Thursday, October 18, 2012

big sur!!!

Just got back from camping in Big Sur.  It's a shag there but the minute I get there it's all worth it.  I can sit on a cliff and watch the ocean there for hours.  The beauty of the morning light is only rivaled by the beauty of the evening light.  It is so hot there in October!

We had an evening of making up Grateful Dead jokes, so I will share my best one with you:

Q: What's the difference between a Deadhead with a tab of acid and a Deadhead talking about the Dead?
A: At least he might drop the acid.

There were a lot of other really good ones.  Some pictures after the break

 I decided to eat at Hot Italian, which I don't normally do.  But it's walkable from my house, which is a bonus over Masullo.  It was nice to change it up, and the bartender made me a cool Amaro cocktail, HOWEVER the pizza cannot touch Masullo's.  I got this pizza because it had ricotta and spinach.  Sounded like a nice combo.  Since I'm used to Masullo's, I thought ricotta would be the only cheese (I missed the mozzarella listing on the menu).  Look at that cheese blanket! Too much cheese, no subtlety.  It was delicious, but anything with that much good quality cheese would be delicious, as is pretty much anything you put bacon on.  I consider it to be culinary cheating.  The crust had a good char but not much bubbling and lacks the complex flavor of Masullo's. 
 Here's another fat and oil bomb.  Pesto, pecorino, mozz and pinenuts.  The pinenuts are nice, and it was good pesto, but there was too much goddamn pesto.  Who wants to eat a 1/4 cup of pesto?  It was a little cheaper than Masullo, not because the pizza is cheaper, but because I always get that arugula salad at Masullo's.  And the pizza is way more filling and the leftovers are better.  Scott kept making me mad by pretending he liked it better.  I kept falling for it over and over.
 went to Drake's Brewing in San Leandro on the way to Monterey.  Drake's has been busting out with good brews.

 Stopped in Monterey for a night.  Monterey kinda sux.  I probably won't go back there again.  It was nice to only have an hour drive to Big Sur, but it's still not worth stopping in.

 In a way, it's hard to capture the majesty of Big Sur, but in a way you can't really take a bad photo of it.

I got the NYTimes print edition on Sunday and they had their food issue in the magazine.  The theme? Obsessions, exactly what I was railing about below.  The breath of fresh air and the most interesting article was on Cook's Illustrated editor Christopher Kimball.  I don't agree with him 100% (I don't think cooking is serious or tiresome), but how wonderful to hear someone rage against "cookbook pastoral" themes that have completely overtaken food writing.  Let's start a middle class food mag, people!  I subscribed to Cook's Illustrated instantly. I remember the first time I read his editorial I thought it was a parody, but it turns out it's not.  Wonderfully weird.


Anonymous said...

If you didn't go here, definitely do it next time. Words don't do it justice.

Anonymous said...

That's really too bad you didn't enjoy Monterey. I sort of love it there. Did you walk the bike path? Or nap to the sound of sea lions? How about eating chocolate turtles or the wave cave at the aquarium? Mostly I love the colors there, I think it's the prettiest stretch of beach in northern california. Yes, even prettier than Big Sur. We're still friends right?

beckler said...

I do like the touristy seafood places, and we got some really good shrimp salad and smoked salmon on the pier. We did walk the path and gawk at the sea lions for a long time. I haven't been to the beach there, I guess. Which one is good?

I have gone to Esalen almost every year we go but I finally decided I could not stay up until 1am camping. I was delighted that this year someone went to sleep before I did. That never happens. Usually even children stay up later than me.

There were also lots of camping food innovations such as: the smorezadilla, the bananaboatadilla, and many variations on the Hot Chihuahua, such as a hot dog and chili wrapped in a tortilla and grilled. Everything was liberally doused with Mad Anthony's hot sauce of course. It is now almost gone.

beckler said...

there's an event at the crocker tonight and the alkali flats are playing it. that sounds cool. it's 12 bucks for nonmembers, starts at 7. here's the info:

beckler said...

wow, no LOLs for my joke. dejected.