My conscience keeps nudging me to submit a report on our trip round N California and Oregon. I can only plead coming back to four weeks worth in the in-tray, mother-in-law in hospital, and a daughter who gets married in 6 weeks, as an excuse.
So, no proper report, but here are a few scribbled notes:
SF ~ Great Eastern ~ Went here our first night in SF, which may not have helped. Food patchy, some excellent some grim, probably we just chose badly. Surprised to find little grasp of english in most of the waiters, or were they performing for the tourists?
SF ~ Hog Island Oysters at the ferry building ~ Very busy, service a little slow. Stunning oysters, the best I have eaten anywhere in the world. Not as plump as Whitstables, but bursting with fresh flavour. They have spoilt me for oysters forever.
SF ~ House of Prime Rib ~ Had an unfortunate experience here. Arrived at 7:15 without a reservation, my fault but such a large restaurant should be able to fit 2 in. Maitre 'D says no problem, get a drink at the bar, we will call you. Warning bells start to ring when party of four at bar, who HAVE a reservation tell us they have been waiting 40 mins, but tell us they are regulars and the food is great. 8:30 check with Maitre 'd,
"you are 2nd on list now."
9:15 check with Maitre 'd,
"I will be seating you within an hour!"
I call the manager and tell him I have no wish to eat dinner at 10:30, he says to me,
"You think you have a problem buddy, I will still be here at 2am!"
We go to bed without dinner.
SF ~ Gold Mountain ~ Fabulous, forget tourists, we are the only caucasians in the house! No one speaks much english, Mrs P aks for a glass of water and gets HOT water, we love it. Pick food from the trolleys as they pass, eat ourselves to a standstill (no dinner last night remember), cost $17, incredible. Had a lovely couple of elderly chinese sit next to us who started to explain in none too fluent english what we were eating.
SF ~ Scala's ~ Packed and loud, professional and competent, adequate but not outstanding food. Pricy for what it was, my fault for chosing a "safe" option.
SF ~ Gold Mountain ~ Our last morning in SF, so broke the habit of a lifetime and went back! We were quite early and there was a queue for tables, but the head waiter called us forward and seated us in the window. I couldn't help thinking we were there to show tourists that caucasians were welcome! Food was briliant again, have no idea what we had without our charming old chinese gentleman! Had eaten dinner the night before so could only manage $15 worth between us!
Petaluma ~ One Fifty Four ~ reviewed in separate post below.
California and Oregon reports on their respective boards. Graham
PS We had a fantastic time, many thanks to all the hounds who responded to my posts, and to the many folks we met on our journey who helped us with gems of local info.