Sorry about the title of this post; I simply couldn’t resist the silly joke from Austin Powers. hehe. Anyway, now that I’m done with the Japan posts, my next goal is to breeze through the rest of 2009 as quickly as possible. Who needs to live in the past? Not me! Plus, with my ailing memory, it’s frankly very difficult for me to remember what I ate last night, let alone the food I had months ago.
In the beginning of October, I flew to Charleston, SC to attend J&N’s big fat Greek and Southern wedding. Charleston is renown for its cuisine and the weekend was full of culinary delights! On Friday, J’s mom and sisters hosted a Bridal Tea at The Thoroughbred Club. On the menu: open-faced finger sandwiches, scones and crumpets, tea cakes and more! Everything was so elegant; I really felt like I should’ve been wearing a big ol’ hat with a gigantic bow. In the evening, the rehearsal dinner was held at High Cotton. The highlight for me was the bacon-wrapped shrimp hors d’œuvres – YUM. Dinner was good too, with a creamy crab bisque, chicken with mushroom sauce (chicken marsala?), steamed asparagus, and rice and beans. I was really full but managed to have a few bites of the tasty praline cheesecake.
At the pre-reception cocktail hour at the Francis Marion Hotel, I helped myself to delicious Firefly sweet tea vodka + lemonade cocktails, which J had introduced me to back in August at her bachelorette weekend. There was a salad (no photo), followed by a filet mignon AND crabcake with asparagus (so good), and wedding cake (also very good, though again, no photos. Sorry — the Firefly must have kicked in. haha.) It was a fabulous wedding weekend! I had so much fun with catching up with friends from grad school and hanging out with the bride and groom and their warm, welcoming families. Congrats J&N!
In the middle of October, I celebrated another birthday. The theme was “let’s pretend we’re 10 again!” Following lunch at In-N-Out, we went to play putt-putt, laser tag, and arcade games at the Scandia Family Fun Center. Everyone got High School Musical goodie bags and the winning team at mini-golf went home with mini/airplane bottles of liquor. (Hey, just because I was pretending to be 10 again didn’t mean I was gonna give up adult fun too!) In the evening, we went to the Albatross for Pub Quiz, which was a lot of fun even if my team (High School Musical: The Team) didn’t win.
A few nights later, M&K took me out for a birthday meal at Trattoria La Siciliana in the Elmwood neighborhood of Oakland. It’s a great little Italian place that does family style meals and is cash only, FYI. We started with freshly baked Italian bread and the house dipping oil (so good). Then we had the stuffed zucchini (delicious!), followed by mushroom ravioli (best ever), chicken and potatoes in tomato sauce (just so-so, not pictured), and broccoli rabe (very good, not pictured). For dessert, we got the chocolate cake which never disappoints. An excellent meal!
Also in October, KH and I visited the then-newly opened Burger Bar, one of the restaurants owned by chef Hubert Keller. I ordered the Black Jack burger, an Angus beef patty with Monterey Jack cheese and olive tapenade ($13.75). The burger was good but not great. The tapenade was an interesting twist, but the beef was sorta tasteless. As for the fries — I’m totally serious and I don’t mean this as an underhanded compliment — they are as good as McDonald’s fries, thin and fried perfectly. KH’s burger was much tastier, in my opinion. She got the Kobe beef burger ($16) which was super juicy and tender. Instead of regular fries, she opted for the sweet potato fries, which were also very good. Service was quite slow but I assume that it was because they had just opened and were still working out the kinks. Hubert Keller was actually there to ensure that his new restaurant was off to a good start. I took a photo of him from afar because I was too shy to approach him, and also because he looked pretty busy, so I didn’t want to disturb him.