Thursday, August 25, 2016

Veuve Clicquot Rich Events in San Francisco

Will you be joining us to taste the new Veuve Clicquot Rich this Sunday? Join us for hosted tastes, a special brunch menu by our new Executive Chef, Glen Schwartz, specialty cocktails, complimentary Benefit Cosmetics mascara minis with bottle purchases and a day of playing corn hole and jumbo Jenga.

Veuve Clicquot Rich is the mixologists' champagne that is sweet and pairs well with citrus, tea and basil on the rocks. I personally enjoy it with pineapple. DW's Bar Manager, Wes, has created special cocktails in the colors of the PRIDE flag and named after known neighborhoods in France for July's event and after San Francisco neighborhoods for the event this Sunday. Please join us!

Sunday, August 28, 2016
11 AM - 3 PM

Dirty Water
1355 Market Street (inside the Twitter Building)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Book your reservation via OpenTable

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Happy Birthday, Papa Bear!

A special blog post to my Papa Bear on his birthday! I surprised him by showing up at his door with a bouquet of balloons and a six-pack of Maui Brewing Bikini Blonde beer. He said he was happy to see me and my stepmom said thank you for surprising him because he was happy.

I arrived Friday late morning, have visited a few of their favorite local spots for pupus, beer and happy hour and roamed around Lahaina. We shopped, went to the beach, swam in the warm water, watched our 49ers together like we used to and chit chatted about everything. Including how he was raised in poor neighborhoods in the Philippines and how he has come so far. What an inspiration. As it's a tradition, we will be going to Longhi's for his birthday dinner.

2014 at Longhi's
I enjoy our time together since he has moved here. He does come to the mainland often but he has his things to do like I do. We try to see each other often. The last time I visited them at their house in the East Bay, I fell asleep. Owning your own business is a lot of work!

I leave tomorrow morning and will immediately be getting to work for a private party. I am glad I came out to surprise my Papa Bear. It was so worth it.

Happy Hour at Merriman's in Kapalua

Balloons from Kahului Florist Inc.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Beer Log - August 2016

To go hand in hand with this month's blogging goals and continue from other Beer logs (April 2016), here are beers I have tasted in the month of August. These should also be logged in via Untappd. Let's be friends!

Moylan's Irish Stout
Out of Novato, Ca. 

National IPA Day
Spent it at DW in San Francisco, CA

Mike Hess Grapefruit Solis in The Pigeon cocktail at DW.

Longboard Island Lager
Kona Brewing Company

Had a couple of these with family at our family reunion in Fallbrook, CA. I remember sitting at the dining table and asked my sister to 'Show me your things' aka the bottle of beer so I can post it on Untappd and this blog of course. I have had Kona beers before, even had it at the Honolulu Airport.

Campfire Stout
High Water Brewing

August 10th was National S'mores Day. DW had a this beer on tap to celebrate. It's not what I expected but I partook of the day.

Wookey Jack
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

This is a favorite of our Brewer. He loves this beer. Finally tried it.

Castle Beach Kolsch
Santa Cruz Ale Works

For my nephew's 5th birthday, I joined the family at their cabin and went to The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. After a day of trying Deep Fried Oreos and Twinkies, riding the log ride and wrapping my Ariel towel around me when it started to get cold, we needed to pick up some food. We didn't want pizza and Italian sounded good for me. I found Cafe Mare on Yelp and directed Christy. We spot it across the street and it was so Bernadette. Nicely lit, it looked a little fancy and not for kids. After debating if we should actually get food there, we finally did and Christy and I with Arya, my 2-year-old niece went inside to place an order to go. While there, a really good looking guy from the kitchen came out twice to the bar area. Holy moly! Who was that?!? Auntie Bernie was distracted.

Food was going to take a bit and Christy and I decided to split a beer. We went with the Kolsch. I thought something light and flavorful would be best. Christy enjoyed it and almost convinced me to get another one. When our food arrived and the bill came, I asked our Bartender who the good lookin' fella was. "That would be Patrick. He's returning to Poland soon." I left my card asking him to come to San Francisco before he left. He texted me the next day. I'll leave the story at that. Point being, delicious beer, delicious-lookin' Pastry Chef.

Off Leash
Crux Fermentation Project

While in Boulder Creek, CA, Christy's neighbor came back from Oregon and brought her two beers for her to try, this Off Leash and the Apocalypse IPA (see below). This beer was pretty damn good. Christy agreed with me. Hey, Oregon, not bad!

Apocalypse IPA
10 Barrel Brewing Company

Off Leash > this IPA. Christy and I have the same taste. But nice to try another one from Oregon.

Big Swell IPA
Maui Brewing Company

Surprising my father in Maui, I decided to get him a bunch of balloons and tie it to a six pack of his favorite beer, the Bikini Blonde, by Maui Brewing Company. I bought him a bouquet of balloons and a few gladiolus flowers. I asked them where I could pick up some beer and the ladies directed me to Long's. They didn't have many local beers but they did have the Bikini Blonde and only one 6-pack left. I picked it up! I also picked up a 6-pack of the IPA.

The surprise went really well and he was happy that I was there. We went to Pi Artisan Pizzeria and they had both of these beers on Happy Hour. I had the Big Swell IPA and it was tasty. It was great to be with family, have a beer in my hand, delicious food and a view of the water and neighboring island. And as I write this, I cracked open up a can and hung out at the house while watching the Olympics.

Eeh Pah IPA
Waikiki Brewing Company

My father and stepmom have their spots on Maui. We went to Kaanapali Grille and Tap Room for Happy Hour. It was on a Marriott property and another terrible view of the ocean. Yes, that was sarcasm. My father had the blonde and I had the IPA. Shocker. It was pretty good and helped cool us off on a warm day.

Which of these beers have you had? 
Have you been to any of these places?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Emil Villas & Tomadochi - Hayward, CA

A BBQ and sushi joint consisted of my meals on a day of going to the gym and running errands in Hayward, CA. I have my family reunion next weekend in Fallbrook, CA and I had to put the finishing touches on some things. From the gym to Target with a Jamba stop (which has a PokemonGo promotion like us at DW,) I worked up an appetite.

I pass Emil Villa's California Barbeque restaurant every time I go to the gym. It has probably been a good 10 years since I've been there. I also remember meeting a family member of the owners of this spot while hiking .... in Fremont. I joked that breakfast was on her. Apparently she didn't think it was funny. Ok, keep hiking, Missy.

They have ample parking along with a sign that says they are not responsible for theft or damage that occurs in their lot. Pass the neon beer signs in the windows, you'll enter and get hit in the face with some warmth from the kitchen. Like any diner, they have booths, a television playing soccer and a long counter with swivel stools. You know where I sat if you read my post on Orexi in San Francisco.

I was greeted with a menu and I asked for a water. Post gym, I need to stay hydrated. Looking over their many items, I was looking for something unique and out of the ordinary and silly me, I overlooked their house scramble with Jack cheese, sausage and veggies with your choice of sides. I ordered that with hash browns and their house sourdough bread. 

A gent came in and sat to my left, ordered to go. The solo gent to my right had the standard two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. I studied their menu a bit more and read the history of the restaurant as the heat and fumes from the grill across from me began to soak into my hair and clothes. A woman behind the counter was obviously pregnant. Is that safe that she's breathing  all that?

A plate was placed in front of me and it was full. And then it was taken away from me. The same dish belonged to another guest. No big deal. I didn't touch it. When my plate arrived, I was excited. It looks really good even with the very apparent oil around my scramble. I dig in and asked for ketchup and Tobasco for my hash browns. I'm not big on sausage but I'm open minded and ended up picking out the pieces before I asked for a to go box. My favorite part of the fish was the bread. If I could live off of bread and butter and not get fat, I would! I love it when toast is made on a flat surface grill. I ate it all. Except for the crust of course. I just don't like the crunch! I should have asked for the hash browns to be crispy but I failed to do so. It was a $15 breakfast with tip. And part of breakfast the following day.

Errands will leave you hungry and I was not going to cook that evening. It was almost five o'clock and I wanted to eat something healthy. A Mexican restaurant was across the street from Target and I have eaten there before post workout mad got a grilled salmon. But sushi is always a good decision. Even though I have been to Tomadachi several times, I have never took photos or blogged about it. More Hayward offerings content for my blog! Sizzler is located in the same parking lot and Pandora ads promoting their new salad bar was also an option. No, I'd probably just keep ordering their cheese bread. I better not.

I sat at the long sushi bar as usual and pulled out my Whisk(e)y Distilled book. I was almost done with it! The dining room was open with tables for large groups that require you to take off your shoes. The small bar of maybe four seats had the television playing news and not the Olympics surprisingly. I went with my usual roll, the Fire & Ice and a Sunomono. The chef behind the counter was very friendly and took my order when he saw that I was ready. I was presented with edamame and a hot, wet towel to clean off my hands.

My Roll came out just as expected, my Sunomono was beautifully presented and they weren't skimpy with my requested ponzu sauce. I ate everything, including the two slices of watermelon! Well, except for half of the complimentary tray of edamame.

The staff was friendly, the restaurant is kid-friendly and the menu has quite a bit to select from. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2016

National IPA Day 2016

There seems to be a National Day for a bit of everything, isn't there? Yesterday, August 4th, was National IPA Day. I'm a new beer fan and have grown very fond of this kind of beer. Though slacking a bit on this #MyNextLevel challenge, I partook of the day especially since beer is basically my current month's blogging goal. In doing so, I got this badge on Untappd.

Along with this badge, I also received a level up of the Wheel of Styles and Hopp'd Up badges. I do like to try a variety of different styles to see what I like. And as mentioned, I am a new lover of IPAs. I like hops. Where my friend, Erika, is the opposite. People like different things and it's ok. There's a market for everything. She likes her gin and tonics.

I went with a flight of tastes, not a whole pour. With 52 beers on tap, we have quite a few IPAs to choose from. I selected the Georgetown Brewing, Mike Hess Brewing, Marin Brewing Company and Social Kitchen & Brewery.  My bartenders at DW tried to get Erika to try the Mike Hess Grapefruit that is used in our newest beer cocktail, The Pigeon. She wasn't sold. I think she hasn't found the right one yet. It's out there and breweries are producing new beers all the time.

With the beers, I tried our new Happy Hour and Late Night menu items - a lamb belly slider and truffle fries. Bye bye, Diet...for the day.

Lamb Belly Slider & Parmesan Truffle Fries
I watched Brewing in Brooklyn via Amazon Prime Video. It's nice to know that the town had a brewery on every corner. Once prohibition hit, that changed. Nowadays, breweries are popping back up. I can't say I've had a beer from New York that I know of. But I will now be on the look out. Perhaps  I'm a bit biased, but I feel I need to know what's in my own backyard so I usually pick beers made by local breweries. I do have to go back to New York. It's been maybe 8 years and I only had six hours in Manhattan. Not enough time.

Well, cheers! Hope you had a great beer in hand on IPA Day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Taylor Mountain & 3rd Street Aleworks

It seemed like it was Friendship Week recently. Nikki B. and I have been friends for some time now. I thank my Aunt for connecting us as I need someone hardworking and reliable for a big wedding I was planning. Since then, we've made it a point to see each other at least once a quarter and a list of things to do in my area, the East Bay, and in her's, the North Bay. We've covered a lot and I look forward to making talks of traveling together become a reality.

This visit to Rohnert Park was to see her new house which has the opportunity to make her and her boyfriend some rental income. Oh yes, it definitely helps! I got a full tour and how lucky for them to have a yard for their dog, Whiskey, and Bevo to play in. Bevo has condo living down but it would have been nice to have a yard for him. Score, Whiskey!

We then hopped in her new ride with the pups and headed to Taylor Mountain for a hike. I woke up late and was tardy by an hour. By then, the sun was beating down and Bevo had a tough time. He needed many breaks and lots of water. Normally he won't drink out of a bowl that isn't his. Either he is completely out of shape or it was just too hot. We didn't go very far but I agree, it was hot. How cool that you hike by cows and horses also walking the trail. I guess I need to make sure Bevo gets more exercise. He'll be seven this year. He still acts like a puppy.

After every hike, I always crave a beer. Third Street Aleworks was doggie friendly and we sat outside. Other guests came by and asked to pet our furbabies and they loved it. We ordered the flight of 'all the beer' as my Brewer would say. The flight arrived on a long wooden board with circular placeholders for each. My favorite was the oatmeal stout and the Oh Snap! Sour Red.

Nikki had the very stuffed fish tacos and I indulged with the bacon and blue cheese burger with garlic fries and a side salad. I enjoyed their mustard seed vinaigrette dressing and the burger was delicious.  It is exactly how I like my burgers and its been a long time since I've had one. The garlic fries were tasty too but nothing compares to Gordon Biersch's. I also tried McDonald's Gilroy Garlic fries but they are too soggy. Their original fries are perfect as the are. Thanks for offering something different, McD's, but I'd stick with the OG. 

Whiskey, being the Wine Country dog that he is, had a blueberry over a cookie, as if it were cheese and charcuterie on a cracker. Too cute and so well-trained. He was a rescue and Nikki says he has come a long way. Consider rescuing your next four-legged addition to the family.

It was a good day up North with wonderful company. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

National Night Out 2016

Tonight was my second National Night Out at my condo complex in Hayward. I have lived here for many years but have never gotten involved in the community. I should. National Night Out brings neighbors and law enforcement together to ask questions, interact with the men and women in uniform and other people in the community. The annual event is scheduled for the first Tuesday of August, with exceptions in states such as Texas. The organization encourages communities to come together and work with each other. From their website, it appears 38 million neighbors in 16,000+ neighborhoods have come together tonight. I was one of them.

As I was in the middle of the opening of DW, I didn't attend last year's event. I received the flyer for this event and I made it a point to attend. I am always wanting to meet new people and I might as well actually put a name to the face of people I see when I walk the Beeves. 

Two years ago, we had two fire trucks on site plus police officers. Sara, a neighbor of mine, and I got to sit IN the firetruck and wear fire hats. I had the pleasure of getting a picture with five firemen. Note to self, dig up that photo! I also signed up to be one of two Dog Walk Watchers. It was a program within National Night Out to train neighbors with dogs to 'effectively observe and report suspicious activity. I have always done that so I'm not sure training was necessary. I went to one other community event in Hayward after this event but it didn't continue. 

This year, we had a few police officers, a great number of our community in attendance and it was nice to chit chat with neighbors I see only in passing as I walk Bevo. There were ice breaker games, plenty of room, pizza, salad and too many desserts. No firemen this time. Darn.

Many residents have an issue with neighboring homeless, car break-ins, mailbox theft, etc. They spoke with police officers that were present on what they do about clearing the area. I asked what is the city doing about the homeless in general? Clearing them out will only temporarily fix the problem. Neighbors responded that the city has many options for the homeless (which I'd like to look into) but recipients need to be clean, as in not high, in order to take advantage of the services. So are drugs the main problem? Their accessibility? Depression? Bullying? Bad parenting? I would say all are problems and no matter how or where the problem begins, an effort must be done.

What am I doing about it? Goodness. So many causes to think of. I think education is the best place to start. People are never too old to learn something and children's brains are like sponges. I think education sparks motivation and enlightens us all. I am personally always attempting to better myself. I cannot participate in a political debate and I can't tell you the entire roster of our San Francisco Giants, but I can tell you that what I do know has gotten me to where I am today. And the best part is, I want to do more! I would like to think of myself as a mentor for young women and a motivator for people that want to have a better life. If I could make a difference in someone's life, I would.

To take it a step further, I will find how exactly I will be making a difference in my own backyard where I call home. I just signed up as a member of the Hayward Area Historical Society tonight. Practice what you preach, right? I have not been to the museum around the corner and now I can get in for free. The books they have on the history of the area was interesting to see displayed during my visit to The Cannery Cafe recently. I did want to pick one up but I remembered my July blogging goal of reading more. And I still have a tall stack on my nightstand of items to read. I look forward to visiting the museum soon and knowing much more about the land I have lived on for almost 15 years. I hope to become even more inspired to make a difference in my community.