Sunday, September 11, 2011

Three Northern CA Restaurants

This weekend I had a whirlwind trip to Northern California to visit my brother-in-law who is in the hospital in San Francisco.  When we arrived around dinner time,  my generous nephew took us to his favorite restaurant in Manteca, El Jardin.

As I have said many times before, Utah just doesn't have good Mexican food so I am always skeptical of, but at the same time looking for, a good Mexican restaurant.  This place did not disappoint me.     

The homemade tortilla chips were just the beginning of a delicious meal.  The salsa actually had a spicy flavor, and the bean dip with a large dollop of sour cream in the middle, was a treat on those homemade chips.  I ordered the Chicken Chipotle which consisted chicken,  onions and mushrooms in a cream chipotle sauce. Wow!  Talk about a spicy, roasted, creamy flavor.  The beans and rice were fantastic as well.  I kept eating and eating and the food never seemed to vanish on my plate.  When I was full, my plate was still covered with food.  My husband ordered a chile relleno and an enchilada with green sauce.  I've always referred to the sauce as tomatillo sauce, but the waitress just called it green sauce.  Regardless of what the name of the sauce, it was a perfect combination of tangy and spicy.  The relleno was excellent as well, without being soggy.  

Prices were reasonable and the servings were huge.  The service was attentive.  My glass was never empty, and two wait staff took care of us all evening.  The only mild complaint I had was that it was loud in the restaurant.  But hey, we tend to be a loud family so we talked right over it.  4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  

The next night for dinner we went to Tony's Cable Car Restaurant off of Geary and Presidio.  I probably would have never been to this establishment, but it was right across the street from Kaiser hospital.  Good burger.  Good fries.  Decent fish and chips.  Nothing special.  Decent prices for San Fransico. Limited seating.
Almost 3 out of 5 stars.   

Finally, we went to Yubic Frozen Yogurt in Lathrop.  This is one of those make it yourself places like a yogurt salad bar.  First you get your frozen yogurt, and then you put all the toppings on you'd like. You pay buy the weight.  The yogurt itself had a slight chemical taste and the toppings were stale.  The decor was colorful and it was super clean.  2 1/2 out of 5 stars.  The only reason I gave it the extra half star was because it was so clean. 

And finally, Ghiradelli chocolate is the best, but don't go to Ghiradelli Square during the chocolate festival unless you like to be in the same small area as 10,000 of your closest friends! Or so it seemed!  

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