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Amazing Destination Restaurant for Anniversary Dinner?

How about going away from the coast and heading toward the Palm Springs area? Wally's Desert Turtle in Rancho Mirage. Built by Wally Botello, founder of the vaunted Velvet Turtle chain and now owned and operated by his son Michael, it offers old school service of the kind that is getting harder and harder to find. A sumptious menu and extensive wine list. It's a joy to have a sommelier that knows his stuff. AAA 4-diamond award.

As an adventurous alternative: why not try Thomas Keller's, Michelin rated 3 star restaurant in Yountville, California? Take a trip up to the wine country and enjoy a meal of your lifetime at The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, CA. It will be a memorable meal, for certain. Visit their website for more information. Bon appetit!

Dec 29, 2010
Catmandu in California

Tamales in Fresno

Hi Jeff, you are probably correct in saying the chile-cheese tamales are made with poblano chiles. It's the chile variety of choice when making tamales or chiles rellenos. The salsa you liked and that they called a "molcahete" salsa just means that it was made originally in a molcahete, a circular, stone, Mexican grinding bowl and pestle. You may have seen pictures of them. They are often made with roasted or toasted chile peppers of different varieties. When I was little, my mom used to make some for my father that would fill the air so thickly with it's aroma that it would send me gasping for air out on the back porch. lol. I couldn't stand to be around when she cooked it but once it was thrown into the molcahete for grinding and later placed on the table for dinner, I was "juanito-on-the-spot". Call me anything you want but never late for dinner. hehe

Dec 29, 2010
Catmandu in California

Tamales in Fresno

Dear, sweet, misinformed big lou,
1. there are no such things as Spanish tamales. The tamal, singular tense, is an invention born in the Americas; native to the North and central Americas. Many of the native indians of Mexico, and central america were maize (native corn) cultures and made the tamal masa out of it.
2. good luck, finding a good tamal for $2. Down here in soCal good tamales are going for at minimum $25-30 a dozen.
3. unless you know the people really, really well or have word of their reputation on the best authority, please be extremely careful when purchasing anything off the back of someone's tailgate or truck.
4. try Sal's restaurant (and not just any Sal's) go to the source...Selma on Park St. Well worth the drive and the wait. !Buen provecho!

Dec 29, 2010
Catmandu in California

Champurrado in Fresno?

Thanks for the update PolarBear:) It's good to know it's still there. I don't get up to the ol' stomping grounds much anymore but the next time I go home, I'll plan on the short run to the north to Sal's for sure!

Dec 29, 2010
Catmandu in California

Best eats and Bars in San Luis Obispo / Central Coast

Quite right. F. McClintock's at any of their locations; it's hard to go wrong.
CAVEAT: This is NOT the place to eat if you are of the persuasion that "aged" beef is all the rage because all you are going to get is their cheapest burger. Rotten meat is still rotten meat, no matter how you slice it, dice it, or nice it up. Oh almost forgot, for those with food allergies...that "crust" on aged beef that some are always swooning over, is actually a mold (most commonly Thamnidia). Maybe that's why they are swooning. Hmmm...food for thought;)

Dec 25, 2010
Catmandu in California

Portuguese sausage in Phoenix?

Just like when you are enjoying anything with garlic in it, the objective is to get your sweetheart to eat it too ;)

Dec 25, 2010
Catmandu in Phoenix

Champurrado in Fresno?

Any good, authentic Mexican restaurant should serve champurrado during the autumn and winter seasons. In Mexico it is featured as a breakfast drink (breakfast of champions) and one can easily find champurrado served in many local restaurants in Mexico beginning in autumn but definitely by the 1st of November. You probably won't find it on boards. Go to a restaurant where you find throngs of Mexican people consistently; your chances of finding excellent, authentic Mexican food will be exponentially higher than if you go to where you find pre-dominantly non-Mexican patrons. When I was little and lived in the area, I remember my parents taking us out sometimes to Sal's Mexican Restaurant in Selma on Park Street. It was a clean, little hole in the wall place but the food was divine. And the champurrado was truly "the elixir of the gods". Worth the drive and every penny spent. !Buen provecho!

Dec 25, 2010
Catmandu in California

Portuguese sausage in Phoenix?

You can order authentic Portuguese linguica, Spanish chorizo, Cajun andouille and many other types of gourmet specialty sausages directly from the Silva Sausage company based in San Jose, CA if you cannot find any of their products in your local area. I grew up in a town in central California that had a large contingent of families of Portuguese (Azores Islands) descent and Silva's was the linguica of choice in the San Joaquin valley if you couldn't make your own homemade linguica. The quality is impeccable. (Just google Silva Sausage.) !Buen provecho!

Jul 25, 2010
Catmandu in Phoenix