Zach’s Best of 2010 List:
- Favorite Cocktail: Vieux Carre @ Alembic in the Haight, SF
- Favorite Wine: Storrs 2009 Chardonnay & David Bruce 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains)
- Favorite Beer: Drake’s Hopocalypse Draft (American Double / Imperial IPA- 9.25% ABV) in San Leandro, CA & Russian River Brewing’s Compunction Draft (Blonde Ale with Pluots (Apricot/Plum hybrid) aged in Chardonnay barrels . 5.80% ABV) in Santa Rosa
- Best Meal: Tantanmen @ Halu Ramen in San Jose
- Best Burger: The Ring of Fire Burger @ Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz (Grilled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, with chipotle aioli on the side. Served on a Jalapeno cheddar bun.)
- Favorite Recipe: Jamie Oliver’s American Chopped Salad – “I could eat it all day, everyday.” – Zach
John Best of 2010 List:
- Favorite Cocktail Recipe: Angostora Sour, Created by Kirk Estopinal of the New Orleans bar Cure, it is a refinement of an old Charles Baker creation. We got the recipe from the NY Times “Every Holiday Party, the Right Drink.”
- Favorite Beer: Oud Beersel Oude Gueuze Vieille (a more affordable and possibly easier to find Gueuze) – Gueuze is a type of Lambic, Belgian Beer. We bought this one from 41st Avenue Liquor Store in Santa Cruz.
- Favorite Beer Bars: This year we were fortunate enough to visit four great Beer Bars or Breweries and this meant we were able to knock off a couple of our BITF Bucket List notches for sure: Drakes (San Leandro, CA), Russian River Brewery (Santa Rosa, CA), Beer Revolution (Oakland, CA), & Ebenezer’s Pub (Lovell, Maine).
- Favorite Recipe: Thomas Keller’s Fried Chicken from the Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook
Les Best of 2010 List:
- Favorite Cocktail: Big Nose Goes to Mexico Cocktail @ Maya Restaurant in SF, (Blanco & Repisado Tequila w/ Guava Puree, Hibiscus Salt on the rim and a Lime half floating on top w/ 151 rum in it, then they light it on fire!)
- Favorite Beer: Saison du Buff, on-tap @ Bodega in Columbus, OH (A Saison/Farmhouse Ale that was brewed in collaboration between Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, CA), and Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA – 6.80% ABV).
- Favorite Wine: Burrell School, 2007 Estate Merlot – “Honor Roll” – Santa Cruz Mountains
- Favorite New, My First Sip: Ice Cider in Quebec City on Isle de Orleans
- Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Verve Coffee in Santa Cruz, Bowl of Soul Tea (Tea steeped in steamed soy milk and honey).
- Favorite Food Blogs: 101cookbooks (for consistently good & healthy vegetarian recipes) & SeriousEats (great, inspiring articles with lots of variety and constant updates) & KelliesBelly (Kellie lives in Maine and is awesome with seafood at home and family recipes.)
- Best Out-of-Town, Exotic Meal: Kihachi, Columbus, OH (A very special Japanese restaurant that Anthony Bourdain re-introduced us to via Columbus, OH’s awesome RestaurantWidow.com food blog. Read: “How it Came to be that Bourdain ate at Kihachi.”
- Favorite Recipe: Lemon Lentil Soup with Spinach from Fresh Food Fast Cookbook – Tastes great, easy to make, and it’s healthy – what more can you ask for!
- Favorite Crowd Party-Pleaser Recipe: Al Pastor Recipe – We got a lot of compliments on this recipe that we made from the LA Times. You can cook it ahead, keep it in a crockpot and serve it as a taco bar.
- Best Way to Learn How to Cook: Sign up for a CSA Food Box (Community Supported Agricultural Food Box – Locally grown seasonal fruits & veggies picked up and devoured, after you figure out how to cook it, each week.) Live Earth Farms in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Santa Cruz County, & Monterey County.