Sunday, October 11, 2009

Slow Club...yummy...

Jeff, Chris, and I visited the tiny Slow Club restaurant on the edge of Potrero Hill. The small menu is full of yummy delights. I started with a surprising special margarita, which was spiked with a habanero kick. Ribeye is my favorite cut of beef, and Slow Club's version did not disappoint. Desert was a top-notch strawberry shortcake...although I will argue with anyone that shortcake should be a biscuit and not a yellow sponge cake. (For this reason, I am going to give the dessert prize to Jeff's dish...a decadent pumpkin-raisin bread was amazing!) We will return for sure.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A return to paradise...

While long vacations have eluded us this year, Jeff and I have been luck to tag a few vacation days on to two business trips to O'ahu. For the third time in a year, we found ourselves at the comfy and convenient Hilton Hawaiian Village on the white sandy beaches of Waikiki. On this visit, we were up high in the Hilton's Rainbow tower, which made for a spectacular (and unique) vantage point for their Friday fireworks.

For me, a highlight of any trip is the food. Oh the food :) One of our favorite indulgences has become the Tuesday/Thursday grill menu at the fabulous Halekulani's House Without A Key. Start with a mai tai, indulge in a juicy surf and turf burger, and finish with a heavenly while coconut cake. And of course, you get to enjoy all of this while being entertained by calm, melodic Hawaiian music. Its pure escapism.

We also added something new to our list this trip...a visit to the famous Matsumoto's shave ice in historic Haleiwa on the North Shore. We had passed the long lines before and always said "next time". Well, this time we stood dutifully in line with the masses and enjoyed this sweet, chilly island tradition.

One of our drives around Honolulu took us on some of the winding roads that provide unexpected sweeping vistas. In this town, you're never far from a view of Diamond Head, Waikiki, or Pearl Harbor...or all of the above.

At one point, we drove into the serene Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, which is a hidden gem above the city.

The rest of the trip was filled with drives and vistas and swims around O'ahu. Its hard to point the camera without finding something pretty.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fun with flowers...

This past spring, I found artistic inspiration in the garden and got several new photos to build upon for a possible new series. Recently, I ventured back into our sunny back yard to work with our early-autumn flowers. The results are eye-catching and fun...and much darker than my spring series. I'm totally having fun with this :)

A surprise for brunch...

Jeff and I stumbled on this tiny restaurant--Bar Jules--in Hayes Valley and decided to try it out one sunny Sunday morning. With its colorful walls and cozy seating area, it immediately strikes you as a European cafe. The menu is tiny, fresh, and changes daily. On this Sunday, we were both drawn to a simple, baked egg dish, with buttery potatoes, savory slow-roasted beef, and punchy spinach. We are determined to return for dinner!