Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 December 19 - La Mediterrannee Restaurant

2008 December 19 - La Mediterrannee Restaurant

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Today Elsa and I will take the Amtrak to the City and meet up with Grandma at the Embarcadero BART Station. Our goal is lunch at the La Mediterrannee Restaurant who has Middle Eastern cuisine. La Mediterrannee Restaurant Web Site

Gobo and Patti have previous engagements and will not make this trip and miss out on a great day.

It is a cold, wet morning in Stockton. We have umbrellas ready. Warm jackets and winter gloves.

Stockton Amtrak Station

Our train pulling into Stockton
Loading up
A view of a Delta home in the middle of nowhere
A stop at the Martinez Amtrak Station

I-680 bridge in the back. A tanker on the river.I-80 bridge at Crockett
We get to the Emeryville Amtrak Station about 10 minutes early. I call Grandma's cell phone. She is on BART just approaching Lafayette and said the BART will get to the Embarcadero Station at 11:09 AM.

Elsa and I board the Amtrak bus for a ride over the Bay Bridge. The bus is nice and high and I can take a few photos of the new Bay Bridge that is being built adjacent to the current Bay Bridge.

The new Bay Bridge
which is in progress
The new Bay Bridge with Treasure Island in the background
Coit Tower from the Bay Bridge
The Ferry Building and Embarcadero from the Bay Bridge
We hook up with Grandma and walk the two blocks to the Number 1 Muni line.
The 1 bus is a straight shot up Sacramento Street. We get off the bus at Fillmore and the restaurant is across the street and about three doors to the north.

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The restaurant

The interior of the restaurantA party platter
Today's lunch bunchWe order the 10 item sampler on the menu:
Mediterranean Meza (for 2 or more) — 15.95 per person
An assortment of 10 house specialties & appetizers including Lamb Lule, Chicken Pomegranate, Spinach & Chicken Fillos,
Dolma, Hummos, Baba Ghanoush, Tabuleh & much more.
The cold dishes
I was too busy eating to take a picture of the hot dishes when they arrived so....
What's left of the hot dishes

The weather is amazing for mid December in San Francisco. The temperatures are in the high 50°'s but with no wind. The two outdoor tables of the restaurant are filled.
Diners alfrescoI just had to take a photo of the little girl's lunch................
The little blonde haired girl's lunch

We are on Fillmore Street about 5 blocks north of Japan Town and 13 blocks from the apartment I stayed at in my college days from 1964 - 1966.

It is amazing how compact and varied the San Francisco neighborhoods are.
North Beach the hang out for the 1950's Beat Generation is just across Columbus Avenue from Chinatown. In fact Upper Grant Avenue was a popular address for the Beatniks. Whereas Grant Avenue is the heart of Chinatown.
Across the street from the restaurant is the refurbished old Clay Theatre

We use our Muni transfers after lunch to catch the 3 bus since that one gets us to Union Square.
The 3 bus eventually heads to down town on Post Street and we get off at the Powell Street intersection at one corner of Union Square.

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The obligatory cable car photo

Macy's shot from Union SquareMacy's donated this huge Christmas tree for display in Union Square
This year there is an ice skating rink set up in Union Square
Some ice skatersAfter watching the ice skaters for a few minutes we head up Powell Street to Nordstroms where the ladies are trying to use up Grandma's gift certificate.
Nordstrom's on Market Street. This is a seven floor building open in the center.

At the basement level of both Nordstrom's and the next door Bloomingdales are food courts. On both the basement level and the first floor there are hallways between the two buildings. There are more restaurants and dessert shops in Bloomingdales than Nordstroms, so we wind up at Bloomingdales for dessert.

For dessert we get Red Beard cream puffs at Blomingdale's basement eatery court

We catch the Amtrak bus in front of Bloomingdales and get to the Emeryville station.
The train is 10 minutes late but we make up some of that time until just before we get to Antioch. There is a broken down train on the tracks that delays us another 40 minutes before it can be repaired enough to move it out of the way. The train is crowded and we are talking to a mother and daughter who is just a few years younger than us from Fresno so the time passes fairly quickly. Taking Amtrak is not for those on a schedule, but the Lunch Bunch are all retirees who are no longer in a big hurry. :-)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 December 16 - Kandi's Pies

2008 December 16 - Kandi's Pies

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It is a rainy Tuesday. The Lunch Bunch is making a trek to Kandi's Pies and Pastries in rural Tracy. Two stops before we get to the pie shop. First at the Amtrak Station to pick up tickets for our train trip to San Francisco on December 19th. Then a stop for breakfast at the Four Corners Café on the outskirts of Tracy.

Today's route to Kandi's

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Point A is home, point B is the Amtrak Station, point C is the Four Corners Café and point D is Kandi's.

Four Corners Cafe with farmland in the background
The entrance to the cafe with a little grocery store just to the right

Today's lunch and dinner special. Note: Free birthday dinnerElsa and Patti - Gobo and Grandma were indisposed today
Pigs in a blanket before
Pigs in a blanket during
Both of the ladies had the pigs in a blanket. I had the veggie scramble, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, spinach and jack cheese.
We finally get to our destination. Kandi's Pies and Pastries which is in rural Tracy.
Kandi's Pies web site

I first found out about Kandi's Pies from Grandma. Tachella Fruit Stand in Brentwood sells Kandi's frozen pies during the Spring, Summer and Fall season. Grandma, who lives about two miles from Tachella's, had been buying Kandi's sugar free pies for a couple of years.

My cousin from Huntington Beach who visits mom often will take back about 5 or 6 pies each visit. Either from the Tracy Farmers Market or the retail store.

The front entrance
The pie display case many more pies in the back
The other goodies
A special Holiday cookie platter
Kandi taking a special order
From Kandi's web site:
Kandi's Pies and Pastries has been supplying fresh homemade pies and baked goods in the Tracy area for the last twelve years. Located on our farm in Tracy, we have a 1,700-square foot commercial kitchen set among our family’s orchard where we handpick our own fresh fruit to make our pies.

We currently attend the Tracy Farmer's Market every Saturday. It is located on Tenth Street and runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through the end of November. We open the retail shop mid-November for the holiday season. We accept orders for all of your holiday baking needs along with our custom gift baskets.

The retail shop will have all of our regular items along with specialty items, including our fresh cream pies, eclairs, cream puffs, cannolis and our holiday cookies. The shop also has a huge selection of holiday items, including cookie jars, ornaments, musical globes, teapots and specialty teas.

Google Map Street View of Kandi's