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Mamaafc's Profile

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Oswald (Santa Cruz) re-opened

I've been to the new Oswald and think their food is pretty amazing. I've heard a lot of buzz from friends in the community about its new location. Some love it, some loved the old spot. Regardless, the food is still incredible and much nicer than anything I've eaten around town. Simple, straight forward bistro fare that isn't pretentious or trying too hard. None of that gross fusion crap that seems to be so loved. A bit noisy, but that can be expected as there are so many of us that need to be fed good food. Seriously the best creme brulee in town. I've noticed that they are also open for lunch and have a fun, lighter bar menu as well.

May 05, 2009
Mamaafc in California

’Snot Appetizing

A big THANK YOU for thinking about the servers to kt! I've been a server for over 15 years and I must say its one of the most disturbing things to find at the table. Not to mention the fact that over 95 percent of restaurant workers aren't provided with health insurance and there is no such thing as a covered sick day. And then there is the risk of spreading all of those germs to other people. I also agree that its just plain tacky to blow at the table. Use the bathroom and excuse yourself.

Jul 06, 2007
Mamaafc in Features

Is it okay to send back wine because you don't like it?

Wow, I've been gone for a couple of days and didn't realize that my post would lead to such a heated debate.

I agree that most really good white burgundy wines should take on some of the classic Chard flavors. After all, thats what the grape is! But more recently I've had the opportunity to taste some really good French chards that have more floral, mineral style flavors to them. It's so interesting to see wines change from year to year and be from the same producer.

As far as the post went regarding wines bought in the "grey market", it probably didn't happen that way. All business owners who have a liquor license are subjected to the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) and they are allowed to come into your business at any time to check your stock, your books, test out alcohol percentages (to make sure you don't water down the liquor or increase it), etc. Anyone who can't pass these basic tests with the ABC gets subjected to fines and suspension of their liquor license. And the ABC posts that big, ugly sign right on your front window. Most reputable places don't want to risk that. And wine is a risky purchase. What is it, one out of 10 bottles is now corked? That would lead an owner to want to buy it from a distrubitor so he/she can return it for credit.

Its been fun.

AFC

Jul 03, 2007
Mamaafc in Wine

Oswald's new location: Santa Cruz

At Vida the desserts are simply to die for. I usually go for whatever my server recommends if I have a hard time choosing. Being a local server in the downtown area I get lots of treats here and there.

Thanks for the input about 515. Everyone around here seems to think that its owned by the same people that own Red. Unless I am grossly mistaken, isn't owned by the people who own the Red Room? My boss sold the building and said it was them.......unless I heard wrong.

Jun 28, 2007
Mamaafc in California

Is it okay to send back wine because you don't like it?

Jason good response. In fact there is a natural occurance that happens in some wines that is also called maderization in which the wine will become "oxidized" and carries that odd or sherry like flavor to it. You may notice a really golden, almost high yellow color to it as well. I've found several, but most have been in Italian whites, and only once in a white Chateau Neuf de Pape. Some wines are just like that, some are at the point where they have just been held onto too long. Who knows? Mostly if I like it, I drink it. It would tick me off to spend 110 bucks on a wine I hated though.

Jun 27, 2007
Mamaafc in Wine

Good Cookies for Delivery

You could try the Pacific Cookie Company in Santa Cruz, Ca. Absolutely wonderful cookies, always fresh and they do ship. Never heard of a place that would serve them warm though.

Jun 27, 2007
Mamaafc in Los Angeles Area

Oswald's new location: Santa Cruz

I recently had some really good food over at Pearl Alley Bistro, Vida's and Avanti. Of course, those are all my favorite picks anyway, so I may be a bit biased.

And Oswalds is indeed opening up at the site of the Garage Sports bar downtown. They were hoping it was going to take a couple of months to do a remodel, but servers who worked at the site are saying its going to be possibly up to a year before reopening.

I haven't eaten over at the 515 yet (where Barossa Grill used to be). Anyone have any comments?

Jun 27, 2007
Mamaafc in California

Cocktails with Cassis?

We used to call this one "Wednesday's Lemon Drop"

Ketel One Citron
fresh lemon juice to taste
Sugared rim
Drop in about 10 drops or so of cassis after shaking vodka/lemon juice and it will look like a jewel

Jun 27, 2007
Mamaafc in Spirits

Closed Modesto Places

I'd go and give Clayton's a try. Normally if a restaurant is able to change their menu often, its got a really good quality chef performing magic out there. It's so easy to make the same things all the time. Plus, you get the added magic of having fresh, local produce, good fish, etc.

Jun 26, 2007
Mamaafc in California

Is it okay to send back wine because you don't like it?

Here is the real deal about ordering and trying to return wines that you just don't like in a restaurant. This post is also being written by someone who has worked as a server/bartender/manager in wine spectator awarded restaurants. I've been doing this work for almost 15 years, so its a good look at the other side. .

If a wine is "corked" or "turned" the wine is returned to the original distributor and a credit is issued to the business. If you just don't like it, most places won't accept it back, ESPECIALLY when there is a qualified wine steward or sommelier on hand to help you with any wine questions. This is because the restaurant then has to take that bottle of wine and try to sell it by the glass in order to make their original purchase price back. It also leaves the door open for clients to come in and sample any bottle of wine they desire without ever having to purchase it. Sound silly? Some people would take it to the extreme and order the most expensive wines, then return them saying they just didn't like them. Try selling a guest a GLASS of wine that would cost 125.00$. The wine would spoil before you could sell it, and eventually you'd be a bankrupt business owner with a lot of open bottles of wine to drink as you closed your doors.

My advice? Ask for help. No one expects their guests to know everything about food, wine, etc. and that is the server/wine stewards job. The restaurant doesn't make the wine, just purchases it, so go back and give them another try. Wine flavors vary and everyone has different tastes. And yes, some truly fine, aged, "old world" wines do have an almost sherry like finish to them. French wines tend to have high acidity, mineral, floral, earthy, and woodsy flavors to them. Sherry, port wood, raisin, etc. can all be good descriptions of certain wines. It can be normal.

Again, ask the server for help in selecting wine. Then you can make up your mind about what it is you'd like to go along with your meal.

Happy sampling!

Jun 26, 2007
Mamaafc in Wine

Closed Modesto Places

In Modesto I'd try Tresetti's. It's always got great food, especially at lunch. Clayton's is new and they also do great food. If you are in the mood for over-priced sushi another choice is Aquashi. It's truly beautiful inside but the food can be hit or miss.

Jun 19, 2007
Mamaafc in California