Category Archives: travel

Non Live Food Network Preparation at The Bridge Street Inn

I have never been one to pay a cable provider money so that I can watch a stranger prepare food while I sit in my lazy boy chair. Tonight however I find myself joining the millions of sedentary people who are entertained by food preparation in their home.

For this evenings entertainment the bicycle riding French family took over The Bridge Street Inn kitchen. They had pedaled 52 miles from Big Sur to Cambria. Despite being tired from their long day they perform in the kitchen like a well rehearsed TV cooking show. I am thoroughly entertained by the airy sounds of the French language, the smells of spices simmering in a soup and am drawn into the details of the food adventure they are creating.

I can now join in the water cooler conversation, “No, I didn’t see that episode of Rachel Ray but I did sit down to watch the French Family make squash soup. Oh good cooking question. The 3 women were wearing biker type pants/shorts and the man was wearing regular loose fitting pants.”

What’s chef Rachel Ray wearing? CLICK HERE

The French family are making me laugh


It would have been nice to hear the nutmeg scraping in surround sound


I ask the French Family, "when I press my thumb against this wooden spoon and point it at you, will you stir fast as if you were a TV show?"

The French Family found a bag full artichokes near highway 1

yogurt artichoke dip with thyme, dill, cumin, and celery seed

Already star struck to my surprise the French Family invited me to join them for dinner

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Fast Food Cambria Style

Boni's Tacos always has bicycle parking

Despite what the Cambria visitor magazine says about fast food. Cambria does have fast food. It’s just fast food Cambria style.

Special thanks to Boni’s Tacos
http://www.bonistacos.com/

Special thanks to Amanda Darling for a little video work.

Music by Brandon Follett
http://www.weirdosmusic.com/

Here’s a link to The Bridge Street Inn website so you too can enjoy fast food Cambria style.
<a href=”http://bridgestreetinncambria.com”>http://bridgestreetinncambria.com</a>/

Eating Vegetarian in Stanley, Idaho

Highway 21 climbs to the top of Banner Creek Summit, an elevation of 7056 ft then drops down into the Stanley Basin.  The highway becomes straight, cutting through green fields that edge up to the Sawtooth Mountains.  The fields are like green dust bowls devoid of vegetables and fruit.  My vegetarian belly has learned not to be fooled by common sense observation.

Eating vegetarian in Idaho has its surprises.  Towns like Middleton, Kuna, and Emmett are surrounded by vegetables and fruit.  Despite the abundance of food most vegetarian choices on the menu taste like an unwanted step child.  If you’re not following here’s a different perspective.  Reader let’s pretend your a horny 20 something straight guy.  All day you walk along Venice Beach observing fields of women.  The sunny California female beach bathers have excited your taste buds.  Later that evening you are in the mood to hear some local music and talk to a beautiful woman.   You decide to check out the bar scene off the boardwalk.  The first bar plays techno music and claims to be the friendliest gay bar on Venice Beach.  You keep moving.  The second bar has Erasure night.  Buffed out men are dancing and mouthing the words,

“And if I should falter
would you open your arms out to me?
We can make love not war
and live at peace with our hearts.
I’m so in love with you
I’ll be forever blue”

You ponder what does forever blue mean to a bar full of guys?  Bar after bar packed with flirtatious men.  You are confused, the beach has field after field of women similar to Idaho small towns with field after field of fruit and vegetables.

Despite only observing cows in the Stanley basin, surprisingly a vegetarian can eat amazingly creative thought out meals from sun up to sun down.  I am so blown away that I might look for Mrs Right in San Francisco’s Castro District.

BREAKFAST

It’s Sept 14, Stanley Baking CO. & Cafe seems to be the most popular eatery at this time of day.  I get into line.  Clouds have socked in the Stanley Basin.  The Sawtooth Mountains are obscured from view.  I wonder will the seasonal disorder effect of no sunshine and the stress of a hopping eatery effect the cooks?  Distressed cooks and pigs don’t make good meals.  I start perusing the menu wall.  Holy moly a vegetarian has more choices than the typical cheese omelet, waffles, and pancakes.  A person can substitute real meat for fake meat.  Here’s the dish that made my vegetarian belly tremble.  This dish didn’t involve fake meat substitutions it’s the real deal.  A signature vegetarian dish called the “Mingas.”

“Our version of a Mexican breakfast.  Two eggs any style, tortilla chips, potatoes, green chilies, feta, provolone, jack cheese and black beans baked in a red New Mexican enchilada sauce & topped with homemade salsa.”  Eureka!

Despite a dark weather mood the chefs cooked like two happy pigs that go on daily walks and get their bellies scratched.

Click here to read the Stanley Baking Co. & Cafe omelet review.

LUNCH

I spent mid morning and early afternoon exploring the shore of Redfish Lake.  After some enjoyable hiking I stopped in at The Redfish Lodge for lunch.  The outdoor grill menu offers a veggie burger.  Before ordering I asked, “do you make your garden burger?”  To my surprise The Redfish Lodge services frozen garden burgers.  I decided to head down highway 75 to Smiley Creek Lodge.  Their website boasts homemade food which means no frozen veggie burgers.

When approaching The Smiley Creek Lodge an urban restaurant goer might keep driving.  City restaurants typically don’t have teepees, wood carved bear art, a gas station, and boast they sell non alcoholic beer.

Inside I’m quickly greeted by a friendly server named Lisa.  I ask her is the Abe’s Chair Garden Burger a fancy name for some pre made frozen veggie burger bought at Costco?  Lisa has incredible delivery on the same level of a comedian or motivational speaker.  She gave a long pausing smile then said, “Our chef makes the veggie burger.  The fries are home cut and the bun comes from Bigwood Bread.  After I take your order I think I’ll have an Abe’s Chair Garden Burger.”  Enough said!

Here’s the menu description.
Vegetable and bean patty, on a Bigwood Bread organic challah bun, topped with a cilantro jalepeno sauce.

DINNER

I am going to pose a question.  Would the Mona Lisa have the same impact tacked up on the wall of a mechanic shop framed by hotrods with models posing on the hoods?  I think not.  Great works of art are properly framed and the buildings that house the art are of the same awe inspiring level.

Welcome to the Sawtooth Hotel’s patio.  If you’re a mushroom lover and love the Sawtooth Mountains you’ll be enjoying a little piece of heaven.

“Mushroom Ragout wild and cultivated mushrooms stewed with fresh herbs and aromatic vegetables served with buttered orzo.”

An amazing dish like this served in a smokey truck stop won’t taste the same as enjoying it the presence of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Side note:  When preparing a menu for a smokey truck stop cafe does the chef ask questions like, “Would a roasted beet salad with spinach, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and a roasted garlic vinaigrette taste good with a Lucky Strike?”  After a moment of thought with a Lucky Strike in the left hand and a beet in the right hand the chef answers his question. “No, a Lucky Strike won’t compliment the taste of a beet but I’m sure a rocking chair, PBR, and The Sawtooth Mountains will.”

SE Asia Omelet Zine featuring eateries in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos now available

In 2010, Bangkok Books began distributing You Can’t Hide an Elephant in an Omelet as an e-book.  Tara Blackmore from Broken Pencil has this to say about the book:  “What a neat concept this book offers: essays and stories about omelettes and cuisine from around the world. This particular issue offers experiences from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

Part restaurant review, part tour guide, this book offers pure entertainment in eloquent language that can be enjoyed by just about everyone.

Written like a memoir (the good kind), the book offers a glimpse into foreign food production, consumption and a healthy dose of social interaction and culture shock as well. It’s an objective look at travel and all it entails, offering tips and advice on how to get by. It also gives descriptions of local cuisine that can either repulse you or attract you, so reading it while hungry is a bad idea.

This book is well worth the money. Rich with well-worded descriptions and beautiful photos, this zine will satisfy the reader who has either travel-curiosity or no idea what to make for dinner (which, of course, would be omelettes).”

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WANTING TO READ A CLEVERLY WRITTEN BOOK ABOUT EATING OMELETS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA HERE’S YOUR OPPORTUNITY.

Click on one of the below links to purchase a copy:

Ipad
Android
Kindle
Bangkok Books

Front Cover
front-cover.jpg

Sample Page
omelets-shouldnt-have-breasts.jpg

contents2.jpg

Back Cover
back-cover.jpg

Touring the Central California Coast with the RTA

Moostone Beach RTA bus route 12

When summer comes, roads along California’s Central Coast get busy. Take the bus to Hearst Castle, Moonstone Beach in Cambria, Morro Bay’s lovely Embarcadero and other destinations in the county and avoid the stress of rushed tourists passing on narrow two lane roads, the frustration of no parking spots along the beach and driving at a crawl, and forgetting to bring coins to feed the parking meter in downtown SLO.

San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority bus routes will take you to the front door of all the major Central Coast attractions. Leave the stress of driving at home- you’re now on vacation! OR, if you are commuting to work, you’ll FEEL like you are on vacation!

Here’s an overview of where RTA routes 9, 10, 11 will take you:

Now that you’re excited about traveling stress free, here’s an overview of how to use the RTA bus system in the county:

If you can’t get enough beautiful beaches, local cafes, wine tasting and shopping on RTA routes 9, 10, 12, RTA also runs the South County Area Transit.

Travel on SCAT to great places in the Five Cities area; the Pismo Beach Pier, Pismo Prime Outlets shopping Center, Shell Beach Dinosaur Caves with a great park for kids, Butterfly Park, Oceano Dunes, lovely Arroyo Grande Village, and Grover Beach Ramona Garden Park.

All RTA and SCAT buses can accommodate bicycles and are handicap accessible.

Click here to learn more about route details and schedules.

Click here to learn about fares.

Hear from our riders – see profiles of Anne Wyatt, Dave, Terry Morgan, Ed King, and Brandon Follett.

Need help planning your San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority Vacation call 1-805-541-2228 or go to www.slorta.org

SLO Government Center

Considering CouchSurfing and Hospitality Club? (video)

paola

Click here to watch

Tourism is based on the American model of consumption. Websites like Hospitality Club and CouchSurfing address the needs of travelers who are tired of being part of the tourist machine. This video ventures away from showing people where and how to spend their money.  Instead, it encourages travelers to develop friendships and experience local cultures.  Check out www.hospitalityclub.org, www.couchsurfing.com, www.warmshowers.org, www.wwoof.org, www.helpx.net, www.organicvolunteers.com, and Craigslist rideshare.

 Special thanks to Paola and Edgar for their enthusiasm and willingness to participate in this video!

 

La Paz, Mexico (video)

la paz, baja california, mexico

Click here to watch 

La Paz, Mexico is a quiet and colorful city on the Sea of Cortez.

La Paz, Mexico: Hotel Yeneka (video)

monkey at Hotle Yeneka La Paz, Baja California Mexico

Click here to watch

Hotel Yeneka has been called unique by many travelers. To truly enjoy Hotel Yeneka a person must love the dead monkey. Music thanks to Cuarteto Bios.

Vacation Walking on La Paz’s Malecon (video)

malecon la paz, baja california, mexico

Click here to watch

Traveler Brandon enjoys an evening of vacation walking on the malecon in La Paz, Mexico. Along the Sea of Cortez, the malecon is the best place in the city to enjoy fresh air and beautiful sunsets. Every night it fills with locals and tourists. Music thanks to Cuarteto Bio

Espiritu Santo Island Tour in the Sea of Cortez

Sea Lion Espiritu Santo Island La Paz Mexico

Click here to watch

A short boat ride from La Paz, Mexico takes traveler Brandon to a world of interesting rock formations, an abundance of marine wildlife, and an afternoon snorkeling with the sea lions. Special thanks to Espiritu & Baja Tours and Jose Luis for a fun, educational tour.