Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Last Week's Restaurants, This Week's Cheeses

I was off in the Bay Area last week, somewhat last-minute, for Red Hat training in Santa Clara. I had the most regular schedule imaginable:

- Breakfast at the IHOP attached to my motel
- Commute down 101, listening to KOIT which is an all-Christmas music station this month
- All day in class, with a brief lunch break
- Dinner out with a different friend or group of friends each night
- Early bedtime

That was my life, for five days, without variation. It was great.

Monday dinner was at a traditional Chinese restaurant in San Leandro, where we were the only non-Asian customers. Tuesday was Singaporean food in Mountain View. Wednesday was upscale Vietnamese in Palo Alto. Thursday was Indian Food in San Mateo. Each meal was more delicious than the next, and I'd have gone back to any of these places every night, but by Friday I commented to my dinner companion (as we were planning our excursion) that it seems as if everybody moves to San Francisco and goes all Pacific Rim. He said he had been planning perhaps to go to a Chinese restaurant, but after I noted this he made reservations at a French restaurant in Palo Alto (Bistro Elan). Yum, say I, on all counts.

And hooray three times over for the unexpected opportunity to visit with a variety of friends who live far away. I am fond of more people in the Bay Area than there were nights to pay visits.

When I traveled in Australia I took notes on all my meals, but I did not do so last week. So I don't have the detailed menu descriptions this time. Instead I have a report on the cheeses we'll be having tomorrow at the weekly work cheesefest. This is from the note I just sent to my co-workers, telling them what to expect:

Italian Taleggio: This is another one of those stinky but delicious cheeses. I first had this on a dessert cheese plate at Restaurant Alma (just up University from here) drizzled with honey, so I'll have some honey tomorrow. Two weeks ago we had a cheese with honey mixed right in which caused some people to say that it tasted like dessert. Which is true, but 2:30 in the afternoon is a good time for dessert.

St Augur from France: A blue cheese. A creamy creamy (and pricey) blue cheese. We haven't had a simple blue cheese yet, just a blue striped with cheddar, so I asked for a recommendation and this is what I got. I tasted it at Surdyk's and this is like the most intense blue cheese dressing you've ever had, and it's almost cream-cheese spreadable.

Irish Cheddar: A bit like the Whiskey Cheddar from the other week, but without the Whiskey. This is a good basic Cheddar but I've found that it varies in quality. This piece looks good, so we'll see.

After choosing the cheeses a clerk at the cheese store said that maybe I should try a Gouda for the folks who are still learning about cheese. I said that's a good idea, but I have enough for now and we have from now until eternity to try it. "That's what I like to hear," she said.
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