Thursday, May 21, 2015

San Francisco Train Ride to Sotto Mare Restaurant

May 20, 2015, a Wednesday.

Five of Gobo's Lunch Bunch start the day at the Stockton Amtrak station.  We did stop at Lindy's Donuts for a donut each to go.  Ken, Elsa, Patti, Brenda and Don (me) are today's Lunch Bunchers.

Of course the ladies are going shopping after lunch.

The 711 train is suppose to leave Stockton at 9:01 AM.  But today it is delayed since Amtrak shares the rails with all the freight trains.

This is an earlier notification.  We finally left at 9:30 AM

 The first stop for the train is at Antioch which is 32 miles and 35 minutes by train.  By car the same trip will cover 38 miles and take 55 minutes via State Hwy 4.  The discrepancy in travel time is the railroad tracks are laid in a straight line between Stockton and Antioch, but since the intervening land is all peat dirt islands Hwy 4 is windy has levee roads and a couple of bridge crossings.
A farm on Lower Roberts Island just barely west of Stockton.

Working on another farm

Yet one more farm on Lower Roberts

 Not everyone is working.  Here are two fisherman.
I think this is somewhere on Middle River.
We are now between Antioch and Martinez looking back at the long arch known as the Antioch Bridge which is part of State Hwy 160.

 Just as we go under the Carquinez Bridge which is I-80 we pass by the Nantucket Restaurant {hot link}.

The first restaurant was opened in this location in 1930.  Ken & Jackie Carver have owned the marina since 1977 and on Labor Day, 1994, they opened The Nantucket Restaurant.
The parking lot is on the other side of the railroad tracks.

The train ends for us at Emeryville, home of Pixar Animation Studios.  From there we board an Amtrak bus that takes us over the Bay Bridge to San Francisco.
Salvaging the old eastern section of the Bay Bridge.

Treasure Island

We are dropped off the bus at Moscone Center where we have to walk a block to catch the SF Muni.  The Muni bus takes us through the heart of Chinatown to North Beach.  Our lunch destination the

Sotto Mare Oysteria and Seafood Restaurant {hot link}.

Elsa and I split the Crab Cioppino with Seafood.  A bargain at $41.00 since the pot includes enough for two very generous servings about three bowls each.

 Brenda has the Prawn Saute and a bowl of Clam Chowder.

Patti had the Sea Scallop Saute but her photo did not come out okay she was chomping down on her food.  So I thought not to include that photo.  :-)

 The Cioppino pot after our first serving each.

Ken had the Grilled Halibut with olive oil and chopped garlic.

After everyone is through shopping we are waiting to catch the Amtrak bus to Emeryville.  Elsa, Patti and Brenda are in the pic, but Ken is sitting just to the right of the photo at the bus stop.

 Ending this episode with three pics of the old east portion of the Bay Bridge which is being salvaged for scrap metal.

We arrived back at the Stockton Amtrak at 8:00 PM about 20 minutes behind schedule.



Monday, April 27, 2015

Bodega Bay, April 26, 2015

Lunch in Occidental, CA at Negri's Italian, during Bodega Bay Trip, April 26, 2015

Ken and I are the only Lunch Bunchers today as we have the leisure time.

So we are headed out for a Day Trip over Sonoma County.  We will travel through the wine country, the Russian River and Bodega Bay.

Our first stop was actually in Solano County at the Jelly Belly Factory where we picked up some bargain Jelly Belly candies.

Then our second stop was in Sonoma County way out where the Bodega Highway and the Bohemian Highway intersect at the Wild Flour Bread located on the Bohemian Highway a few meters north of the Bodega Highway.  I picked p a loaf of bread and a blueberry-rhubarb scone.

Just 6 more kilometers north on the Bohemian Highway we get to the village of Occidental where we will be eating lunch at the recently renovated Negri's Italian Restaurant.
The same neon sign though

Here Ken takes a close up of the sign

Occidental was founded in 1876 as stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry.  The current population is just over a thousand.
The railway caused a rapid expansion of the timber industry, and by 1877 there were six sawmills in the Occidental area. Trains also brought vacationers from San Francisco.  As it is just south of the many Russian River resorts.
The village of Occidental

Across the street

 The remodeled bar now has some outdoor seating.
Exterior and interior were recently remodeled

The obligatory Gobo's Lunch Bunch food photos.  But the pasta course and main course photos are missing since I was too busy eating.  :-)
Start with a delicious minestrone soup

The remodeled interior.  Note the back of the waitress' blouse at the far left of the photo.
More light

The Negri Racing Stable stained glass sign remains.
Still have large parties

Now the salad.
We both decide on oil and vinegar salad dressing

The beans are hidden behind the vinegar bottle
Well that's all of the lunch photos.

Now on to Bodega Bay, but first a stop in the village of Bodega some 9 kilometers from Bodega Bay.  The school house and the church that were so prominent in Alfred Hitcock's movie "The Birds" are actually located in Bodega.
This is "The Birds" schoolhouse

Ken taking a selfie.  Note the Catholic Church is to the right side of the photo.

Here I am pointing at the sign on the gate in one of the photos above

Now we head on over to Bodega Bay but don't stop until we reach the Salmon Creek Rest Stop just north of town.
One tent on the beach

It is a bit chilly

A walking trail

We then head to the end of the Russian River along Highway 1 and turn east to follow the Russian River back to Highway 101.  At Santa Rosa we get onto State Highway 12 and ride through the wineries of the Valley of the Moon into the town of Sonoma.  At the Sonoma Town Square we head over to the Chocolate Cow for an ice cream cone.
A lady about Ken's daughters age bought him this ice cream cone.

Good ice cream and gelato

the gelato

The Chocolate Cow also has a bunch of different candies and chocolate truffles to die for.
The fudge

The truffles and other candies


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fuddrucker's in Dublin, CA - March 28, 2015

Ken wanted to try an Elk burger and a Buffalo burger so we head to Fuddrucker's.{hot link}  Fuddrucker's is a chain of over 300 stores that is basically a casual hamburger restaurant.

Note:  You can view the photos in full size by clicking on any one of them.
The Dublin store is just across the patio from the iMax Theater at the Hacienda Crossings.

We got there just before Noon which was a good thing as the line was all the way to the entry door when we left an hour later.

They advertise the World's Greatest Hamburger.  Maybe.  You get the hamburger on a very good fresh baked hamburger bun then you put on your own fixings.

The prices are pretty competitive since a Big Mac around here costs $3.99.
They also have a half pound Buffalo, Elk, Ostrich (seasonal) and
at some locations a Wild Boar burger.

You order at the counter and either pick your order up or have it
delivered to your table by taking a sign with a number on it.
 The veggie fixings were fresh and plentiful but then again we were early into the lunch hour.
Jalapenos too

More veggies

There are also stations that have mustard, mayo, ketchup, A-1 Heinz 57, Tabasco, Tapitio and Chula.
There is also a station with melted Velveeta or melted Velveeta with diced Jalepenos. 
And they have Combos

The M-F Lunch Special looked appealing.

 Here is our order.  One Elk burger and one Buffalo burger which Ken and I are eating a half of each.
My Coleslaw is in one plate and in the background (left side of photo) you can see our basket of fires and onion rings.

 Looking from our table to the Ordering/Pick Up area.

 A look in a different direction

Yet another direction
The food was very good.

It is a decent burger joint, but sometimes the wait can be awhile.  Just get there before or after the crowd.  :-)