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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cooking Papa, Mountain View

I just discovered that there's a Cooking Papa in Mountain View. It's located at 1962 W. El Camino Real.

Steamed BBQ Pork Bun. I did not like these. There was a weird flavor that I couldn't pinpoint. It tasted like the dough was exposed to bleach.

Steamed Turnip Cake. It was nice and soft but it could use a little more flavoring.

Deep Fried Squid with Spicy Salt. I won't order this again. The squid was chewy and the coating was bland. Plus, at $8.50, this was not a good deal.

Rice Noodle Roll with Sliced Boneless Fish & Cilantro--$5.65. I loved this. The cilantro worked so well with the fish--wonderful flavor.

Shrimp Wonton Soup--$7.75. There were a lot of wontons and they were plump with shrimp.

Chow Fun with Beef & Soy Sauce--$9.25. This was good but nothing special. Not greasy though.

Special Egg Tofu with Assorted Vegetables--$12.75. This was another of my favorites. The tofu was so soft.

Braised Eggplant and Pork Chop--$10.50. This was a new dish for me and I loved it. The eggplant was so soft but it didn't fall apart. The pork chops were flavorful.

Hong Kong Style Egg Puff--$4.25. Four large puffy dough balls. Fried but so light. The sugar coating was delicious. Pre-order when you order your meal--it takes a while to get it to the table.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Caldera, Ashland

We had to visit a brewpub while in Oregon. We were in Ashland and went to Caldera. They have 2 locations. Their larger one is at 590 Clover Lane.

The inside is lined with beer bottles from around the world. Apparently, it's the private collection of the owner. 

Sample tray of five 4-oz tastes for $7. Choose from over 30 options.

Bowl of Ashland Amber Beer Cheese Soup--$7. This was delicious! Creamy but not too heavy.

White Truffle Burger--All Natural Choice Angus Beef with Truffle Oil, Blue Cheese & Sauteed Mushrooms--$13. It's served with House Salad, Lemon Caesar Salad, Potato Salad, Kettle Chips or Cup of Soup. 

White Truffle Mac & Cheese--$12. This was good but not great. The sauce needed to be a little creamier. 

2015 09 06

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rogue Creamery & Lillie Belle Farms Chocolates

From Sisters, we headed to Medford. Just north of Medford is Central Point, home to Rogue Creamery & Lilli Belle Farms Chocolates.

Rogue Creamery is located at 311 N. Front Street.

They're known for their blue cheese. Yes, the Rogue River Blue is $43.99/lb. Fortunately, I like the Flora Nelle better--it's $25.99/lb. It has a very strong flavor and is slightly grainy.

My other favorite is the Smokey Blue--also $25.99. 

Next door is Lillie Belle Farms Chocolates, located at 211 N. Front Street. They're known for their Lavender Sea Salt Caramels--$2/each and Do Not Eat this Chocolate--dark and milk chocolate with ghost chilies, Aji Amarillo chilies and a splash of Chili Arbol. It's so hot but it's a nice burn.

2015 09 06

Sunday, September 27, 2015


About 30 minutes NW of Bend is the town of Sisters. This is a small town with about 2000 people.

The downtown is an adorable street full of shops.

It has a western feel.

Even the trash cans are adorable.

The most famous building in town--the original Hotel Sisters. It became Bronco Billy's Ranch Grill & Saloon but unfortunately closed in July 2015.

2015 09 06

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ariana, Bend

In Bend, we had dinner at Ariana, located at 1304 NW Galveston Ave.

This was a 2012 cabernet that got 90 points from Wine Enthusiast. It was only $29 on the menu so it was worth a try. It was pretty good.

Homemade bread.

We ordered the 5-course tasting menu for $65. This was the amuse bouche--Manchego cheese with honey and crushed almonds. 

Heirloom Tomato with Burrata & Basil. This was a great dish. The burrata was so creamy. Apparently, it came from California--Gioia Cheese Company.

Grilled Octopus, Salsa Verde, Fried Potato. This was a huge portion. The octopus could have been cooked a little better. It was slightly undercooked and a little chewy.

Jumbo Scallop in Cauliflower Bisque. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the cauliflower bisque with the little drizzle of truffle oil was delicious.

Duck, Creamed Corn, Crisp Brussel Leaves. The duck was well prepared but the corn texture detracted from the dish.

Peach Shortcake, Butter Biscuit, Cream. This was a small portion but just the perfect size for me. It was just enough of a bite to satisfy my sweet tooth without being too much. The butter biscuit was delicious.

2015 09 05

Friday, September 25, 2015

Shilo Inn & Suites

In Bend, we stayed at the Shilo Inn & Suites, located at 3105 OB Riley Road.

The room was large and the beds were comfortable. There was a refrigerator, a microwave & even a fireplace. 

We were upgraded to a river room view. It was a fabulous room in Building 4. 

We had a nice little deck overlooking the river.

There was an outdoor and an indoor pool. Room rate included a drink at the lounge (the wine came from a box and wasn't worth the calories) and buffet breakfast. There was a line to get breakfast on Sunday morning. There were eggs, sausages, pancakes, oatmeal, fruit and pastries.

2015 09 05

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Crater Lake

My sister-in-law had never been to Crater Lake so we made a detour on the way to Bend.

My mother-in-law had a Senior Pass--a lifetime pass to national parks and national wildlife refuges available to US citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older. Cost is $10. I can't wait until I'm 62 years old. What a great deal!

The Crater Lake Lodge is a historic inn in the park, open from late May to mid October. It's celebrating its centennial this year. There is a dining room--not quite as grand as the one at the Ahwahnee but it does have a great view of the Crater.

2015 09 05

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Leap of Taste, Klamath Falls

Just across the Oregon border is Klamath Falls. It has a population of 21,000 but the town is still tiny.

This downtown store sold everything: carpet, window coverings and wedding dresses.

There was a farmer's market on Saturday.

We stopped at Leap of Taste in the downtown area to pick up sandwiches.

They sold kombucha tea--fermented, lightly effervescent teas. It was actually pretty tasty but for some reason I kept likening it to chicha--a Peruvian fermented corn drink made with saliva. I couldn't drink much of the kombucha thinking there might be saliva in it.

I ordered the #3 at Leap of Taste--Italian Roast Beef, Aged Provolone Cheese, Olive Tapenade, Organic Krizo Horseradish, Organic Greens and Tomato--$7.95 for a whole sandwich or $4.95 for 1/2 sandwich. I thought it would be similar to Chloe's Roast Beef Sandwich but no such luck. The roast beef was overcooked and the olive tapenade did not work with the sandwich at all.

My husband ordered the #7 Reuben--sliced pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing on Rye bread grilled on the panini grill--$7.95 for whole sandwich or $4.95 for 1/2. This was delicious!

2015 09 05

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weed & Mount Shasta

We stopped in Weed to take a picture.

The classic entrance to the town of Weed. It's a tiny town with a population less than 3000.

Nearby is Mt. Shasta. The glacier on top seems smaller but there was a fresh dusting of snow. This is in early September!

2015 09 05

Monday, September 21, 2015

Luigi's Pizza & Pasta, Red Bluff

We took a road trip to Bend, Oregon with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. We stopped in Red Bluff and had dinner at Luigi's Pizza & Pasta, located at 75 Belle Mill Road.

It's a very casual place. Order at the counter and the food is delivered to your table.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce--hard to believe this huge portion was only $4.25. It was pretty good too. The pasta was cooked al dente and the sauce was delicious.

Beef Ravioli with Meat Sauce--$4.75. This was also quite good. You could also have cheese or spinach ravioli with marinara, Alfredo, pesto and Sicilian sauce.

2015 09 04

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pho Saigon City, Pleasanton

On the way home from Oxnard, we got hungry around Pleasanton. I searched on Yelp and found Pho Saigon City, located at 4275 Rosewood Drive, Suite 21.

Fresh Shredded Pork Roll--$4.75 for 2. Not bad but nothing special. Tasted like any other fresh spring roll at any other Vietnamese restaurant.

Small #6 Combo--$6.75. Rare steak, well done brisket, fat brisket, tendon & tripe. The broth was clear but so flavorful. The best thing though was the noodles. They were perfectly cooked. They were the best noodles I have ever had--al dente but not too firm.

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