Saturday, January 14, 2023

Restaurant Review: (Road Trip Edition) Yaks on the 5


Last spring we took a road trip on the 5 freeway to Reedsport, Oregon to visit family. I was searching the internet for a place to stop along the way and enjoy some lunch when I came across Yaks on the 5. Yaks on the 5 is featured on Yelp's top 100 list and serves gourmet burgers and beer among other things. I also hear they are famous for their sticky buns. We stopped in Dunsmuir, CA to try out this spot. Dunsmuir is a small city in Northern California along the I-5, blink and you will miss it, unless you know about Yaks because it was packed when we arrived midday for lunch.  Dunsmuir is quaint and attracts the outdoorsy crowd, specifically for its fishing. 

Above is Yaks menu which consists of burgers, sandwiches, fries their smoked barbecue WINGS, they are big. 

Chris ordered the More Than Just A Peanut Butter Burger with their homemade potato chips and was talked into trying one of their Picked The Wrong Day To Quit Smoking Wings covered in a homemade barbecue sauce and ranch drizzle. The wing was perfectly smoked, tender and sweet with the addition of the barbecue sauce. The burger was covered in a peanut butter sauce, fried onion strings, bacon crumbles, and a house-made lemon ginger marmalade. Very big, very messy and very tasty. 

I ordered the Cilantro Bomb burger and the Garlic Parmesan Fries with their homemade lavender ketchup. The burger is a must if you are a cilantro lover. It is loaded with cilantro, jack cheese, fried onion strings and a house-made lime aioli. I love cilantro and the lime aioli paired well with the flavors in this burger. The Garlic Parmesan Fries were crisp and delicious. 

Penelope ordered the Castle Crags Pastrami Sandwich, and was very happy about it. 

Piled high with pastrami, jack cheese, aioli and grilled onions.

These burgers are quite a meal and can easily be cut in half and shared. I have a feeling this will become our go to lunch spot whenever we make the trek to Oregon. 

4917 Dunsmuir Ave. 
Dunsmuir, CA 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Red Beans and Rice


I know this is not your traditional Louisiana Red beans and Rice but it is a quick, throw everything in the pot, meal that is so satisfying. Here ya go...

Easy Red Beans and Rice

Can of Kidney beans
2 cups of water
1tbs Canola oil
1/2 cup Rotel
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp. Cayenne
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 green onions sliced. 

Throw everything into a pot and turn on high heat. Once it starts to boil lower the heat and cover. Simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes until rice is tender. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Drink Me: Mojito Special (light)


Made a lightened up version of a Mojito Special using Fever Tree's Ginger Ale mixer. Fever Tree makes mixers from naturally sourced ingredients and no artificial flavors or sweeteners for the perfect cocktail. 

Mojito Special(light)

1 oz. silver rum

Few springs of mint, these are from my greenhouse apple mint plant

Splash of lime juice

1 tsp. Brown sugar

3 1/2 oz. Ginger Ale


In the bottom of a highball glass put a splash of lime juice and the sugar. Add the mint leaves and middle. Add the rum and fill the glass with ice. Top it with the ginger ale and stir. 

This drink is so refreshing and tasty. I actually prefer it over a regular mojito and I am not usually a ginger ale fan but I am a fan of this Fever Tree Ginger Ale

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Juniper & Ivy


A few months ago we celebrated  my birthday at Juniper & Ivy in San Diego. They describe their menu as refined American and boast a James Beard nominated chef, Anthony Wells. The restaurant located inside what was an abandoned warehouse exposes a wood beam and metal pipe ceiling that gives it a swanky industrial feel. It was packed and lively on an early Saturday evening, reservations are strongly encouraged. The entire staff was friendly and attentive and the food was amazing. 

This was their menu on an evening back in August. I checked the website and it does differ based on the fresh ingredients available. The current sample menu looks just as amazing.  The menu consisted of bites, pantry, small plates and plates. Basically one bite appetizers, small appetizers, sharable appetizers and entrees. They also have some signature cocktails. The cocktails were really good. 

I drank this pretty thing, but unfortunately I can't recall what it was called. Maybe, I shouldn't have waited months to post my review. 

Chris and I decided to share some hors d'oeuvres. We started with the Deviled Eggs. 

These little guys were made with smoked sturgeon, caviar, and lemon zest. These are not your typical deviled eggs. They are made with a meringue and yolk mousse and put together to appear as a deviled egg. These are one bite delicacies that I could have very easily continued to pop into my mouth until full. Sooo good...

We also had this chicken liver mousse The miso cookies were the best part with their salty chewiness. I am not a big fan of chicken liver mousse but the strawberry preserves and fresh berries on top, spread onto these tasty cookies resembled a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  

The Carne Asada Crudo Toast was my favorite. Beef tartar, spiced crema, cotija, green onion and an egg yolk jam on top of a perfectly toasted piece of bread was mouthwatering. 

These cooked oysters were delicious although I do prefer a nice briny raw oyster instead. 

The scallops were fresh and a nice citrus flavor with some heirloom tomatoes. Look how pretty this plate is!

Again, I don't recall what this dish was just that it was some sort of cheese filled raviolo with a sauce made with fresh corn. I know my description doesn't give it justice because I do recall it was another amazing bite. 

Finally we decided to try an entrée size plate and share it.

This was a perfectly cooked and seasoned hangar steak served with blistered shishito peppers and it tasted divine. 

You really should check out Juniper & Ivy's everchanging menu, reservations are strongly recommended. I am going to request to go back the next chance again, hopefully I won't have to wait till my next birthday. 

2228 Kettner Blvd. 
San Diego, CA 92101

Monday, July 18, 2022

Restaurant Review: C Level

 Located on the San Diego bay sits Island Prime and C Level restaurants.  C Level offers waterfront and outdoor dining during lunch and dinner. It is often packed so reservations are definitely recommended.  The lunch menu includes several offerings from land and sea and delicious cocktails that you won't want to miss. Starting with the Isle of Zen, Absolut citron, triple sec, ginger, lime, basil & mint. 

This drink is very refreshing. Try it with the Ahi, Crab and Avocado stack appetizer. 

Fresh crab, avocado, tomato, papaya-mango salsa on a sweet chili sauce and served with taro chips. Yummy! I prefer eating this sans taro chips while making sure I get a layer of each item on my fork. The flavors are so good together. 

The Pepita and Sesame Crusted Brie served with a jalapeno jelly, toasted bread and a green and apple salad. I was not a big fan of the crust on the brie but the brie was nice and oozing and tasted great on toast. 

The Lobster Mac & Cheese served with a green salad with candied walnuts left a little to be desired. While it was loaded with large chunks of Lobster I thought the sauce was a little on the runny side and not cheesy like a mac and cheese should be. It also lacked in flavor. A little salt & pepper would go a long way . 

The Lobster and Fontina BLT on a jalapeno cheddar sourdough and alongside some sherried lobster bisque for dipping.  I also thought the lobster in the sandwich could have used some seasoning. The lobster bisque was tasty, you can also order this in cup or bowl size. Something I would definitely do. 

If you are a salad eater my sister swears by the C Level Louie Salad, blue crab and rock shrimp on top butter lettuce, tomato, avocado, red onion, cucumber, egg and capers and a Thousand Island dressing. 

C Level is a nice place to enjoy the beautiful San Diego bay scenery. I would visit at night when the downtown lights light up the sky.  Remember if you visit in the evening it can get a little chilly next to the water so bring a coat. 

880 Harbor Island Dr. 
San Diego, CA 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Scallop Scampi


Was going to make Shrimp Scampi but located some bay scallops in my freezer...

Scallop Sampi

1 lb. Scallops

2 tbs. Butter

2 tbs. Olive oil

4 Garlic cloves, minced

1/2 C. White wine

3/4 tsp. Salt

Pepper, to taste

1 tsp. Dried parsley

Pinch of crushed red pepper

Juice from half a lemon

In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add wine, S&P, crushed red pepper and parsley and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce for about 2 minutes. Add the scallops and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice. Serve over white rice. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Sausage Breakfast Casserole


Here is a breakfast casserole perfect for a lazy weekend. It would also make a nice brunch for guests served with some fresh fruit and a mimosa or two. 

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

1 16.oz pkg. of Jimmy Dead Hot Sausage

4 Green onions, sliced

2 cups of Half n Half

1 cup All purpose baking mix

4 Eggs

1 cup Mexican shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating crumble and cook sausage. Place cooked sausage in a greased casserole dish. Top with the onions and cheese. Beat eggs, half n half and baking mix together in a bowl with a whisk. Pour mixture over the sausage. Bake for 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle of casserole comes out clean.