One more final honeymoon post…

A simple American diner.

I loved this place. I made it my mission to eat at as many diners as possible so most days we found one in the AM had amazing breakfasts of eggs or pancakes and coffee before skipping lunch because we were so full.

We found Lori’s on our first night in San Francisco, being just around the corner from our hotel… 

This one was a proper 24 hour diner so being late isn’t a problem.

I love the tiled floor and red leather stools… but we took a booth. I love booths. 

 I ordered a banana milkshake to drink… it was more like dessert. Had a cherry and everything.

I went for the classic burger with sautéed onions and cheddar with sweet potato fries…

Amazing. 

While my Husband went for another American classic of fried chicken and coleslaw with french fries.

It all rocked.

I love junk food I think. 

I love the movie star posters… a classic 50’s diner.

Lori’s Diner – we went to the one in the theatre district near union square but there are a few

Colibri, San Francisco

August 28, 2012

Colibri was recommended to us by San Fran natives… we asked for Mexican food and they said this was the fine dining version. Since we had eaten more than our fair share of food truck fish tacos and burritos from suspicious places we thought we’d treat ourselves.

It was very old world Mexico decor… Love that.

 They start everyone off with spicy dips and tortillas.

 

And the best margaritas I have ever had. Strong too.

 And we had to order guacamole and tortilla chips… All home-made of course.

Then I ordered… Callos con crust de tortilla

Corn tortilla crusted scallops over purple Peruvian mashed potatoes and sautéed poblano pepper, cactus leaves, corn and Portobello mushrooms

Which was amazing. I do adore scallops in any form, put them in Mexican food and I am in love.

My husband ordered… Carnitas

Michoacan style marinated tender chunks of pork served with guajillo and chile de arbol salsa

What our naughty server didn’t tell us was that we probably needed sides. Although we did have chips and dips we had already been for drinks and their major margaritas fuelled us further.

Order sides!

 

We finished with some churros. We couldn’t leave without having one more lot of churros.

 Then we headed to a dive bar to drink more! See Swoon for the information.

 Colibri, San Francisco

Zin was our last meal in Sonoma before we headed back South for our last destination…

It’s a classic California bistro, the kind we try so hard to recreate here but it’s never quite the same. 

Being in wine country most, if not all of the restaurants in Sonoma have a great bring your own policy… there is normally a $15 corkage charge but this is well worth it when standardly the cheapest bottle of wine was about $30 and you could be bringing an amazing bottle from you own collection worth a lot more if brought in the restaurant.

Also wine by the glass and bottle in the restaurants tend to be good value with a small mark up, this was explained to us as being because everyone knew the prices of the wines because they’re all so local.

The service at Zin was great our server was so happy, helpful and attentive in that natural way only Americans can do sincerely. 

We started with some Cajun shrimp. A prawn cocktail switched up. 

Followed by a jambalaya… filled with chorizo. My husband enjoyed this a lot. 

 I somehow ended up having pasta. Again. And immediately regretted it when I was so full I couldn’t move. But these little teeny shells, mushrooms and parmesan was too good to pass up.

Then finished off with some amazing sorbet and ice creams which are all home-made in Zin. One of them was Chardonnay and that’s what swung it. Amazing. 

We also couldn’t without trying their bread pudding; BANANA BREAD PUDDING with Dark Rum Sauce and Crème Fraiche to be exact. Insane.

Zin is on the beautiful square in the centre of Healdsburg in Sonoma

Once again I apologise for the silence… things are moving along at home and we might even have a kitchen in the next two weeks, I did try to photograph a new recipe last night but it did not go well so I will have to wait.

In the meantime I have a last flurry of California recommendations for you.

Starting in Sonoma, we visited here for some Vineyard visits and wine tasting and on our first night came into the town (which I loved) for a visit to this bar… 

 

After drinking wine all day my Husband wanted to have a beer (poor him right) so this was the perfect place. We sat at the bar and watched basket ball while we ate. I loved this!

 So a good menu, I had trouble deciding. Lots of American classics.

Adam went for a burger, the classic. It was great (I had to have a bite) with all the fixings. 

And their extra special truffle oil and parmesan fries… I have to say I don’t really love truffle oil some people use way too much but there were amazing. I left him to eat them though as I had my own cheese mountain to tackle.

 I had ordered very adult mac and cheese which was made with a cheddar and a parmesan and bacon.

This portion arrived, and it looked tiny. But it was the perfect size, it was really so rich so you didn’t need a huge amount and the green salad cut through and refreshed when needed.

It was brilliant.

 Healdsburg Bar and Grill – Sonoma

We went to Giovanni’s after much walking and messing about the rocks and beach in Morro Bay… 

You queue at the window and pick your order from a great choice of seafood…  

We grabbed a pitcher of beer and some wine and ordered a ton of food, this spot is great value… 

Everything is freshly cooked to order with the freshest fish, they are right by the wharf so there is no excuse really. Its simple food done well, no frills.

My fish and chips were done in small pieces, and it was probably the best I have ever had. Serious.

We also ordered a salad, a token effort but for a place that’s famous for fried food it was pretty good, all super fresh and again really simple but really fresh ingredients. That dressing was a strawberry vinegar and was amazing.

And my Husband went for the squid, and you know we have been eating this all around our trip, but this stuff was great. I left him to eat the wriggily bits all by himself but stole a little of the bit pieces… so fresh, and the batter was super light. 

You really have to watch the gulls here. There were signs everywhere telling you not to leave your food and not to feed them. We watched a gull pick up a big piece of fish and fly off while one guy went to get a drink. They are big too, if one had of come for my dinner I probably would have left them have it.

Oh yes, we also got onion rings. We were so greedy. They were also great, home made.

We sat and fell into a food coma, and drank our drinks in front of another amazing sunset.

And somehow we managed to find room for some rocky road on our way back to the hotel. Like I said… greedy. 

Nothing ground breaking and yet more fast food but Giovanni’s is great and this was one of my stand out meals in California. I do love fish and chips.

Giovanni’s – Morro Bay, California

See more on our couple of days in Morro Bay here

As soon as we arrived in Morro Bay we headed straight out for food, we were starving after a long drive.

I apologise there are more fast food places than normal. It’s just what they do well, and I love them. I also love naughty food.

I spotted this cute place… and they did fish tacos so we went here for a ‘snack’ 

There was surfing paraphernalia everywhere. It was very bright in here.

 So we ate fish tacos with chips… so good.

 More stuff on the walls… no shortage of things to look at in here. It’s cute.

I ate a hog dog… I had a real thing for hot dogs while we were in California. 

Rocca’s Surfshack – Morro Bay, California

This post may not interest you at all… there will be no pretty food and no amazing restaurant with a gorgeous space.

This is about a burger joint. 

I mentioned this place yesterday in my blog about the town… it is a proper fast food burger place, but instead of getting crappy food at the end it’s freshly cooked and really great, if not good for you it is still ‘junk’.

The menu is simple, pick the burger, the fries and the side (or a salad) and you drink… I had to go for a malted shake, why don’t we have that here?

There are a few tables out front and in the sunshine the majority of people just eat here. You order at the window… 

You get your drinks… 

And this little gadget that beeps and flashes when your food is ready. Very handy, especially because although the food is fast it is cooked for you so it does take a few minutes. This means you can go for a wander and window shop while you wait, it also means the staff don’t have to find people. 

Then you get your food. The burgers were so good, proper thin hamburgers with pickles and those fake cheese slices with a little salad, and great fries.

I didn’t see a McDonald’s in this town, and now I know why. (By the way I am not comparing the two, you cannot)

 The Habit – Santa Barbara (They also have a food truck for hire!)