Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh' Paso

Pierino is back from a brief vacation in Paso Robles. We intend to live there in the not so distant future.

The place I always visit first, immediately on arrival is Villa Creek.

You can see it here with a full moon in the background.

On my first night in I ordered a cassoulet, not quite in season, but delicious.

While was eating my cassoulet at the bar (dining solo I'm always at the bar, where you can learn a lot of stuff) I noticed this pate plate come and be delivered to my neighbor. So the next night I went back and ordered it myself. Bread with rosemary, grilled fuet, salumi, olives, and at the right, a house made rabbit and chicken pate. Outstanding. I was able to chat with sous chef for a bit because he was working the front of the house. I knew the sources for almost all of the ingredients on the plate, so we had lively little talk.

Go to Paso, eat at Villa Creek.

There's a rumour around that Keller (the Keller) is planning to open a restaurant there. Makes some sense as Hwy 46 W takes you through local wine country and then over to the coast.

Apart from wine, if you visit Paso the things you should pick up are olive oil, cheese, and of course the local wines.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bill's Place

Pierino just finished a much needed vacation up the Central Coast of California. I've been traveling up that way for years. At one point we decided to take the turn off to Arroyo Grande and instantly fell in love with with it because it is one of those old California towns whose history goes back to the late 19th century. There is this very cool steel and wood bridge which crosses the arroyo which is not so grande, but very pretty nonetheless.

Back to Bill's. After three years of dropping in maybe once or twice a year I finally learned that it was named "Bill's". What pulled me in the first time was this giant lion like thing in the front window. Inside there are a lot of dead animals who decided to hang their heads on the wall. This, I guess would be a Sarah Palin kind of place.

More soon because there are other good stories...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This passage comes from Russ Parson's book HOW TO READ A FRENCH FRY. Russ, who is a really nice guy when you meet him also writes "The California Cook" page for the new LA Times Lite.

"If the way most foods work is fascinating, the egg is nothing short of a miracle. Eggs can be used as a protein glue to bind ingredients together, as in batters for frying. They can also be used as emulsifiers, performing the seemingly impossible feat of holding water and oil in a permanent solution. And they can be used as thickeners, turning water into sauce."

See, I don't make this stuff up.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oh' Canada

Awhile back Pierino was up in British Columbia and picked up this souvenir patch. But we can't figure out what it is intended to represent. Is this guy frog marching a seal, garroting it, or preparing to administer the Heimlich maneuver??
Oh well, Canada has given us Leonard Cohen, KD Lang, the Hansen brothers and I guess Alexander Graham Bell.