This year for Valentine's Day I took my wife to Tazzina Bistro for dinner- and I would like to report that it was probably the best meal I have had in Woodland.
Overall my Valentines Day meal was a 10- so just let me tell you what I had.
(Sorry, no pictures in this review. I just didn't think my wife would appreciate me bringing a camera for our Valentines dinner.)
The meal started out with soup, which came in tiny, tiny little cups. The called it 'Artichoke Bisque with creme fraiche'. Basically it was just damn good cream of artichoke soup. They only served a tiny bit- but since this was a 5 course meal, I figured that a little bit of soup was probably a good idea.
Next we had a salad, which was your standard bed of weeds (frisee) with gilled pear, candied pecans and some sort of cheese. This was even better than Tazzina's normal salad- the cheese was great. (On the menu it said the salad had bleu cheese, but if it was bleu, it was extremely mild. More like a goat cheese to me.)
We had a choice of appetizers. I went with the Ricotta Gnocchi in lobster cream. This was more than good, and went way beyond excellent. I recommended to the manager that they use this as a main dish. He told me that they have done it a few times for special occasions. Anytime you can get this at Tazzina's, jump on it. Bathe in it. Roll in it. This stuff is fantastic.
For my main entree I chose the Grilled New York steak. I actually am not a big steak person, because steak is just a plain hunk of meat and I like more flavor than that. But what I really wanted was the potato-gruyere gratin and grilled asparagus that came as sides. The steak was good- no complaint at all, but the potatoes were incredible! A lot of the 'steak juice' oozed out and mixed in with the potatoes. This was a heavenly mush of potato, cheese and umm..steak juice. Made the whole plate worth it.
For dessert there were 3 options, a Chocolate Banana Souffle, Individual Almond and raspberry cakes, and a cheese and fruit plate.
I ordered the almond and raspberry cakes. Alas, when I saw my pink cake, with a very delicate chocolate butterfly on top, I realized I ordered the 'chick dessert'. Not to say it wasn't good, but theContinue Reading
Hello. I was walking on Main and noticed a new Mexican restaurant/taqueria in the place next to the Army Navy Surplus where there was a Chinese restaurant a while back. Of note is the Chinese restaurant served good menudo on weekends. So tonight my wife and I and my sixteen year old tried it out. Usually we are T. Guadalajara regulars. I had chili verde, my wife had chili colorado, and my son had a torta with shredded beef, or picadillo de res.. The torta and colorado were immediately deemed better than T. Guad., the verde was on a par. Salsa was served at the table with chips and was tasty. Refills were provided. The rice and beans were good and the plates had generous garnishes of quacamole, salsa cruda, and crema.
We recommend this place highly. The current name is La Garita, but it will soon be changed to El Juvilete by the new owners. The place has only been open a week.
Since people keep making a big fuss about gay marriage, I decided to do what any self-respecting, heterosexual male would do. I decided to get married to a man. And don't get me wrong, he's not just any man, he's a big brown Filipino man.
He's my friend and co-worker, who wasn't as into the idea as much as I was.
I got an e-mail today from an InsideWoodland reader pointing me to an article in the Daily Democrat about JC (from this InsideWoodland story: http://insidewoodland.com/sunnyday.cfm ) passing on.
JC was one of my most memorable interviews, and one that caused a lot of people to really tell me that what I was doing was horrible, insensitive and calloused.
Some people even said that I should not approach people like JC, because they might be dangerous. A lot of people feel that way, and would avoid JC and others like him.
Sadly, Jim Smith sums up the situation best in his article in the Democrat: "One of the only stories I've been able to find on Smith was published by insidewoodland.com."
So I ask people who hated my original story- would it have been better if I hadn't interviewed him at all? Would it be best if he had died, and his story had never been written?
Jim Smith wrote about my story: "Based on the writing, I'm not able to tell how much of Smith or the writer came through."
That's a fair assessment, and one that doesn't bother me. It just reminds me of the age old question, "How do you describe an elephant to a blind man?"
How can you understand an article about JC, if you haven't talked to him? He was not your average person. He had his own way of thinking. Describing that to people who cannot open their mind to something completely different is difficult. My article was just a conversation with a man who most people avoid. What came through was basically just what JC wanted to say.
Now JC is gone, I'll never talk to him again. I'm proud that I took the opportunity to do it while I still could.
Last week the weather changed here in dear, dirty Woodland, and the tires on my Honda Dadmobile began to hydroplane back and forth on "the 113." Prior to purchasing any new tires, I would normally just wait until either a) the tread peals away from the tires at 78mph or b) I slide right off of the road.
Unfortunately, I have to drive to a training seminar in Oakland on Monday, and the prospect of conducting the training from my cell-phone while sitting in a ditch near Pinole doesn't appeal to me. Therefore, I was feeling fairly primed for a couple of new tires when I saw the magic sign draped in front of the Les Schwab here in Woodland (a tire-chain based out of Oregon).
That's right, it's FREE BEEF time at Les Schwab Tires!
I was a bit peckish, so I fishtailed into the parking lot and slid into a space. While Les Schwab Tires is known for superior customer service, no one sprinted to my car or held the door open for me. Certainly, I didn't expect such a show of retail fawning in the pouring down rain, but how could I not be a little disappointed?
I waited in line behind an elderly couple who actually said, "whatever you think is best; we trust you." Such words are rarely used these days for any service or retail provider. Even doctors don't receive that kind of confidence. Perhaps the doctors should sprint to your car when you pull into the hospital? At the very least they could hold the door open for you, right?
As I waited, I looked around at the tall stacks of tires, some reaching twenty feet into the air. The smell of rubber reminded me of the internship I did at the Trojan Condom Company in the summer of '89. Ah, those were the days.
I made my way to the front of the line and received a very friendly greeting from the gentleman behind the counter.
I finished up the transaction and took a seat. Les Schwab Tires is the kind of place where you can enjoy a cup of Bunn-O-MaticContinue Reading
Earlier I had a guest writer who submitted an article about Real Estate in Woodland. Personally I thought it was an informative piece. But sadly the response to the story wasn't very positive. (Sorry Karla...) But real estate is a very important part of our economy and I think we need to learn more. So I'm comin' at ya with another real estate article.
Everyone in Woodland knows about the Spring Lake development. It's out on County Road 102, where there are plans to build almost 3,000 new houses. One of the newest developments in Springlake is by Centex homes, and the new models are open.
New people, new roads, new houses. It sounds good on paper- but what do these houses really look like? I wanted to know, so on a rainy Saturday I went out, took a tour and snapped a few pictures.
I was planning to tell you my opinions about too much materialism, our society's waste of resources, and how too many people are living in debt. But I'll skip that sermon because I too would like to live in one of these houses. But I can't really afford it...so I just tour them on the weekends.
Sadly though, not everyone who buys a new house can afford it. Every day you read stories about families who purchased expensive homes with interest-only or adjustable rate mortgages. A lot of people got sucked into buying houses they couldn't afford.
***Remember, being able to pay a mortgage doesn't mean you can really afford a house. When you look at model homes you want the house because the way it is decorated, all the nice options they have included, and the lifestyle they promise. Heck, if all I wanted to do was sit naked and alone on my living room floor I could buy all kinda house. But that's not my dream. (Well, not alone...)
Please click the links below to read the rest of the story!
I came home from work last night with a flyer threaded through the door handles of our front doors notifying us that there have been multiple burglaries and attempted burglaries in our fairly quiet neighborhood over the last week.
While I appreciate the heads up from the Woodland Police, it freaked me out a bit. First of all, when the wind blows, my dog Zero barks. He also barks when he sees a shadow out the window, or thinks he hears something outside. To be honest, he'll bark if you look at him sideways sometimes too.
So when I was home alone last night, it was a little freaked when he was growling looking out the window into our back yard. I haven't gotten the Democrat in quite some time, so I'm wondering whether the crime rate has been rising in town.
I moved to Woodland after spending my 20s living in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and then Berkeley. I appreciated the quiet, rural/suburban feel of the town (at least that's how it was 10 years ago), but it seems like as the city's population grows, my comfort level has decreased.
Still love it here though, so we're tightening up the security, and I'll stop telling Zero to be quiet.
Instead of just saying, "No, you can't get married" to same-sex couples, Yolo County Clerk/Recorder Freddie Oakley will be handing out "Certificates of Inequality" this Valentine's Day.
It's a gesture to show that she hates having to discriminate against people as a part of her job.
Members of conservative groups, like Campaign for Children and Families, are turning purple in the face, hiding their children, stocking their bomb shelters with canned food, taking multi-vitamins and praying to their totally heterosexual god that she will not carry out this sinful act.
Where will Oakley stop, they say.
They even compare her actions to promoting polygamy. The last time I checked, nobody was born a polygamist. Well, I might have been, but no one else.
Anyway, Oakley says that denying same sex couples a right to get married is a part of her job she HATES. She's still carrying it out, though, because she's a dedicated county employee. She just happens to have an opinion.
When a gay couple comes up to her on Feb. 14, she's still going to tell them "No, you can't be married." And if a pair of dogs came up to her and barked the same thing, she'd deny them too.
As a small token, she made these little, dinky certificates at home as a symbol to say, "Hey, I don't think it's right either, but I have to deny your happiness here by order of the U.S. Government."
This month, advocates for "family values" are not eating, thinking about or expressing any interest in: hot dogs, zucchinis, lollipops or any other suspect food item this month as they figure out a plan to stop Oakley and her plight to gay up America.
Oakley and her plight to tarnish the fabric of our society (and by fabric, I mean American made rubber) is a trick to put herself in the spotlight, they say.
What in the hell are people thinking? Anti-gayness just leaves me with a bunch of questions: Is empathy a bad thing? Who is it hurting? Why are people angry at gays and one public official's act of sympathy?
She's using her own paper and printer to make these certificates.
She's not bringing gay people into your home.
She's not making homosexuality mandatory.
Someone very close to me said that the tradition of marriage involves a man and woman, so that's the way it should remain. In that case, we should keep beating our women when they ask to vote and trade black people for loaves of bread in the town square.
Religious leader Ted Haggard:
marriage is the union between a man and a woman. It would be devastating for the children of our nation and for the future of Western civilization for us to say that homosexual unions or lesbian unions or any alteration of that has the moral equivalence of a heterosexual,Continue Reading
I went to Osaka Sushi the other night with my wife. Whenever I go to sushi, I go with my wife. I'm not really a fan. But I have found that most Japanese places have seen enough Gaijin to make sure that the big fat white guy has something to eat that is either fried, covered in sugary sauce, or both. So I manage. (Excuse me, can I have a fork?)
So we went to Osaka on Main Street. Instead of my usual order or either the Tempura/Teriyaki combo or the Tempura dinner, I went with the Yakisoba with chicken.
Yakisoba is basically a noodle dish with some bean sprouts, onions and chicken. The most interesting part is the black seeds (sesame?) that they sprinkle on top. I've ordered yakisoba before and it's been about the same every time I've gotten it, kinda boring. I don't blame Osaka for this, I just think it is a boring dish. (Why do I order it? I don't know.)
My wife on the other hand ordered the Osaka Maki sushi roll, which I think is about as far away from sushi as you can get, while still selling it at a Japanese restaurant. It's a roll with fried shrimp on the inside, some of the seaweed paper, rice, avocado, two sauces (1 sweet, 1 spicy) and some fish eggs on top.
In fact, if it weren't for the seaweed and fish eggs, I would really like the Osaka Maki roll. My wife on the other hand really likes it as is- she calls it a 'guilty pleasure' because it is so far from traditional sushi. "But it still tastes really good."
After ordering yakisoba, I wanted to prove to everyone that yes, I still am a big fat white guy, so I pulled out the big guns and ordered the tempura fried ice cream. Not even the green tea, but the vanilla. Osaka serves up a monsterous helping of ice cream. Prior to frying the ice cream, they layer it with pound cake. Honestly, that may actually be a little too much for me. It's good, but ultra sweet. Also there is a healthy pile of whipped cream on the side.
As far as the restaurant goes, Osaka is good. I *do* like their tempura (the Tempura Dinner is a humongous mound of fried food- very good). They do not serve udon which is a little disappointing. But, they give you some neat little melon candies at the end of the meal.
This last time I was at Osaka our service was pretty good, and our waiter (a hispanic guy) was pretty good. But in the past I have had some horrible service - over an hour for a meal - which made me miss my movie at the State. So their service seems hit-and-miss.
The Restaurant: Not fancy, but kinda cool: 8
I went and got my hair cut the other day in a place near Bel Air. After getting my hair cut I figured I would go over to Marble Slab and get an ice cream.
Well, it was Wednesday, or 'Wild Wednesday' in Marble Slab parlance...so the line was way too long for me to get ice cream.
Rather than giving up completely, I figured I would go to Bel Air and get some Haagen Daz Caramel Cone ice cream. This stuff is GOOD. Caramel ice cream with some bits of mashed up sugar cone...and I think there is choclate somewhere, but I am not sure. (Yes it does have chocolate. According to the Haagen Daz website: "this creamy blend of caramel ice cream with rich caramel swirls balances the sweet crunch of chocolate-covered cone pieces for a harmony of caramel, chocolate and crunch in every bite.")
Well I am standing in the ice cream aisle, staring at the Haagan Daz display trying to find the Caramel Cone. I glanced down the aisle and a guy is walking toward me. I notice that he was dressed nice, wearing a tie, a long camel hair coat, and his hair was gelled up.
I went back to the ice cream, and stared at the freezer like an idiot for another 15 seconds before I realized that the guy was standing behind me, waiting for his own chance at the ice cream. I said, "Oh sorry" and stepped out of the way. He opened up the freezer door, and reached in to grab the carton he was looking for. As he did that, I finally saw the Caramel Cone, so I reached in at the same time.
As our hands came out of the cooler together, he held up his Pineapple Coconut ice cream and said, "Have you tried this? It's fantastic!" I held out my ice cream and said, "I was going to ask you the same thing- because this stuff is really good."
Then one of us, I don't remember who, said, "Hey- let's trade." So we did. We each handed our ice cream over to the other with a smile. A very small part of my day that was made much more exciting by interacting with a stranger.
I went down the aisle toward the cash registers, ready to pay for my ice cream. The other guy (who was now carrying my Caramel Cone in his basket) had gotten in line right before me. I looked for another line to stand in, but this was the only one open. Now after our little friendly moment in front of the ice cream freezer this additional time in line was a uncomfortable. I mean, sure we traded ice cream, but I don't think either one of us was looking for a relationship. Should we talk? Or no?
We stood there for about 30 seconds before the store opened another register. The guy with my ice cream hurried over- I think he was as uncomfortable as I was. I stayed in line even thoughContinue Reading
Article by: Karla Lindstrom, REALTORﾮ, Century 21 Trongo and Assoc., Inc. 221 W. Main Str.,Woodland, Ca. 95695
View Listings: http://www.karlalindstrom.com
C.A.R. reports sales decrease 15.3 percent in December, median price of a home in California at $567,690, up 3.7 percent from year ago
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 25) "Home sales decreased 15.3 percent in December in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home increased 3.7 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS" (C.A.R.) reported today.
"The market continues to level out as buyers and sellers search for common ground in today's more balanced environment," said C.A.R. President Colleen Badagliacco. "The number of homes for sale peaked in June and July and has since edged downward. Although time on the market remains higher than it was a year ago, competitively priced homes continue to sell well."
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 450,550 in December at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTORﾮ associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity decreased 15.3 percent from the 531,910 sales pace recorded in December 2005.
The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2006 would be if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during December 2006 was $567,690, a 3.7 percent increase over the revised $547,400 median for December 2005, C.A.R. reported. The December 2006 median price increased 2.2 percent compared with November's revised $555,280 median price.
"Year-over-year sales declined in most regions last month, albeit at a lesser pace then what we experienced earlier this year," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "The price picture across the state continues to be mixed. Increases were strongest in urban areas that experienced relatively less new home building or strong economic growth in recent years. Prices were weakest where there has been robust home building activity or in those areas of the state that were popular with second-home buyers."
Highlights of C.A.R.'s resale housing figures for December 2006:
. C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in December 2006 was 6.8 months, compared with 3.5 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. The index indicatContinue Reading
Honestly, walking into Pad Thai you probably won't be impressed. The place has a very small storefront. The front seating area of the restaurant has 4 or 5 small tables right next to the kitchen. The back of the restaurant opens up for quite a few more tables and a couple of noisy refrigerators.
Style, decoration and elegance are not where Pad Thai will win any awards, but honestly that is okay because the food more than makes up for it.
I ordered Gaeng Pet (30) which is: "Red curry in coconut milk with bamboo shoot, sugarpeas, yellow and red sweet peppers, sweet basil." I ordered it with chicken. If you're a fan of Thai curry dishes then you're in for a treat because the curry at Pad Thai is some of the best I have ever had. Really, in the world of Thai curry I give Pad Thai a 10. A solid 10. No complaints...perfect curry.
If you have never had Thai curry, then I recommend you try it. The important thing to know is that it is not like an Indian curry because the coconut milk really tones the curry down. This stuff is fantastic. They bring you a bowl of what I would call 'curry soup' and another bowl of white rice. Then you mix it on your plate any way you want. My favorite part is at the end when I get to dump rice into the bottom of the curry bowl and let it soak up the last of the juice.
My wife ordered the Khaopad Khun-Pan (51) which is: "Fried rice with chopped garlic, chili, sugar peas, red and yellow sweet peppers and basil." It was good, but I like the curry more. My wife said, "Ingredients were fresh, the vegetables were fresh. I ordered no spice but it could have been hotter."
Okay here's an important thing about spice. At most Thai restaurants they ask you how spicy you want your dish, ranging from 'no spice' to 'Thai spicy.' Thai spicy is the equivalent of pouring flaming gasoline into your mouth. 'Regular spicy' would make an old Mexican man blush. 'Medium' is not too bad at all and 'mild' is probably still too hot for people not used to spicy food. Personally I was disappointed with my wife's 'no spice' but it is better than the alternative, when I was trying to be manly and ordered 'Thai spicy.'
Pad Thai food: 9 (10 for the curry!)
Overall Pad Thai is great. The food is excellent. The ambiance my not be fantastic, but good god, we live in a town where taco trucks are historic landmarks. Try Pad Thai, I think you'll like it.
Ranch Kitchen - solid American (A-Mercan) breakfast that won't disappoint.
Ranch Kitchen is a tiny little restaurant on East Street. I've only been there for breakfast, so I can't tell you about anything else- but I can tell you that their breakfast is very good. Exactly what you would want from a real American breakfast joint.
Surprisingly, Ranch Kitchen is run by people from the 'Indian Subcontinent'. (That is my attempt at being politically correct. I assume they are Indian, but possibly they could be Pakistani or even Sri Lankan.) The reason it is surprising is that in a place like Ranch Kitchen I expect to see a woman name 'Madge' behind the counter, her fingers soaking in Palmolive. But you know what? Madge doesn't exist. Or at least if she does, she is sitting on her lazy ass at home, watching QVC- not cooking me breakfast. The people running Ranch Kitchen do exist, and they do a great job.
I ordered the Number 11 plate with corned beef hash, two eggs over easy, hash browns and wheat toast ($7.45). For me, corned beef hash is one of the foods of my childhood. Ranch Kitchen did a great job with it. (Hmm...I wonder if they have Chipped Beef on Toast (SOS) that was another of my favorites.)
My eggs over easy were done perfectly; the white was fully cooked and the yolk was runny. The corned beef hash was fried up a little bit and made crispy. The hashbrowns were pretty darn near perfect- crunchy on the outside, and nicely cooked inside. I ate this at 8:30 am, and I was not hungry again until about 6:00 pm!
My daughter ordered the biscuits and gravy ($4.95). It was decent, but not thrilling. Personally I like my biscuits to be more dense and I want my gravy to have enough pepper and sausage to have a 'bite'. The biscuits were fluffy and the gravy was mild, but some people might like it that way.
Ambiance...well, I wouldn't use that word here. But the place feels right. This reminds me of the type of place my dad would take me at 5:00 in the morning when we would go out fishing. Nothing missing at all. Even the unicorn clocks on the wall (for sale, $56) feel right. And the fact that the 'dining room' music (The Beatles) and the kitchen music (Mexican) blended together really fit.
One last thing to add: they do not accept credit cards.
I like Ranch Kitchen. They do a great job on breakfast.
Corned beef hash plate: 8.5
You may be thinking: "Why the hell do you have to mention that the people who run the plaContinue Reading
Since InsideWoodland went bloggy, I've been scanning the headlines on Woodland's other news Web site, the Daily Democrat, looking for a story about the huge importance of this change.
So far, I haven't seen anything, although I have to admit that I spend very little time digging into the various news topics on the poorly designed site.
I was sure that, if anywhere, they would mention IW in the blog section of the site. Being that there are only a handful of Woodland blogs with any sizable audience, I assumed this new community blog might get a mention. Alas, this is not the case.
If you do go to the Daily Democrat's blog, please note the number of comments each one of their blog posts gets. As far as I can tell, they get no comments and no trackbacks which indicates there is no interest.
My suggestion to the Democrat Blog Central team is to switch their link over to InsideWoodland and join this community, one that is actually active.
This was a "made for TV" movie filmed in Woodland in 1973. Obviously, this is not the same "Bloodsport" as the (in)famous Van-Damme from '88. The movie of which I speak is very rare to obtain and I am seeking a copy, or at least a viewing.
Anyways, Gary Busey was one of the stars, and apparently part of the movie was filmed in my house. I want to see my house in 1973. Anyone know how I can get a copy of this rarity?
The Plot: "A high school athlete is torn between his father, who wants him to get a football scholarship, and his coach, who wants a winning season."Bloodsport began life under the less alluring title Poetry in Motion. Gary Busey and Ben Johnson star as, respectively, a high-school football quarterback and his "winning is the only thing" father. The more his dad pushes him, the less Busey truly wants to be an athlete. The inter-family hostility comes to a head during an excitingly filmed climactic gridiron battle. Made for TV, Bloodsport was initially telecast on December 5, 1973. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
The Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069804/
If anyone can track down a copy or even a borrowed copy, I will bake some cookies for you.