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Babies vs. WaitStaff : Protecting baby at a Restaurant

26 Oct

Not surprisingly, I was stunned when the burning hot water from the tea mug drip-dripped onto my leg. As I moved back I was more concerned with hot liquid so close to my baby… my fear was realized as I saw the waiter put the same mug at the corner of the table within easy reach of my baby’s fast hands!

Unfortunately or not, my fear turned to anger quickly… I moved the tea as I looked up at the waiter, who had just finished apologizing and asking if I was OK. I couldn’t contain myself, “I’m fine, but you have really got to be more aware of hot liquids when you have babies at a table! Do not place hot liquids in front of a baby!!”
Our own server was at the ready for our order… I looked at her and reiterated my concern. Having children, herself, she assured me she understood! I took a breathe, looked at my hubs holding our baby and picked up the menu… but I still couldn’t concentrate and instead asked for a minute.

Just when I thought I was “OK” I realized that emotionally my nerves were frayed… my eyes teared up and when I looked at my sweet boy’s face, my eyes welled. I asked my hubs how he felt and he agreed with my actions.

You see, we were at a favorite breakfast place on the Peninsula of the Bay Area… we’d sat at this corner table before and I didn’t like that it was so close to the coffee/tea/hot water station. This morning I figured it was alright, since baby would be in a highchair at the other side of the table. Then we had this occurrence…

In other area restaurants I’ve had to address this concern, I was just helping the waitstaff become aware of serving/delivering hot dishes to a table with a baby sitting at it. After this occurrence, I will, indeed, continue to educate waitstaff on this particular safety issue!
We love going out to eat and we like to be respectful diners. We take it upon ourselves to ‘pick up’ after our baby when we are done eating, we strive to keep baby happy and if he’s fussy will take him for walk… we, also, move utensils and other items out of baby’s reach… there is, now, just one more aspect of eating out that we will be diligent with!

I write and share this blog post in the hopes of providing a bit of awareness to this topic for other parents and for the waitstaff that do not know how quickly kids can move and pull things off a table!

Take Care!

Thankfully, the waitstaff and management were not surprised at my reaction… they were understanding and generous in their offer to pay for our complete breakfast.

My Morning Coffee with SeriousMilk! TCHO Chocolate to the rescue!

14 Jul

If you have not had TCHO Chocolate yet.. then you are truly missing out!

If you live in the Bay Area and have not encountered this chocolatier yet… well… then, I’m just confused!

IF you have not had TCHO’s Mokaccino bar yet… then you are seriously doing yourself a disservice!

I first learned about TCHO Chocolate in La Jolla Whole Foods while we still lived in the San Diego area.  At that time, they were only offering their deliciously perfected Dark Chocolate… in which they work with the Cacao bean itself to create a pure, unadulterated flavor that highlights the origin of the bean! Mmmmm….

Then, they did a Milk Chocolate Beta Testing campaign… I was SO IN!
Very fun helping taste, compare, and rate the different Milks that they were putting together.
Mmmm… 🙂

Recently, I found myself cruising the Chocolate Aisle at Whole Foods as, I am want to do! 😉
And I see it… a NEW Chocolate Bar from TCHO… a Chocolate and Coffee Bar!
Since I knew Blue Bottle Coffee was nummy (I’ve had gelato made with it), I knew I just had to have that bar!

Fast forward to next morning… as I take a bite out of my new chocolate bar (as I’m want to do in the morning!) and BOOM! I knew I was correct… I. Had. To. Have. This. Bar!!!

Sooo…. If you find yourself hankerin’ for a Chocolate Bar consider TCHO Chocolate and ENJOY!
You might have a had time finding the Mokaccino bar though… as I’m on the hunt now!
“Serious Milk Chocolate + Blue Bottle Coffee” = YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lastly, if you want to take a tour of How TCHO Chocolate is made… they Do that!! WOW!


Shadowbrook Restaurant : Winner!

10 Jan

I love to cook… and, of course, I love to be recognized for my love of cooking!

So, when Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola, CA held their “1st (hopefully annual) Recipe Contest” I took the plunge!
AND… I won!
My winning Entree?
“Steel Cut Ris-Oat-O w. Mushrooms and Local English Peas”.

Shadowbrook Restaurant is a Capitola mainstay… an heirloom of a place, if you will… generations of people go there for special events and great food and general hanging out! So, I was honored that the Chef and other Judges loved my recipe enough to actually place it on their menu! Wow!

It’s located along the Soquel Creek in Capitola… to get to it, from the main road, one can walk a set of zig-zag stairs set into a lush backdrop or take an old-fashioned looking cable car! Fun!
Once at the door, you are greeted with a stone and wood multi-level restaurant… beautiful classic decor with some areas built-around huge, gorgeous tree trunks (I love that!) You can find yourself on various levels of the place… a long bar behind the front lobby; down a couple levels to wonderful water-view tables; in one of the private dining rooms for a special event; or even inside their nicely outfitted restrooms! 😉

My first encounter with Shadowbrook was in Spring 2012 for my birthday!
My mom was in the Bay Area for an conference and wanted to take Dano and I ‘somewhere special’ for my birthday (and congrats for my newly announced pregnancy! 🙂
Since her conference was to be held outside the Capitola area and we were driving her down and I’d heard of this great place from friends… I thought, ‘Hey! Let’s head there!’… she liked the idea, so I made reservations!
It was a lovely evening and the food was so great! Mmmmm!

I quickly came home and Liked Shadowbrook on Facebook… and I’m so pleased I did, because that is where I found out about the contest.
The Winner’s Dinner Reception was held in early-Dec… and it was a true delight to attend with my hubby and our sweet little baby!

I hope you, too, have a chance, someday, to make beautiful memories at Shadowbrook!


The Butterscotch Girl, The Butterscotch Girl, The Butter…… mmmmm!

26 Jun

HA! Can you tell I’m excited about this post by the title!?

Yep! We have found an amazing little indulgence in The Butterscotch Girl’s delightful concoctions!

We first encountered her and her sweet Dad… and cute, CUTE, Butterscotch-Mobile (a little tan bike with a front freezer section… kinda’ like old-timey ice cream bikes!) at Mobile Gourmet’s Fly Me to the Food.

It was all I could do to not order all three flavors… at that time she had Butterscotch, Orange Cardmom, Chocolate Mocha Experience… and she’ll even give you samples! 😉
We decided on Butterscotch (gotta taste the name sake!) and Chocolate Mocha Experience (gotta have the Experience!)
OH… nummy nummy!! 🙂 Sooooo good!
~ Orignal Butterscoth flavor actually kinda’ reminded us of a very rich, extra-creamy flan flavor.
~ Chocolate Mocha Experience is seriously just that, an Experince, that will have you humming ‘mmmm’ as you eat!

Well… we haven’t been back to the Fly me to the Food and so we haven’t gotten our Butterscotch fix!


As, I’m sitting at my, personally designed & created,  Heylani Jewelry booth on Thursday for Art Walk/Hot Harvest Nights in San Carlos…
I spy a few people walk by with TBG’s iconic butterscotch-filled tin with paper topper and wooden spoons… a childhood throwback to the days of ice cream out of a cup with wooden spoons!

I gasp, “The Butterscotch Girl is here!?”
… the response!?
“So good!” with eyes rolling up to heaven! 😉

I am so excited she’ll be nearby on the Thursdays I’ll be spending in San Carlos… because tasting her new creations is a must on my list!

If you live on the Pennisula… check out her Facebook page and TBG Site for info on flavors and places!

As always, Enjoy! 🙂

Max’s of Manila Restaurant, South San Francisco, CA

22 May

Mmmmmm…. This is the kinda’ filipino food restaurant I expect to eat at when we go out for Filipino Food!
Dano was so excited that we were going out for Filipino food he almost started bouncing up and down in the car! 🙂

Max’s Restaurant is an official Filipino place that opened in the 60’s in the Philippines… they have since opened franchised locations all around the islands and in the States. Lucky for us!! 🙂

Dano learned about this place from a pinoy co-worker… so happy he did! We’ve been to a number of filipino places in a number of cities… and always found something good, but left slightly dissapointed. WELL, that is not the case at Max’s… everything was a delight to savor! Mmmm mmm goodness!

We started out with Shanghai Lumpia… of course! Delish!
(Even though it was not GF, I had to give it a little try… though I’m on my way to learning how to make my own GF Lumpia Wrappers… ah! 🙂

Next was Sinigang! I LOVE making Sinigang at home… LOVE it… and I do use lots of lemon and tomoto!
So…when Max’s menu stated their Sinigang to be ‘sour’… I thought, ‘I might be able to handle it.’
Heck yeah I could!! It was SOOO delicious that I just kept eating the broth with the crab fried rice… Man, my mouth is watering  just writing about it. 😉

Add to the table their House-Specialty “Fried Chicken”… So moist and delish!
It is literally a Fried Chicken… whole bird fried up, as is, with no breading!!  That was pretty cool and therefore, it was GF.

We also had Pork Adobe, Green Tea (by Tazo), and Chicken Lumpia (for comparison, good but not as good as Pork.)

We ended our meal with the dessert, Baku Pandan… nummy!
Tapico pearls, Coconut shreds (Macapuno), Pandan Jello, topped with Pandan Ice cream and sprinkled with Toasted Rice. I like!

Of course, we had a lot of leftovers… which made Dano a very happy boy! 🙂

If there is a location near you… head on over… you will be glad you did! 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day! at Lisa’s Tea Treasures, Menlo Park, CA

13 May

I’m a sucker for yummy Afternoon Tea!

As I am now 4mths pregnant my fantastic hubby decided to indulge me for Mother’s Day!
So wonderful, he is! 🙂
He found a  wonderfully adorable place in Menlo Park, Lisa’s Tea Treasures.

Super duper cute tea-inspired ambiance, yummy fare, and great tea concoctions!
At our table was a jar of yummy biscuits (cookies), a sugar bowl with a sweet little blue bird shaped sugar lump, lemon curd, strawberry jam, and Devonshire cream*.

Dano ordered the Special Tea service and I ordered the My Lady Respite service.
He had White Pomegranate Tea – So wonderful!
I had Earl Grey Lavender – mmm, like a Spa in a cup!
This was the first time we’d been served tea with Tea Cozies… so cute and kinda’ funny! 🙂

It was nice that we received more than just tiny sandwiches and sweets…
We actually had a pleasant little lunch… with salad and cheese plate… that was followed by the tea sandwiches and scones…
lastly, we were presented with our pick of dessert from a lovely dessert plate.
Dano ordered the Chocolate Truffles (well, actually, he let me order those for him!)… mmmmmmmmm!!!!
(The server even fashioned the truffles with whipped cream & strawberry slice into a little ‘face’ on the plate!)
I ordered the Blood Orange Cheesecake… Delightful!

Such a wonderful afternoon tea… the servers were so nice, all moms were given a cute little ‘tea spoon’… and we were very satiated when we left!

* One Caveat :
They serve Devonshire Cream with Lemon Curd and Strawberry Jam for the scones.
Sadly, it was not the ‘proper’ Devonshire Cream we expected (thick and creamy), rather it was whipped and airy… it had the same taste, just not as ‘presence’ when placed on the scone.

Otherwise, PLEASE Enjoy!!! 🙂

Lastly, if you are a Flight of the Conchords fan… let me just quote from “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros”:
” ‘ Cause I rap about reality,
Like me and my grandma havin’ a cup of tea,
there ain’t no party, like my Nana’s Tea Party!”

Happy Mother’s Day to my sweet Mama! As well, as my cute Sissy with her new little 1mth old bundle of joy! 🙂

Food Truckin’ : Aviation Museum & Mobile Gourmet’s ‘Fly me to the food!’

27 Apr

The awesome phenomena of food truck ‘parties’ is new to me… since moving to the Bay Area, we’ve encountered many of these types of events.
Sure, I had food at food trucks in Portland… when it was still just a baby idea… that was fun! But, now, it’s such a big deal… food trucks are becoming a norm for lunch times and weekend jaunts! They serve a limited menu, which is just fine… given that you can’t get overwhelmed by too many offerings on one menu… but you can certainly feel the need to try a little bit of something from a few trucks!!

On Wednesday afternoons, at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos from 11am – 2pm, one can get a sampling of yummy foods from different food trucks… they are changed-up every week… so there’s a chance for a new ‘taste’ each week! This is within a short-distance to Dano’s work and our apartment… so he picked me up one Wed and we headed over to meet up with a few co-workers and snag some grub!

This event is coordinated by The Mobile Gourmet… check out their site for additional events, Friday nights, weekends, etc. AND a list of what trucks will be where!

I walked into the semi-circle of half-dozen trucks thinking I wanted ONLY something from the cheese truck… but then I was hit by all the ideas and smells and actually changed my mind altogether!

We first hit up Mama’s Empanadas… ordering a Veggie (Spinach & Feta) Empanada and a Chilean Beef Empanada with Olive Oil Rice. All of the food from this truck was fab!!
Though there was a bit of a wait… so while our food was prepared we head out in search of other grub.

We stopped at Saruno Burger… in search of a traditional burger… but quickly learned this was a Japanese Style Burger joint (I mean, Truck!) and we were highly intrigued by the Menchi Burger… a breaded & deep-fried ground beef burger served with sliced cabbage!?
The wait at this truck was … forever … sadly!
Though that burger was pretty yummy… I’m torn if the wait is worth the burger or not.

Lastly, we ordered Chicken Tikki Masala Sexy Fries from CurryUpNow…  I mean, come on, how could we not order something from a truck with a name like that!! 🙂
This food was prepared fairly quickly… and it was nummy! Criss-Cut sweet potato fries with the sauce and chicken poured over the top! A tiny bit on the spicy side, but not too bad for my tastes (I’m sorta’ wimpy about spicy food!)
PLUS, CurryUpNow has a coupon in the Chinook Book… may well be a truck we visit again! 😉

SO! Head out and enjoy! The weather’s nice and the trucks are out! 🙂


Eatin’ Out : Bacon Bacon SF, Food Truck

11 Feb

BACON Bacon!! I was a lucky girl on Wednesday… I got my Valentine’s Boutique early! 🙂 With a Bacon Boutique of 5 crispy pieces of glorious bacon for Lunch! Hee hee!
I know… not a ‘good for you lunch’… but it was, indeed, GOOD, I’m telling you! 🙂

We headed out to Redwood Shores in the search of the elusive Naked Chorizo Filipino Food Truck… spent 5mins driving around looking for it…  Finally we asked someone where ‘the food truck’ is… when we got to the point, there WAS a food truck but it was not the one Dano was so hoping for 😦
Nevertheless, as a bacon loving wifey (also paying for lunch that day), I pulled rank… and he had pulled pork… hee hee!!

We had a wonderfully bacony lunch!

Me = Bacon Boutique, as I mentioned
Dano = Triple B Tacos (Trio of Bacon and other pork meat, Belly & Butte)
Shared = Fries (YUM!)
No Veg, oops!
But No Soda either, just gallons of Water! HA! 🙂

Check out BACON BACON SF‘s website and see when they are going to be in a Bay Area location near you! Worth the visit at least once! 🙂

Eatin’ Out : Penny Ice Creamery, Santa Cruz

5 Feb


Delicious, Unusually flavored Ice Cream, made from scratch, in house, with local ingredients!  COOL!

We decided to end our first visit to Santa Cruz with a bit of ice cream from Penny Ice Creamery… so glad we did!

With flavors like Orange Star Anise, Creme Fraiche, Blackpepper Quince, and Honey Yogurt Walnut Jam… it’s difficult to stop yourself at just two flavors. When I have ice cream, I like to small bowl with 2 flavors that combine well together… thereby getting 3 different flavors!

In this case, I ordered Creme Fraiche and Orange Star Anise… Gourmet Orange Creamsicle!! 🙂
Dano ordered Chocolate Sorbet… what an Intense Flavor!!

On the menu they list where the local ingredients are from! I think the menu changes routinely!

The price is a bit steep… but for that rare treat… it’s indeed doable!


Eatin’ Out : Betty’s Eat Inn, Santa Cruz

21 Jan

This place is TOO awesome… I was drawn to it by its 50’s-style decor… I SO love that!

Then Dano and I fell in love with the Naughty side of Betty’s! 🙂

The sign is a sure sign of what’s in store : “Juicy Patties, Hot Buns!

We stepped into a burger joint that features fantastic art, typically conceptualized by Betty, herself…  and half a Silver Twinkie (aka : Airstream Trailer) along one side of the dining room!

We ordered Burgers, of course, a wedge salad, sweet potato fries, Coke, and a shake!
Every thing was wonderful… the fries were insane… the burgers were so surprisingly flavorful!
Since I ordered my cheeseburger without a bun, I kinda’ had a burger salad vs. the lettuce-wrapped ‘protein style’, I get elsewhere… regardless, it was Fab-U-Lous!! 🙂

The story on the menu is pretty insane itself, I had to ask if it was true… and was told that, indeed, it is Betty’s true story!

As for the naughty side of the menu!?
~ How about a little secret lube on your burger?
~ An “Adult” shake anyone?

I relish a fun, little naughty side any day! 🙂