Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Estrella - Paso Robles, CA

I always love a good restaurant recommendation and I have to give this shout out to my friend, Kat. She went a couple days before and said I would love the place so we drove down 12th Street in Paso and found, Estrella. How cool are the framed crosses on the wall?

The menu is quite diverse, Pan American cuisine is what they deliver. 

Complimentary Chips with Black Bean & Corn Salsa came to the table. It was a good start to get our appetites going... 

On the specials menu Pumpkin Soup found its way into my heart. I could never pass up an offer like that! It was very delicious, maybe needed a touch of salt but that was it.

How does Carnitas Salad sound? it was well dressed and full of the good stuff. The three of us all munched on it and felt it was just fine. 

And then there was... this. I love ceviche so I ordered it tostada style and this is what came out. I disliked it but Scott loved it. I just never have had ceviche wrapped up in brown gravy, a big pass for me. No, thank you!

Kathy Good Taste ordered the Chile Rellenos - one crab and the other cheese. She said the cheese was outstanding and the crab not worth the extra expense of the upgrade. I tasted the beans and they too were very good.

Banana Empanadas anyone? They were delsih and an excellent ending to a pretty decent meal. I would return to explore more of the menu. You know a food bloggers work is never done! Enjoy your week everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quarter Horse News

Just a tease of another article coming out about Melissa Good Taste. This one is in the Quarter Horse News and will be hitting news stands next week!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Panolivo - Paso Robles, CA

 The night before the first go round of the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Futurity I took Scott out for a good luck meal. He picked and we found ourselves at Panolivo and he knew upon entering that he would just love it.

He went for a meal deal that served a salad, pasta and a dessert. The salad that was brought out to him was bright and fresh. Always a great start to any dinner!

I knew I wanted fish so I went for the salmon with pan roasted potatoes, spinach served with a citrus cream sauce. It was so beyond perfect. This is my idea of my perfect meal. Simple yet comforting.

Scott's pasta that he chose was the Lobster Ravioli. Aren't they beautiful? Not only were they gorgeous they tasted fantastic too. They were made in house, they had that special amount of bite. The sauce for this dish was also outstanding. Panolivo does cream sauces very well.

For dessert Scott chose a scoop of Coffee Ice Cream and it was so creamy. I wouldn't be surprised if they made this there too. It was just that good.  

We will be back this week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Orange October - Go Giants!

The San Francisco Giants are going to the 2012 World Series.... 

It must have been my lucky Giants outfit! 

Halloween and Giants fan are going to be rocking black and orange my friends! 

I am suddenly craving all my San Francisco favorites: Sourdough and Cioppino!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cowgirl Foodie - Dirt Road Daughters

So I had the super opportunity to write a food travel article for the Dirt Road Daughters magazine. It started off in Ojai, Ca and documented my cross country trip to Fort Worth, Texas to compete at the National Cutting Horse Association's Summer Spectacular. To read the article please check it out here: 

This is just the beginning of things to come for Melissa Good Taste so please stay tuned. We are all over the place! Happy Reading and... Go Giants! 

Sushi Fresh - Ventura, CA

We have been riding horses, working on the ranch and preparing for our last big horse show of the year. The chilly mornings have us hustling and bustling but I have to admit it is refreshing and welcomed rather than the heat that was around last week. After riding yesterday I had to make a run to Ventura and i found myself hungry for lunch and feeling a little adventourus. I saw an open sign in the Sushi Fresh window and stepped in.

My friend Kat has been raving about this dish for about a year now. She loves the feta cheese, caramelized garlic, slices of jalapeno over slices of tuna. I have to admit it is kind of addictive. It is a creative play on Mediterranean and Japanese flavors. 

I read that special on the wall: "Pumpkin shaped ball of crabmeat, cream cheese, crunch, mango, green onions, salmon, jalapeno, covered in massago and drizzled with eel and spicy mayo sauce." Now doesn't that sound fun?!

And look how cute is was when it came out! It was almost too darling to eat but I was hungry and I went to town. I ate every last bite with a fork. Chop sticks might have been a little tricky! It was creamy and familiar of all the flavors that would be in a regular roll. 

I go out to eat a lot, obviously, but I have really started to notice a common theme I look for in a  restaurant to excite me. It is not always about the food or service, it is starting to be more along the lines of: 

"What do you as a restaurant have to offer me? What makes you unique? What is your specialty? Show me what makes your restaurant different than others."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sierra Nevada Tumbler

This seasonal beer is my favorite! Tumbler reminds me of all things Fall and I love it! Football on the television, a fire going in the living room and this beer in my hand is what I look forward to most this brisk Saturday evening. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Immovable Feast

So I have a favorite blog. I read it everyday and always come away feeling hungry, jealous and inspired. He is an excellent writer, foodie and cook. Read his blog and give him the shout out he deserves!

Cowgirl Cool - Winnie & Melissa

So little Miss Winnie is on quite the hot streak. This is a video of Melissa Good Taste navigating her to her latest achievement. We really make quite the team!

Go Winnie Go!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

C Street - Ventura, CA

Yesterday we unpacked our trailers, sorted through paper work, and settled in from our 3 day horse show in Bakersfield and by lunch time we gave up. It was just too hot! There is a little heat wave down South, right when I was pulling out my heavy sweaters from my Fall clothing collection! Darn it. We loaded up Scott's surf truck and he caught some waves at C-Street a popular spot by the Ventura Fairgrounds. After his dip we met for dinner at the Crowne Plaza's C Street Restaurant.

A bread basket was brought to us quickly with a trio of dips. From left to right is olive tapenade, balsamic and oil, and last a garlic butter. My favorite was mixing them all together! Lots of flavors!

I ordered the Olive Oil Poached Halibut because I had not had a really great piece of fish in quite sometime. It was cooked perfectly. I loved the cream sauce with the asparagus, spinach and leeks as well. Perfectly sized dish! 

Scott had the Portobello and Ricotta Ravioli served in a lobster cream sauce. The ravioli were fantastic, almost meaty with the mushroom packed inside. The toasted bread made a great vehicle for getting the sauce in his tummy.

The restaurant was a little empty on this mOnday evening but the food was solid. In the future I might stay in the Aqua Lounge, to enjoy a ball game and order appetizers off their amazing menu. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

T.L. Maxwell's - Bakersfield, CA

My husband has been bragging about the food he had at this restaurant, 15 years ago, for as long as I can remember. Apparently he went with friends and he still has dreams about the blue cheese steak he ordered. The restaurant is located in one of the oldest buildings in Bakersfield and its location in an alley makes it kind of a secret enterance.

We started off perusing the wine menu and were not familiar with many so we took a chance with the Peachy Canyon Zinfandel and were pleasantly surprised. It was affordable and very good.

On the menu they said they offered "Famous Crab Cakes" and you know I am a sucker for them so I asked the waitress about it. She actually raved on the Stuffed Mushrooms so I went with her recommendation and we were thrilled. They were outstanding.

I had a bowl of the Beef Barley soup and it was amazing. The broth rich, and vegetables softly cooked. I thought this was just delightful.

Scott and Cowboy Ron both had Caesar Salads and they both ate until the last leaf was gone.

I ordered off the menu and had a Gorgonzola topped Filet Mignon. The meat was cooked to a perfect medium rare and the cheese seemed to be a nice addition. Bite by bite, I added a chunk of cheese to the beef and suddenly I was getting cheesed out. Maybe too much cheese for me. The baked potato was lovely and a good refuge from the cheese overload.

The boys ordered their steaks to be stuffed with blue cheese. They loved their meal but were soon waving the white flag from the heavy handed cheese. A little bit goes a long way! I did love the sauce that the steaks were topped with, it was so rich and savory.

I loved this restaurant because of the old school charm, our fantastic waitress and mostly because I was with the best company a girl could ever ask for. Thanks Scott and Cowboy Ron!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cafe Firenze - Moorpark, CA

I watch Bravo TV, a lot. So I am a super fan of all things Top Chef, Housewives and pretty much whatever is on any given day. I have a few favorite chefs and Fabio is one of them. I like that he is an outstanding chef, is suave with the ladies and has really great hair. So when I found out he had a restaurant in Moorpark, only about 30 minutes from my house, I just knew I had to visit it. Scott surprised me with a last minute trip to the valley so away we went...

Complimentary bread to the table. It was delicious, I tried not to fill up on it.

Scott ordered the Crispy Duck Salad to start. It was full of roasted mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, shaved parmesan and pine nuts. It was dressed beautifully and just a really fantastic start to the meal.

When I saw the Burrata and Pancetta Crostino on the starter menu I knew I just had to have it. Imported Burrata, crispy pancetta, fried sage, browned butter, balsamic all on a grilled slice of bread. OMG. This was probably my favorite thing of 2012. I am not kidding at all. This was just so my favorite flavors of everything. I could have ordered a second order for my entree. If you go here, please try this in honor of Melissa Good Taste. You will not be disappointed.

Scott had the special pasta of the evening. I was basking the flavors of my starter so I missed the description and the name. Scott loved no matter, and he ate every last bite. The pasta was fresh and the sauce rich, very comforting!

I ordered the Tortellacci de Zucca, or for non-Italian speakers, Butternut Squash Ravioli. The filling reminded me of Fall and was cut with a creamy ricotta. The sauce was a brown butter sage cream sauce, also known as heaven on Earth.  

Well, well, well... Look who we have here: Mr. Fabio himself. He asked to have his picture taken with "The Melissa Good Taste". No, but he really is a cool guy, great chef and has a wonderful restaurant.

You can catch him on Bravo TV, his current show is on now: Life After Top Chef.

Just one more thing. Shout out to my husband for such a fun date night. Outstanding food, great atmosphere, lovely wine and a great dessert that we picked up through the Froster's Freeze drive-thru. Have you had a Twister lately? They are amazing!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

La Valle - Ojai, CA

New restaurant in Ojai alert! La Valle just replaced the Garden Terrace across the street from the Soule Park Golf Course. The story we received is the owner has been a chef at many restaurants in Santa barbara and finally achieved his dream and opened his own place. The menu is full of Italian and mexican favorites. It seems unlikely these cuisines together but it is all good to me.

Scott with the Mexican side of the menu and had the Shrimp Empenadas. Light and crispy tortillas filled with sauteed shrimp, garlic, shallots, tomatoes and cilantro burst with flavor. Guacamole and sour cream are drizzled on top. Ask for extra green salsa and dip each bite into the tomatillo goodness.

I copied Scott and ordered Mexican too. Next time we go back I promise to re-review and order Italian, it is like two restaurants in one! I ordered the Trio Tacos of two types of pork and the other goat. What the heck? Goat?! Yes, I actually tried it. It was not bad, it fact kind of good. I just felt a little sad eating it. I had tons of food on my plate, the rice and beans were extremely satisfying

The restaurant is a little far off the beaten path if you are doing the walking tour of Ojai. Be sure to travel all the way down to the East end so you will not miss any other hidden gems in the area!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Peddling - Ojai to Ventura...

I have been wanting to ride my bike from Ojai to Ventura. It is about 15 miles and I know my body could use it. So Scott dropped me off in downtown Ojai and I hopped on the bike trail that makes it's way to the beach in Ventura. He was going surfing and I was all set to meet him there after I peddled my way down. 

The ride was beyond gorgeous. I couldn't help but feel blessed to live in such beautiful country.

What an outstanding bridge for just a bike trail!

Not only was the ride breath taking, the art along the way was quite entertaing. How about this windmill creation?

Wahoo! I made it... Beautiful day on the water.

This is the kind of exercise that makes me want to be active. Every. Single. Day.

I am inspired to keep moving so I am off paddle boarding with my friend tomorrow in the Ventura Keys. Pictures to follow. Keep moving!