Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Up in Mendocino"(Hemingway)

California Route 1, 19th St. in SF, is 2 blocks from Marilyn's brothers home. We again headed North, across the "Golden Gate Bridge", no toll going North, and by lunch time we were in the beautiful Anderson Valley, vineyards galore.
As usual we stoped at "Libby's" on Highway 128, in Philo CA, for lunch. Both Marilyn and I had some of her roast pork(Carnites), Marilyn's on a soft Taco while I had the whole platter. Libby has been cooking in the area for 17 years, first at the Booneville Hotel and then in her own place for the last 11. It is the best and most authentic Mexican that we get. This cuisine is not high on either of our wish list.
That evening, in the Mendocino area we took the whole family to "La Petite Rive" 7750 N. Highway 1, Little River CA-707-937-4945. The restaurant is about 1 year old and this was our first exposure. It is our son's new favorite. The location, just of the highway, in a shared building with the Post office, in a convenient but not outstanding. There is a view of the ocean from a couple of tables. The have two seating's, 5:30 and 8, we went early, and hold about 25 customers. The meal is priced fixed, $36.50, a head, and has about 5 courses. It is a very bold venture, which in my opinion doesn't quite come off.
Our server was quite new and knew nothing about the wine list, which is compact and not cheap. I settled on a blend from some of the local vineyards which was satisfactory but at $15 per glass on the pricey side. My main course was rack of lamb, 2 ribs, while Marilyn had Petrolie Sole, one of her favorites. Others had everything from Beef to Pasta. A starter, salad, palette cleanser, main course and desert are all included with drinks extra. The service is very slow and the late seating occupied the parking lot while we had desert.
The next day, was our Granddaughter's High School Graduation. Lilly goes to the Mendocino Community School, a small alternative high school where the very bright and the uninterested, in formal education, work side by side in almost individual education. Her class was 22 and next year the graduating class will be 4. You get the idea.
The whole family met for lunch in Ft. Bragg at the Ft. Bragg Brewing Company and had a marinade of different salads, sandwiches and side items. Graduation started at 6:30 so Marilyn and I caught a burger at "Peterson's Pub" in Mendocino before hand. The ceremony, very informal, lasted about 3 hours. Anyone in the community who wants can say something about each graduate. Quite a few in the, very informal, audience bring books, puzzles, knitting etc.
Our last day, Friday, our son, his wife, Marilyn and I had lunch in Ft. Bragg at "Nit's" on route1. "Nit's is a very small, 6 tables, one person operation, possibly a helper at times, where a young Asia women does the cooking an serving. All items are made to order and are excellent. Marilyn had a very large Oriental salad, I had spicy seafood and our son had sweet and sour Halibut. It was a great lunch and I go as often as we are in the area. That evening, before we headed out, to spend the night, on the way to the Airport, we had dinner with Lilly at her favorite, "Viraporns Thai Cafe" 16801 Highway Rd, Ft Bragg CA. This restaurant is in a space across the street from a Motel and is much larger than the original which was in "Downtown" Ft. Bragg. It has been Lilly's favorite for many years and she always has the Pad Thai, as did Marilyn. Having had a large Asia lunch I ordered Pineapple fried rice and found it a portion I could handle along with a Thai beer.
Then it was on to the Hampton Inn and the next morning a flight back to Cincinnati. A wonderful 10 days almost all of which has been duly reported.

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