Monday, September 22, 2014

Half Moon Bay Escape and Food & Beers at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Friday and Saturday were full of work prep (preparing for a new academic year) and life prep (cleaning, food prep, and pre cooking). While I was very busy and got up really early on both days, it felt great once everything was done. I truly believe that the time spent on getting everything organized is essential for life to go smoothly, and it ultimately affects everything from how you sleep to how you eat.

On Sunday, we got to escape to the coast up north to “get away from it all.” Andy had been invited to try the beers and food at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, and the kid and I got to tag along.

Andy got to sample all ten beers on tap and enjoyed them a lot.

We started our meal with the seafood duo: Ahi poke and ceviche with fried wontons and tortilla chips. The dish came with a fruit salsa, which went great with both the poke and the ceviche and was a wonderful palate cleanser when switching from the poke to the ceviche. I am usually not a big fan of fruit salsas, but this one was very nice as the onions and peppers in it provided a nice balance. I didn’t have any of the wontons or the chips, but Andy and the kid liked them a lot. Both the ceviche and the poke were outstanding, and the dish was the highlight of our meal.

For his main courses, Andy had the wild salmon, which was topped with the fruit salsa (a nice combo) and came with rice and veggies. Everything was tasty.

For my main course, I chose the green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette on the side (I ended up not needing it) topped with Dungeness crab and bay shrimp. There were big juicy pieces of crab meat, and the shrimp were very sweet and tasty. The salad had artichokes, mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, and cucumber slices, which, with the seafood, made for an instant dressing. It had the ingredients a salad on the California coast should have: wonderful produce and fresh, tasty seafood.

Early on I had spotted a flourless (and naturally gluten-free) chocolate torte on the menu and decided we had to try it. It was great, and a few bites went a long way.

We had planned to go for a walk after lunch. When we saw a farmers’ market nearby, we decided to stop by first. The kid had a great time taste testing all the different fruits, including pomegranate seeds.

Then we headed to the pier and the beach. It was 65 degrees and overcast – the perfect weather to recharge our batteries and get our daily steps. 

It was a great day with great food and effortless daily steps.

Questions: What was the highlight of your weekend? Sunday definitely made up for Friday and Saturday and all the prep work earlier in the week! Smile  What’s your favorite seafood? I don’t have crab meat very often but love it. It was great having it in the salad. Also, Ahi poke is one of my favorite seafood dishes, and the one we had was very good.

Be well,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mixx in Mountain View: Weekend Food Fun

On Friday, we were invited to have lunch at Mixx in Mountain View during its soft opening.

We went toward the end of the lunch service after we picked up the kid from school.

The meal started with warm bread and butter. The boys were excited since they don’t get to eat a lot of bread at home. Both said it was excellent.

Our appetizers were pork belly sliders, which were served on steamed buns. Since I can’t eat gluten, I didn’t try the bun but liked the slightly sweet sauce on the pork belly and especially the marinated vegetables on top. The kid gave them 10 “thumbs/fingers” up. Smile 

Andy ordered the steak frites, which was served with fries and a salad. I really liked the presentation of the fries in a little wire basket. The fries were served with a homemade ketchup, which was good but quite sweet. 

The kid got the croque madame, a giant grilled cheese and ham sandwich that is served with a poached egg on top. He enjoyed it a lot but couldn’t make a dent in it. The sandwich is definitely big enough to split between two people.

Finally, I got the kale salad. It was well marinated/massaged and had a generous amount of quinoa as well as feta cheese, dried cranberries, nuts, and fresh grapes. I very much enjoyed the kale salad. I like kale a lot, but I think even those who aren’t the biggest kale fans would enjoy this version as it’s well marinated, and the kale taste is therefore quite mild. The serving was huge. Two people could have a nice meal splitting one or two appetizers and the kale salad.

Andy enjoyed a Firestone Walker Union Jack with his meal and was excited that Mixx offers a selection of craft beers on tap as well as in bottles. There are also ciders on the menu as well as specialty cocktails. A big lounge area features big screen TVs as well as numerous games, including a shuffleboard. It looks like a fun place to hang out after work (for those of us who can….). 

Questions: What was the highlight of your weekend? Do you like kale? (Biz, you don’t need to answer this… Winking smile)This is the second kale salad I had in a restaurant in the last few weeks, and I enjoyed them both even though they were completely different. The one I had at Herbivore wasn’t massaged/marinated and the kale flavor came through a lot more. I think the version at Mixx is perfect for those who enjoy a milder kale flavor.

Be well,