Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Burger Wars, Week 1: Big Buns & Lucky Strike

Big Buns, NoVa:
As we walked into the restaurant, we were reminded of five guys - but a slightly more upscale version of the similar burger joint. The walls are decorated in bright greens and the wood tables are complimented by casual booths. The menu posted above the counter explains how to order.

Step 1 cautions: "Choose Wisely". Choose wisely indeed. We ordered up the burger and the mahi mahi. You are also given the choice of portabello mushroom or chicken. The surprise of the evening turned out to be the grilled mahi mahi. It was moist and flaky on the inside, and nicely charred on the outside. The burger was cooked all the way through, no pink to be seen, and a tad greasy. It was tasty, but mostly because of the delicious toppings. Not my ideal burger.

Step 2 asks that you choose to have your protein "on a bun or in a bowl" (of romaine that is). We opted to go with the bun, the burger on their brioche roll and the mahi mahi on the wheatie oat. The wheatie oat was a little dry in my opinion. The brioche wins out - it was soft and held up rather well to the grease and condiments. However the mahi mahi or the portabello might do nicely on a bed of lettuce (for those feeling the need for something lighter).



Step 3 tells you to "top it off". A wide variety of toppings are offered: from caramelized onions, mango salsa, and grilled pineapple to the more traditional tomato and pickles. We topped the burger with cheddar, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and caramelized onions. We loved the sweet caramelized onions, which worked well with the tangy honey mustard. The mahi mahi was topped with sweet pineapple and crunchy bermuda red onions - a refreshing way to eat this fish.

Step 4 they lose a little creativity, simply titling it: "Big Buns special sauces and dressings". I understand it can be hard to be creative! The burger got their signature honey mustard and the mahi mahi got the sweet chilli vinagrette on the side. We were glad we waited to pour that on our fish. This sauce was cloyingly sweet. The fish was sweet on its own, especially with the pineapple. The honey mustard had a lil tang and just the right amount of sweetness. I would definitely go with this again. Our fries came with a side of the chipotle pesto aioli. This sauce is deliciously creamy, with just a slight kick. It went beautifully with our crisp fries, and would compliment any burger nicely.

(sweet potato fries!)

Step 5 "Sides, Drinks, Shakes & Malts" - simple enough right? We were torn between the shake and the fries, but ended up going for the sweet and regular potato fries. We had heard great things about there thin sweet potato fries. These were the winner of the evening. If you love sweet potato fries, these are some of the best I've ever had. They are cooked to perfection, thin and crisp. The regular potato fries were good, cut thicker but nothing to write home about.
Overall, we could tell that this was not going to be the winner of the burger contest. The fish, however, was excellent and not something you would expect from this kind of place. The sweet potato fries were awesome and the service was great. "I like big buns, and I cannot lie..." but there are better burgers in our future.

Lucky Strike, NYC:

My boyfriend's entire office generally orders "amazing" burgers from Lucky Strike during lunches, so I knew I had to make a stop at this French/American casual bistro to check out what all the fuss was about. Popping by for dinner after running errands, we were seated immediately at a cozy table for two in the main dining area. The room was small, with mirrored walls, the menu hand-written on a couple of the walls, lending to the place's charm. After reading through an extensive menu, I found what I was looking for - a cheeseburger deluxe (meaning it came with fries, though honestly there's not just a cheeseburger on the menu). No topping options or alternate flavors here - just a choice of meat patty (beef, turkey, veggie), cheese or no cheese, and bacon or no bacon. Condiments are strictly mustard and ketchup that are sitting at your table - the burger comes undressed aside from standard lettuce, tomato, and red onion.

I ordered a medium rare cheeseburger deluxe, with cheddar cheese. Travis ordered a bacon cheeseburger deluxe, rare. A short while later......

the burgers arrived! To my surprise, they are served on a lightly toasted English muffin, a bun substitute that seemed odd at first but then deliciously different upon eating. The burger patties are huge and the cheese is real cheese. The thick tomato slice almost eliminates the need for ketchup although a few bites in I snuck a dip or two of my fries' ketchup onto my burger.

The burger itself is large - almost difficult to fit your mouth around, again the English muffin assisting as its obviously far less puffy than a normal bun. The meat was extremely flavorful, very juicy, and cooked to a perfect medium rare, nice and pink. Travis' was almost a little too rare as his burger kept falling apart into chunks after every bite. I could actually taste a little sharpness from the cheddar cheese and the English muffin's nooks and crannies soaked up the burger juices without becoming overly soggy (at least until about 3/4 of the way through).

The fries are very crispy and thin, a cross between shoestring and normal fast food fries. I personally had to add a bit of salt (which for me is abnormal as I generally find fries to be salty enough and rarely touch the salt shaker) and lots of ketchup (normal for me), but the crispy texture makes them addictive, sort of like classic potato chips. Nothing amazing, but good.

While there isn't a ton of variety available at Lucky Strike, the taste of the patty itself is worth a trip. If you're looking for an above average, classic burger, Lucky Strike more than hits the spot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wouldn't it be good if it was good for you?

Carrot Lemon Curry Soup and Turkey with veggies on multigrain bread.

Parked in the small shopping center off of Broad St in Falls Church, next to ZPizza, is the wholesome Kennedy's Natural Foods. While I wouldn't say I am a health 'freak' (to use the term lovingly), I do love a meal that is healthy, as long as it's tasty. That tasty part of the equation is often the tricky part. Luckily, I have found a place the meets both needs.

Kennedy's Natural Foods provides a variety of supplements, gluten-free products, and healthful snacks. Located in the back of the store is "Kasha's Kitchen" - a deli serving up soups, salads, and sandwiches.

This place serves up some of the best soups I have tasted in the area. They are homemade and always deliver with big flavor. Malia and I headed here for lunch on a recent Saturday and ordered two small carrot lemon curry soups and split a turkey sandwich piled high with fresh veggies and brown mustard on their multigrain bread.

The soup was light yet creamy. The carrot gave it some sweetness, while the curry added spiciness and depth. The lemon added to the bright flavor of this soup. It went rather nicely with our sandwich, loaded with tons of turkey and fresh shredded carrots, cucumber, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The vegetables added a nice crunch. The brown mustard packed some serious horseradish that made our eyes water. If you're not into that sensation, you might want to skip the mustard.

We washed them down with some Honest Teas (bottled in neighboring Bethesda, MD). These beverages are all organic and a 16 oz bottle will usually only cost you 100 calories. These drinks have just the right amount of sweetness provided by all natural cane sugar.

This meal left us full, happy, and guilt-free.

1051 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA

2 out of 3 JAMs

La Rue 123

La Rue 123 is located in the charming historic downtown Fairfax, VA. Located in a former bed and breakfast known as the Balliwick Inn, the interior certainly has the comforting and romantic feel of a historic old home. As Michael, Malia and I entered, the host gave us a warm welcome, took our coats and seated us promptly.

The dim lighting and elegant plating provides the perfect romantic atmosphere.

Most of the tables surrounding us were filled with couples. The ambience is certainly perfect for a romantic outing - with soft french music playing in the background. I was a little unsure at first, as to whether this setting would really be appropriate for an evening out with friends.

La Rue 123 salad (the romantic lighting made it hard to take good pictures!)

We ordered a 2006 Pinot Noir, from Napa to help us settle into our meal. I always feel a little odd when the bottle is brought over for me to inspect - I mean I know you're just supposed to make sure they've brought you the right one, but it always makes me feel like I'm under the spotlight. At least I learned to volatize the esthers (swirl the glass before drinking), so I don't look like a total idiot! The first taste made me forget all my insecurities - it was light bodied with notes of cherry, and a slight spiciness. I could have shared another bottle!

Escargot - butter and garlic make everything taste good!

Our appetizers arrived shortly after the wine. I enjoyed a delightful salad of field greens, avocado, tomato, red onion, and artichoke hearts with a creamy mustard dressing. The dressing was slightly spicy, with a little sweetness to balance out the tanginess. Michael ordered one of his favorites - escargot. As children, Malia and I refused to try these french delicacies, but have since come to enjoy these chewy creatures bathed in butter and garlic. I think the main reason people order these is so that they can sop up the garlic butter sauce with a crusty slice of bread. Malia's beet salad was wonderfully paired with some tangy goat cheese. It's amazing how often beets have turned up on our plates this winter!

Beet and goat cheese salad.

Le Poisson du jour - served with asparagus, carrots, and mashed potatoes.

One of the things I love about dining at a fine french restaurants is the leisurely pace of the meal. The staff is trained to allow the patrons to enjoy conversation without being rushed through dinner. While our conversation may have been a little (or a lot) livelier than that of those around us, our waitress never made us feel like we were out of line.

Our entrees were plated in similar fashion - all came served with sauteed asparagus, carrots, and a puree (of potato or chestnuts). The portions were perfect. While some people rate the quality of a restaurant based on the quantity of food that is served, I prefer to enjoy something smaller that is made with excellent ingredients. I ordered the poisson du jour - the salmon with a dijon sauce. It melted in my mouth. The sauce was not too rich, with a slightly sweet slightly tangy flavor that paired well with the mellow buttery salmon.

Scallops provencale.

Malia ordered the scallops provencale - pan seared and served with tomatoes, garlic, in a white wine sauce. They were sweet, and flavorful, but we all agreed we have had more tender scallops elsewhere.

Rack of venison.

Michael chose the rack of venison. I was eager to taste venison, as it had been quite some time since I had eaten venison my uncle had umm...procured... The venison was actually quite tender, not gamey like I was expecting. It was served with a brandy cherry sauce, that was more earthy in flavor than sweet. We were left wondering what puree was served with the meat. It was sweet, and slightly spicy reminding us of sweet potatoes, but not quite. Our waitress informed us it was a chestnut puree - a first for all of us!

Grand Marnier souffle.

While we began on our entrees, we were advised that if we wished to order a souffle for dessert it would take 25 minutes for the chef to prepare, and that we should give ample notice. While I had not thought much about dessert in advance, I knew a souffle had to be ordered. We decided to split the two souffles offered - the grand marnier and the chocolate. Michael ordered a coffee as well.

Pinot Noir, chocolate souffle.

The souffles are served with a little pot of sweet cream. We pierced our souffles and poured some of the cream on top. A single souffle could easily feed two people. Both were light, slightly eggy, with a lovely sweet crust on top. The chocolate souffle was lacking somewhat in the flavor department. The chocolate flavors were very muted. The grand marnier gave the other souffle a wonderfuly sweet, yet subtle orange flavor. This was the clear winner! The creme provided a rich silky foil to the airy dessert. Michael's coffee failed to arrive until we were almost done. Our waitress apologized and told us it was "on the house".

Our check arrived with another nice surprise, a gift card for $20. This technique encourages patrons to visit again. While I wished we could have used the card that evening after seeing the bill, it was certainly a memorable dinner. While very pricey, I could only help thinking, we're only young once, right? What better way to spend a Friday evening than dining in style with two of my favorite people.

4023 Chain Bridge Rd
Fairfax, VA

2.5 out of 3 JAMs

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bahn-Mi- a taste of Vietnam

For a couple of weeks, Travis has been raving about this small Vietnamese place, Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1, by his office that had these great pork sandwiches I "had to try". So this past weekend, we trudged out in the snow and cold to try them - needless to say I had high expectations.
We arrived at the tiny storefront with a simple menu of numbered sandwiches with a variety of meat options (beef, chicken, pork). Toppings are the same on most of them, the only customizable options being to omit something or make a sandwich "spicy" or "extra spicy". Travis recommended a #3, so we ordered three #3s (Travis was hungry), two extra spicy and one regular. We also picked up Stewart's sodas (yum), cream soda and root beer.

After a short wait and a walk later, I unwrapped my sandwich to see a crusty, good-sized baguette stuffed with marinated diced pork, lots of cilantro, cucumber slices, and carrots.

I took a loud, crunchy, crumb-flinging bite. Initially the bread overpowered my bite, but after a bit of chewing the pork flavor began to take over. It was salty and sweet, a bit like asian barbeque or chau siu (roasted pork), not overly saucy, and nicely accented by the cool crispness of the cucumber, the marinated carrot, and the cilantro. After a couple more bites I began to taste a softer part of the bread where the pork had soaked in a bit, so the bread itself tasted a little like garlic butter and pork. The only downsides to eating were that the bread was incredibly crumbly and Travis' office floor had a small pile of bread crumbs by the time I was done and the cilantro wasn't chopped but was in large pieces, meaning I had to at times tear it by hand.

Travis' extra spicy was indeed spicy, as they added both chili garlic sauce (the same chili sauce served at dim sum and similiar to Siracha) and chopped up chilies, but the sweetness of the pork still came through.

From a flavor profile alone, a very happy 2 1/2 JAMs. While the restaurant has no seating and isn't the brightest or most modern environment, the food is worth a trip, even in the snow.
As a side note, the Stewart's sodas only get 1 JAM. The cream soda was too sweet and lacked any sort of creamy foam that I like on cream sodas (like A&W cream soda) and the root beer didn't have the depth of flavor and bite that I like in a root beer. The sweet sodas did help to cleanse our palates of the pork sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fondue A Deux: Fromage e Chocolat

I am proud to announce we have our first guest blogger! My fabulous roomie, Natalie, who has showed up in a number of our JAM foodie outings has been gracious enough to post about a recent fondue night we had with our other wonderful roommate, Jenny (She's my other favorite Jenny!). Natalie is also a member of the blog club, having recently started her own music related version where she reviews an ecclectic mix of artists and genres. Check it out at And without further ado, here's Natalie:
Enjoying fondue a deux!
Thanks to the popular rise of the Melting Pot chain, fondue parties are no longer trapped in the 1970s. After a delicious after-dinner get together there with some old high school friends, my roommates and I decided that we'd have to try making fondue on our own.

The accompaniaments to our cheese fondue

My parents have about 6 fondue pots, and luckily, a couple of them were electric. Fondue pots that use the Sterno "canned heat" cooking fuel just aren't as great. Not wanting to stray too far away from familiar tastes, Jenny looked up the actual restaurant recipes from the Melting Pot.
Here is the recipe for their famous cheddar cheese fondue:
1 ½ to 2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese1 ½ to 2 cups Emmanthaler cheese (can substitute w/something in the Swiss cheese family)
1/3 cup beer (PBR or bud light)
1 clove garlic (optional)
dash or two Worchestireshire sauce
1 tsp. Mustard powder
dash Cayenne pepper
adding the cheese
We paired the cheese fondue with carrots, celery, granny smith apples, and french bread cubes. The emmanthaler cheese really did cut the sharpness of the cheddar cheese, and it was not too rich (we later realized that our stomach aches were due to the fact that fondue parties should consist of more than 3 people).

Ta dah! Melty, cheesy goodness
We also tried a chocolate fondue, and we altered the recipe to include MORE chocolate:
24 oz semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
1 ½ cups light cream
1 tsp of vanilla
Jenny stirs up a pot of chocolate

We ended up forgetting to add the vanilla right away, but then vetoed it because the chocolate sauce was already to our liking. Strawberries, bananas, and Malia's delicious homemade brownies were the dippers for the chocolate fondue.

Strawberries, bananas and chocolate oh my!
I believe that our fondue night was a success! Malia and I have never been to the Melting Pot for dinner, but we would assume that we came close to its taste. It was also a lot cheaper! So if you're looking for something different to cook, and you have a bit of time to savor dinner, fondue parties are always going to be a winner in my book.
-Natalie (guest blogger...wooo!)


Metro 29 - Arlington's Very Own Diner

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers
Ever since Silver Diner opened, there has been a reemergence of restaurants dedicated to homey, comforting diner classics. While Silver Diner does some things well (JAM and friends have enjoyed many of their shakes back in the day), I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the food overall. Living in Northern Virginia, just outside DC, has given me very limited diner experience. After having passed a local Arlington diner off Lee Highway many a time, and even seeing their commercials on our local television network, we decided to give it a try.

Shake, shake, shake...

When we entered Metro 29 it definitely evoked the diner feel with the cash register up front so you pay when you leave and an enticing glass case of cakes and pastries attracting the eye as you walk by. We were seated at a cozy booth and handed menus to peruse while our waiter grabbed us two glasses of water. The menu is ridiculously long, as many diner menus are. The usual homestyle breakfast assortments and entrees are offered, as well as a number of daily specials. Ariel had a hankering for a strawberry milkshake and immediately settled on that, while I took some time in deciding. We finally settled on splitting the stuffed bell peppers special which comes with soup, salad, potato, and vegetable.

Split pea soup

I hadn't had split pea soup in a while, and wanted to see how their version held up to my Mom's. The split pea soup arrived in its green glory crowned with croutons and a side of crackers and bread sticks. The soup was smooth and had a nice flavor, but was overly salty. The croutons were a little soggy, but were easily pushed aside. Not a home run, but not terrible either.

Ariel's milkshake arrived and boy will this frozen treat give u the shakes if you drink the entire sugar laden concoction. It was one of the largest milkshakes we'd ever seen. Ariel enjoyed the creaminess and the real strawberry chunks mixed throughout, but the overwhelming taste was of Strawberry Nesquik (or whatever artificial strawberry flavored syrup it is they use). We both thought our cousin Peter would've loved this drink because he couldn't get enough Strawberry Nesquik back in the day.

Digging in

After helping Ariel with her milkshake, I was ready for something savory. I had no idea how much food would be coming out. The green bell peppers came with a baked potato, a side of corn (the frozen kind), and a salad, as well as the bread basket we hadn't even touched.
The salad was mainly composed of bland iceberg lettuce, with a few measly tomatoes and the bread had an odd, slightly sweet flavor we couldn't pinpoint, but it didn't make us want to keep eating it either. While the sides were nothing special, the bell peppers were quite good. The ground beef filling was full of onions, garlic, tomatoes and seasonings. The saucy juices that spilled out when cutting into the peppers were very oily, which is probably why this dish was so tasty. All in all a satisfying, comforting meal that was best shared. The prices were a bit high, but when shared with a friend turned out to be a real steal (and with all the food they throw at you, you should definitely consider sharing).

A view of Metro 29 Diner
So for anyone looking for a homey, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal, hit up Metro 29 diner. It's not gourmet, but it'll hit the spot when your hungry on a cold winter night.

1.5 out of 3 JAMs

Metro 29
4711 Lee Hwy, Arlington 22207

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Adventures in Northern California

Capitola Beach - surf competition.

AJ and I were lucky enough to take a trip to Northern California to visit his Uncle in Los Gatos (about an hour south of San Francisco). I could not have been happier with the weather, 70 degrees and sunny, a nice respite from the frigid East Coast. We took in the sights - surfing, mountain views, and sun.

75 degrees and sunny - could life be better?


Our first night in California we had the pleasure of watching the Golden State Warriors play from the 8th row back. (Thanks Uncle Peter!) These seats were perfect and we got to watch them win a game (a rarity this season). We headed toward the stadium early in order to avoid traffic, and decided to stop in Oakland/Berkley boarder for a bite to eat before the game. The downtown area is very cute, lots of restaurants and shops. We ended up eating at a chain, Pasta Pomodoro. For an italian chain restaurant we were very pleased with the quality and creativity of our dishes.

Pesto dipping sauce and foccacia bread.

Our server was very friendly and immediately brought us out some pesto and olive oil for our complimentary foccacia bread. The pesto was full of bright basil flavors. The bread was soft, but a little cold. But better than one would expect from this type of restaurant.

Farro and grilled vegetables with parmesan.

I ordered the farro with grilled vegetables and parmesan, while AJ ordered the pesto with whole wheat capatelli. I only vaguely remembered that farro was some sort of whole grain, and decided to order it out of curiosity.

Butternut squash ravioli with fried sage, crushed amaretti cookies, and parmesan.

Before our entrees arrived AJ and I split the butternut squash ravioli. This was definitely the hightlight of the meal. The ravioli were filled with sweet creamy squash and topped with fried sage, crushed amaretti cookies, and parmesan cheese. For those of you who think sage is too overpowering, this is the best way to eat it - the frying process mellows out the flavors and makes for a lovely crunchy topping. The amaretti adds to the liquorice flavors and the saltiness of the cheese cuts the sweetness of the squash. These raviolis could put some gourmet versions to shame.


We woke up bright and early the second day of our trip, and ended up visiting the charming "historic downtown" Campbell. Did you ever notice that "historic downtown" is a requirement on all signs even if a town was established 30 years ago? The "downtown" area only lasted a couple blocks, but there was a huge crowd swarming around one restaurant in particular - Stacks. It appears this is the place to eat breakfast on the weekends. Stacks offers all your breakfast favorites - omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, waffles, and their signature "stacks".

Coconut macademia banana pancakes.

After debating whether or not to get the lumberjack pancakes, a combination of wheat germ, blueberries, raisins, walnuts, and bananas, I decided to go with the more tropical themed coconut macademia banana pancakes. A full stack is listed as three pancakes, the short is two. AJ wanted to try some, so I went with the full stack. They initially brought out just one, which as is turns out would have been enough for me. These pancakes are the size of a plate. Surprisingly not too sweet, the coconut and nuts provided a nice crunch and texture. The warm sweet bananas were delightful. These pancakes are best served with a little butter and warm syrup.

Where ya at, where ya at? (AJ is excited for breakfast)

AJ got the manly "Stacks breakfast sandwich" - scambled eggs, ham, bacon, cheese, tomato and avocado all piled high on an english muffin. Piping hot, this sandwich is more than filling. I enjoyed my first bite - the sweet tomato and avocado livened up this protein feast. A couple more bites and reality set in. There are a just a few too many flavors going on here. The english muffin was dry and bland. I would have prefered this on a toasted bagel or multigrain toast. Unfortunately, Stacks doesn't bake its own bread.

Stack's Big Breakfast sandwich - ham, bacon, tomato, avocado, eggs, and cheese.

After our breakfast we walked around Campbell and then to downtown Los Gatos to check out some shops. After burning off our breakfast we stopped into Icing on the Cake to fulfill our sugar cravings. AJ's uncle likes to say that he will never move from Los Gatos because of this bakery. He is that in love with their cake. We decided on a caramel cupcake and a chocolate chunk brownie cookie. We headed to Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company to compliment our goodies with a coffee.

Los Gatos Coffee Brewing Co. - Amaretto latte and mexican mocha.

The coffee was the perfect compliment to our sweet treats. The mexican mocha had a very strong espresso flavor with a subtle chocolate flavor. If you love a strong coffee with a hint of cocoa, this is the drink for you. AJ and I preferred the amaretto latte, with a hint of sweet almonds.

Caramel cupcake from Icing on the Cake!

The cupcake was the winner of this afternoon snack. The frosting was buttery, light, and full of rich caramel flavor. The chocolate chip cookie was cloyingly sweet. The chunks of brownie tasted too much like chocolate chips.

Chocolate chunk brownie cookie.

Buttery caramel cupcake.

That evening we met up with some old friends in Mountain View for some ramen noodles. I had never been to a noodle bar before, and the novelty was quite fun. The seating is communal style, around a U-shaped bar. You may have to wait a little while to be seated if your party is larger than 2. Our friend Austin has some experience visiting Japan, so we deferred to him to interpret the menu. All of the bowls come with a flavored broth and similar accoutrements - hard boiled egg, pork, seaweed, and scallions (FYI: you can order more vegetables or meat at an extra cost). At Austin's recommendation AJ and I ordered the sesame broth.

Ryowa Ramen - sesame broth with pork, egg, noodles, scallions, and seaweed.

The broth was extremely salty, full of pork flavor. I couldn't taste much sesame flavor, and to be honest couldn't tell the difference between this broth and the miso. The noodles were of good quality. I added hot chili paste to the broth, and that really made all the difference. If you're in the mood for some spicy noodles, this should do the trick. The noodles cost around $6, but could definitely fill you up for two meals. We also ordered some potstickers. These were crispy on the outside with a nice pork and scallion filling. These were my favorite of the evening.

We ended up in Palo Alto at Red Mango for dessert. For those of you who haven't experienced the yogurt craze sweeping the nation, jump on the bandwagon already. The yogurt is tangy and not too sweet. I highly recommend the tart pomegranate flavor loaded with fresh raspberries and blueberries.


The Big Sur.

AJ loves pizza. He could probably eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And while I don't quite share the same affinity, I cannot resist a chewy crust piled with cheese. Pizzza My Heart is a chain located in Northern California. They offer a number of award-winning pizzas. We ordered a slice of the hawaiian and the Big Sur. The Big sur is piled high with sausage, pepperoni, roasted garlic, portabellos, scallions, mozarella. The roasted garlic makes this pizza - it is sweet but still retains a nice bite.

After lunch, we hit up the Farmer's market in Los Gatos. I have been deprived of a good farmer's market this winter, so it was nice to see sweet strawberries, oranges, and dates in season.

I can't wait to head back to Northern California, and not just for the weather.

Pasta Pomodoro
5500 College Ave
Oakland, CA

139 E Campbell Ave
Campbell, CA

101 W Main St
Los Gatos, CA

50 W Main St
Los Gatos, CA

Ryowa Ramen House
859 Villa St
Mountain View, CA

1390 Lincoln Ave
San Jose, CA