Oh boy. I've been slacking on Papawow but I have some good excuses; moving to Carlsbad, having a one month old baby, and most recently, spending the long Memorial Day weekend at a most amazing wedding in Santa Barbara.
I have; however, been keeping up with the photographs - I just haven't had time to post anything, cook anything, read much, or eat many fun things besides picking up take-out.
Some of the highlights this last (long) week included discovering a legit Italian restaurant in an industrial warehouse in a commercial district of Gardena, CA. You would never know it from the outside but they make a fantastic thin-crust pizza, their own gelato, and they have maybe $50,000 of Parmesan cheese lining one wall.
The drive to Santa Barbara and back consisted of a stop at our favorite Del Taco in Camarillo, a Montecito at Jack's Bistro (Bagel with Lox, Cream Cheese, onions, and Capers), a lunch of oysters, clams, and ceviche at Brophy Brothers, and breakfast at the last remaining Sambo's.
If you are under the age of 40, you may not know that Sambo's was a chain of more than 1,200 restaurants throughout the US. It was started in 1957 by Sam Battistone and Newell Bohnett who embraced the story "The Little Black Sambo" which was about an east Indian boy who turned a tiger into butter to put on his pancakes.
They had no idea that in the 1970's the term Sambo would become such a charged racial slur.
Although they tried renaming many of the restaurants to, "The Jolly Tiger," "No Place Like Sam's," and "Seasons," they all ended up failing but the very first one, the one in Santa Barbara. Someone in the early 2000's even climbed the sign and painted over "Cracka's."
Learn the history, get over the name, order the Huevos Rancheros, and have a mimosa.
I had my first cerveza preparada in the form of Budweiser's Chelada; Bud, salt, lime, and Clamato. I was hesitant at first because the thought of clam juice in a can, in a truck, coming from Anheuser-Busch from lord-knows-where kind of scares me.
But then I saw the color. It's this fluorescent pink-orange that seems to call you like a siren. It tastes like cheap salty beer but it is quite refreshing on a hot day. I think I would prefer it over ice (as a man, can I say that?).
There's a penumbra about how much I'm going going to like these but I'm still planning a Chelada tasting, more to come...