Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

NOTE: Still working on the “Road Trip” and “Burning Man” Blogs, be patient.

There’s a new place to eat in town! Fat Sal’s is open and located in the old Johnny Rocket’s space on the corner of Ventura and Balboa.

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Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

Indoor and Outdoor seating available. The Patio is covered now so you can sit and watch the cars go by in the shade. Parking is still limited in the small lot, but there is a lot of metered street parking (8am-8pm everyday except Sunday) available nearby.

There’s a big menu on the wall.  Order at the counter and wait for your number to be called (actually they give you a pager). They’re makin’ sandwiches over here!

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NOTE: They have a bunch of flat screen TELEVISIONS (with all the games on) inside!

Signature “Fat” sandwiches & burgers, salads & wraps, fries, sides, and shakes are the board of fare. So, I had a Philly Cheesesteak and it was a good Philly Cheesesteak.

They have 2 digital “self-service” soda fountains with many beverage choices. On a sad note, they charge 25 cents for sauces (WHICH IS STUPID AND BAD FOR BUSINESS). but when we asked for mustard for our sandwich and BBQ sauce for our onion rings, he gave us a plastic cup of each and told me it was “on the house”.

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And the “Big Fat Fatty” Challenge for $49.99!

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“Big Fat Fatty” Food Challenge!

ON THE MENU: Philly Cheesesteak and Onion Rings with a Dr Pepper

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Philly Cheesesteak and Onion Rings!

The Cheesesteak gets a thumbs up and the burgers got a thumbs up too. The fries were limp, undercooked and not good at all, but the onion rings were terrific. Nice mixed Encino crowd checking out the new place, most likely will stay in business for awhile.

Fat Sal’s – 16901 Ventura Blvd (at Balboa Blvd), Encino http://www.fatsalsdeli.com

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!



 

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“Where’s The Beef?”

“Where’s The Beef?”

WARNING! Vegans and Vegetarians may want to skip this Blog.

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Clara Peller asks “Where’s The Beef?” in 1984

Beef is the name for meat from cattle.
Beef can be harvested from bulls, cows, heifers or steers.

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Habit Burger Grill – Double BBQ Bacon Charburger with Cheese!

“Let’s Play Know Your Cuts of Meat!” – David Letterman

Beef muscle (MEAT) is cut into roasts, short ribs or steaks.
Cuts: filet mignon, sirloin steak, rump steak, rib steak, rib eye steak, hanger steak, etc.
Some cuts are processed (corned beef and beef jerky) and trimmings are ground, minced or used in sausages. Blood is used in some varieties of blood sausage.
Other parts: the oxtail, liver, tongue, tripe from the reticulum or rumen, glands (the pancreas and thymus are called sweetbreads), the heart, the brain, the kidneys and testicles (called calf friesprairie oysters or Rocky Mountain oysters in the U.S.) are eaten too. Some intestines are cooked and eaten, but more often they are cleaned and used as natural sausage casings. The bones are used for making beef stock and gelatin.

Beef is the third most consumed meat in the world, accounting for about 25% of meat production worldwide (after pork 38% and poultry 30%).

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“Where’s The Beef?”

Beef is first divided into primal cuts during butchering.
Primal cuts are large pieces of meat initially separated from the animal’s carcass.
Steaks and other subdivisions are cut from these basic sections.

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Steak! (Before)

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Steak! (After)

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Steak-On-A-Stake at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

“Beef….it’s what’s for dinner.”

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Porcini-Rubbed Ribeye and Fingerling Potatoes at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood

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$29 Room Service Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

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Steak Diane at Yoshi’s in San Francisco

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Steak Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

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Bone-in Ribeye Steak w/fries at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

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2 AM Pastrami Sandwich at Tommy’s Joynt in San Francisco!

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Christmas Dinner! Prime Rib (perfectly done) at a Friend’s in North Hollywood

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Bite-Size Short Rib & Cheese Slider at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire

 

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Spicy Beef Panang at Chan Dara in Larchmont Village, California

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Cooking (All You Can Eat) Beef at AYCE GOGI in Van Nuys, California

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In-N-Out Burger Double-Double With Cheese!

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Wagyu Beef (on a hot stone) – Dinner Party at N/Naka in West Los Angeles

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Bone-In Ribeye Steak at Patina at the Hollywood Bowl

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Beef For Sale at The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point, Oregon

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Cheeseburger and Fries for Lunch at the Four Seasons Westlake Village

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Steak Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

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Steak Sandwich and Fries at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Choose Your Steak for Dinner at the Texas Roadhouse BBQ in Medford, Oregon

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Chili Burger from Tommy’s at Universal City in Los Angeles

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Steak Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Oregon

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Best Pastrami Sandwich in San Francisco at Tommy’s Joynt

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Home Cooked Bone-In Ribeye Steak with Sautéed Red Onion

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Cooking Beef Behind the Glass at The Stand in Encino, California

 

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Steak-On-A-Steak!

 

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Filet Mignon at Le Sanglier in Tarzana, California

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Bacon Cheeseburger & Fries at Karl Strauss Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles

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Prime Rib at the Sunday Brunch at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset in West Los Angeles

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Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Steak) at Versailles Cuban Food in Encino

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Crusted Filet Steak at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills

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BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Lunch at Jasper’s in Medford, Oregon

 

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Sloppy Joe!

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1/2 of the Cote de Boeuf at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

 

 

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NSFW Meat Humor:

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In-N-Out Burger: “Quality You Can Taste!”

FUN COOKING RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes/

Disney’s Secret Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Xo

More Fun Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Y3

Cooking With Kenny Rogers – DOLE Cookbook Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Yk

FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/cocktails/

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Fogo De Chao Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse


How did “Where’s The Beef?” become a part of the American vocabulary and an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event or product?

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Clara Peller (August 4, 1902 – August 11, 1987) was a manicurist and American character actress. Born on August 4, 1902 in Russia, she came to the United States at the age of 5 with an uncle and lived in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of 81, Clara starred in the 1984 “Where’s The Beef?” advertising campaign for Wendy’s restaurants, created by the Dancer Fitzgerald Sample advertising agency.
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At age 80, Clara was hired as a manicurist for a television commercial set in a Chicago barbershop. Impressed by her no-nonsense manners and unique voice, the agency signed her. She was hard of hearing and had emphysema, which limited her ability to speak long lines of dialogue, and she appeared in many TV commercials. She first attracted attention as a comical cleaning lady in an ad for the new Massachusetts State Lottery game “Megabucks” in the late 1970s and later became a national cultural phenomenon  in a series of commercials for the Wendy’s Restaurant chain.

First aired on January 10, 1984, the Wendy’s commercial “Fluffy Bun” portrayed a fictional competitor “Home of the Big Bun” where three elderly ladies are complaining about an enormous hamburger bun containing a tiny hamburger patty. Two of the women comment on the size of the bun and they are interrupted by Peller’s character, who looks around in vain  while making the outraged demand: “Where’s The Beef?”

“Where’s The Beef?” became a catchphrase (before viral video) across the United States.
The actress made the three-word phrase a cultural phenomenon, achieved Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame” and became an instant star. Sequels to the spots featured her yelling her famous line in various scenes and her face and the slogan were merchandised on shirts, hats, buttons, mugs, glasses, bumper stickers, frisbees, games, a commemorative plate, and all sorts of other products. Nashville songwriter and DJ Coyote McCloud wrote and performed a hit song entitled “Where’s the Beef?” released as a promotional single for Wendy’s featuring Clara Peller.

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“Where’s The Beef?” – The Game!

Wendy’s sales jumped 31% to $945 million in 1985 worldwide. Wendy’s Senior VP of Communications Denny Lynch said at the time that “with Clara we accomplished as much in five weeks as we did in 14½ years.” Former Vice-President Walter Mondale also used the line in his bid for the Democratic nomination in the 1984 presidential campaign.

The campaign ended in 1985 when Clara did a commercial for Campbell’s Prego pasta sauce, where she declares “I found it! I really found it!” After the Prego commercial aired, Wendy’s management decided to terminate her contract. Clara’s response: “I’ve made them millions and they don’t appreciate me.” Following her termination and the conclusion of the “Where’s The Beef?” campaign, Wendy’s suffered a 2 year sales slump and consumer awareness of the Wendy’s brand did not recover for another five years!

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NOTE: According to an A&E biography, “Where’s The Beef?” was actually an error made by Clara who was supposed to say “Where’s all the beef?” And another story says the line was shortened because of her emphysema.

Clara was paid scale for the first commercial and claimed she only made about $30,000 from the commercials, but Wendy’s claimed she was paid about $500,000 for her work. Clara also appeared in other commercials, did interviews and guest spots (including a cameo on “Saturday Night Live” in April 1984), made other appearances, and she had a small role in the feature film “Moving Violations.”

Clara Peller died in on August 11, 1987, one week after her 85th birthday.

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“Where’s The Beef?”



Disney’s Secret Recipes!

Disney’s Secret Recipes!  (well, not so secret…)2c02fea15eee5969dcce2eb9e02eab16_love-disney-characters-cook-clipart_564-763

We had NO IDEA how many “Disney” recipes and cookbooks there actually were!

There are the “real” Disney theme park recipes. There are recipes from old restaurants associated with Disney. And there are “Disney Inspired” and Disney themed recipes.

We’ve collected a few favorite recipes, but in researching this Blog, we found so many more!

So, here are some fun Disney recipes now shared on our Blog. Bon appetit! Enjoy!

 

DISNEY RESTAURANT MENU RECIPES:

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BIG THUNDER RANCH MENU RECIPES:

NOTE: Big Thunder Ranch opened in 1986 and closed permanently on January 11, 2016 and will soon be the new 14-acre “Star Wars” Land.

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OTHER RECIPES
and More Items of Interest:

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Mickey Mouse Pancakes at the River Belle Cafe!

The Famous DOLE WHIP (copycat) Recipe:

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Vintage Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Cookbook Recipes:

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And here’s the Malasadas (Jelly Donut) Recipe from the Aulani Hotel in Hawaii:

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Disneyland’s Mint Julep

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And a Disney “Adult Beverage”
(See Our Fun Cocktail Recipes Page!)

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Shrunken Ned’s Jungle Juice Cocktail

Ned1 oz Vodka
1 oz White Rum
1 oz Lemon Heart or Bacardi 151 Rum
1 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Orange juice
1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Add ingredients into a shaker with ice (except the Lemon Heart 151 rum). Shake vigorously. Pour into exotic or hurricane glass. Float the Lemon Heart 151 rum on top. Garnish with a lime wedge.

 

Kungalooza (1990s & 2010s)

Kungalooza Then & Now

Kungalooza Then & Now

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More Fun Recipes
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Cooking With Kenny Rogers – DOLE Cookbook Recipes
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FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
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POPCORN!

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Vintage Disneyland! Vacationland Summer ’77 magazine

Updated June 30, 2019> a couple pages from “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Cookbook”



 

Mitch Hedberg RIP – “Club Sandwich”

Thinking everyone could use a little humor right about now.
Here’s a funny from the late Great Comedian
Mitch Hedberg RIP – “Club Sandwich”:


“I order the club sandwich all the time, but I’m not even a member, man…
I don’t know how I get away with it.
How’d it start anyway?
I like my sandwiches with three pieces of bread.
So do I!
Well let’s form a club then.
Alright, but we need more stipulations.
Yes we do; instead of cutting the sandwich once, let’s cut it again.
Yes, four triangles, and we will position them into a circle.
In the middle we will dump chips. Or potato salad.
Okay. I got a question for ya, how do you feel about frilly toothpicks?
I’m for ’em!
Well this club is formed; spread the word on menus nationwide.

[ I like my sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts.
Well then you’re not in the f*ckin’ club!” 
]

Join the Club Club!

We joined the Club Club!
Late Lunch delivered from The Nook Restaurant in Encino on Tuesday Afternoon!
On the Menu: Turkey & Bacon Club Sandwich (no tomato or mayonnaise, with yellow mustard, and we also took off the lettuce) on toasted garlic sourdough bread with salted and seasoned fries, a dill pickle and an iced espresso. Yes, frilly toothpicks included.

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Turkey & Bacon Club Sandwich w/Seasoned Fries from The Nook Restaurant in Encino

The Club Sandwich first appeared in 1894 at the famous Saratoga Club-House (originally called Morrissey’s Club House) an exclusive gentlemen only gambling house in upstate Saratoga Springs, New York where the potato chips was created.

The oldest recipe for the club sandwich was published in the Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book, by Isabel Gordon Curtis in 1903

The 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis helped popularized the club sandwich with four of the restaurants including a version on their menus.

The Nook Restaurant17316 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316 (CVS Shopping Center)
818-385-1271  www.breakfastatthenook.com
NOTE: Open for breakfast and lunch Only!

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Read the Previous Blog! 
“National Donut Day and a Tribute to Mitch Hedberg” >
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zk

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33 years ago! Do you know where you were?
Grateful Dead Recorded Live: 12/28/1983
San Francisco Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA
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Sloppy Joes! Slop, Sloppy Joes!

Sloppy Joes!

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Sloppy Joe “Loose Meat” Sandwich

Research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the Sloppy Joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe as a “loose meat sandwich” in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe!

References to Sloppy Joes as sandwiches begin by the 1940s and go by different names: Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Chopped Meat Sandwiches, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton and Minced Beef Spanish Style.

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Here’s a good Sloppy Joe Recipe ripped from the interweb:

10 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking time – makes four servings.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced carrots (can sub chopped bell pepper)
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 lb ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce (or 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, puréed)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 turns of freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns

Directions:

Sauté the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat.
Add the minced carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. (If you are using bell pepper instead of carrots, add those at the same time as the onions.)
Add the chopped onion and celery.
Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat.
Brown the ground beef: Using the same pan (or you can cook the meat at the same time as the vegetables in a separate pan to save time), crumble the ground beef into the pan.
Sprinkle with salt.
Do not stir the ground beef, just let it cook until it is well browned on one side.
Then flip the pieces over and brown the second side.
Remove the beef from the pan using a slotted spoon, and combine the beef with the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, sugar, spices and vegetables.
Return the beef and vegetables to the pan and stir well to combine.
Add the ground cloves, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
Serve on toasted hamburger buns

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“Well me & Sloppy Joe got married. 
We got six kids and we’re doing’ just fine…. 
Down in Lunchlady Land”

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Deli in Encino

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

I’m a nice Jewish boy from the San Fernando Valley and it’s Wednesday night, so let’s have a “nosh” at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino!

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino – Deli  “To Go”

It used to be Fromin’s Deli (for years) and when they sold, they just changed the name and ownership. The menu is almost the same, the food is almost the same, some of the employees are the same, and the restaurant’s decor is exactly the same.

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Please Wait To be Seated at Uncle Bernie’s

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Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen – Dining Room

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Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen – Dining Room

When I was a young boy, we moved to Encino in the early 70’s, back before the valley and Ventura Blvd were fully developed.  It was a time of vacant lots. nurseries, a miniature golf course, The Oak Room, Monty’s Steak House, Jergen’s Market, Sam’s Liquor, Martex Pet Store, the Pony Express, and Lerner’s Gas station on the corner. Before there was a Plaza de Oro or a Town & Country shopping plaza, before the SavOn became Osco became CVS, before the SavOn Center was built….

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There was Fromin’s Delicatessen (in the space now occupied by Versailles Cuban Restaurant) and we had a credit account. On Sunday morning I would walk down and pick up the order we called in: bagels, lox and cream cheese for brunch. I learned the difference between a phosphate and an egg cream at Fromin’s, enjoyed many corned beef sandwiches, and discovered the joy of “New York” Jewish Delicatessen food. It was a staple of our home menu when I was growing up. Delicious chicken & matzoh ball soup, fried matzoh brie, potato & egg noodle kugel, pastrami & beef tongue, chopped liver, brisket, knish, knadle, kasha, knockwurst, smoked herring & salmon, bialys, dill pickles, rice pudding, black & white cookies and halvah bars were always enjoyed.

From the Frominsdeli.com website (with a little editing):

In the early 60’s, Arnie Fromin opened up a small deli in Encino. His son, Dennis, worked alongside him for many years until getting the entrepreneurial bug to run his own restaurant. In 1974, he opened Sports Deli in Century City which quickly became a favorite of locals and celebrities alike. A few years later, Dennis opened Fromin’s Restaurant in Santa Monica, followed shortly by the new Fromin’s Restaurant in Encino.

While growing up, in order to visit his Dad who worked seven days a week at the family deli, he would “allow” Dennis to put on an apron and wash pots and pans and peel potatoes. That was Dennis’ start in the business. By age thirteen, Dennis was working behind the deli counter after school and on weekends, getting a real-world education that would serve him well the rest of his life. All three of Dennis children worked in the Encino location.

During the 80’s, Dennis opened up two additional delicatessens in Rancho Mirage and Simi Valley. But the stress of running five restaurants took its toll on Dennis’ health and he decided to sell off all of the locations except the Santa Monica and Encino restaurants. In 1990, his longtime friend, Maurice Solomon, joined him as a partner and took over the Santa Monica location. By 2003, they decided to sell the Encino location (now operating under the Uncle Bernie’s name with no connection to Fromin’s) and concentrate on the Santa Monica restaurant, which has been a landmark on Wilshire Boulevard for over thirty years.

When Fromin’s moved to the new location, we remained loyal customers.

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Fromin’s Delicatessen at Ventura Blvd & White Oak Ave (from Loopnet.com)

There once was a Bagel Nosh and a Nathan’s Hot Dogs in the Plaza de Oro, the Oak Tree Deli opened and closed in the SavOn center, and Jerry’s Deli opened down Ventura Blvd at Petit Av when Dupar’s closed (and I think it was called something else between Dupar’s & Jerry’s). Label’s Table had a location in Tarzana (it moved to Topanga and Mulholland) and Mort’s Deli is still there next to Bea’s Bakery. Brent’s Deli is still in Northridge, but Solley’s on Van Nuys is now closed after all the years it was a valley hot spot for “NY deli”.

And finally they sold Fromin’s (after Arnie died it wasn’t quite the same) and changed the name. I’m glad not much has changed though, it always takes me back to my childhood.

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Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen at Ventura Blvd & White Oak Ave (from google maps)

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

There’s an extensive menu with lots of different food choices:

On the Menu: Hot Turkey open face sandwich with gravy, fries, cranberry sauce and a Dr Brown’s cream soda. My dining companion had a bowl of borscht and half a tuna salad sandwich on pumpernickel bread with cole slaw. And then we got a giant chocolate covered custard filled eclair and a big chocolate chip cookie for dessert.

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Hot Turkey open face sandwich w/gravy, fries, cranberry sauce

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A Big Bowl of Borscht with Sour Cream (Sorry, I don’t like borscht)

NOTE: I asked for dill pickles and extra gravy, but our server forgot to bring both!

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Giant Chocolate Covered Custard Filled Eclair

So dinner was good, the service was okay, the food was what it was supposed to be, and we took the eclair and a big chocolate chip cookie “to go”. The prices are better than Jerry’s, so dinner for two with tip was around $40 plus $10 for dessert. – “Such a deal!”

NOTE: They also have complete dinner specials, “early-bird” specials and a “senior citizen’s” menu. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and holiday dinners.

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Dessert Under Glass – Giant Chocolate Eclairs!

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Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Deli in Encino – Thank you, Come again.

Uncle Bernie’s17615 Ventura Blvd (at White Oak Av) Encino CA 91316 818-990-6346
http://www.uncleberniesdeli.com   Open 6:30am – 9pm daily

Fromin’s Delicatessen – 1832 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310) 829-5443
http://www.frominsdeli.com

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Wednesday’s San Fernando Valley Evening Sky

Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Getting BAKED for Festivus! Happy Festivus! (“the festival for the rest of us”)
We shall begin with the Airing of Grievances…

“I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!”

Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
Cooking Spray
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 squares unsweetened baker’s chocolate (shaved, not chipped)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks butter (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup (semi-sweet) chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix flour, baker’s chocolate, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and set aside.

Mix (cream) the butter and both sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.

Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Add the chocolate chips.
(substitute or add other flavored chips, nuts, M&Ms or other candy pieces if desired)

Roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and place on cookie sheets. Press the dough down to about an inch thick with space between.

Bake 18 minutes or until they are not glossy. Cool and enjoy! Makes about 2 dozen.

 

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Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cooooooookieeeeeee!

Homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies with double vanilla ice cream sandwich

Homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies with double vanilla ice cream sandwich!

 

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Tuesday evening. Not very much traffic. And we’re back at the Hollywood Bowl for more!

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Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

The escalator going uphill was broken. So a lot of people had to hump it up the hill, coolers and picnic baskets in tow….a lot of tired old people trying to make it up the stairs.

We had a nice box (No wood bench seats tonight!) and picked up our picnic dinner from The Coral Cafe on the way. The weather was perfect, a beautiful warm summer night.

On The Menu: Roast beef sandwich, Caesar salad, dill pickle, chocolate & cinnamon bread pudding and a bottled water.

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Roast Beef Sandwich & Caesar Salad

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Chocolate & Cinnamon Bread Pudding

The food was okay, but not great. I was not impressed by the roast beef sandwich (might have been better with mustard) or the bread puddings, and what can you really say about a “to go” caesar salad? It was fine for what it was, but the food was overpriced and I hate the plastic packaging.

NOTE: The people in the box behind us were still having their picnic during the first act, and decided to pack their trash and turn their chairs around after the program began. **FINISH YOUR PICNIC BEFORE THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER BEGINS!!!!!**

**AND DON’T TALK DURING THE PERFORMANCE!!!!!**

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Showtime on Tuesday Night!

Joshua Bell & the LA Philharmonic playing Mendelssohn, Bruch & Beethoven tonight:

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Mendelssohn, Bruch & Beethoven

It was a short program! The Bruch Concerto was beautiful and Beethoven’s 7th was very well done, but needed to build more before the finish, in my opinion. The concert was over  and we were back to the car and on the freeway before 10:30pm.

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in Concert

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl

Joshua Bell at the Hollywood Bowl – A Beautiful. Warm Summer Night!

It was a lovely evening with wonderful music on a beautiful, warm summer night. I had a nice picnic dinner and listened to first-rate musicians perform classical pieces in a fantastic environment. Happy Birthday to Me!

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Monty Python’s “Spamalot” and “A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Saturday night performance at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful, warm, summer night in August! And what a great show! The celebrity cast was awesome! It was so much fun!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – A Beautiful and Warm Summer Night!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Picnic on the bench:

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – No ham, jam or spam. (there was bacon)

On the Menu: steak & bacon sandwich, potato chips, celery, carrots, cucumber, dill pickle, pineapple juice, Heineken, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

NOTE: Our bench seats were in section K2, which is high up and way off to one side. The wood benches are really uncomfortable, even with seat cushions. I prefer the Box Seats!

FINGER OF SHAME! This couple insisted on using bench space for their bag! And when asked if they would make more room, they refused and copped an attitude! This is a picture of their shame after being TOTAL A**HOLES in a fun place!

Look at their facial expression and body language!

FINGER OF SHAME

FINGER OF SHAME! – They know they’re being Total A**holes!

Well the show must go on! And the a*ssholes were ignored.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl - Sunset!

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Sunset!

It was great from the opening national anthem, when the orchestra began with “Hail Brittania” before being interrupted and playing the Star Spangled Banner, to the “England” introduction by Eric Idle as The Historian, and the opening number celebrating Finland with the Fish Slapping Dance!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

The Historian: “I SAID ENGLAND!”

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “What happens in Camelot, stays in Camelot!”

Loosely based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail there were great bits from the film: “He must be a king”, debating the airspeed of the European swallow, taunting by the French, “large tracts of land” and storming the castle, the Trojan Rabbit, the Ballad of Sir Robin, the Knights who say Nee, Tim the Enchanter, the Vorpal Bunny and of course Camelot!

Warwick Davis gave a fantastic performance as Patsy, King Arthur’s squire complete with coconut shells and amazing facial expressions! He is such a gifted actor.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tom Deckman was hilarious as Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert and the French Guard. Merle Dandridge was dazzling as the Lady of the Lake and her musical numbers were mesmerizing!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Kevin Chamberlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rick Holmes and Christian Slater were just terrific as Arthur’s Knights (and the many other minor roles they alternately played). And Craig Robinson was a very entertaining King Arthur, smiling and “tap dancing” his way through the whole thing.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – King Arthur & his Knights on a Quest for the Holy Grail

There were wonderfully entertaining musical numbers with inspired dance and fun choreography. And a number of jokes were tailored to the Hollywood Bowl audience including a jab at “overpriced dinner in the Pool Circle” and a little “Uptown Funk”.

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “The Ballad of Sir Robin” on the big video screen

Wonderful performances by the entire cast! You could tell they were having a great time performing. I was really impressed by how great they all were!

And big kudos to the Hollywood Bowl for their live video on the big screens, as well as the costumes, sets, sound, lighting and projections which really make the musical productions special.

Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

The Grand Finale with the entire cast and chorus was an audience sing along to Eric Idle’s

“Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Some things in life are bad…They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle,
And this’ll help things turn out for the best……….
And, always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)

Always look on the light side of life…(Whistle)

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing!
When you’re feeling in the dumps don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing.
And…always look on the bright side of life! (Whistle)

Come on. Always look on the right side of life! (Whistle)

For life is quite absurd and death’s the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin!
Enjoy it! It’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death. (Whistle) 

Just before you draw your terminal breath. (Whistle)

Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin’ as you go,
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!

And…Always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle) Always look on the right side of life…

I mean – what have you got to lose? You know, you come from nothin’.

You’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing.

Always look on the right side of life…

Nothing will come from nothing ya know what they say?
Cheer up ya old bugga c’mon give us a grin! There ya go, see!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Finale sing along “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Everyone knows the words! Whistle and sing along! A good time was had by all! The full Blue Moon was shining brightly overhead as the large crowd exited the Bowl at 10:30pm. It was packed and we were on the far side, so I sat and waited for the audience to disperse a little and then cut through the seats directly to the exit. I went right when I should have gone left and ended up half-stepping down the hill with the crowd to the escalator and made it back to the car in about 15 minutes.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Full Blue Moon over the departing audience

It was warm and humid all night, so by the time we got back to our parking space I was really looking forward to going home and taking a shower. (and yes, my shower was really refreshing later after midnight…)

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

They stacked parked the cars (unnecessarily) for this performance, so it required a little maneuvering to exit the lot. Traffic is always tough after a full house, but we were able to get back to the freeway and headed home in a reasonable amount of time without too much trouble. A wonderful evening, a nice picnic and a great show. Huzzah!


And the week before we went to

“A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tuesday night and we had great Box Seats with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn on a warm summer night in July!

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl – Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Terrible traffic on the 101 freeway from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood. The price of Parking at the Hollywood Bowl has increased $2 this year from $18 to $20 per car.

TIP: GO EARLY! Traffic is always unpredictable, but you can bet it will take at least 20 minutes to get past the light coming off the 101 freeway at Cahuenga and Highland. Provide extra travel time for walking uphill, bag check, ticket turn stalls, refreshments, restrooms and managing your picnic dinner.

NOTE: It is really bad form to arrive 5 minutes AFTER the performance begins and then start your meal! Finish eating before the Star Spangled Banner (snacks and beverages are acceptable during, but avoid any packaging that makes noise. Wait for intermission if you need to have that dessert! And please don’t set up your picnic blanket in front of the restrooms (seriously, they were sitting on the concrete in front of the restroom doors!).

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Dinner in the Box Seats is great because they provide removable folding tables, trash service and if you choose, expensive catered food delivered directly to your Box.

We ordered from Amer’s Mediterranean restaurant in Encino and picked up our “to go” food on the way. They recently changed ownership again, and the menu changed too. We also packed in our own beverages (advisable at events when they’re permitted) and also brought dessert and ice. The only refreshments we bought were a couple bad cups of coffee at intermission.

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Middle Eastern food: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Middle Eastern: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Cheesecake for dessert!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Cheesecake for dessert!

On the Menu: Middle eastern food, it was supposed to be an “Amer’s Special” shwarma meat with hummus, tabouli, rice, falafel and pita bread. They screwed up the order. I hate beets. They gave us a “mixed grill” with chicken and ground beef kebabs. And they forgot the rice and falafel. At least there was good cheesecake for dessert.

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Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The first act was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with an exceptional performance by Gil Shaham on violin. The second act was “Midsummer Night’s Dream” accompanied by dramatic Shakespearean readings by Bryce Dallas Howard, and guest vocal performances by Deanna Breiwick and Jennifer Holloway with the Women of Los Angeles Master Chorale. It was beautiful.

Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The lighting and inspired projections enhanced the wonderful musical performance. The first act was better than the second, and I thought it was a little weird to hear the wedding march played as a classical piece in concert. There was also a lot of noticeable cricket noise during the quiet parts of the show, which I found distracting during the second act.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show! What’s not to like about Tuesday night at the Bowl with Dudamel and the LA Phil? It was a real good time.

Our box was positioned close to the exit, so we were out of there fast. We quickly traveled the long walk to the car and made a fast getaway from the parking lot and onto the 101 freeway home.

The Hollywood Bowl is a great venue! And once you know the “procedure” and tricks to traffic, parking and picnicking it’s a very pleasant experience. I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at the Bowl this summer.

Hollywood Bowl - Parking Lot after the show

Hollywood Bowl – Parking Lot after the show

All Photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel (except the Cast Press Photos)

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St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco – June 2014

At last! Here’s the Blog about the St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco in June 2014!

Throwback Thursday! My post from last week was the St. Paul’s Reunion Brunch at Perry’s on Union in San Francisco. I realized that I never finished the Blog about the weekend gathering in the city of old friends from the Renaissance Faire.

The reunion was a year ago. The pictures needed to be posted and the story need to be told. Actually there are a lot more pictures, some have been seen here on my Blog before, others were previously posted on facebook and Twitter, and still others will remain hidden from the eyes of both friends and strangers alike. There’s also more to the story, but those sordid details will have to remain private to protect the innocent (and not so innocent).


First, a little history:

St. Paul's Ringout at the Renaissance Faire - Agoura 1983

Guild of St. Paul’s – Ringout at the Renaissance Faire – Agoura 1983

Once upon a time, back in the 1980’s, there were a group of friends who all worked at the Renaissance Faire and Dickens’ Christmas Faire. They were street actors and members of the Guild of St. Paul’s (the thieves’ guild) and their close friends. Eventually, many would join the CREW and/or find other gigs at the Faire, but the bonds of friendship built during the “Crazy 80s” always remained strong. Over the years, some of the members moved away, disappeared or died. And so it was that a reunion was planned for June of 2014 in San Francisco.

Castle St. Paul in Pig's Gulch - Agoura 1983

Castle St. Paul in Pig’s Gulch – Agoura 1983

Great weekend in San Francisco with old friends!

Highlights of the festivities included Lunch at Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf, Sushi Dinner in the Omakase Room at Yoshi’s, the “Pub Crawl” (Limo ride with stops at Smuggler’s Cove, Knuckles at the Wharf, the Pig & Whistle, and Tommy’s Joynt), Coffee at Sugar Cafe and a Sunday Champagne Brunch at Perry’s on Union.

Friends came from New York, Indiana, Delaware, Arizona, northern and southern California to attend this long overdue reunion of the Guild of St. Paul’s from the Renaissance Faire!

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco Civic Center – San Francisco City Hall (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I drove into the city of San Francisco on a beautiful Saturday morning, and after a stop downtown at the Civic Center, the California Statue and United Nations Plaza, I headed for Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 to meet my old friends.

California Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

California Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Read my previous Blog about the Simon Bolivar Statue>> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1eH

Saturday at Fisherman’s Wharf!

After spending time walking around Grosvernor’s Square and the Civic Center, I drove down to Fisherman’s Wharf. Probably the most touristy thing you can do on a Saturday in San Francisco! There was a lot of traffic and a lot of tourists. Oh, and PARKING SUCKS!!!

Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

RANT!!! PARKING SUCKS! TRAFFIC SUCKS! Let me repeat: PARKING SUCKS!

There is a parking structure at Pier 39 but it costs a lot to park! They do have discounts and “first hour free” type offers on certain days. But, IT WILL TAKE YOU 30 MINUTES TO PARK and at least 30 MINUTES TO GET OUT OF THE PARKING STRUCTURE….SO DON’T DO IT! There is metered parking nearby and it costs a lot too. (~$4-8 per hour).  Park for free or for a reasonable rate far away and then take the trolley, bus or a shuttle.

p.s. There are huge crowds on weekends, visit midweek for a less crowded experience.

NOTE: Driving in San Francisco has gotten impossible! What’s with all the traffic and construction? People just stop and double park in lanes of traffic with cars behind them. Trucks double park and triple park to make deliveries. Pedestrians walk right in front of oncoming traffic and take their time crossing in front of cars. $10 per hour to park at meter? $30+ to park overnight? Just a driving nightmare, I don’t recommend it.


Meet at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf

After the parking experience, I walked down to Pier 39. The views of the city and the bay from the parking structure bridge were wonderful in all directions!

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 & Alcatraz Island - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf & Alcatraz Island – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

We met on Pier 39, and after 20+ years, at first, even in the “age of facebook”, it was a shock to see young friends grown old, in person.

Meeting up with old friends after 20+ years at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Meeting up with old friends after 20+ years at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Meeting up with old friends after 20+ years at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Meeting up with old friends after 20+ years at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Late Lunch & Drinks at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. at Pier 39

Bubba Gump's at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39 in San Francisco

We decided to get drinks at Bubba Gump’s, and after grabbing a couple tables in the bar, and avoiding the line of waiting tourists, Anchor Steam Beer and Maker’s Mark shots were consumed to begin the party! Soon, we were joined by more old friends, food and more drinks were ordered and consumed, friendships were renewed, and we made a few new friends with the restaurant’s staff.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 - San Francisco

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 – San Francisco

Meeting up with old friends after 20+ years at Bubba Gump's at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Lunch & Drinks at Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Lunch & Drinks at Bubba Gump's at Pier 39

Lunch & Drinks at Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Beer and Maker's Mark at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Beer and Maker’s Mark at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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Getting Animated at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 - San Francisco

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 – San Francisco

Making friends with our waiter at Bubba Gump's at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Making friends with our waiter at Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Making friends with our waitress at Bubba Gump's at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Making friends with our waitress at Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39 in San Francisco

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 - San Francisco

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Pier 39 – San Francisco

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Pier 3939 Pier, San Francisco CA 94124 415-781-4867

We walked back to the parking structure and found the car. As previously mentioned, it took forever to get out of the lot and it was really expensive to park for a short time! It is definitely another example of the City of San Francisco “fleecing the tourist” at every opportunity. We spent a few hundred dollars on lunch, drinks and souvenirs and then got taxed again on the way out!

Wyland at Pier 39 - San Francisco

Wyland at Pier 39 Parking Structure Bridge at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

View from Parking Structure Bridge at Pier 39 - San Francisco

View from Parking Structure Bridge at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

Coit Tower, TransAmerica Building and San Francisco

Coit Tower, TransAmerica Building & San Francisco Cityscape from Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf


As I mentioned previously, driving in the city is impossible, even for a native of Los Angeles  who has driven in the worst traffic imaginable. It took a really long time just to make a right turn out of Fisherman’s Wharf. There is no pedestrian or traffic control and there are just too many people and cars on a Saturday afternoon. I almost lost my mind trying to get to the hotel and then found a parking lot down the street, around the corner and down an alley near the hotel. After negotiating the “cash” rate with the attendant ($30 overnight – THAT’S CHEAP in SF!), I grabbed my bag and walked to the Hotel Beresford on Sutter, wondering if my car would still be there tomorrow.

Hotel Beresford - San Francisco

Hotel Beresford on Sutter – San Francisco

Hotel Beresford - San Francisco

Hotel Beresford – San Francisco

My friend made the reservations and I was invited to share the room, and to be honest I really had no previous experience or knowledge about the hotel.

We checked in, went up to the room, rested a little and then got ready for dinner at Yoshi’s and the “Pub Crawl” to follow. Requested (optional) dinner attire: wear a Hawaiian shirt!

Hotel Beresford  635 Sutter St, San Francisco CA 94102 415-673-9900

Hotel Beresford - San Francisco

Hotel Beresford –  Welcome to San Francisco!

The White Horse Restaurant & Pub at the Hotel Beresford - San Francisco

The White Horse Restaurant & Pub – San Francisco

We called for a cab and taxied over to the restaurant, another experience in San Francisco that’s different from anywhere else. You just put your life in someone else’s hands and hope you arrive at your destination.

Taxi!

Taxi POV! Put you life in someone else’s hands in the city of San Francisco…



As scheduled, the gang regrouped at Yoshi’s for dinner, and we were joined by more friends who hadn’t made it to the gathering at Pier 39. Dinner, drinks and dessert were enjoyed and a very good time was had by all.

Read Dinner at Yoshi’s (right click open in new window) http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1ba

Dinner at Yoshi's in S.F. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Yoshi’s in S.F. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Yoshi's in S.F. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Yoshi’s in S.F. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Yoshi's - San Francisco

Dinner in the glass Omakase Room at Yoshi’s – San Francisco

Dinner at Yoshi's in S.F. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Yoshi’s in S.F. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Read Dinner at Yoshi’s (right click open in new window) http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1ba

Yoshi’s – 1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco 94115

NOTE: Yoshi’s in San Francisco is now CLOSED, Yoshi’s in Oakland is still open.



Limo and “Pub Crawl” – Saturday Night in San Francisco!

After dinner, there was a shiny stretch Limousine waiting for us outside the restaurant.

Limo! Our designated driver for the Pub Crawl

Limo! Our designated driver for the Pub Crawl

Limo! Let the Pub Crawl begin!

Inside the Limo! Let the Pub Crawl begin!

It was “close quarters” inside the limo but we all fit. The plan for the “Pub Crawl” was not mine. I was just along for the ride and it was great fun! The limo was fully stocked and had music and LED lights. It was like riding through the streets of San Francisco in a VIP booth filled with friends with bottle service at a trendy nightclub.

Map of St. Paul's Pub Crawl on 22 June 2014

Map of St. Paul’s Pub Crawl on 22 June 2014

Limo! Let the Pub Crawl begin!

Inside the Limo! Let the Pub Crawl begin!

Our first stop was the world famous Smuggler’s Cove! One of the best bars in America, or so they say, I couldn’t tell you because it’s a tiny 3 level Tiki bar that packs them in like sardines. It was still very early and light outside, but the place was absolutely filled with too many humans…and then they let all of us in too. We made our way to the bar, but a few of us just couldn’t hang with the lack of seating (due to injuries and old age) and a lack of personal space.

Smuggler’s Cove – 650 Gough St, San Francisco CA 94102 415-869-1900

Smuggler's Cove - San Francisco

Smuggler’s Cove – San Francisco

Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco

Very Crowded at Smuggler’s Cove (at the bar) – San Francisco

Another limo ride and we reached our second stop Knuckles at the Wharf, at the Hyatt. I’m told it’s a great sports bar, but it was pretty empty on Saturday night. We sat at a long table in the “dining area” and ordered drinks from the waiter. It was really nice to be able to talk with my old friends and catch up on the past 20 years (a little).

Knuckles at the Wharf – 555 North Point St, San Francisco CA 94133 415-486-4340

Knuckle's at the Wharf in San Francisco

Knuckles at the Wharf in San Francisco

Knuckle's at the Wharf - San Francisco

Knuckles at the Wharf (at the bar)  – San Francisco

Knuckle's at the Wharf - San Francisco

Knuckles at the Wharf – San Francisco

Knuckle's at the Wharf - San Francisco

Knuckles at the Wharf – San Francisco

Stoli on the Rocks with a lime

Stoli on the Rocks with a lime at Knuckles at the Wharf

After a round (or two) of cocktails, and some good fun, we called for the limo. We all agreed that Knuckles was very nice, but too nice for our purposes and so we instructed our Driver to take us to our next stop, the Pig & Whistle!

“Get in the Limo!” at Knuckles at the Wharf in San Francisco

Limo! The Pub Crawl continues!

Inside the Limo! The Pub Crawl continues!

The Pig & Whistle is a dark place with an English Pub theme and it was a perfect place for our third stop. We took command of a few tables and ordered the next round of drinks from our hippie waiter. We took a few group pictures and got a little bit “wild”. We were also forced to remind one of our friends PLEASE NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!

The Pig & Whistle – 2801 Geary Blvd, San Francisco CA 94118 415-885-4779

The Pig & Whistle - San Francisco

The Pig & Whistle – San Francisco

The Pig & Whistle - San Francisco

The Pig & Whistle – San Francisco

The Pig & Whistle - San Francisco

The Pig & Whistle – San Francisco

Please, NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!

Please, NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!

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SERIOUSLY, NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!

After more drinks and fun, around midnight we all climbed back in the limo and rode to our next stop. By this time, it seemed like we had been driving in circles all over the city and it turns out we had!

Limo! Our designated driver for the Pub Crawl

Limo! Our designated driver for the Pub Crawl

Limo! The Pub Crawl continues!

Limo! The Pub Crawl continues!

Back in the Limo after drinks at the Pig & Whistle

Back in the Limo after more drinks at the Pig & Whistle

After dinner, drinks, three stops, and another limo ride we arrived at our fourth stop, Tommy’s Joynt! Late night-early morning drinks and food were on the menu. There’s a full bar on one side and an order & pickup restaurant on the other side of the main room. It’s pretty well known for it’s sandwiches and other tasty food and for being open very late.

We got our food and took over a few tables in the upstairs dining area. I had a meaty pastrami sandwich, which I remember was really good. We had some more fun and made a little trouble, but not so much as you’d notice…because we’ve all gotten old and mellow.

After a leisurely meal and some serious (drunk) conversation, we called for the limo and took a few more group pictures before stumbling back in to our rolling disco lounge.

Tommy’s Joynt – 1101 Geary Blvd, San Francisco CA 94109 415-775-4216

Tommy's Joynt - San Francisco

Tommy’s Joynt after midnight – San Francisco

Tommy's Joynt - San Francisco

Tommy’s Joynt (at the bar) after midnight – San Francisco

Tommy's Joynt - San Francisco

Tommy’s Joynt – the “carving station” from upstairs – San Francisco

Tommy's Joynt - San Francisco

Tommy’s Joynt – San Francisco

Tommy's Joynt - San Francisco

Upstairs at Tommy’s Joynt – San Francisco

Best Pastrami Sandwich in San Francisco at Tommy's Joynt

Best Pastrami Sandwich in San Francisco at Tommy’s Joynt

Selfie with Pastrami Sandwich at Tommy's Joynt

Selfie with Pastrami Sandwich at Tommy’s Joynt

St. Paul's Reunion in San Francisco

St. Paul’s Reunion Saturday Night “Pub Crawl” in San Francisco – A good time was had by all!

Return to the Hotel Beresford

Limo back to the Hotel!

Limo back to the Hotel Beresford!

We dropped almost everyone off at their different hotels on the way back to the Hotel Beresford. We enjoyed the amenities and the space inside the limo as our friends departed along the way. I’m not sure exactly what time the rest of us finally got back to the hotel, but there was a lot of noise on the street from the crowd leaving the club and pub up the block. We paid and tipped our driver (who did a really great job running us all over the city on a Saturday night), collected our belongings and stumbled upstairs to our rooms. The street noise was clearly audible in our hotel room, but it didn’t matter.

Limo back to the Hotel!

Limo back to the Hotel Beresford!

And so a great time was had by all on our San Francisco Saturday night adventure. Everyone got home safe and just a little worse for wear. Good food was eaten and many drinks were imbibed. Our 30+ year friendship was renewed in person and there was much shared fun and mischief throughout the evening.

“May the Four Winds Blow Them Safely Home”  

NOTE: Missing friends were mentioned and remembered. Some are MIA, some were not able to make the reunion, and unfortunately others have passed on. The recent loss of a couple of our friends is one of the reasons this party was planned. Throughout the night, there were bittersweet moments as we toasted absent friends and friends we’ve lost.

The Guild of St. Paul's - Agoura 1982

The Guild of St. Paul’s – Agoura 1982


SUNDAY! SUNDAY! (the morning after)

Sunday morning I woke up too early! We packed our stuff and checked out of the hotel. I walked my bag back to my car, which was where I parked two blocks away at Cosmo and Ophir. I could have valet parked at the hotel for $27, but then you don’t know where they put your car. Our friends Erik and Sharon were late to brunch because they had to file a police report…the valet at a different hotel allegedly stole Erik’s Bluetooth from the car when he parked it.

On Sutter in San Francisco

On Sutter in San Francisco

On Sutter in San Francisco

On Sutter in San Francisco

Urban Blight! In the space of two blocks, I passed four or five seriously “homeless” people. Desperate, dirty, drug addicted and mentally damaged humans who now claim a piece of sidewalk as home. The walls along the major streets as well as the alleys were covered in graffiti and they were just dirty and littered with trash. It made me sad.

Graffiti in San Francisco

Urban blight! Graffiti tags on the (repainted) walls in San Francisco

Then we met up for Coffee and Espresso at Sugar Cafe, just up the street from the hotel, before getting a couple taxis to drive us to brunch.

Sugar Cafe - San Francisco

Sugar Cafe – San Francisco

Coffee and Strudel and Sugar Cafe in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Coffee and Strudel and Sugar Cafe in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Morning After! Coffee at Sugar Cafe

The Morning After! Coffee at Sugar Cafe in San Francisco

Sunday Champagne Brunch at Perry’s

Perry's - San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry’s on Union – San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry’s on Union in San Francisco!

At 11:40am we all taxied over to Perry’s on Union for our Brunch reservation at noon.

Sunday Brunch at Perry's in San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry’s (at the bar) in San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry's in San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry’s in San Francisco

Jones, Party of 10! We were taken to the back room and seated without waiting again. I brought a bottle of champagne to the reunion, and since we didn’t drink it in the limousine the night before, we brought it with us to the restaurant. There’s was a $15 corkage fee, and we spent another $12 on fresh squeezed orange juice in little teapots, so we all had MIMOSAS with brunch!

St. Paul's Sunday Brunch at Perry's in San Francisco June '14

St. Paul’s Reunion – Sunday Brunch at Perry’s on Union in San Francisco – June ’14

Champagne Brunch - Mimosas all around

Sunday Champagne Brunch at Perry’s on Union – Mimosas all around!

Sunday Brunch at Perry's in San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry’s in San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry's in San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry’s in San Francisco

Sunday Brunch at Perry's in San Francisco

“The Bird” at Sunday Brunch at Perry’s in San Francisco

On The Menu: I had eggs benedict with their special bacon instead of ham/canadian bacon and shared a fruit plate with a couple friends. My brunch included potatos and I also ate one of my friend’s side of toast with butter and jam because they didn’t want it.

Egg's Benedict for Sunday Brunch at Perry's on Union in San Francisco

Eggs Benedict for Sunday Brunch at Perry’s on Union in San Francisco

Perry’s Restaurant – 1944 Union St, San Francisco CA 94123 415-922-9022

After Brunch we taxied back to the Hotel, said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. I walked over to The Pub on Sutter on the corner, had a beer and waited for the World Cup game to start.

Pub on the Corner - San Francisco

The Pub on Sutter on the corner – San Francisco

Pub on the Corner - San Francisco

Watching the World Cup at the Pub on Sutter on the corner – San Francisco

After the game I jumped in the car, made my way through traffic and drove out of the city and back south towards San Jose.

THE END!

THE END!

All (well, most) photos copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel.

Our Reunion Dinner at Yoshi’s! READ THE BLOG>> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1ba (NOTE: Yoshi’s in San Francisco is now CLOSED)

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