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martha

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Everything posted by martha

  1. martha

    Dinner in Napa--Brix

    Is Brix good? Our concierge says it's lovely and the website looks promising. A quick look at the SF gate site indicates a lot of changes over the long term, but nothing in the past few years. Any input or tips? We live in san diego, and were planning for thsi to be our farm-to-table california evening of the trip.
  2. martha

    Dinner in Napa--Brix

    Thank you! Any input on these? Bui Bistro Fume Bistro Celadon Bistro Jeanty Ristorante Allegria Etoile at Domaine Chandon
  3. I just reread the OP and wanted to add: Blue ribbon has craft beers and amazing butterscotch pudding--sounds dull, is great. Bull taco does not have beer in Cardiff, just in Oceanside (no view there). Whisknladle and Cucina Urbana are great, but make sure you get a reservation. Have a Racer 5 and a Sculpin if you're comfortable with hops. You're coming to a great craft beer town! And do go to Pizza Port just for beer. It's right on the 101 in Solana Beach. Find a designated driver if you can't walk--you're going to be in heaven. If you need brunch, there is a lovely locals place called claire's on Cedros right in Solana Beach. They even have some good beer.
  4. See the recent San Diego Eater interview for more on George's. Its the place you send all the guests because it's beautiful and tasty. http://sandiego.eater.com/tags/trey-foshee George's is good. There is a closer version of Urban Solace in Encinitas called Solace and the Moonlight. If you're driving all the way to North Park, there are many interesting choices, but I will warn you that El Take it Easy (which was great) just closed. It will be back in a new incarnation with the same ownership soon. There is a better place in Encinitas called Craftsman, in a really dull location on El Camino Real. It's the same couple that run Blue Ribbon, which really is delicious. If you need a covenient meal, there is a nice new place called Real Food and Spirits in Solana Beach right near I-5. Yummy and inventive pizzas and salads, nice buildout, boring shopping center. Don't be tempted by Pamplemousse in del Mar. As for places I might not send guests but go myself: Bull Taco inside the San Elijo campground. (because it's hard to find) http://www.bulltaco.com/site/ is a great lunch choice--the other combination of stunning view and really quality food besides Georges. Eden Gardens neighborhood in Solana Beach. There are very old mexican restaurants that have been serving local families for generations. You'll hear ceaseless debate about which is better: Fidel's and Tony's Jacal. http://www.fidelslittlemexico.com/days-a-hours http://www.tonysjacal.com/ Yu Me Ya in Encinitas--right on 101, Japanese izakaya style appetizers and comfort food, not sushi. Lovely inside, just looks uninviting from the outside. Only open at dinner.
  5. Does anyone have a recommendation for a restaurant to host 125 people for brunch?
  6. good suggestion, but that wasn't okay from a friend standpoint. we went and it was good. All 6 people were generally happy with their food. The truffle fries were fresh and very crispy, and two of the three items in the foie gras trio were quite delicious. Additionally, the service was vastly better than i remembered from many years ago.
  7. One of my friends made a reservation for pamplemousse. i haven't been there in years--anyone tried it recently?
  8. I believe there is also an In N out burger on the other side of I-8. Cheap and good. Also, the Reader reviewer, Naomi Wise, seems to really like Roseville in Point Loma. It's certainly on my 'to do' list this year. We tried the blue plate special at the better half a few weeks ago and it was great. We had a delicious meatloaf and a game-based chili with tons of flavor.
  9. martha

    Nashville To Memphis

    We live in San Diego now, but here are some places we go when we visit. Caveat emptor: our friends who still live there sometimes don't want the same things we do. i can get fresh fish and towers of pretty veggies here, so i may want fried chicken livers when i'm in memphis for a weekend. Cozy Corner BBQ is the best. it's a little north of downtown, near st jude. not luxury atmosphere. very good, long smoked meat, white bread, nice folks. 745 N Parkway, Memphis, 38105 - (901) 527-9158 Do not make the mistake of only visiting the famous place right downtown, you'll miss out. i also like Saigon Le in midtown, the lemongrass chicken, noodles with sliced beef, and mussels wih french butter are great. ask for the extra salt/pepper/lemon mix with the mussels. Boscos is great too, we were just there last month and it's much better than it was when we lived there and it was new. i don't like breakfast, but i agree on brother juniper's--quality, local food. The cooper young area in midtown is a good place to get a meal and a drink. the beauty shop is very good and funky (i will confess one of the owners is a friend) and Soul Fish is great for catfish/southern specialties. If you live far from Memphis, it's interesting to note that Memphis has different tamales than other places (perhaps places with more long-settled hispanic populations). they do weird things like put chili on top, and for some reason, they're great. Belmont Grill (east memphis--also has chicken livers) Corky's BBQ, and P&H cafe have the good tamales. P&H is a dive bar with food, local history, and sometimes live music, on madison in midtown, and i haven't been there in a few years, but i have fond memories.
  10. Forgive me if this is a slight deviation, but has anyone had this experience recently? I was at a Houston's restaurant in Orange County for lunch with 4 other people from work, our boss was hosting. We had a normal meal, appetizer split, 5 entrees, 3 deserts. service was quite good. when the bill came, an 18% tip had been handwritten in. Not added officially, as many places do when you have more than a certain number of people (usually 8, not 5) and not suggested, as in those annoying calculations some restaurants print at the bottom, but handwritten, as if the server had done it himself. Our host was so surprised he asked us if we'd ever seen such a thing and none of us had. He said he had intended to tip more but now wondered if he should tip less in protest. I'm inclined to beleive him, he's a fairly generous guy. He stuck with the 18. I wish we had asked about the practice, but we were eager to get on with our day, and it wasn't a situation where one would invite conflict. Please tell me self-tipping isn't a "new black".
  11. Thanks guys! I haven't been since 1991, so I'm sure I'm in for a surprise. warm water--I won't need to pack my wetsuit.
  12. The trip will be May 19-25. Some places in San Diego think a mojito has sprite in it. and vodka.
  13. How about places with fresh local seafood? or anything else special about the area--local produce, unique recipes, house made salad dressings and deserts? An upscale option sounds great, but we're not particularly looking for anything fancy unless it's also really good. we don't want to dress up for the same seared ahi you get all over the world. We'll be visiting from southern california, so we're not dying for sushi, pretty plates, barely cooked vegetables, or mexican food. But on the other hand, that's what we're used to, so after a few days of "everything battered, fried, and covered in sauce" we really want something like the grilled grouper mentioned above. Especially if the battered items come frozen from national distributors. Also, we're driving over from N.O., so if anyone knows where to get great gulf shrimp on the way, if they still exist, that would be a huge treat!
  14. Lat night--two Racer 5's and a few Stone Pale Ales. Tonight--low cal miller lite. i believe the lighter dos equis is lager, the dark amber. I always remember i like the one in the green bottle. Lager i believe. both are quite good w/mexican food, esp on draft. I also like bohemia.
  15. martha

    The Beaches of South Walton

    Our family will be making a road trip from New Orleans to Destin in May (a celebration of the baby's graduation from Tulane). I became a devotee of this site as a direct result of the articles by Fat Guy on Northwest Florida. I was imaptient to visit Sandor's' on this trip and I am very sorry to hear the latest. Is there any way we could use the occasion of updates on Sandor to spark a 2005 update on the whole area?
  16. martha

    San Francisco to San Diego

    It looks like we have a new visitor coming to San Diego--what kind of food are you looking for Willie? For Chinese food it's a good idea to head to Kearny Mesa and try Spicy City and/or China Max (SC is closed on Mondays). Emerald is also quite good if you have enough people for dim sum, if its a weekday, and if you can arrive early. Also, there is another place a bit North on Convoy called Jasmine that is good and has a takeout counter with a separate entrance to the right of the main door. There is a very good beer pub called O'Brien's across Convoy from Jasmine--belgian, IPA, usually something cask-conditioned.
  17. There's a funny Festivus article (from the 19th) in the New York Times Fashion and Style Section. It has links to sites with greeting cards, greivance forms, and feats of strenth challnge cards. www.nytimes.com I'm not sure a direct link would work b/c of the registration requirement. 1. frozen ama ebi they should have to call it something else if it's not still moving.
  18. Just had to pile on. we had the shrimp and mango roll at the festival. it was too hot for most of the other choices. Yummy. Tea Leaf Green, North Misssissipi Allstars, Drive by Truckers (who the Austin paper said had "outgrown their name") and Wilco were fabulous. Henry Butler was indeed amazing again, even though I was very far back at that one. Antones had almost as much trouble with will-call as La Zona Rosa did last year. We have never been to Stubbs without meeting someone famous: last year Steve Winwood and Randall Bramblett, this year Trey Anastasio. The intimate venue and star-proximity are outshined only by the delicious creamed spinach, which everyone from our group is still talking about. I noticed that all of the after-shows were sold out, so if anyone searches and finds this list next year, I believe i already have beaten to death the "don't do will-call" advice, but now i'm adding "don't wait and see." We found half-price appetizers Sunday night at somebody's Edgewater Grill, between convention center and 6th street on San Jacinto (visible from hotel and very air-conditioned). The waitress was kind enough to warn us up-front that only the 12.50 and under apps were on that special, not the $36 apps (sigh!). The food was pretty good for a total gamble for us. The lounge music was very cheesy. Also had half-price apps at a nice place at Congress and third on Thursday afternoon. And we hit Guerro's (my husband is a sucker for queso) and Dona Emilia's as well. Our friends went to Threadgills close to the fest (armadillo, not original) and one liked the gospel brunch a lot, the other was very unhappy with an afternoon meal. Perhaps the original is much better or mid-afternoon is not the right time to go. We didn't make it up to Central Market, but your Whole Foods is better than ours, especially with large independent bookstores and record stores all on the same intersection. Very cool. Casino el Camino was not as fun as I thought it was last year. Avery IPA on tap at the Draughthouse and the Gingerman was delightful. Monday afternoon, not hungry, tired, and tired of being hot we made the trek to Lockhart on the good advice that it's not far out of the way if you're headed to the airport. It was 20 miles, speed limit 65, no traffic except getting out of downtown. Totally fun to see how rural it got so fast. We chose Blacks as our destination based on a jumble of notes I'd taken from here and chowhound on a post-it note. I was delighted to see that there are billboards on the main road pointing you in the right direction. Usually I would think that's a bad sign, but we had limited time and no directions, so i was open-minded. we LOVED it. We had a pound of brisket, sliced, and a hot ring of sausage. We got diet coke, but beer was available. We grew up in Memphis and take BBQ pretty personally as well, so we didn't risk our limited appetites on pork. We've never understood why people liked brisket or thought it was acceptable to make BBQ out of cow, but now we understand. I think I'll go home and stick my nose in my carry-on bag again. Smitty's is tops on the list for next year. Thank you Austinites. There truly is no better place than a city that has live music in the airport.
  19. if anyone's still looking, what fun things should we do thursday evening and monday? local bands or local institutions would be great. Is threadgills fun?
  20. we traveled to the festival from California last year and loved it so much we'll be back with several friends. I'll let the locals tell us where to eat, but wanted to share tons of advice from my one-time experience: Stay downtown. Use the convention bureau info and maps linked on the ACL site. Ride the special bus. Last year they had beer: lone star, heineken and amstel light, all in cans. amstel light tastes bad in cans. The beers were $4 or $5. We're going to see Dave Matthews at "coors amphitheater" here tomorrow night, where they will happily charge us $8 for a Coors light draft, so we didn't find it upsetting. More from last year: the ATM line got really long--bring cash, you go through a lot. The food stands were much better than we've ever seen at a festival. Many people noted that the selstion and lines were much improved over 2002. No reason not to expect another improvement. It's really dark near some of the bathrooms, be sure to find some with lights as the sun goes down rather than waiting. The water was Fiji, my favorite, and i think it was $2. bring some, but don't weigh yourself down too much. The soda was some foul kind we don't have out here, and the security people gave me a hard time about carrying in a diet coke, I begged and they let it slide. Do bring something to sit on. A blanket if a chair is more than you like to carry. the grass has prickly things in it, so go for a tight weave. bring hats. There will invariably be a downpour or bright sun at some point. Everyone bought hats there last year. We got really close to the stages; it's the same as anything--always a hard choice between seeing everything and staking out a spot for your favorite. The blanket helps here too. Over three days you find a balance. Unless it hits big this year, I'd say it's much easier than Bonaroo. if you want to go see the bands in bars after the shows at the festival, get tickets on line now and have them mailed to you. La Zona Rosa has the least organized will-call line ever and it will make you miss the show. Stubbs is a beautiful venue. Also, a dear e-gulleteer last year named Jaymes taught me not to avoid touristy-looking places like 6th street. Camino el Casino has very nice spicy blue cheese burgers. I know she has moved, but in case she's looking, thanks again!
  21. martha

    Dining in San Diego

    If you're in North County (Encinitas) there's a lovely newish place called Savory in a strip mall on el Camino Real. I believe the owner came from the four seasons Aviara. Service and food are very good, prices on food and wine are reasonable. Arterra in del Mar is also good, but it's inside a Mariott. It might be nice to sit on the patio at Il Fornaio/Pacifica in del mar at the coast for a drink or two at sunset, then come inland a bit for better food at Arterra for dinner. Parallel 33 in Mission Hills is delightful. Call for reservations, it's quite small. Not far from there is a fun Louisiana-themed place called Sassafras. They have great oysters and "deconstructed" lobster bisque. Berta's in old town has slow service but really interesting food from all over South and Central America. I can't wait to try Regions. Otherwise it's best to be careful with the Gaslamp. Lots of visitors and conventions, non enough courting of return business. Hodad's (burgers) and South Beach (fish tacos) on Newport in Ocean Beach are very very so-cal laid back and also really tasty.
  22. martha

    New to Memphis...

    Saigon Le in midtown is very inexpensive and very good. Order from the vietnamese section of the menu (maybe called "salty"? It's been a while) for more interesting choices, not the really inexpensive chinese lunch specials. When I was a student in Memphis we liked to sit at the bar at cafe society and get soup, salad and a drink, especially later in the evening. You could definitely do that for under $20 if you don't drink too much, and you still feel like you had something special. My advice for student foodies on a budget is to favor ethnic spots and unique casual restaurants, and to watch for bargains at non-prime times at the fancier places. Often lunch is less expensive than dinner (I think lunch at Cielo would be just under $20) and some restaurants run specials at happy hour, late at night or early in the week. Use your flexible student schedule to your advantage! There is a very good pizza place in Cooper-Young, on Young, with really great topping choices. Carry-out, buy your own drinks. Cheap. Can't remember the name to save my life. Pizzas have names like sun and moon, it may be "pie in the sky" or something like that. Yummy thin crust, not drowning in red sauce.
  23. martha

    New to Memphis...

    I have only been to the Beauty Shop twice (pretty good since I live in CA) and believe you should give it a try. Last summer they had really nice crisp shrimp. For BBQ, cozy corner or interstate. Don't go to the Rendezvous unless you accompany a serious regular patron. (you can tell b/c you won't wait for a table and you won't actually order at all) Even then, it's just for fun and beer. I wouldn't rush to Huey's, enough other people will take you there that you'll get tired of it. I miss Belmont's chicken livers, but I'll admit I'm weird. Fino's is a must-visit on every trip for me. The family that runs the place is top-notch. Perfect every-saturday lunchtime hangout. Now I need a panini. My mom can't ever remember what it's called, so in my family it's "the small greasy one" but everybody wants it every time. I haven't been to Cielo in over a year, but I did love it and I doubt it has changed. Looking forward to trying Seasons at the white church next time I get to town!
  24. martha

    Nashville Food Scene

    I left (graduated) in '92 and i think the zebra sandwich place had turned into a boring chain pizza place then.
  25. martha

    Best Tacos in State

    El Agave is an upscale place in Old Town San Diego, just off the I-5. I haven't been in about a year, but it has always been good and it features some of the more unusual items. The link below has a menu. On a much more casual note, Juanitas and El Callejon, both on the 101 in Encinitas (about 25 mi. north of San Diego) are worth a stop. Juanitas specializes in carnitas, and is great during high-traffic times, a little greasy late at night. El Callejon is a sit-down place with more variety and very good margaritas. If you're in Encinitas/Leucadia on a weekend, there's also a mexican food market on the 101, west side, just a few blocks south of the South Carlsbad state beach, that grills meat for tacos in the parking lot--yummy. They have tacos on weekdays too at the meat counter. This place and Juanitas also sell the cooked meat by the pound. One last suggestion--If you're on I-5 in Encinitas, take the Santa Fe exit East and very soon on the left you will See El Nopalito. They have great carne asada. http://entertainment.signonsandiego.com/profile/86964 http://www.elagave.com/
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