Tag Archives: North Beach

Surviving My Phirst Week

15 Nov

Phriday, September 30 kicked off my last weekend of phreedom, so I tootled myself across the bay to play with Georgia and Paper Bag.  I grabbed a quick snack of turkey & cheese on a rice cake before we headed out.

We stopped by a liquor store for snacks near Golden Gate Park on our way to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass for an awesome afternoon that pheatured my phavorite crooner, the incomparable Chris Isaak.

P.S. His new album is phabulous beyond belief.  Any aspiring elves out there who want to make my holiday season, consider this a blatant hint… 🙂

After the show, we had dinner in North Beach at Il Pollaio, a local’s phavorite.

Their bean salad tasted just like Gramma used to make!

Their phries were standardly tasty.

The grilled rabbit Paper Bag convinced me to get left a bit to be desired, as it arrived a bit too much on the rare side.  I’d give it a chance again some time though, as it was a very busy night and these things happen…

We had a leisurely morning on October 1 and headed to do some mutual blogging at Caffe Sapore.  I thoroughly enjoyed my smoked salmon bagel and am excited about our successful brainstorming session about the phuture of http://www.phoodfotos.com!

I had a hankering for pizza after I returned to Davis from North Beach, so I threw together a pizza-ish creation of my own at home.

The Phella and I tried Tucos Wine Bar and Cafe for dinner, starting with a shared salad and cheese plate.

Really enjoyed the presentation of the cheese and nibbles (served on a hefty cutting board)…

I had some sort of egg sando for my main course, and the eggs were poached.  Now, most of you phollowers know well how much I normally lust after poached eggs, but on a sando…?  Not so much.  Biting into your meal and having it squirt yolk across the table is a bit, well, inconvenient… especially when dining out.

That being said the maple-glazed sweet potatoes were dreamy enough to make me phorget to care about the sando mess almost entirely.

The Phella slept in on October 2, so I got up and had an English muffin with peanut butter and honey while he snoozed.

We then headed to Little Prague to try out their breakfast offerings.  I went with the Eggs Phlorentine, leading myself into another horribly phailed attempt at phinding a decent breakfast anywhere in Davis.  Ugh!

I went shopping at my new market of choice- Nugget– and the phriendly cheese phellow helped me select an especially luxurious triple cream to start off dinner that night.

I made a mixed baby green salad with the remainder of the watermelon radish I had picked up at the Pharmers Market the weekend prior.

And I tested out a new recipe of pork and peaches for dinner.

Update for inquiring minds who want to know: I am still a miserable phailure when it comes to cooking pork.  I’ve got a long road ahead, it seems…

Ah, reality.  How you persist!  October 3- The day of reckoning…

My phirst day at my new job came WAY earlier than I wanted, my house still drowning in boxes and bags and my nerves spasming phrantically like a phish out of water.  I broke out my phavorite juice glass at breakfast (it was the one my Gramma served me with throughout my childhood) and had a glass of milk along with my spun honey (which also always reminds me of her) and peanut butter on a muffin.

As it turned out, I wasn’t the only new kid on the work block.  The new director’s phirst day was that day as well, so that meant pizza at staff meeting.  Talk about a nice way to get things started!  Who doesn’t love phree phood?  And pizza at that!

There wasn’t much scheduled for me that phirst day, so I went home for lunch and spent it with my main man, Phooey, who was adjusting to day one of his life as a dog who stays home during the day. 😦

I had some pasta salad I’d made the night before with pistachios, Parmesan and Brussels sprouts (which I successfully roasted- in a very small batch- in my toaster oven).

The Phella took the night off from studying, so we could go out to dinner and process my phirst day.  God bless the boy, because I seriously needed it… and the two glasses of wine that went along with it.

Now, this isn’t to say that my phirst day was bad, but here’s the thing:  Phirst days are odd things, and I’ve had very phew of them in my life.  I’m sure there are people who thrive on the newness, the unknown, the clean slate.  I, however, am not one of those people.  I love routine, I love phamiliarity, I love being an expert.  The realization that I had, not just conceptually but actually, walked away from everything and everyone I knew in Monterey hit me like a ton of bricks (or at least what I imagine that sensation would be akin to, as I have never literally experienced being hit by a ton of bricks, thankfully). I could pheel the terror and sadness lurking in the doorway.

But I have phound over the years that a good plate of noodles always seems to lessen those evils just a bit.

And experiencing the heat of a “Thai spicy” dish reminds you that this, too, shall pass…

And when that’s not enough, there’s always phrozen yogurt that matches your manicure. 🙂

October 4: Day two…

After a second night of sleepytime phailure, I got up early with plenty of time to eat breakfast.  Hello, silver lining!

I packed my lunch and enjoyed the novel concept of being allowed to eat at my desk (something verboten by my previous employer).  While the convenience was nice, the lack of anyone to share my lunch with almost brought me to tears.

For those of you who have been phollowing the blog this year, saying that I am a social eater comes as quite the understatement, I’m sure.  Sharing phood with other is quite possibly my most treasured activity in life.  The experience of eating is an opportunity that has the potential to blend nourishment with connection, nostalgia with education and phunction with phun. Because of this, the utilitarianism of dining alone has a tendency to hurt my heart.

Am I crazy?  Maybe so… but I believe that phood tastes better when it’s shared.

Dinner that night consisted of leftover soup from Taste of Thai with a hearty side dish of self-pity.

October 5- Day three…

Started with a Babybel cheese round.

I had a benefits orientation to attend on campus that morning, and since I live so close (and sure can’t afford the cost of a campus parking permit) I walked.  Walking there included getting horribly lost, arriving late and then slipping and phalling in phront of a group of fourty-odd people.  I suppose a benefit of working for such a large employer is the probability that nobody will recognize you as THAT girl after a week or so.

I had more of the leftover Thai for lunch at home with Phooey, who seemed to have adjusted well to his new life already.

That night, needing to entertain myself and having run out of leftovers, I turned to what I know comforts me best- phood- and made broccoli and zucchini soup.

I ate some Yolo County grown pistachios as a snack while I watched a movie that night and unpacked a phew more boxes.

October 6- Day phour…

I took a sliced apple and some cheese to work and ate that for breakfast.

I brought the rest of the soup to eat for lunch as well as a salad.  Too bad I neglected to pack utensils!  I took my lunch to the break room in an attempt to make phriends, but nobody else came in while I ate.  That might have been a blessing, as eating soup and salad with your hands sure ain’t pretty…

The boss brought candy to an afternoon meeting, and while I am not typically a chocolate phan, I was so enamored with the orangeness of the Halloween  Kit Kats, I indulged.

A catered event had leftovers, so I had half a sando during the meeting, too.  Second serving of phree phood in a week!

Moving to Davis meant that, other than The Phella, there was only one other person I knew… a phriend from my beloved book club who relocated a year ago with her husband.  Needing some semblance of social interaction, she came over, with wine in hand, and we caught up over a phew nibbles.

When she left, I made myself busy again and made chicken barley soup.

October 7- The last day of the phirst week…

Started with some Morningstar “sausage” and coffee in one of my phavorite mugs.  Did you know Hermann is the heart of Missouri wine country?  Did you know Missouri has a wine country?  Neither did I, until Cricket and I discovered it last summer when we picked baby Phooey up from the rescue organization he hailed from in St. Louis.  Suffice it to say, it was a phun discovery, but bringing the mug home as a souvenir instead of the wine was an excellent choice.

I came home for lunch, because my washer/dryer was being delivered and ate more of the barley soup.

That night, The Phella resurfaced, and we went to dinner at Seasons again.  I sense this could become a regular haunt of ours… because I can’t seem to stay away from their bread sticks.

I tried their butternut squash soup which wasn’t bad.

I had the chicken chop again, but sadly enjoyed it significantly less than I did during our last visit.  (We came to learn later that the chef had gone on a lengthy vacation, and things got a bit out of whack during his absence.)

We headed home and watched a movie with a big bowl of popcorn con Tapatio.

And so I survived, as so many have before me, and so many more will.

I am sure some of you have read this sob story and been thrown for a loop.  As a general rule, I pride myself on my, although often snarky and self-depricating, ever-present humor, but it seems that I hadn’t yet unpacked that box…

The Phloors Always Win

2 Oct

Sept 6- Sept 11 consisted of me consistently phreaking out over the massive amounts of crap I have accumulated over the years and hold dear for all sorts of illegitimate reasons.  It was also a week of learning that while hardwood phloors are something many desire, they are not just cleverly named… the are, in phact, rather hard, and when you drop your trivial yet treasured tchotchke on said phloors, the phloors always win. But I digress.

On Sept 6, I started the day with the tried and true breakfast o’ champions, a leftover piece of cold pizza.  It phelt very bachelor pad of me as I used a box as a table.

I escaped to my yard for a bit of respite in the afternoon and ate an orange right off my tree.  Not sure how or if the novelty of this will wear off…

The Phella took a study break at night and we tried Sushi Unlimited.  I opted for edamame and Tokyo Poki.

Edamame = undercooked and unsalted 😦

Tokyo Poki = savory and satisfying 🙂

(I apologize for the crappy quality shots- phorgot the camera and had to rely on the iPhone in dim lighting.)

Sept 7 started with a slightly more legitimate breakfast, as I stopped by Trader Joe’s to make my fridge pheel slightly less bachelor-ish.

I bought some mini whole wheat bagels and jalapeno yogurt cheese which paired nicely.

The Phella and I went out to dinner at Bistro 33, a popular local spot which I plan never to return to.  Mind you, this is not because the phood was bad (it wasn’t anything special but it wasn’t terrible by any means), but they do not allow dogs on their outside (and rather expansive) patio.  This is unacceptable to Phooey and myself, so I agreed to go once before Phooey moved to town (he took a two week vacation with Pops while I moved in and went on a phew trips).

Their Baked Hazelnut Crusted Goat Cheese with Andouille Sausage and Rustic Tomatoe Sauce lacked (as phar as I could tell) both hazelnuts and sausage and was really more of a tomatoe dipping sauce with some cheese in it.  Tasty but did not live up to the description in any way.

The Kobe Sliders w/ gouda and phried onions were moist and phlavorful… but cost $13.95 for just two.

The phries were good- I won’t lie.

The Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps had nothing buffalo about them, but the concept was a clever one and the celery salad was the highlight of the meal in my eyes.

After dinner, I indulged The Phella’s penchant for phrozen yogurt and headed to YoloBerry for dessert.  I mixed it up and added rainbow sprinkles this time.  I’m wild and crazy like that.

Sept 8 started with a phamiliar breakfast…  balanced on a box (but notice an EMPTY box… progress!)

I made dinner for The Phella’s study group that night and used a curry mix that Pops brought back from his travels east (that was coriander-phree!)

Simple but not bad if I do say so myself…

Sept 9 called me to San Francisco for a bit of phun in the phog!  Paper Bag’s birthday needed to be celebrated, and what better way to do so than watching a Giants/Dodgers game?

My raspberry breakfast only took me so phar, so we stopped at the Real Phood Company when I arrived in the city and picked up some nibbles.   I went with the chicken salad, although it really should have been called an apple salad with a chicken afterthought if you ask me.

Paper Bag made a great catch at the game!

Keeping with tradition, I indulged in a Giants Dog and some beer.  I have yet to see this defined anywhere in phine print, but I am quite sure it is illegal to watch a baseball game without eating a dog… just sayin’.

Nothing marks the end of a good night (at least in my definition of the world) than a slice of pizza.  Golden Boy in North Beach certainly hit the spot!

Sept 10 was a day of some phantastic phood!

In the morning, Paper Bag and I met phriends for breakfast at Caffe DeLucchi.   The artichoke hash was EXCELLENT.

The Phella and I went out to dinner at Seasons Restaurant in Davis.  I am always skeptical of restaurants that are attached to hotels, because I typically see a lack of motivation to create repeat customers.  I am happy to report that I have phound this place to be an exception to my rule.  Good work, Hallmark Inn!

Their bread sticks, while not quite as tasty at Cantinetta Luca‘s in Carmel, were pretty similar and darn delectable.  I may or may not have had phour.

Very rarely do I clean a plate phaster than The Phella, but I polished off these peaches before he could ask for a bite (or maybe he did ask but I was too engrossed with my edible enjoyment…) Really unphreakingbelievably delicious!

I did manage to snag a bite of The Phella’s wedge salad.  Thumbs up!

But my pickled beets and bean salad was better… 🙂

Unfortunately I was so phreaking phull by the time my Petaluma chicken chop came around, I hardly made a dent.

Dessert was out of the question after that marathon of mastication!

The morning of Sept 11, I had a handful of peanuts as I packed up enough to travel for a week.

The Phella and I picked up sandos at Safeway that were on sale.  Nothing to write home about…

…but the coconut we tackled made for quite an involved lunchtime activity.

I then left The Phella and Davis and headed back home to Carmel Valley to play for the week.  I got a late start so used that as justification to indulge in a tasty drive-thru dinner on my journey.

I really don’t know that I could handle living somewhere where In-N-Out isn’t.

Yeah, pretty sure that’s a definite.

“The Pham” Goes to SF!

22 Aug

July 9 was the stage for a college “Pham” reunion in SF.  I got up early and had a bite of macaroni salad (leftover from the party the night before) so I could take some Excedrin to combat my massive headache.  Nothing can prevent a Pham reunion!

We started at The Tipsy Pig for brunch…

The summer polenta soup was pretty unexpectedly wonderful.

We sampled both their sweet potatoe phries…

…and their regular phries (both were delicious)!

The goat cheese and egg scramble with beans and prosciutto was pretty great as well.

We went to Radius for dinner- a place I’d been wanting to try since it opened.

I’d like to recount all of the delicious things we ate, but honestly, I was having too much phun to remember to write anything down and my Alzheimer’s is running rampant.  So just take my word that anything you order here will most likely be delicious, will definitely be locally sourced and is an excellent dining option in the city.

Snow White (one of the members of The Pham) actually got me to eat a raw oyster… no small pheat!

The shaved summer salad was amazing.

Do you see that bone marrow?  Holy heck, this was decadently divine!

This was a bite of something I stole.

This was a milkshake… and it was milkshake-tastic!

And a lovely cheese board to phinish off the pheast!

Afterward, we headed to Bloodhound for cocktails until my stomach issues got the best of me and sent me home.

Still an unbelievably wonderful day with some of my most phavorite pholks alive.

The morning of the 10th, Paper Bag, Dainty and I had breakfast at Mo’s in North Beach.

I had Eggs Phlorentine and stole a piece of bacon and some potatoes.

I stopped at Cricket’s house on my way home to drop a phew things off.  Little did I know I was walking into the throes of impromptu party planning.  A phew hours, a quick trip to the store and a little creativity later, we were entertaining.

I picked up dolmas at the store to tide me over while we prepped everything.

Once the party started, I made sure to sample some of what we made…

I was exhausted by the time I got home, so dinner didn’t happen.

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