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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Menudo & Shaved Snow

I found shaved snow in Santa Rosa. It's at Yo Panda, 2550 Guerneville Road. It is located in a corner of Tan's Donut. In another corner is Adobo Taqueria.

Menudo was featured on the menu at Adobo and I can never pass up menudo. This was a huge bowl, overstuffed with tripe for $10. The only problem was this was not good. It needed a lot more salt and body. Missing was the pig's feet and hominy.

Yo Panda also sells Banh Mi sandwiches but I was too full from the menudo to try one.

I got the Mango Shaved Snow with mango chunks and condensed milk--$4.95. I added lychee jelly for $0.50. It was a small portion but I loved it. I'm now hooked on shaved snow and can't wait to have it again.

2015 08 02

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Crab Benedict

I tried to recreate the crab benedict from Mama's. My sister had a sous vide stick and we used it to make the poached eggs. It was actually very easy.

1. Toast the English muffin.
2. Saute spinach with some onion then squeeze them dry. Place on top of the English muffin.
3. Spoon crab meat over the spinach. I used the crab in a plastic container from Costco.
4. Poach the eggs. Place eggs in a pot of water. Turn the sous vide stick on and when the eggs are done, crack them over the English muffin.
5. Make Hollandaise sauce and pour over the eggs. I use Ina Garten's recipe:

It turned out pretty well and I didn't have to wait in line.

2015 11 28

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


It's been a while since I've been to Mama's. My husband dragged me to San Francisco early one Sunday morning so he could swim in the bay in preparation for an upcoming Alcatraz swim. I decided to go to Mama's while he was swimming. He hates waiting in line and there's always a line at Mama's so I thought it was perfect.

Mama's is located at 1701 Stockton Street, on Washington Square. It opened at 8 am and I arrived at 8:15 am. The line was already down the block.

After waiting 2 hours in line, I ordered the Dungeness Crab Benedict with Baby Spinach and Homemade Hollandaise Sauce. I finished it in 10 minutes. It was delicious but I'm not sure it's worth a 2-hour wait or the $24.95 price tag. Maybe, if I'm in the neighborhood and there's no line, I'll have it again.

2015 08 02

Monday, December 28, 2015

Final Notes--Barging in France

This was a fabulous trip. It was easy to fly into Zurich and rent a car. The Budget car cost $225 for 2 weeks and it was a lot less expensive and a lot more convenient than taking trains. We didn't need an international license and the GPS in the car was a tremendous help. Next time, I'll remember to touch the toll roads button on the GPS so that it will give us that option as well. Nonetheless, it was fun driving through the small towns.

We loved the first part exploring Alsace & Burgundy but would have preferred a more leisurely pace. It would have been fun to hike from town to town. I liked staying in Colmar and in Eguisheim. One night in Eguisheim was definitely enough but 3 nights would have been better in Colmar.

We loved Dijon and Beaune and the bike ride through the vineyards. Next time, we might find a house and stay for 1 week, exploring more of the little wineries in the region.

Barging the Saone and Seille was a lot of fun as well. Despite the annoying "dynamic pricing" policy and nickel and diming, in the end, Le Boat worked well as a rental company. Next time, I'll check Nicols ( and Locaboat ( and not be in such a rush to book, especially if we are traveling off-season. I would definitely recommend a group of 4-6 people. You really need 4 people to operate the boat and the locks. Any more than 6 would be too much unless you travel really well together.

Here were the towns on the rivers with their distance markers.

PK 215 St Jean de Losne
PK 187 Seurre
PK 167 Verdun sur le Doubs
PK 159 Gergy
PK 142 Chalon sur Saone
PK 123 Gigny
PK 112 Tournus
PK 106 La Seille Junction
PK 1 La Truchere
PK 13 Cuisery
PK 35 Branges
PK 38 Louhans

It was chilly at times but we only had 1 day of rain. 

As always, I brought just one roll-on suitcase. I had to bring 3 pairs of shoes--active shoes, rain shoes and sandals, which worked well for this trip. It was a casual trip with some active days. I didn't need any fancy clothes so they worked well. The rain shoes came in handy and were lightweight. I liked my pair of sandals for walking around the boat and going to the showers in the marina.

Next trip--Norway.

2015 10 04

Sunday, December 27, 2015


We had dinner at Restaurant Swiss Chuchi. We were looking for fondue and happened upon Swiss Chuchi while on our tour of the town. The restaurant is located at Rosengasse 10.

We started with a Mixed Salad for CHF 8.50. This was just greens with a couple of tomato wedges in a Balsamic vinaigrette.

In addition to fondue, there was raclette on the menu. Since it's unusual to find raclette in the US and I can find fondue at Trader Joe's, we decided to give raclette a try and ordered Raclette Nature for CHF 26.50. There was 180 g of sliced cheese with an assortment of baby corn, pearl onions, pickles, pear, tomatoes and mushrooms.

The raclette also came with a sack of potatoes.

Melt the cheese with the heating element on the table. Scrape the cheese over the potatoes and mix in some of the vegetables. It wasn't too exciting because the cheese didn't have much flavor. I should have stuck with the fondue.

2015 10 3

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Touring Zurich

From the airport, we took the train to the central station downtown. The train ride took only 10 minutes and cost CHF 6.60 one way. 1 CHF is roughly $1.

Bahnhoff--central train station. Across from the Bahnhoff is the Bahnhoffstrasse, Zurich's nicest shopping street. It connects the train station to the lake.

We walked down the Bahnhoffstrasse, down the Rennwig (the main road during the Middle Ages), 

to St. Peterkirche, whose steeple boasts Europe's biggest church clock.

Paradeplatz--busy traffic hub, home to major Swiss banks and the Savoy Baur en Ville hotel.

Looking across the Linnmat River, you can see the Grossmunster.

At the end of Bahnhoffstrasse is the Burkliplatz, a busy promenade overlooking Lake Zurich.

Lake Zurich

Grossmunster--cathedral completed in 1220 as a Neoclassical Church with neo-Gothic double towers.

Zurich Opera House, home to the Zurich Opera since 1891.

The Zurich Film Festival was taking place when we were there and one of the venues was the opera house.

2015 10 03

Friday, December 25, 2015

Zurich and Lunch at the Airport

We drove 337 km from St. Jean de Losne to Zurich. We hit traffic in Zurich so it took us nearly 3 hours. We dropped our luggage at the Best Western Airport Hotel then drove to the airport to drop off the car.

The Best Western was industrial but comfortable.

We decided to eat at the airport and found Nordsee at the food court.

Cod with Mushroom Sauce, rice and side of spinach. This was good but not quite worth CHF 17.20. In France, I could get a 3-course lunch for less than that.

Cod with side of tartar sauce, potatoes and spinach. Same price.

2015 10 03

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Last Day of Barging

We left Verdun sur le Doubs (PK 69) and cruised up the Doubs as far as Saunieres at PK 63. There wasn't much there so we turned around.

It was 20 km to Seurre, passing some beautiful houses on the riverbank.

We had 2 locks--the first at Ecuelles at PK 175 with a 3.2 m rise and our last lock at Seurre at PK 188, a 3.75 m rise. By now, we were pros at working the locks.

We arrived back at St. Jean de Losne

and the le Boat base. We were due to turn in the boat at 9 am the next morning and it was much easier for us to arrive in the late afternoon the day before rather than rushing to get in. Cleaning the boat was easy--strip the linens, sweep the inside of the cabin and spray down the deck. Otherwise, le Boat charged $105 for something that took us less than an hour to do.

2015 10 02

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hotel Trois Maures

Dinner that night was at Hotel Trois Maures. This was just across the street from the dock.

I had the Menu Escale for €29. This included a starter of fried fish.

Grenouilles (frog legs) for the main,

and a choice of desserts. I chose the profiteroles.

My husband had the Menu Gourmand, also for €29. He started with Salade de Magret de Canard et Foie Gras Poele (duck breast salad with slab of foie gras),

then had the Pochouse Verdunoise en Filet as the main. This was better than the pochouse he had for lunch when we came through Verdun the first time, but this was still not great.

He chose Creme Brûlée for his dessert.

2015 10 01

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Back to Verdun sur le Doubs

We had breakfast on board.

We had picked up Meringue Praline the day before. This was a local specialty in Tournus.

I must admit I wasn't a big fan of the meringue praline. It was crumbly and fell apart when you bit into it. It didn't have much flavor either. I liked the flan much better. The French flan is thick but not quite like a cheesecake.

We had our first lock of the day at Ormes. We entered with a huge river boat (Bijou) and Apres Tout--a small luxury boat that was fully crewed. It carried 6 passengers and cost $39,000 for 1 week. We were the poor stepchild in the lock.

It was 30 km to Chalon sur Saone and we ventured up the Canal du Centre. The 1st lock was inoperable so we turned around.

It was another 17 km to Gergy, 5 1/2 hours from Tournus. This was the mooring dock. Everything was shut down.

Everything in town was shut down as well. No restaurants and no lunch. Fortunately, we still had food on board.

It was a little over an hour to Verdun sur le Doubs. We docked at the same spot we had used when we stopped for lunch. Mooring fees for the night was €12.50.

We walked down Rue de la Republique and crossed the bridge over the Doubs.

This took us to L'ile du Chateau, The chateau was in disrepair and it was missing a roof. They were cleaning the grounds and burning leaves. There was a nice little walking trail through the woods.

We walked along La Petite Saone, 

then along the banks of Le Petit Doubs, 

and found the Hotel de Ville, now a bread museum.

2015 10 01

Monday, December 21, 2015

Lazzarella, Tournus

We spent the night in Tournus. We were craving something other than French at this point and just up from our docking site was an Italian restaurant. I wasn't expecting much from this restaurant, which looked like a diner, but it was excellent.

Lazzarella is located at 6 Quai de Verdun

Spaghettis Bolognaise--€8.50. The pasta was al dente and the sauce was delicious. It was so comforting.

Pates Carbonara--€10. This was also delicious. I was surprised that the egg yolk arrived on top of the dish rather than being mixed in but the flavors were great.

2015 09 30