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Fort Bragg & Mendocino in July

We ate an Nit's Cafe and we loved it. It is a small place and it is not inexpensive (~$22.00/plate ish). HUGE portions so plan on taking some home or sharing. Sis in law got green curry and it was the best curry I've ever had hands down. Very spicy. Brother in law got a steak that was the special. I can't remeber which cut. He asked for medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. A nice thick cut too with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Too much for him to finish and he let us try some too. I had a lamb brochette with polenta and roasted asparagus. Also cooked perfectly and it was delicious. I finished mine. I can't remember exactly what my wife had, but I know it involved chicken and some mushrooms, but I do remember that I liked it (I had her leftovers too for lunch). And the wine was very good too.

We called ahead to get a table because it is a very small place. This night Nit took our order and from what I could see did all of the cooking as well. She was all over that kitchen like a Tazmanian devil. And cooked it all perfectly. Worth a try. Call ahead.

Nit's Cafe, 322 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964-7187

Sep 15, 2009
Muncheroo in California

Fort Bragg & Mendocino in July

I went to Egg Heads in August and I liked it a lot. I got a chicken fried steak with two fried eggs on it and sausage gravy and home fries. The CFS was not greasy, cooked perfectly. The home fries were great, crispy on the outside, soft inside, seasoned well. The gravy was serviceable. Not great, but not bad in any way. Good coffee, nothing fancy. I'd go back because I like a substantial breakfast and they did a good job.

When I'm in town I also like to go to Chapter and Moon for breakfast too. They are down at the Noyo Harbor, kind of out of the way, but worth looking for. They have great coffee and they make their own bread. Simple breakfast with a great view. Worth finding. I've only been there for breakfast, but I've heard they do a good job for lunch and dinner too.

Chapter and Moon, 32150 N Harbor Dr, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 962-1643

Sep 15, 2009
Muncheroo in California

lunch in ukiah

If you are staying past Tuesday try the restaurant at the Buddhist monastary.
Jyun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant
4951 Bodhi Way
Ukiah California 95482
(707) 462-0939

Their website says they are closed Tuesdays.
I've always wanted to try it, but have not been there yet.

Aug 15, 2008
Muncheroo in California

Sacramento Downton easy lunch and dinner

For an easy lunch close by try the La Bou on J Street between 13th and 14th, right down the block from you. It's a local chain, but very good quality. It is good food and lots of their stuff would be easy to get back to the room (wonderful sandwiches on good fresh bread). I hope the exam goes well!

Jul 29, 2008
Muncheroo in California

Mendocino and vicinity? What's to eat...

We always have at least one meal at the Mendocino Cafe when we are in town. Fresh ingredients (some local) in Mexican, American, and Asian inspired dishes. Always been good.

We also like Chapter and Moon in Fort Bragg. Always have breakfast there, but I wanna try dinner and lunch too! Nothing mindblowing there, just good ingredients prepared well. Very relaxed atmosphere right down by the water at the mouth of the river.
Chapter and Moon
32150 N Harbor Dr
Fort Bragg CA 95437
(707) 962-1643

Jul 03, 2008
Muncheroo in California

Wanted: A Cookbook To Curl Up With [Moved from Home Cooking board]

James Beards American Cookery. It's not written like a regular cookbook. You get lots of background that reads like a history book and the next thing you know you're into a recipe. I also love it because there is a surprising amount of information on some of the most common things (makes it still very relevant).

Nov 06, 2007
Muncheroo in Food Media & News

Have you "lyed" fresh olives?

We used to lye cure olives every year when I was a kid. Pick the olives when they are green and just about to turn red. Pick them when you see the first olives on the tree turning color. Get two clean PLASTIC food grade buckets (I recommend plastic food grade buckets because they are non reactive). No metal containers…No metal containers (lye does not get along with lots of metals used in the kitchen, stainless steel is OK, but I wouldn’t use a nice pot for this application). Go to a fast food joint and ask them if they have any buckets you can have. Mix up your lye (4 tablespoons of lye for each gallon of water) in one of your buckets.
Some words about lye. It is sodium hydroxide. It is a base (the ugly twin of acid). They use it in drain cleaner because it is really good at dissolving organic materials (hair, grease, ick). YOU are made COMPLETELY of organic material (I hope). Lye is not toxic, it won’t poison you, it is corrosive, it will dissolve you. If you get the lye on you, rinse it off quickly with lots of water. If you rinse it off it can’t act on you any longer. Rinse it off before it does damage. Don’t get the lye on you. Wear gloves when you are dispensing the lye. Use stainless steel, or plastic utensils to measure out and mix your lye solution. You may consider wearing glasses or goggles when you mix your solution in the event of a splash or boil over… Yes, boil over. When lye dissolves in water it is an exothermic reaction. If you add too much lye to not enough water or add lye to water too quickly the water can heat beyond its boiling point and … boil over. Make sure you are using the right amount of lye for the water and add the lye to the water slowly (DO NOT add water to lye; always add lye to water to dissipate heat more efficiently). If it starts to boil (and it shouldn’t), stop adding lye and back away from it. Once you have the lye in solution it will be dilute enough to not be as dangerous. If you get it on you just rinse it off with water promptly. If you get lye on you at any time rinse it off in cold water. If it gets on your clothing and soaks to your skin take off that clothing and rinse yourself first and then your clothing.
All of this having been said, the solution you will be dealing with is not strong enough to dissolve you or your olives, but the powder or liquid you use to make that solution IS strong enough. The solution probably will be strong enough to irritate your skin and could damage your eyes. Just know what you are dealing with, use some common sense, take precautions and you will be fine. The lye is the most hazardous when in its concentrated form. Once you have it in dilute solution it is much less hazardous.
Wash your olives and put them in the lye solution. The next day the lye solution will have turned a dark purple color (this is the stuff in the olives that makes them taste bitter, tannic acid I believe). Mix up a new batch of lye solution and transfer the olives to the new solution. The next day (3rd day) slice open a big olive and look at the flesh. It should be turning a yellow green color from the outside of the olive in toward the pit. You will see the flesh near the pit will have a purplish color and the flesh near the outside of the olive will have turned the yellow green. Keep putting the olives in fresh lye solution daily until all of the flesh of a big olive has turned to the yellow green color (this can take more or less than a week depending on the size of the olives).
When all of the flesh of a big olive has turned to the yellow green color it is time to remove the lye from the olives. In the morning and in the evening put the olives in a bucket of fresh water. After two days (4 changes of water) taste one of the olives. If it tastes harsh or bitter continue to soak for another day (another two changes of water) and taste again the next day (this may go on for a while, again, more or less than a week depending on the size of the olives).
When they don’t taste harsh or bitter anymore they will taste very bland, not much like anything (don’t be discouraged). The olives are cured and they only need seasoning. Put them in salted water (as much or as little salt as you want)for about three days. Eat them just like that. Many people would put in too much salt for my taste. You only need enough to make them taste like an olive. My favorite way to eat them is to let them soak in pickle juice for a week. You will never find olives like them. The oil in the olive rounds out the flavor of the pickle juice. They don’t taste really acid like pickles do, they taste rich. A very unique flavor.

Oct 18, 2007
Muncheroo in Home Cooking

Mendocino dining

Try the Mendocino Café. Had lunch there this weekend and it was great. I had a Mojado Burrito. Not authentic Mexican food, but well prepared and it tastes great. They produce consistently good food. I’ve always walked away happy with my meal. They have an emphasis on local producers for their vendors, and much of their food is organic. It’s not all pseudo-Mexican either, there are lots of Thai inspired things too. Nice atmosphere. Very relaxed and casual. It’s an old house that’s been turned into a restaurant. It’s nice to because it is in town and within walking distance of lots of shops and places to stay.

Mendocino Café
10451 Lansing ST.
Mendocino, CA. 95460

Oct 09, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Good, quick chow between Bay Area and South Lake Tahoe

There's a place is Sacramento called Jacks Urban Eats

2535 Fair Oaks Blvd
Sacramento CA 95825
(916) 481-5225

They are about 2 easy miles off the freeway and they have unique and good food.
They are fast too. You order at a counter, watch them make your food and pay for it at the end of the counter, then go find a seat. Worth the trip off the freeway for somthing different. They are in a big shopping center.

Across the street from Jacks there is a great taqueria called Taqueria Guadalajara. I eat breakfast there most of the time rather than dinner. They have good refried beans and horchata.

Sep 28, 2007
Muncheroo in California

San Diego Breakfast and Dinner

Thanks for the recs. The Studio Diner looks great.
I'm not a fan of chains, but Mimis has proven reliable when I'm on the road (I had a turkey dinner there that was the best I've ever had). Good to know they are close.
I think I'll try Donovan's or Roys first though.
Thanks again!

Sep 28, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Airport food

Barbecue at Austin was a welcome surprise.
I live in Sacramento and I agree with you there too. It's reliable in a security blanket kind of way.

Sep 28, 2007
Muncheroo in General Topics

San Diego Breakfast and Dinner

I’m going to be working for three days in San Diego in a few weeks and I want to find a good place to eat breakfast and dinner. This will be a working trip and so I’m not looking for fine dining, I just want good food relatively close to my hotel (within a few miles). We’ll be staying by Mira Mesa Blvd and the 805 (North-West of the Miramar Air Station). I’ll eat anything, but my co-worker is a big baby and isn’t too adventurous so I’m thinking steaks and American style diner fare. Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks!

Sep 25, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Dining I-5 north of Redding

I ate breakfast at The Purple Plum in Yreka. It was O.K. (definitely better than the Denny's). I'd go back. Had the biscuit and gravy. Not the best I've had, but good. Nice people in there.
105 E Miner Street, Yreka, CA 96097 (530) 842-0640

We also tried a seafood place there that had recently opened at the time. The building used to be home to another restaurant. I can't remeber the name. I thought we were heading for trouble going in there, but the food was not bad. It was close to the Black Bear Diner at the South end of town. The service was slow and awkward (They had an inexperienced staff). Maybe they are better now. It is a good place for a change of pace in Yreka.

Sep 05, 2007
Muncheroo in California

When roasting a chicken, what do you do with....

My mom would chop the giblets coursely, season them well, then saute them in olive oil with onion. When they were done she would add uncooked rice (long grain) to the pot and saute that until the rice is translucent at the edge and then add water and put the lid on and cook the rice. Check the seasoning and then eat it.

Sep 03, 2007
Muncheroo in Home Cooking

Looking for great pot roast recipe

Season a roast well with salt and pepper. Brown it in the bottom of a pot (the pot should just allow the roast to fit inside). Take it out and put in at least three big white or yellow onions, sliced not chopped. let the onions caramelize well. when the onions are caramelized add a tablespoon of flour and let cook for a few minutes. Pour in a bottle of brown ale (Newcastle Brown Ale, Downtown Brown, or Chimay). Add enough water or stock to bring the liquid to the top of the roast. Bring it to a low simmer and put a lid on it and let it cook until it is very tender (check it now and then and add liquid if needed, it should be at the top of the roast). Turn the roast over now and then if the liquid is not getting over the top of it. If the pot is accumulating liquid crack the lid to allow some to evaporate. Take the lid off and continue to simmer until it reaches your preferred consistancy, then taste and correct seasoning. Turn off the heat and skim off the fat, or refrigerate and remove the fat when it coagulates. Like most pot roasts it will taste better a day or two later and this way you can prepare it in advance and reheat it when you are ready to eat. You can also cook it in the oven (preheat the oven while you are doing everything else and then put it in the oven (~300) when it's time to simmer. It benefits from using a heavy pot on the stovetop or in the oven because the pot will even out the heat better. Easy and very good.

Sep 03, 2007
Muncheroo in Home Cooking

Boiling Potatoes

Peeling or not peeling makes a differece. The potatoes will have more moisture if you boil with the peels off. It can be a subtle difference, but sometimes it is not. In my experience the kind of potatoe makes a difference too (low starch like Red potatoes or Yukon Gold vs more starchy Russets). The russets can get very soggy and definitely benefit from cooking with the peel on. I prefer low starch varieties for potatoe salad because they have a firmer texture and I like the way they taste. The size of the potatoe also makes a difference. Smaller is better because the peels are in better shape (you may prefer to eat them with the peels on), and the texture is better (less starch, More firm). Try to buy potatoes that are the same size so that they cook at the same rate and finish cooking at the same time.
Scrub them, then put them in a pot of cold water and bring them to a boil (they cook faster this way because they come up to temp with the water instead of waiting for the water to boil and then waiting for the potatoes to come up to temp and cook). You can salt the water if you want (I don't). When they are done you can peel them or not as soon as they are cool enough to handle (I don't because the peels taste good), then cut them up for your salad.
Leaving the peels on gets you a better tater in the end and they are faster and easier to prepare with the peels on.

Sep 03, 2007
Muncheroo in Home Cooking

ISO a great hot dog in Sacramento

I used to go to The Wienery. I don't know if it's still there, but I remember liking the dogs. There don't seem to be too many choices around for hotdogs. This place served them a bunch of different ways. It would be worth trying if it's still there. It was in a small shopping center at 56th and H street.

Sep 01, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Crescent City suggestions?

I'm going to try the Thai House next time I'm there. The Good Havest Cafe sounds good too. Do they serve breakfast? We ate the continental breakfast at the hotel because we just didn't know anyplace that served breakfast. Crescent City was tough. It didn't seem like there were a lot of places to eat and even less information available on the boards (as you said). We were there for one day and really didn't have time to look for a place. Where have you had breakfast?

Aug 30, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Crescent City suggestions?

I was working in Crescent City this year and ate at the Harbor View Grotto. It was good. It was a typical grotto menu but all competently done. I had fettucini with a wine cream sauce and shrimp and scallops. Just the right amount of wine and the pasta and shimp and scallops were not overcooked.
Harbor View Grotto
150 Starfish Way, Crescent City, CA 95531 (707) 464-3815

We ate lunch at a place out on a pier (The Charthouse?). Not nearly as good as the grotto. They probably can make a good chowder though. I had a calamari sandwich (fried battered calamri on a roll with tartar sauce). The sauce had a distracting flavor that made me nervous, but I was hungry so I ate it (it was fine...I was fine). The calamari was good (not overcooked). Reasonably priced. If I had another choice in town that I knew was decent I would probably not go here, but ,like you, I was not familiar with the place and was on a schedule so I just asked the people we were working with and these are the places they recommended. We ate the continental breakfast at the hotel.

I'll be going back to Crescent City so if you find anything good or bad please let me know.

Drive out to Point St George and take a short walk. It's a beautiful spot well worth the short trip.

Aug 28, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Fresno for a week

Thanks for the recs! I’ve been traveling to Fresno for about six years now and always kind of dreaded the food. When I’m working I don’t have a lot of time or am too tired to look around for great food. Then I found Chowhound! This is going to be great. I’m not going to be able to get to all of these places on this trip, but I come back often enough I’m going to be able to try them eventually.

I’ve read some posts about the Thai Orchid before and I really want to try it. Cracked Pepper Bistro is within walking distance of the hotel and it sounds too good to pass up! I love a chef that really cares about the food and the patrons. It sounds like I will be able to order anything off the menu and I won’t be disappointed. I’m going to go to the shopping center with Uncle Harry’s and The Patio Café and La Boulangerie. It sounds close enough and with the choices I can’t miss.
Thank you all. This will keep me busy for a long time.

Feb 01, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Fresno for a week

I will be working in Fresno next week and I want to find a place to eat breakfast and some places for dinner. I’ll be staying out by Shaw and 41 (Eisenhower Fwy). I want to find a place near the Hotel for breakfast, but I am willing to go further for dinner. I like all kinds of food. Last time I was there I went to Kims for Vietnamese (close to the hotel and I enjoyed my meal), so I’ll be going back there. I have been reading some of the posts from Fresno and I want to try Basque food at the hotel downtown. Anything I should order there? I also went to The Train Depot on N 1st Street near E Univeristy Ave for breakfast and I’d like to find another place closer to the hotel (The food was not bad, but not great either). I’m not really looking for fine dining (this is a work trip so I’m on a budget). I’d appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

Jan 31, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Best Burger & Fries in Sacramento

Every once in a while my co-workers like to go to Black Angus for lunch and I always get a burger. The thing I like most about it is the patty. Always tender and very beefy. They havn't overcooked it (it's always a little pink in the middle). I havn't asked for a rare one. I will next time. The bun is good too. Always is fresh and is big enough to handle the patty and fixins. The fries were average.

Now I'm goin' to Woodland for that Kobe.

Jan 08, 2007
Muncheroo in California

Best Asian restaurants & markets in Citrus Heights and nearby locales?

I like Miyagi for sushi 2580 Fair Oaks Blvd (916) 485-2299, and just to the North of them at 601 Munroe is Lemon Grass for Thai and Vietnamese (kind of expensive though).

The chef and owner of Lemon Grass (Mai Pham) also owns a local chain of places called La Bou. Order anything that looks kinda like Thai. They don’t serve the same things in all the restaurants. You could find soup (Thai chicken) with fresh baguette. You could find a sandwich (chicken and basil pannini). You could have a green curry rice bowl (green curry, chicken, bamboo, peas...on rice). Could be a spring roll like chicken thingy (spring roll like chicken thingy). Don’t worry if it sounds like innovative Thai (it’s not even innovative Thai, it’s Thai inspired lunch food, Bistro stuff) she does this well. It’s lunch food at lunch prices, but the quality is much better than a lunch place.

I have not tried it yet, but Mana at 2580 Alta Arden Expy (916) 971-0728 is supposed to have excellent sushi (post if you try it).

I also like Thai Palace at 3262 J st (916) 447-5353 (park in back, the front lot is very small). They are less expensive than Lemon Grass and the dining room is more comfortable (more homey). Great service too, but best of all they serve good food!

My favorite for Dim Sum is New Canton 2523 Broadway (916) 739-8888. Go on a Sunday morning and the place will be packed. Lots of good fresh food because they serve a lot of it (gimme the feet please!). Parking is bad so drive past the front to see if you can scope something out, and then go down the nearest side street and drive down the alley in back. Jump on the first spot you find.

When I first started eating Dim Sum I was going out to West Sacramento to Kings 1500 W Capitol Ave (916) 371-8131. Again always packed on a Sunday morning. I always liked their food and they had very good tea. I don't go there much anymore because New Canton is very good and much closer to me.

Happy Garden has been recommended to me for Dim Sum, but I have not tried it yet. They are at 5731 Stockton Blvd (916) 456-0581. If you try it please post about it.

I've been going to Goldstar Market 5815 Stockton Blvd (916) 453-8992. My wife is from Escondido, and when we go there we always stop in San Diego and have Dim Sum at a place called Jasmine and then stop at a big Asian market called 99 Ranch. Goldstar is no 99 Ranch, but it ain’t bad. I went once looking for Kefir Lime leaves and they did not have them. Yesterday they had all the fresh ginger wrapped in cellophane (it's usually just loose in bulk). I dunno. It's the best Asian market I've found in Sacramento yet. If you go, check out Goldstar, but then keep going South on Stockton Blvd and there are two more markets. One is Wing Wa and I can't remember the name of the other. Goldstar always had all I needed (except the kefir) so I never went back to the others (they didn't have kefir lime leaves either). Also keep an eye open for a prospective meal in this area as well. Lotsa Asian restaurants there. I'm still eating my way down Stockton Blvd. Check out Freeport Blvd as well. I'm not familiar with it yet, but I understand there are a lot of Asian restaurants there too and perhaps more markets?

You can also find a lot of Asian foods (mostly vegetables, but some fish, pork and beef) at the Sunday farmers market at 8th and W Streets (under the freeway...yes, under the freeway. I buy my pork under the freeway) 8:00 to 12:00. Parking here is mayhem, just wing it and don’t run anyone over. It's got the largest turnout of vendors and public. Always something good here (great people watching). Almost as good as Dim Sum on a Sunday morning.

I'm sorry I can't help you with Filipino food.
All of these places are not close to Citrus Heights (except maybe a La Bou), but they are the best I've found so far.

Jan 04, 2007
Muncheroo in California