Monday, April 4, 2011

Exploring New (To Us) Places in the Bay

I've been feeling a little disconnected lately...disconnected from The Hubs, my friends, my family, myself. Not sure what the reason behind it is, but I'm hoping it will soon pass.

In any case, although I've felt this disconnection internally, you'd never know it from hearing about the different places The Hubs and I have been exploring, all with Teresa and Elliott.

Here's a rundown of some of the places we've hit up recently...

Residual Sugar - new wine bar in downtown Walnut Creek

Here was a nice relaxing loungy atmosphere where we were able to sip on wine and enjoy a wine and cheese platter. My favorite part was that I was able to try a whole flight of Portuguese wines that weren't ports. It was a true hommage to my ancestry.

Funny note - After we ordered our flights, the waiter took away our wine menus. At first I was a bit annoyed. How dare he take our wine menu away when we were only getting a few sips of wine! Obviously he knew more than me because this is what we got....

Three full glasses each!

The Counter - custom built burger place in Walnut Creek

T and E had already been to one of these restaurants before, but it was The Hubs and I first time. It was fun to be able to pick every aspect of your burger including special sauce. It was pretty tasty.

My only pet peeve was that our french fries and sweet potatoe fries came as an appetizer and NOT with our hamburger. Weird right?? Teresa's pet peeve - That a hamburger costs MORE without the bun! What???

Farmers Market Bistro - new restaurant in Oak-town

Last Thursday, we headed out to Oakland to try out this super cool lunch truck that specializes in making hamburgers with locally sustainable products. The owner parks his truck outside of a bar allowing patrons to get a hamburger and a drink easily. Being that last Thursday was a BEAUTIFUL day in the neighborhood, when we got up to order our burgers, there was only enough meat to make one hamburger. Not good when there are four of you in a party! (We plan on trying to hit up the lunch truck again soon and hopefully earlier so we don't miss out again!)

So we ventured to Farmers Market Bistro for dinner instead . T and E had actually eaten there the night before, but they liked it so much that they wanted to try it again. Being that it was Thursday, the place wasn't that busy (aka - were treated like royalty).

We got this amazing dish with mussels and a hefeweizen based sauce that was absolutely DELICIOUS when sopped up with some crusty bread slices. We didn't even order this, but was given it as complements of the chef.

Everyone but me ordered hamburgers since that was the original intent of the evening. Everyone was pretty happy with their fare. The salad especially had a really tasty dressing on it. I opted for a pulled pork sandwich, which was also very flavorful with a bit of spice on crusty bread.

The meal concluded with a creme brule with star anaise. Super fancy and yummy. I seriously felt like a judge on Top Chef! :-)

 The Crucible - a non-profile art studio in Oakland

I found out about this place in the most unusual way. Sarah lost her phone in the parking lot of the ski resort a couple of weeks back and a person who works at The Crucible picked it up. When Sarah went to retrieve it, she said the place looked cool and was having a free open house this weekend.

Since T and E had already known about this place, they were up for exploring.

Let me say, this place was HUGE. There was all sorts of cool art work on display  and demonstrations related to the different classes you can take there. They even offer fire dancing classes although we didn't catch any of their performances.

My favorite art exhibits were enameling, glass blowing and neon lights. I think I most loved that you not only learned about the art but about the science behind it in some cases. I think I would like to take a class here sometime, but they are pretty pricey.

They also had lots of fun jewelery on display. I especially like this piece from Littlebird Love.

Image Source: Littlebird Love Etsy
There was also some glass bees that I thought were super cute and reminded me of my friends over at Weddingbee, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture. I so wish I would have! They were intricately made little bees on a stick!

We had a great time exploring these new places and I hope some of you Bay Area readers can try some of these places out too! :-)


  1. I didn't realize how busy we had been until you wrote about it! We are happy we can explore these places with you and Kris.

  2. We are trying to squeeze as much as we can out of the next 6 months or so, lets keep it up!

  3. I wish we could have made it. We'll have to go another time.