When growing weary of the fog covering San Francisco, Sausalito is a just quick trip across the Golden Gate Bridge. As soon as you make your way over to the one of the marinas, the clouds part and the sun beams down vibrantly. Located in one such marina is the charming french bistro, Le Garage. The waterfront restaurant boasts beautiful views of boats and the bay where guests can sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. Sometimes, a restaurant can rely heavily on its location and fall short on the delivery of a delicious meal, but Le Garage is no such restaurant. While I've only been for brunch and lunch, the service has been great and the food delicious. My meal of choice: Stella on draft and the Masami Kobe beef burger (1/2 lb Kobe, Morbier cheese, tomatoes, butter lettuce, grilled red onions, and aioli on ciabatta) served with a side of fries. It's hard to beat a beer and a good burger on a beautiful day.
The wife and I have found a new favorite lunch/breakfast spot in Sonoma, The Fremont Diner. It's everything you love about comfort food with hints of gourmet and a farm-to-table mentality. If you end up having to wait for a table, the back patio area overlooking the Sonoma countryside has a bar with great shakes, beers, and a few local wines. We had lunch on this particular visit, but we've been back since for breakfast which is just as good.
Deviled Eggs with Pickled Mustard Seed and Chives
Fremont Burger - Five Dot Ranch Beef, ABC Potato Bun, Sauce, Pickles, & Lettuce with Hand Cut Fries
Whole Hog - Sonoma County Pork on ABC Bun, Fremont BBQ Sauce, Coleslaw, Pickled Fennel with Succotash Salad
Strawberry Shortcake (Biscuits made in-house, and they are amazing.)
We decided to go to Spruce during a week night to help our chances of finding a seat. The dinning room is full on most nights with a little-on-the-pricey-side dinner menu. I was here to try the highly recommended Spruce Burger for which you must order and eat at the bar. The burger is hefty one with a dense (almost like an english muffin) bun. I simply topped mine with grilled onions and cheddar. It was well-seasoned and served with a house aioli and fries. San Francisco doesn't seem to like fresh, hand-cut fries since I haven't seen any since my time here. If you're looking for a very simple yet delicious burger, this one doesn't disappoint.
It's been a while since I've posted anything. Transition into a new city has taken longer than expected. Hopefully, from now on, there will be more posts starting with this one. Marengo on Union is a "whiskey, wine and slider bar" where we went for brunch one morning. We started with the beer-battered, fried pickles followed by a variety of sliders. It didn't disappoint.
Chicken 'n Waffle: Field to Family Farms Crispy Chicken Breast / Bourbon, Maple & Bacon Infused Waffle / Maple Syrup & Honey Butter
Porky's Slider: Long & Bailey Farms Pulled Pork Shoulder / Tangy & SPICY BBQ Sauce / Cole Slaw / Mild Blue Cheese & Cider Vinaigrette
Homemade Biscuit Slider: Pancetta / Biscuit / Egg / Sharp Cheddar Cheese
All-American Slider: Lucky Dog Ranch Beef / Green Leaf Lettuce / Tomato / Sharp Cheddar Cheese / Special Sauce / Caramelized Onions
I recreated a burger that has been, wether you like it or not, one of the most popular burgers around the world: the Big Mac. But instead of using mediocre ingredients, I put a high-quality spin on this classic recipe. - 3/4 chuck & 1/4 sirloin - Organic romain lettuce - Wisconsin aged cheddar (3-4 months) - Homemade thousand island dressing (special sauce)
After grinding the meat myself with a food processor, I created the patties, salted and peppered them generously, and then cooked them on a hot skillet. I made the thousand island dressing from a Saveur magazine recipe which is an interpretation of the Waldorf-Astoria's recipe. The ingredients are as follows.
- 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Helman's Olive Oil which is much lower in fat) - 3-4 Heinz chili sauce - 2 tbsp. minced sweet onion - 2 tbsp. minced sweet pickles - 1 tsp. pickling juice from sweet pickles - 1 tbsp. minced, drained, jarred pimientos - Salt and fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
Put all ingredients in a bowl and then salt and pepper to taste.
I buttered and toasted an onion bun (the freshest bun I could find at the local grocery store) and topped it with the homemade "special sauce," the burger and melted cheese, and the chopped organic romaine lettuce. When it's all said and done, the flavor of the Big Mac was definitely present, but the increased level of taste quality was undeniable. And hey, there were probably less calories too.