Foodie Fun in California

My sister, her husband and friends all had foodie plans for me upon landing in San Francisco. I love to try new foods and experience places that are not available here in Dublin, so I was game for anything (even the non-healthy choices) So below are some of the great foods I got to try on my trip to California.

Champa Garden-Oakland:

Situated in a neighbourhood in Oakland, this is a place that you could easily walk by and not take notice, well except for the fact that there is always a que outside! We love this restaurant not only because it’s super close to my sisters house but the food is pretty damn good! Traditional food from Laos and lots of healthy/gluten free options available too (they even do gluten free beer) We got a few different options to share and I loved the fresh spring rolls below; they were shrimp, beansprouts and avocado rolled in some rice paper and served with a delicious garlic dip, such delicate flavours! My other favourite dish was the pork wraps, a mixture of pork, chilli, asian vegetables and spices served with lettuce, coriander and mint leaves, the fresh favours just exploded from this dish and the texture was pretty crunchy, this one I kept going back to, very moreish!

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In N Out Burger-Alameda:

I couldn’t visit the USA without trying “In N Out” Burger and I missed my chance when I was in Vegas! Yes, this is fast food but it’s good fun and it’s also incredibly cheap! Behind the counter I could see one of the staff members peeling and using a machine to cut the potatoes into fries, I thought this was pretty cool to see as we all know of other fast food joints who make fries out of god knows what! I went for the protein style (wrapped in lettuce) and fries, I was really impressed, it was a well made burger and the fries were ok, nothing to rave about but I was glad to try it out!

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Doughnut Dolly-Berkley: 

My sister’s good friend Evan knows me very well! We did a foodie trail, mainly around the Berkeley area and this was one of our stops! This is no regular bakery and these are no regular doughnuts! There is a selection of four types of doughnuts to choose from (granulated sugar, chocolate frosting, lemon frosting and icing sugar) you are also presented with four fillings (see pic) and when you choose which filling you like, they fill the doughnut on the spot! I went for the icing sugar option filled with dark chocolate cream. I’m not sure if it was the fact I haven’t eaten a doughnut in a number of years, but this was by far the best one I’ve ever eaten!! This wasn’t your typical greasy donut from the Supermarket, the pastry was light and fluffy, the perfect blanket for the delightful chocolatey cream beneath it, let’s just say it got messy and I loved it!! They come in at $3 a piece but I can see how they sell out daily! Great concept with a very delicious product!

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11204014_902646873139230_1956557110839940153_nThe Cheeseboard Collective- Berkley:

The cheeseboard collective started their Pizza business as a bit of fun in the 1980s (they were already an established cheese and bakery shop) but it has flourished ever since! Walking up to the building the first thing you will notice is the very long que and people sitting all out on the sidewalk enjoy their freshly cooked pizza, the second things you’ll be met with is the amazing smell of freshly baked dough, garlic and herbs (this is when the hunger will kick in) TCC cook one vegetarian pizza everyday, so the menu changes daily but that will be the only option! We order half a pizza between us and while you get half a pizza, they also give you an extra slice on top! The pizza is perfectly thin and while the flavours look like a tongue twister on the board, they compliment each other perfectly-This is amazing pizza!! There is a live jazz band playing in the corner and I am delighted with life as I sit there munching on my pizza and listening to some beautiful music, with great company (It’s the little things eh?)

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Napa Valley-Napa:

I couldn’t talk about foodie fun with out mentioning Napa! Napa has been on my Bucket list for a long time, I was there when I was 20 but because I wasn’t legal to consume alcohol, I couldn’t do the Wine Tasting. So, nine years later I got to tick this one off the list. Napa was heaven to me, I don’t think I spoke a word as we drove in, I was consumed by the beauty of the scenery around me, dusty road lined with vineyards, green hills created a collage against the perfect blue sky… It was so picturesque, the backdrop to a movie! We started at the Silver Oak Winery and to be honest, I could have stayed there all day. Sipping on wine that would normally be way outside my budget ($80-$120 a bottle) my taste buds were tingling, I was feeling merry and I had such a laugh pretending to be a wine connoisseur-“Oh yes, this definitely has tints of blackberry and oak” You know how it goes!! We got to taste 3 amazing wines at Silver Oak (and a refill of our favourite selection) As you can see in the last picture below, we got a bit silly jumping around and taking pictures in the vineyard, great memories that I’ll never forget! IMG_5366 IMG_5378

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