Three – San Mateo, California

When you haven’t seen your close cousin and nephew in sometime, you schedule a brunch. Browsing OpenTable, I found Three. A restaurant with good reviews in Downtown San Mateo. I picked up the boys on the other side of Highway 101 and went down Third Street until I found street parking near the restaurant. No need to look for a Pay By Phone sign for parking. The meters do not need to be fed.
Walk in the main door and you immediately see the bar and a podium to check in for our reservation. The first dining room had natural light coming in from our right, there were chalkboard drawings on the walls, banquet seating and individual tables. We room where we were sat was an area between that room and another room near the kitchen near a server station and the door to go downstairs for the bathroom. In the room we could see from our table, there was a nice long table of about 20 filled with guests. I could only assume more of the kitchen was to the left and just beyond that long table.
We started out at the bar with a Guava Mimosa for my cousin and a very sweet sparkling cocktail for me.
Cocktail plus the Taj Clutch by Stella & Dot
We were sat at a large table for four, though there was three of us dining that Sunday afternoon at Three. I honestly picked this place to get my 100 dining points to use another time and for their unique brunch selections. We should all have had the chicken and waffles but here, they made it into a sandwich. Add an egg if you wish! We did! We all ordered the same thing. The boys have never dined here but they have used the likes of Doordash to get the same sandwich delivered. My cousin was excited to have it fresh.
We started with crispy pork belly which was sinfullydelicious. The belly was stuck to the plate a bit but it was a fight we were invested in to win. We also had the mushroom rolls which was basically diced mushroom fried in thin wrappers.

My cousin Yelps, my nephew Snapchats and I do both plus blog! Here we are doing what we do. It clearly runs in the family. You’re welcome, Three, for the social media exposure.
I could not complete the sandwich and took off the soggy waffles and just ate the eggs and chicken. I prefer my waffles a bit crispy, my eggs over medium which came out over easy but the chicken was flavorful and a healthy portion. It all felt really heavy and I added a parfait with fresh fruit. The bowl was HUGE with a ton of granola on top. I think it helped balance out my good and bad intake for this meal.

Friendly service all around. I’d like to come back for their dinner.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

Three times here and always a good time. The first time was having a birthday luncheon out on the patio with Bevo after a long walk on the beach. The second time was after hiking Purisima Trail with friends. And this last time was with my sister for her birthday weekend. 

What should we get? 
#ALLTHEBEER
My friend John of Mujicians Brewing Company always gets all the beer at a brewery to try them all! Why choose just three? Why choose beers you think you’ll like? Tasting beer is just as fun as wine tasting. With so many breweries popping up, I assure you, they’re not all Bud Lights (thank God). Some won’t taste like you think they would. I enjoy being shocked with a unique scent and an unexpected flavor or color. I am no expert on the topic but I can tell you you’ll have fun if you get ‘All The Beer!’

I told Nelson that this should be addition to his food truck.

My sister, Melyssa, has never experienced this and we received a tray of all the local beers on tap. The Filipino in her thought we had to finish them all. Nope, just finish what you like. We took beer menu, wrote down what we thought we tasted and put in order which were our favorites.

The results:
Our favorite – HMB’s Apricot & Passion Fruit Belgian Blonde. 5.5% ABV. 20 IBU.
Melyssa’s #2 – HMB’s Kolsch. 5.1% ABV. 21 IBU.
My #2 – HMB’s Calf-eine Coffee Milk Stout. 7% ABV. 23 IBU.
Melyssa’s #3 – HMB’s Calf-eine Coffee Milk Stout. 7% ABV. 23 IBU.
My #3 – HMB’s Daily Ritual Coffee Blonde. 5% ABV. 16 IBUs. Because it was soooo weird!

Other notes were that the Honey Ale was like nothing. It was the Bud Light on the tray. The Honk If You’re Heffy from El Granada, CA was 5.4% ABV and a Bavarian wheat beer. It smelled of rotting oranges and the finish was not pleasing. Sorry, Honky beer on the tray.
My sister ended up going with a pint of our favorite, the fruity Belgian Blonde. Sadly, she couldn’t finish it and I did. It’s good!
Frank, our Server, was awesome and attentive. He also delivered a pretzel with melted cheese, two crab sandwiches and  my Jameson just like I like it.

After the flight of beer, I wanted a picture in my Kauai Island Brewing Company sweatshirt near their sign. Clearly, the beer and whiskey has kicked in. 

Take 2

 

Cheers! And remember, order ALL THE BEER!

Mother’s Day 2017

Being a mother is just not in the cards for me and I have recently come to grips with that. As a product of divorce and my lovely dating track record, I do not wish having an innocent go thru what I went thru if I have anything to do with it.  I’m OK with being a puppy momma to Bevo and an aunt to my several nieces and nephews.

Yesterday, I met up with our former Pastry Chef, Michelle, at her baby’s first birthday party in San Bruno. It was a windy day and I had to stand in the sun. It was nice to catch up and know that she’ll be A-OK after DW. Gabe is her first baby. He’s a cutie and is smiling a lot more.

Then I spent time with my best friend and my niece and nephew. I treated her to a quick beauty session at the mall and a ‘fancy’ dinner at The Habit. We sang Moana songs in the car and had some Snapchat fun. Christy works so hard, is a good mom and does basically everything for the kids. I tried to do what I can to make sure she knows she’s loved on Mother’s Day, even though we did it one day before.

Spontaneously, I ended up a the Grand Opening of Dirty Bird in Hayward thanks to a text received by my Cousin Leslie. She was there because our friend Peter knows one of the samba dancers they were having. I had no idea the Dirty Bird was there. I always saw when I drove down Mission but never went. It’s a pretty cool spot. I’ll have to try their food some time. They had a fried chicken sandwich and empanadas. I was super full from The Habit so I just stuck with water.

My Cousin Leslie has three children with the youngest being 8 months old. I haven’t met Logan yet. But soon! She’s going to school, working full time and definitely has her hands full.

Today, on actual Mother’s Day,  I took my Lola to church and then went to A’trio at the Marriott in Walnut Creek. The experience was pretty terrible with the busser setting the table throwing a spoon in front of Lola and roughly putting down semi-clean coffee mugs top-side down on the table. Servers were yelling across the dining room floor at each other. Our Server, Mimi, was nice but I had a 12:30 PM reservation and they pulled the buffet at that time. Thank goodness we arrived early to get some food. We were offered the lunch menu but no offer to have whatever we wanted at a discount or comped price. Why would they offer a 12:30 PM reservation on Opentable if the food wasn’t going to be offered. They also charged a 20% service charge for three people. I can’t say I’ll ever take important women like my Lola and my sister there ever again. The topping on the cake was that I asked for a special events packet from the front desk. They told me they didn’t have any and that I should come back tomorrow. As an Event Planner and part owner of a Restaurant, how hard is it to have this information readily available? It’s kind of mind blowing how awful that experience was at a popular, international hotel chain.

Nonetheless, I was there to spend time with my family. My sister will be moving to North Carolina soon so holidays like this will be few and far between.

Wearing the Odeon Pendant Necklace ($128) by Stella & Dot

These are Wonder Women in my eyes. They are all different, have different responsibilities and challenges but they have chosen to take their role as a mother, own it and do what they can for their children. Cheers to you!

Feed a Cold

Perhaps it was a weekend staying in with a still sick roommate, or the walk in the wind and rain to the car from shutting down Dave & Buster’s at the Serramonte Mall, now called the Serramonte Center, in Daly City, CA or two back-to-back 11-hour days, but I had to take a sick day. Which doesn’t really mean I didn’t work. I have been doing nothing but!

In between working and writing this post, I had to get some food. I didn’t feel like cooking so I turned to the trusty Eat24.com website and ordered some food for delivery. I mostly get food from Favorite Indian Restaurant while using the app/website but I needed soup. And though I haven’t worked out at all this week besides the 12,000+ a day steps that were done and some squats in between, I didn’t hold back in ordering $40 worth of food from King Kong Chinese Restaurant, including Hot & Sour Soup, Deep Fried Wontons, Honey Walnut Prawns and Dry Braised String Beans. Yes, all for me. I offered some food to the roommate but he was not interested. I guess I will be having leftovers.

My favorite item from this evening’s meal was the Deep Fried Wontons. I usually eat all of the Honey Walnut Prawns before noticing they’re even gone but there seemed to be a bit more sourness added to it and not as crispy. The String Beans were soaking in sauce so they were a bit soggy. And the soup, the whole reason I ordered Chinese food was just so-so. Perhaps my taste buds are a bit off because of this cold but I wasn’t impressed. Sorry, King Kong. Ha-CHOO!

Hayward & Castro Valley restaurants! Please sign up with Eat24! I would really like a lot more variety in my area. There isn’t a single Thai restaurant listed.

Don’t forget to also drink plenty of fluids!
Knob Creek, Disney‘s Grumpy, Theraflu & water in a Blender Bottle.

#250KChallenge 2017 – Week 3

Measurements today said I gained weight. Well damn. This isn’t going so well. And I know why. Whiskey and diet.

Last Sunday night, we had a foie gras private party. Our foie gras ice cream was the best offering. Just saying!

I also had a lot of caviar and crostinis. Damn those carbs! But nice shoes, right?

Shoes by Jessica Simpson and caviar from The Caviar Company.

The next day was my day off with MBT and we love whiskey as seen on my Instagram pic that the new Fort Green Bar in Oakland re-posted during Oakland Restaurant Week 2017

We also stopped at Havana in Walnut Creek for another beverage before going to our cooking class at Sur La Table. A separate post will be on that fun event.

The next evening, I had to attend my Cugino’s birthday dinner and I picked up Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs in San Mateo. They were pretty good! And not to mention the spread of meat, crab legs and birthday cake and wine. Oh goodness.

Seeing that I’m only on recapping the second day of the week and I know I make poor dining decisions with Court Court, I agree, I am eating extremely poorly. But it was SF Restaurant Week! We went to Plouf for a $40 3-course meal and then went to Pagan Idol because it was conveniently across the street! We had to get the $50 scorpion bowl-like thing. They light it on fire!

Eating terribly but still going to the gym! I see some progress but that could just be the shadows but I liked what I saw!

Snapchat ‘bappletree’ – New Spalding pants from TJ Maxx. $15 plus ShopKick points.
Nutrishop tank

Then it was dinner with Dylan with lobster, veggies, salad, a basil cocktail and gelato and sorbet. Kind of amazing. Then we checked out the new Sons of Liberty Alehouse also in San Leandro. Who knew! They have been open for 9 weeks and it was a good time.

But it was time to hike on Sunday morning. Trying to keep up with my resolution this year to hike once a month. We did almost five miles on Mt. Diablo (last time was in 2011,) then beer and BBQ at Southern Sweetwater Tavern in Danville. 

Soooo, goals for Week 4.

FOOD – I would say stop eating like garbage would be the best route. Tomorrow, Monday, will be tough. It’s my company party and Monday with MBT is usually my cheat day. I need that to be my ONLY cheat day.

WORKWEEK HUSTLE – I killed again in the work week’s hustle on Fitbit, with me in second place for the Weekend Warrior challenge and over 100,600 steps in the past seven days. I need to keep my streak going.

WATER – Need to count my water intake and flush out toxins. Sorry, Whiskey, you can’t stay in me forever!

What are your goals for Week 4?

Menlo Grill & Bar – Menlo Park, CA

The owners of the Stanford Park Hotel are a client of a law firm I worked for seven years and now my Cugino works there as a server. This was my second time visiting and it’s mainly because I wanted to see my Cousin. It’s been quite a bit of time.

It’s a beautiful hotel and part of a chain with locations in Lafayette, Bodega Bay, Monterey, CarmelSan Francisco, and Napa. I went to a Yelp Elite event at the one in Lafayette and my aunt got married at the one in Bodega Bay. Check out my other post of a recent weekend getaway in Bodega Bay. It was wonderful.

My cousin has been the lounge the two times I came to visit. I did bring my other two cousins the first time and we sat by the fireplace. I had a custom fruit bowl and a whiskey cocktail I had to pass onto my cousin. It was making me sleepy as work has been draining me. They had the kale salad and a beer. This is wear my cousin Leslie told me that she was pregnant! I felt honored to be told before it was officially announced. She’s now due in the next few weeks. 
This time I sat at the bar as Leslie and Scott were busy. I kind of invited them to join me late as I wasn’t exactly sure when I would be there. I also invited my former Executive Chef and sweet friend. Sweet and Chef in the same sentence? Yes, to me, he is. I’m lucky. I miss working with him. But he had a late table arrive at his Michelin-star restaurant and had to stay. Another time.
So it was just Randy, the Bartender, Raphael, the Manager and my cousin. I was starving and ordered the Asparagus and Prosciutto starter with arugula and balsamic vinaigrette. It was delish. 

And then my Sea Bass arrived in a tower atop a bed of broccolini, a fried square of rice, the fish and a taro chip. A mushroom broth was poured on top of it in front of me. It was absolutely perfect. For a Pinay, I don’t need to have rice with every meal. The rice was a wonderful surprise and I saved a quarter of it to the end to let my tastebuds have that as the last thing it would enjoy.

I wasn’t planning on drinking but I enjoy restaurants specialty cocktails. The Angela is on the menu. A drink my cousin had me try at his last job and is named after his wonderful girlfriend that was currently enjoying Miami like other girlfriends of mine partying it up for Layla’s bachelorette party. I went with Randy’s Purple Rain cocktail with bourbon and muddled blueberries and lemon. It was tasty. My lightweight ass of not really drinking felt the effects of the liquor half way thru the drink.

They all were told that I am one of the owners of DW and I was chatting with Raphael about their event space. They’re patio area is beautiful with string lights and fire pits. A room equipped for presentations for about 50 people is on the same floor near the door. Thru an outside entrance, a back room with windows that let in natural light is also available. Raphael took me up to the third floor and showed me a conference room where Jerry Rice typically has his press conferences. “Did you say Jerry? I love Jerry.

It’s a nice spot and is quite popular for business guests. Regulars would stay there to avoid the traffic if they lived in Marin. By all means, if you have the resources to avoid the commute, more power to you! I met a funny, British gent and his family from Toronto. We got to talking about Ottawa and Buffalo. Or ex-guys I used to date. We also talked about ice wine, inappropriate jokes and men from Mars. Another patron was in town for vacation, went to a beach south of Half Moon Bay, left the car for 20 minutes and his belongings were stolen out of his car. So sad. We also saw two newlyweds towards the end of the evening. Congratulations! It was a fun, relaxing, easy evening out with seeing my loved one and fun bar talk with strangers.
Check out the Stanford Park Hotel for events, dining and be nice to my Cugino Ron. Also, don’t forget to tip your bartender!