I was taken by surprise when eating at a new restaurant in Oceanside, CA. I had sticky finger (that just sounds wrong) after eating a wonderful Salmon Salad and needed the ol’ moist towel for a bit of clean up before we flew out to Concord. Anticipating that Fresh Grill Bistro would have the little prepackaged towels to clean hands from eaters of their BBQ ribs and such, I didn’t immediately find them and was directed back to the condiment table next to the coffee stirrers. What I found were full-sized wipes that could also be heated and served to the customer. Wow!, these are cool. So I grabbed four just for the novelty and because we were getting ready for a 3-hour flight. “These could come in handy”, I said to the pilot.
So we make it to Concord, CA, our destination for an afternoon game of golf and dinner with some family. First we take in a quick, . . . and I mean quick game of nine hole golf. The first three or four holes, it’s like we felt rushed to play speed golf. We were running to the tees, then running to shag our balls that had gone off the club, then running back. By the time we had arrived at the 9th hole, we had picked up two other two-somes to make our final hole a six-some. What was even more funny is that we all sucked just as bad. My final 9th hole shot went off the club well, but traveled over by this tractor in a ditch, as did the ball from one of the other players. As we approached the area to look for our balls, we found what appeared to be a dried up pond that had the golfer’s dream . . . BALLS! Everywhere. There were so many balls in there that had seemingly be unearthed by the tractor. The other guy and myself just started loading our pockets, golf bag and hands with as many free balls as we could hold. Crazy! It’s the best hole of golf EVER!
We travel about 30 minutes away from our hotel, golf area and airport and arrive at The Dead Fish in Crocket, CA. The Dead Fish, a is located along one of the San Francisco Bay area inlets and across the water from the California Maritime Academy. We had a really cool table outside that allowed us to enjoy both a view of the bridges, but also the Academy. It was picturesque; just I didn’t get any . . . uh, pictures. What I did get were some bad ass muscles done up in a frying skillet like I’ve never had before. These muscles and such were served up, along with the other various appetizers and some awesome cocktails. The only thing I asked of the server was that he bring some great bread with all of the apps to soak up all of the juices.
Speaking of servers, this restaurant had really terrific food but, I don’t know if it was just our server or the “service” in general; but, our guy just seemed to lack the knowledge I was kind of hoping to have from a server for this class of restaurant. Maybe I just didn’t understand this class of restaurant. I asked our server about his recommendation for wine. He said, “I really don’t know anything about wines”. I asked, “do you have a Sommelier that can help me with a selection”? He said, “uh, what’s a Sommelier”? About that moment the tip just plummeted because I began to feel like a real CritDick-cal “ASS HOLE” in front of my brother and my Nephew. But that’s Ok, because I got the last laugh, I think, . . . with “Server Dork”. He asked if he could remove the cast iron muscle skillet from the table. I quickly took the last of the bi-valves and put them on my plate. He touched the side of the once-hot skillet and said, “ooh, that’s too hot, let me get someone to take that”. I briefly touched the side of the skillet and found it to be quite warm, but not too hot to handle. I jokingly said to the server, “Man up, Dude!” Laughter erupted as the young server scurried away to have a buss person quickly snatch it up bare-handed. So, although every entre and appetizer was quite delicious and very tasty from The Dead Fish, the service was truly off from what I would have expected. We really had a good time, and the food was good. I would like to go back some day. I’m glad there are restaurants like that out there. What made this restaurant even more special is the fact that they too had those full-sized wipes to clean your hands. Holy crap, that’s twice in two meals in the same day that I’ve first seen these. I snatched those up and took them into the plane. Gonna be some serious wiping going on now!!!
The next morning we head out early to catch a quick breakfast again with my nephew and again eating at another place I have never been to. This time we hit The Original Pancake House. Ok, I know it’s no culinary wonder, but the breakfast was pretty awesome. I ate enough that morning to sustain me in-flight for a several hours. My worry was ensuring all of that food stayed in that morning instead of having to squawk for an emergency landing. I would rank The Original Pancake house just below The Broken Yolk, but just above IHOP, that sits just above Denny’s in the ranking.
Before we begin the second leg of the journey, we make our way to the plane to rid the cargo area of extra stuff like a surfboard and rubber bootie. I don’t know what all that is about, but I was told there was also a fake beard in the bag also. Kids nowadays! Sheesh! As we prepare the plane for flight and do our walk around and preflight checks, I couldn’t help think of the movie Meet The Fockers; where during the police scene, the Sherriff that’s searching the RV comes out and says, “Check it out . . . he’s got a rubber boobie!”