Greetings dear readers! What a freakin weekend we had! Rollins on Friday night, Burlesque on Saturday night and then the Celebration of Wine on Sunday! How in the heck did I suddenly develop a social life? Unthinkable!
Henry that I’m screwing up the courage to send off. The show was really, really good. Without ruining album sales, let’s just say that he catches you up on his life over the past year or so and gives you some fun insights into his recent TV roles. And seriously, if you have seen one of his shows, stick around and meet the man. He’s nothing but kindness. And he brings his own Sharpie! Now if I could only have convinced the Phyllis Diller of punk rock to get her bewbs signed. Can’t win ‘em all I guess.
Valley Burlesque Society doing Wonderlesque, featuring Cap’n Scurvy’s Fantastical Armageddon Tea Party. What a show! The beer flowed, the ladies pranced about in their most beauteous choreographical manners and the Cap’n dazzled the crowd with the miraculous powers of his fantastical tonics. But then some horribly perverted rabbit flasher showed up! I don’t think I can ever eat carrots again. And all on the Cap’n’s birthday. At least he’ll have those pasties to keep him warm through the night terrors.
A Celebration of Wine (ACoW). But since there will be 32 different food vendors on site and nothing more liver-bashing than wine, I think we can make it.
Chef Delaney Boling from Valley411.com fame. And here I’m reminded the differences between a cook and chef. First off, it’s a gorgeous spread. Great cheese table, bruschetta bar, yakitori skewers, fresh chilled fruit, a slider station with burgers AND pulled pork. But what really rang my bell were his kebabs. First off, the meat was salami. I’ll say it again, the meat was SALAMI! Sound weird? I know, but it was insanely good. Especially in concert with the balsamic and onion marinade. Macerated onions in a marinade? Seems simple, but it was a revelation to me. Plus, it did amazing things to the green bell peppers on the skewers. Normally I dislike the overly bitter taste of the greens and prefer reds or orange. But something magical happened during the marinating process where all of the bitter was drawn out of the pepper and was replaced with a mildly tart and sweet flavor. Like it was a mildly pickled carrot. Chased down with a little Fresno State chardonnay and we were fuelled for exploration!
Cupcake Vineyards. And hosannah! They’ve got a Riesling! Happy happy happy! Joy joy joy! And suddenly it occurs to me. There is a metric fuckton of good vintners here! I don’t have to drink “everything”. I’m not even a wine snob! And even though they’re good, I’m fairly certain that Chateau Marmot isn’t here, so I ain’t missing a Rothschild or anything. I can pick and choose what to drink! I can just have a Riesling day! Well…maybe not totally. It’s a rarer wine to find than a chard or a cab. But from here I decided that I was going to stick to odd wines rather than swill any red or white that came my way. And it worked out quite well. There were 3 Rieslings that I could find, along with a couple very sweet muscat wines. The blended muscat by Ramos Torres was lighter and not quite as cloying. But the pure muscat by Quady was still very tasty. Would be a perfect dessert wine, or even poured over some ice cream with some sliced grapes or muscat raisins. Some of the varietals were really interesting. There was a really subtle Grenache and an insanely spicy Barbera at Two Friends winery’s booth. And when I say spicy, I mean burn your mouth for a couple minutes after your sip. But not in a bad way. It was like it had been decanted with hot peppers or something. Strange, but really good. There were others to be sure. But there’s food out there to rant about, so with no further delay.
Erna’s Elderberry House. Easily one of the most expensive spots to eat in the area and one that carries a big reputation. I’ve run into the guy during midweek shopping trips to the farmer’s market. Seems fairly pleasant in general. So, we’re served by a lovely lady at the booth. And already I’m giddy. For, I see a beautiful terrine of duck on a wee thin crouton. Out of everything else served that wasn’t cold cuts. This was the only spot that served the One Perfect Bite. I know, I know. It’s pretentious as hell. But for the prices that they charge at the restaurant, I want some fucking pretentious. And hot damn in a preacher’s drawers is it pretentiousing all over my mouth. Smooth duck liver and chives, lightly chilled. The crouton is a bit soggy. But, it’s a cattle call here. There would be no realistic way for them to make them all to order on site. But I’ll say this, they’ve enticed me enough that I very well might try their Broke-Dick $40 Menu. $100 a head is still too rich for my blood. And with my luck it’d be the Celebration of Onions menu.
Cracked Pepper Bistro and Scott Sauer from Max’s Bistro. Vatche brought out the CPB’s demonic dessert of decadent delight that they simply call bread pudding. What a cruel bastard! He KNOWS that if I start eating that, I’ll go back for more and be so stuffed that I won’t be able to try any of his competitor’s food! Wicked, evil, Chef Vatche! You must be spanked!
Roe booth. Man, if those girls actually WORK there, I’ll cruise there for sushi before I bother with overpriced wings at Boobers. Yow! Plus they had some nice, well chilled California rolls and some cute little bite sized apple chicken salad wraps. Certainly one of the lighter snacks of the day and rather refreshing in the Fresbergian heat. Bella Pasta’s spread was ok I guess. Their orzo pasta salad was pretty good. The potato salad was…potato salad. But their bowtie pasta was a trainwreck! Uncovered, dry, no flavor. I’ve got no idea what they were going for, but I would have tossed those last dregs before I served them to someone, in hopes that it would draw them to eat at my restaurant. They get a big Fail on that one. Although, they were one step ahead of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos and several others who just outright ran out of food in the first hour. Nothing makes you feel like a valued potential customer like an empty booth and a sign. Dammit a fish taco sounded hella good on a hot day like this. Guess I’ll just have to learn to make my own. Nyah!
Bravo Farms, who has an AMAZING sage cheese. Insanely good with scotch. And Fiscalini Cheese Co., who brought a strong Cabernet washed cheddar and also made a sexy ass horseradish, cheddar, sour cream dip. Oh my god, that was the shiznit! Fresh horseradish and their really sharp cheddar cheese with just enough sour cream to bind it to a pretzel. You can blow your onion dip out your ass Mabel! There’s a new queen of the Super Bowl party!