Alright, I admit, it’s taken me a little bit to start up these recap posts from our trip to the bay area, but ever since my SO, P., the former SF Hound, ratted me out here on that Mission Burrito post before our trip, I’ve been kinda worried about how these posts might be received. So lets just get it all out in the open, shall we...
NO. I put my foot down. I did not eat a single burrito the entire trip! HA!
But I was more open minded about a bunch of other yummy things, so let’s start these over due recaps... one day at a time.
We left Los Angeles in a rush and EARLY. We had hoped that Evian and some farmer’s market pulots might to tide us over till lunch time. Well our tummies had different ideas. So close to our destination, but yet to far, we were starving. . So we pulled over randomly, found a Safeway shopping center and upon a quick scan found our unlikely savior, Friendly Freds Hot Dogs in Morgan Hill.
That image you have in your head is pretty much it... it was your typical after the little league game sorta place. I walked up to the counter and saw in the honored front and center position, a Fresh-O-Matic 1000, I pointed it out to SO and said, “Welcome Home”. He smirked...
We ordered a Chili Dog and a Chicago Dog. The Dogs and buns came fresh from a steamer (The type with the bread box doors) and properly dressed. Chili and onions on a plain bun. Tomatoes, Sport Peppers, Celery Salt on a poppy seed bun. The dog were a good size and girth and meaty. It didn’t have the snap, but as we ate they got a fresh delivery and saw they were from a local processor. The overall taste of the dogs were great. The careful balance between the condiments and the dog was perfect on the Chicago dog. The Chili on the Chili dog was meaty and not too watery. We were much happier with these dogs than the dogs we’ve recently had at the Stand in Encino.
With our bellies quieted, we happily continued on our trek up to Redwood city and or originally planned lunch stop, the Old Port Lobster Shack!!
Located in the middle of a nondescript strip mall, we found it only because they were smart enough to have their delivery truck parked on the street! Upon walking up, we knew we hit the right place because there was a line out the door and the inside was bustling, especially for a Thursday afternoon!
The whole place has a casual almost kitschy vibe. Decorated with fish nets and maps of Maine.
They have the lobster tank in the back and the menu made my New England Raised SO utter happy sighs, especially when he saw the Fluffernutter on the kids menu. As for me, I was charmed by the Lobster Cookies...
Since this was our first trip trip, we decided to keep it simple and ordered:
* Clam Roll: SO and I have been on a mad hunt for fried clam bellies in L.A. for a long while. We’ve found some good ones, but none as good as these. The batter was heavy, the clams done perfect, not at all too briny and the serving was MORE than generous. Supposedly they were REAL Ipswich clams
* Maine Lobster Roll: Of course this is what I really came for. Out of desperation and insanity, we recently made our own Lobster Rolls with Rolls we imported from Boston. We wanted to see if these measured up or were better than the ones we had made (Which were AWESOME, if I may say so myself.... ;)) Well, I am happy to report that it was VERY close. The only thing missing on these rolls was the old bay. But the meat was plentiful, well cooked, not ‘Scraps” and flavorful. Next time we’re going for the plain one with butter... YUMM!!
Both Rolls came with plain fresh potato chips which were good and Coleslaw which had an interesting strong malt vinegar taste. Very unique.
* Finally, we had to try their Clam Chowder. We ordered a cup and got a HUGE steaming mug. SO, a traditionalist, was very happy with it. It was on the thin sized, flavored very well.... The Clams were soft and chunky. I would have perfered a little bit more buttery taste or a little more bacon taste. But it was a great cup O’ Chowdah.
Stuffed, we made it safely to our hotel in Downtown Oakland and went into SF for some sight seeing. We started to get peckish again around 8pm, so we headed over to SO’s old favorite hang outs, Frjtz Frites on Heyes. It was insanely bustling inside. We were lucky to find a table JUST as our order came.
Our order was simple, the Duchamp Crepe with chicken and mushrooms. It was large, but horribly bland. :P SO’s salad was equally unmemorable. The frites, as you could see from my recent General topics board post, weren’t exactly what I expected. They were bigger, more potatoey than I would have liked, so when they blended together with the Strawberry Dijon dipping sauce (Which I had hoped would be sweeter), the blending of the flavors was muddled. Overall the space is indeed a pretty cool hang out, but that is pretty much it...
Since the dipping sauce wasn’t sweet and I still was smiling about those Lobster Cookies, I felt like a dessert. Lucky for us, we were just a few blocks away from Citizen Cake!
I had heard SOOO much about it from friends and magazines and such. The space was so nice too. But when I got the counter, I admit, I was a little disappointed in their selection of cakes and pastries. They hardly had any cakes available by the slice and everything was so Chocolate based!!
So we ended up with a Fig Tart, a couple of Peanut Butter Cups, A crisp Chocolate tile, a Chile Chocolate tile, and Lemon Bar.
The Peanut Butter Cups and Crisp tile were horribly ordinary. The Chile one however did pack a nice punch and the marcona almond did add wonderful texture to accent the great dark chocolate that they used.
The Fig Tart wasn’t nearly as flavorful as we hoped. The figs were a little bland. The best thing was the crust. Absolutely flavorful and CRISP. If only I could find a recipe to make crust that great at home...
And of course my Lemon Bar. Upon first bite, I was kinda annoyed at seeing how much Crust was on it. It took like half of the bar. It wasn’t particularly flavorful either. But upon closer inspection, I saw that it wasn’t ‘exactly’ crust. It was like crust, a layer of lemony paste, like a lemon marzipan and then the layer of very lemony curd. I took a slower bite and saw how they played all so well. Very nice...
And yes, that was just our FIRST day.... Whew... And we still had three more days of chowing ahead of us...
Friendly Fred's Hotdogs
409 Tennant Sta
Morgan Hill, CA 95037