Hollywood. Pinks has dozens of condiments and topping combinations on their famous dogs. The specials are named after famous stars, chefs, TV personalities and landmarks.

I chose the Emeril BAM! Dog. Emeril has a new show called The Originals that featured Pinks on one of the episodes about LA. It airs on the Cooking channel if you’re interested in finding it.

This special dog had cheese, jalapenos, mustard, onions, bacon, and cole slaw. I had to take a lot of the jalapenos off because there were so many they were falling out of the bun. I also am not a huge fan of pickled jalapenos, or bacon for that matter, but the cole slaw pulled me into picking this dog. The combination overall was BAM good, I would get it again!

Janeen got the Pastrami Reuben Dog, not named after any celebrity but I think it was famous all by itself. it was loaded with sauerkraut, pastrami, swiss cheese, and mustard. I tried it and it was a mouthful of meat. there was so much pastrami on it, it was falling all over the place. It was a fine dog.

With our bellies full of hot dogs we drove through Miracle Mile and into the La Brea Tar Pits. I’m kind of a science nerd so I thought this stop was great. The Page Museum held a lot of the fossils they excavated from the tar pits. There are also open sites that they are working on that you could observe.

We drove back across Hollywood into Echo Park to eat a late lunch at The Park restaurant, which the wonderful Erin caters to the lunch time crowd. Janeen and I had an identical lunch today. We both got Lucifer Ale, a nice light Belgian with hints of apple.

The Park has sandwich specials that all looked so good it made it really hard to choose just one. I went with some thing kind of light because I ate the hotdog for breakfast… I enjoyed the avocado and Gruyère sandwich piled high with avocado, Gruyère cheese, tomato, and lettuce. I added crispy onions, as per Erin’s recomendtion and spread some Dijon on the grilled whole wheat sourdough bread.

It was nice light and delicious, perfect after a morning of looking at gas bubble out of pits of black asphalt smelling pits.

So we headed out late that afternoon to drive up the coast. We had one perfect stop as we made our way North. I was reading “taste of Santa Barbara” magazine in the car and telling Janeen about this amazing looking Gelato in Montecito. A little bit later she noticed that we were passing Montecito on the highway and said “wasn’t something in Montecito? oh yea, isn’t the Gelato place there?” So I checked the magazine and yes! So we pulled off the exit and 2 minutes down the road we were stopping at Here’s the Scoop for a Gelato dinner.

This place it definitely worth the stop! They let you try any flavor you want and they make everything with local ingredients. Yes, I realize I keep writing about these places using local, organic ingredients, but I am drawn to that so I am either a sucker for people writing local on everything or I just pick really awesome places… probably a little bit of both. Anyway… The gelato and sorbet are out of this world awesome at this place.

I tasted the lavender lemon flavor which was crisp and refreshing but I ultimately decided on one scoop coconut, one scoop chocolate strawberry in a waffle cone. Janeen got Italian chocolate chip (which tasted like cannoli filling) and espresso in a chocolate waffle cone.  All flavors got my stamp of approval and left me wanting more.

Vacation Eats – Santa Monica and Venice Beach

On our Tuesday (August 2) in California, we headed down to the beach towns. We strolled along the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica in the morning to window shop and have brunch. We chose a little french cafe in the middle of the promenade called Monsieur Marcel. We sat outside watching passer-bys. I ordered the Benedict Marcel- poached eggs atop a buttery croissant with smoked ham and Hollandaise sauce.

It was good, a solid take on eggs Benedict, but not the best I have ever had… Janeen asked me where the best eggs Benedict was and I immediately replied two places… The Nodding Head Brewery in Philadelphia (they have sunday brunch with excellent bloody marys) and this little shack (can’t remember the name of it) beside a river in Connectitcut that I stopped at on the way back from cape cod.

Janeen had the souffle french toast. I tried it – it was super-good! It was so good I wished I had gotten in. It was soft, fluffy, buttery and it had a slight citrusy taste to it. French perfection, that’s what I would call it. If you ever find yourself eating brunch in Santa Monica, I highly recommend it.

We checked out the pier and rode the ferris wheel to get a birds eye view of everything.

Then we took a tip from Erin’s friend and went to The Lobster for a large bloody mary with a giant prawn and olive attached to it. It was a good bloody mary, kind of mild but really impressive looking. It was a nice break from the sun and we got some post cards written.

We rented bikes and rode the sandy bike trail down to the complete spectacle that is Venice beach. We locked the bikes by the skate park where skaters were zooming around the concrete learning tricks. The two headed turtle was out in front of the freak show and it seemed all the usual buskers were out.

We stopped into a cafe that was set back a little from the boardwalk. They advertised Peach Chai, which sounded good, so we decided to try it. Not really that great, it was ok but I would def not go there again. Janeen got an iced vanilla latte that was so sweet she didn’t even really drink it. I can not remember the name at all but I don’t think I’ll be going back.

We walked the whole ocean front, headed back to our bikes, and rode back to Santa Monica. On our way out, we knew there was going to be a lot of traffic and it was going to take a long time to get back, so we got a snack. We sampled the frozen yogurt at PinkBerry. It is all fat free and made with ultra fresh ingredients.

We both got waffle cones. I tasted the salted caramel, a great little bite but a bit too rich to eat a whole cone. I went with pomegranate and mango swirl with strawberries in the bottom of the come. Janeen stuck with the strawberries and got chocolate and original side-by-side in her waffle cone. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I know some people love Pinkberry and some people don’t. It is a chain that I usually only see in big cities, I think they have a good business plan. I thought it was tasty, but wait until you read what we had on Wednesday…

We had to rush once we got back to Erin’s place because we were going to her comedy show in Downtown LA and we didn’t have much time. Erin was nice enough to make us dinner. Arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette with little cukes and avocado slices.

She even cut up some pickled cauliflower (from giardiniera) and added slivered almonds. Great salad Erin! We also had pasta with olive sauce that we got at Global Gardens on our wine tasting adventure.

Erin’s comedy show was great! It was at a theater called the Downtown Independent. Finally a place with some Sierra Nevada! Good beer, good laughs. Thank you Erin for a wonderful evening!