A Weekend Escape

Did you know that wine country is right around the corner from me now? Yea, that’s going to be dangerous.. but do you see where this past weekend’s trip is going..

As I mentioned last week, we have been taking advantage of our surroundings as much as possible and going on road trips on the weekends. It was only a matter of time until we made our way to wine country!

But first..

Buckwheat Tomato Cheese Mushroom Crepe

Buckwheat crepe with cheese, tomato, and mushrooms

..a quick trip to our new local farmers’ market for breakfast. Did I tell you that we got a place to live?! Well, we actually got 2 places to live. After putting down a deposit on an apartment, I heard back from someone on Craigslist with a place that looked even better [and cheaper..] so I figured it couldn’t hurt to go take a look. Turns out, it was better and we signed a new lease! We had to check out the closest market to see what we got ourselves into 😉 We were quite pleased and will definitely be returning! [Thank goodness for year-round markets in California!]

After breakfast, we made our way out to St. Helena, just north of Napa. The first stop on the trip was Beaulieu Vineyard. It was such a beautiful day and this place was so cute.

Beaulieu Vineyard St Helena California

Beaulieu Vineyard

We each went for the red wine tasting which consisted of a pinot noir, merlot, red blend, and a cabernet sauvignon. The merlot and cab were my favorites until we got a couple extra free tastings of two of their other cabernets. Of course, the more expensive, special cab was our favorite!

Since it was about an hour and a half drive out to the first tasting, we didn’t get to the first tasting until close to noon so we decided to grab lunch before another winery. When we saw a stand with outdoor seating and a huge line of people waiting to order, we knew we had to pull over! Gott’s Roadside was one of the places recommended to us and we couldn’t pass up the idea of sitting outside for lunch in December!

Gotts Roadside Dungeness Crab Acme Sandwich

Dungeness crab sandwich on a fresh acme roll

Gotts Roadside Turkey Chile Onion Burger Garlic Fries

Green chile turkey burger & garlic fries in the background!

The west coast has it’s dungeness crab which is pretty darn tasty so I couldn’t turn down the special sandwich.. I have to admit, though, it’s no blue crab! Nathan got the green chile turkey burger and we shared an order of garlic fries and spicy tomato soup. It was all fantastic and I’m so glad we stopped.

After refueling, it was time for more wine! The next stop was St. Clement Vineyards. Their most popular wine is the Oroppas which is a cabernet. Fun fact: Oroppas spelled backward is Sapporo.. the owners of the vineyards!

St Clement Vineyards

The fabulous hilltop view [thanks for the picture, Nath!]

I can’t wait to go back there with friends when it gets warmer to do the hilltop tasting!

Our final stop in wine country was Heitz Cellar. They are one of the originals in that area and one of the only wineries to offer a free tasting. They had about 4 or 5 wines out to try but grabbed a few extras from the back for us to sneak a few tastes, including a bottle of cabernet that sells for $200! This was also about the time that I forgot to take pictures.. whoops!

On our way back, we stopped at V Marketplace in Yountville. We noticed it on our way out and it looked so nice that we wanted to check it out. We happened to get there right as the live music started 🙂

Yountville V Marketplace

I enjoy a little Christmas music every now and then 😉

And what would a weekend trip be without a little beer?! There was a ton of traffic heading back into Oakland so we decided to pull off and make a pit stop to the Torpedo Room. This place just recently opened about a month or so ago and we were so excited to see some new Sierra Nevada beer on tap that we’d never tried before!

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room Weizenbock Saison BeerCamp Red Pumpkin

Our flight of newbies!

Of course we couldn’t get anything that we’d already had. From left to right, we had the Weizenbock, French Style Saison, Beer Camp Imperial Red Ale, and Audition Pumpkin Ale. They were all great, as usual, but my favorite was definitely the pumpkin. It wasn’t heavily spiced but had a nice, round pumpkin flavor to it. Nathan’s top picks were the saison and red. He couldn’t just choose one.. the saison is an all-around easy-drinking beer and the red had a nice amount of hop flavor. It really depends on your mood.

And the perfect ending of a day full of wine? Chocolate! [And peanut butter..]

Homemade Peanut Butter Co Cup

Homemade peanut butter cup

Well, that’s really the best way to end any day, right? 😉

Food for Thought

Have you ever been to wine country?
What is your favorite type of wine?

What I Ate Wednesday #63: Going ALL Out!

This past weekend was one for the books. We crossed off a couple more places from the bucket list and then some! It was our second-to-last weekend in the city so we had to take advantage as much as possible and it was so much fun.

Of Love and Regret

Love this place. As I mentioned in my bucket list post, we had been here before but wanted to head back once more and I’m so glad we did. The food is always fabulous and the drinks didn’t disappoint either.

Old Mans Hatten Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

The Old Man’s “Hatten” – bourbon, cochi di torino vermouth, aperol, luxardo cherry garnish, rocks

Saison Darkly Stillwater Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Saison Darkly – Brewed with dark malts and burnt sugars then lightly spiced with rose hips, hibiscus, & schisandra berries

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Burrito – seared Asian Pâté (black beans, barley, scallions, & ginger), South Asian slaw, Sriracha sweet chili aioli, fresh basil & cilantro, wrapped in a grilled whole wheat tortilla + a baked sweet potato

Nathan surprised me and sprung for dessert. He usually doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and this one was delicious.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Pumpkin Cheesecake with chocolate sauce and goat cheese caramel

Bluegrass Tavern

Another place that we’ve been to a couple times that didn’t make it on the bucket list post, but I knew we had to go back for Nathan. They make a smoked fried chicken to die for! It’s the perfect combination of smoke and crunch, plus they topped it with crispy brussels!

I was worried my Apple Cobbler cocktail would be too sweet but the bourbon balanced it nicely. I’d highly recommend anything that comes with a bourbon-soaked apple 😉

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Cocktail

Charcuterie Sausage Rabbit Terrine Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Charcuterie & Cheese Plate – Homemade Garlicwurst, Rabbit Black Truffle Terrine, Sharp Cows Milk Cheese, Pickled Okra, & Chutney

Kale Salmon Lemon Shallot Salad Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Kale salad with goat cheese, shallots, fennel, grilled salmon, & lemon vinaigrette

Smoked Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Smoked Fried Chicken with crispy brussels sprouts over garlic mashed potatoes

Lexington Market

FINALLY! Lexington Market is a Baltimore staple. Everyone I know that doesn’t even live in Baltimore has been to Lexington Market so I had to go and it was so worth it! On top of the crab cake, I also had a couple raw oysters [best I’ve ever had!] and a fresh Berger cookie. The chocolate literally melted in my mouth. You should really order some.. they’re worth every penny [and calorie].

Faidley Seafood Lexington Market Baltimore Maryland MD

Faidley Seafood – Lexington Market

This place is no frills. Just the way it should be.

Faidleys Lexington Market Crab Cake

The famous crab cake from Faidley Seafood with pickled beets and cucumber salad.

The Food Market

This wasn’t an official bucket list place either since I was lucky enough to have a catered work brunch, but when my family wanted to get together for brunch, I figured it would be a good choice. Plus, I need to get all the blue crab I can before we go.

Crab Benedict The Food Market Hampden Baltimore Maryland MD

Crab Benedict – Homemade whole wheat english muffin, crab cakes, poached eggs, & potatoes

I guess you could say I really ate my way through the weekend. Every bite was fabulous and so much fun.. though the best part was all of the time I got to spend with my family. It was the perfect way to break up all of the packing!

Food for Thought

What food is your hometown known for?