“Are you doing anything besides eating?” I was asked this several times during our nearly two week vacation in California and Oregon as I shared pictures with family and friends. Apparently there were more pictures of food than anything else. Go figure.
For the record, we did an exceptional amount of hiking and I will admit to sampling many local wines. And since the Happy and Yummy daughter is enjoying some quality time at sleep away camp, we were able to sit and do nothing several times which was utterly luxurious.
But back to the food. Here’s a sampling of the truly marvelous culinary experiences we had.
Fog Harbor Fish House, San Francisco, CA My husband and I had an outstanding lunch at The Fog Harbor Fish House on Pier 39. I loved my delicious Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Caesar Salad and enjoyed a little too much of the hot-from-the-oven sourdough bread. The service was excellent and the view from the restaurant was amazing. Highly recommended!
House of Nanking, San Francisco, CA We had the most amazing meal at this restaurant and it was worth every penny! The owner came over to our table and asked if we trusted him to pick our food, which of course we said yes, and then the deliciousness started arriving. Everything was very fresh and outrageously delicious. We started with a snap pea salad with fresh herbs and onions. Then the entrees landed on the table and, while I don’t know the exact names of all of them, the garlic fish and honey sesame chicken were amazing. The restaurant is small and loud, and it is tight quarters between the tables. Embrace the urban dining experience!
Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar, Healdsburg, CA
There’s a lot more to Willi’s than seafood – it has great variety and really big flavor everywhere on the menu. In a four day stay in Healdsburg, my husband and I ate here three times. We tried more than half of the things on the menu and it was all delicious. Our favorites are the bacon wrapped scallops followed closely by the lobster roll. Both are glorious combinations of flavors! The short ribs and spinach salad with warm bacon dressing were also divine, and I guarantee you’ve never tasted anything like them. This is not your ordinary restaurant food – every dish is so much more. The service and atmosphere are both excellent, and during one dinner visit, we got talking with a couple of tables next to us and had a wonderful time. This is a “must do” restaurant if you’re in the area!
Healdsburg Bar and Grill, Healdsburg, CA In a town where there are many higher priced restaurants, and no shortage of delicious food options for any palate, HBG stands out. The locals love eating at this place because it has everything you could want in a restaurant: great service, excellent food, and reasonable prices. It is very family friendly and you will get an excellent meal for a fraction of what you’ll spend at most other downtown restaurants. We enjoyed the HBG burger, BBQ pork croquettes, and garlic fries. All were absolutely delicious and nicely presented. I enjoyed an $8.50 glass of wine, by far the cheapest I had in four days here, and it was indeed a very nice glass of wine. A marvelous overall dining experience!
Toadstool Cupcakes, Portland, OR My fabulous cousin Jessica, who has extensive experience in the cupcake business, suggested we visit Toadstool. This place offers more than 50 flavor combinations of cake, creamy fillings and ganache toppings for your eating pleasure. You order off a menu with pictures that explains all of the combinations, which – in my humble opinion – is utterly brilliant. Little tablets are provided for you to make your selections so you can take just as much time as you need to contemplate such important decisions. We really did enjoy all of the cupcakes we ordered but the carrot and chocolate dipped strawberry were the standouts in our box of deliciousness.
Since the Fourth of July holiday was approaching when we visited the Jelly Belly Factory, I procured some patriotic jelly beans to celebrate in true Happy and Yummy style.
A big shout out to the good folks at The Lost Whale Inn where we enjoyed two nights of exceptional food and hospitality, and I spent quality time at this bar overlooking the beautiful grounds and the mighty Pacific Ocean. My deep gratitude to the other guests who were intrigued by my smiley jelly beans, and to my husband for not eating them before I finished taking the pictures 🙂