Northern California

A Great Burger in Guerneville

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by Scott R. Kline

Boon Eat + Drink in Guerneville on the Russian River is a delightful place with delightful food. We stopped by one Saturday to have lunch. The summertime crowd was out in force. The restaurant was pleasantly busy, but not too crowded.

Perusing the menu, I spotted the Boon Burger with grass fed beef, fiscalini aged white cheddar, arugula on a toasted milk bun with house made Parmesan herb chips ($11). I could not resist adding the truffle fries with house made ketchup and garlic aioli ($6). While we waited I soaked in the modern feel of this small storefront restaurant. It has a great vibe with both locals and visitors mixing in together.

The Mountain Room

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by Scott R. Kline

yosemite.jpgThe Mountain Room restaurant at Yosemite Lodge in Yosemite National Park in California is a great place to have a burger after a hike. If you have never visited Yosemite, there are plenty of hikes to work up an appetite. I joined 10 friends as we assaulted Half Dome over 2 days. The hike covers about 4800 feet of altitude gain over a 17-mile hike.

After a night of martinis at the Ahwahnee Hotel bar, we rose early on Saturday morning and started on our hike. After climbing about 2000 feet and hiking past Vernal and Nevada falls, we camped out in little Yosemite Valley. The next morning we headed up the trail to Half Dome reaching “the Cables”. The cables are two parallel cables stretching up the shear side of half dome. It is the only way up unless you are a rock climber and was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. The views up top were incredible. (Photo below: The team perches on top for a photo before descending 8.5 miles for a burger.

Taco Crawl in Fruitvale

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by Amy Sherman

tacos01.jpgFor several years now I'd been hearing about the taco trucks of Fruitvale, a section of Oakland known for having a large Latino population. After reading endless reports on Yelp, Chowhound and an article in the East Bay Express by John Birdsall, I was ready to hit the road, or rather, International Boulevard, where there's a high concentration of taco trucks. I didn't spend a month investigating like Birdsall did (thanks John!) but I did put together a hit list, based on recommendations and testimonials. A word about pricing, you'll spend more on bridge toll than you will at most spots along the corridor. Tacos ranged in price from $1 to $1.25 and the agua fresca I ordered was $1.

First stop was the Sinaloa complex, located in a parking lot at 2138 International Blvd. You can't miss this stop and frankly, it's one of the best. Here there are two trucks to visit--one has the standard kinds of tacos, while the other is devoted to seafood. The fish taco was good, but the shrimp tostada was outstanding. A crisp tortilla was topped not just with sweet, plump and juicy shrimp, but also chunks of cucumber, tomato, onion, slivers of avocado and fresh cilantro. Not to be missed!

Slider Bar Cafe

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by Scott R. Kline

sliderbarshot.jpgSlider Bar Café in Palo Alto recently opened on the popular main drag, University Street. There were countless restaurants bustling on a Friday night, including this place. A striking, high ceilinged room welcomes folks to the café. We sat at the bar as all the tables were full. Slider Bar Café has a sophisticated take on the slider concept, also serving several micro brew type beers and mid-level wines. If you sit at the bar, the friendly bar tender will take your order and get your wine, while you watch the soccer game or ESPN on the flat screens behind the counter. If you sit at a table, you have to order at the counter, take a number and have the food brought out later.

Pat and I ordered up three sliders: the Classic American $2.89, a plain Classic American and a Mediterranean $3.69. The price drops for each additional slider you get. For instance, for the American, one slider costs $2.89. Two are $5.29. Three will set you back $7.49 and a dozen are $28. We also ordered baked fries $1.99. They don’t have a fryer.

 

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