Located in the quaint town of Yountville, home to some of the best restaurants in Napa Valley, Bistro Jeanty is the place to have a quintessential French bistro experience. Open since 1998, Bistro Jeanty is the only French owned French restaurant in Napa. With its charming and cozy interior and a friendly staff, dining at the bistro will make you feel at home. The bistro’s menu features home style French cuisine, along with seasonal and local favorites. …
Located in the Oxbow District of Napa, Oxbow Public Market is the ultimate foodie destination. Produce stands, artisan cafes and restaurants, gourmet shops, and much more are all to be enjoyed by locals and visitors in the 40,000 square foot marketplace along the Napa River….
Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned Napa Valley wine connoisseur, taking a Napa Valley Wine Tour is a hassle-free way to explore and enjoy world-class wineries Napa Valley has to offer. Take a ride through picturesque Napa Valley on board of one of the hand-built replicas of a California Street Cable Car….
For authentic Mexican fare, La Cocina Mexicana is the place to be. Located in the small town of Dixon, an hour drive from Sacramento, this restaurant will not only satisfy your taste buds, but also, with its cozy atmosphere composed of beautifully carved and painted tables, chairs, and wall art, will be a feast for your eyes. Created by the owner’s husband, these artfully made colorful pieces are a beautiful compliment to the flavorful and bold dishes that are served here.
From salsa and chips to mole and hearty dishes made using recipes passed down from the owner’s mother, dining at La Cocina Mexicana will be a memorable experience. Here is what I had for dinner:
Estrella Jalisco – an authentic Mexican beer.
Salsa and Chips.
Verde Chicken Salad – pan seared yellow and green squash, carrots, bell peppers, onion, broccoli, and mushrooms topped with chicken breast and black beans.
Two Enchiladas – beef enchiladas served with mole and a side of rice and beans.
A display of chilly sauces – every chilly lovers dream.
Following are the beautiful pieces made by the owner’s husband.
Friendly and accommodating staff makes the dining experience at this family run restaurant so much more enjoyable. This is definitely a place to come back to. Happy travels!
After leaving Lake Tahoe, I headed in the direction of Napa Valley. My first stop on the way there was Sacramento. It was a hot day, 97 F kind of hot. Not very far from the California Capitol Building, I found a Mexican restaurant, Carolina’s Mexican Food. The restaurant’s menu features enchiladas, burritos, and tacos made with fresh ingredients. I ordered a burrito – carnitas with fresh guacamole and pico de gallo salsa. It was as delicious as it looked.
To escape the heat of the day, I decided to tour the State Capitol. After cooling off in the well air- conditioned building and learning a little bit of history, I went on a walk in the adjacent to the Capitol gardens, which feature plants from around the world.
My next stop in Sacramento was the Old Sacramento. Old Sacramento or Old Sac is located within the Old Sacramento Historic District of Sacramento, California. With its Gold Rush era buildings, quiet streets, and railroad station, the place has a feel of an Old Western movie set.
After being restored and developed, the historic district has become one of the main tourist attractions in Sacramento. With over 5 million visitors annually, Old Sac offers a great variety of attractions such as museums, river boat tours, railroad excursions, riverside bike treks, and horse-drown carriages. The most popular event in Old Sac is Gold Rush Days, a 4 day free to the public Sacramento heritage celebration, which takes place over Labor Day weekend. The event features live music, Old West theatrics, history re-enactments, horse-drawn carriages, cowboys on horseback, ladies riding sidesaddle, wagon rides, and gold panning.
Once again to cool off, I stopped at Rio City Cafe. With its view of the historic Tower Bridge and the Ziggurat Building, the cafe was an ideal place to enjoy my cold drink.
On a cooler day, I would have definitely chosen to sit outside on the cafe’s spacious deck, overlooking the Sacramento River. I didn’t get to dine here on this trip, but I made sure to look at the menu. Rio City Cafe offers California Cuisine prepared with local and seasonal ingredients, and the drink menu features wines from Napa Valley and other California wineries.
Unfortunately I didn’t not have enough time to stop at the history rich River City Saloon. The saloon serves deli style sandwiches, and on its drink menu you can find Old West Sarsaparilla brewed exclusively for the saloon by River City Brewing Company.
In this tranquil town souvenir shops, candy stores, restaurants, museums, and many other attractions are just walking distance from each other.
To learn how railroads affected American society, visit the California State Railroad Museum, and take a train excursion on the South Sacramento Railroad.
My 5 hour stay in Sacramento didn’t only satisfy my taste-buds, but it also expanded my knowledge of California history, so if you are a foodie and a history buff, Sacramento is a right place for you. Happy travels!
Every spring, in the middle of May, hundreds of Alaskans put on their waders and grab their nets to harvest hooligan, a small fish found along the Pacific coast of North America from northern California to Alaska. Once a vital part of diet and a source of income for many indigenous communities of the Pacific Coast, hooligan dipnetting has become more of a recreational activity for Native Americans and other residents. Hooligan oil aka grease was one of the most valuable products sold in the interior Alaska, and as a result, the trade routes became to be known as “grease trails”. The high fat content of hooligan makes it possible to burn dried fish as a candle hence one of its many names – candlefish.
Congregation of predators like seagulls, eagles, seals, and whales near the rivers is one of the signs that hooligan are running. Hooligan usually run after high tide, and their numbers can sometimes reach tens of thousands, which allows dipnetters to scoop up fish with ease.
The most popular way to prepare hooligan is to fry them, but I prefer to grill or broil them with a little bit of salt and pepper and sprinkle some lime or lemon juice over them once the fish are ready to eat.
Because hooligan are small in size, they are typically stored frozen whole without being gutted, but they can also be dried, canned, or smoked. Nowadays, the fish is also used as a bait and food for dogs and cats.
Whether you are an Alaska resident or you live in an area where the fish run, give hooligan dipnetting a try. It is a fun activity for the whole family, and children are the ones who have the most fun!