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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

what a great weekend

let's see. this last week set several high temperature records for the day, in the 70's. little to no wind. no clouds what-so-ever. the trees along my creek are blooming. here's one of them in the late afternoon sun. click for larger image


saw the first hummingbird of the season yesterday. i wasn't able to get a picture of it, but according to the birding sites, it was probably a female Anna's hummingbird


edit: more below

we went to berkeley yesterday, just for a change.

first stop was The Spanish Table. we went because they have all KINDS of stuff from spain. the main reason I wanted to go was to get an eight serving paella pan. i settled for an enamel coated pan ($28.00), rather than the stainless steel one ($70.00) or the cast iron one ($24.00). i imagine that i may be getting a bigger one once i get this whole paella thing down. the bigger ones are really made to be used over a fire, so my weber bbg grill should be the perfect heat source.
here's how i'm going to use it. this is their picture, but hopefully i'll have one of my own to post soon!
i bought some paella rice and a bit of saffron. holy smokes is saffron expensive. but indispensable when it comes to making paella. i'll be experimenting with the dish, making it on my bbq. should be amazing.

then we went to lunch over at Spenger's Seafood Grotto, a berkeley landmark. the place is full of "atmosphere". there are several dining areas in the restaurant, and we were seated in what i'll call the gun room. there are probably 7 or 8 cases on the wall full of old guns, ranging from double barrel black powder shotguns to a whole range of lever and bolt action guns that have to be at least 50 years old. most are very much older, including a whole case of muzzle loaders. pretty neat. in the picture, we were seated in the corner under the sailfish.
wow, i just noticed that they photoshopped out the gun cases. only in berkeley i guess. i was surprised to see them in the first place. but if you look real hard on the wood section below the mounted fish, you can see where they photoshopped the cases. how funny. how berkeley.
the place is not the same as i remember it from many trips in the past. it's been sold to a new group that managed to save the restaurant from the wrecking ball, but the service and food left a lot to be desired. the waiter was terrible. maybe we caught him on a bad day, but when you have to start to order, have him run off, and then come back 10 or more minutes later, have to ask for a glass of wine 5 times, and then wait for it until almost done with your food, blah blah blah. to say the least, i was disappointed. i tried their seafood cobb salad, and it was bland. di and her dad had the rockfish, and liked it, and mamasita had their scallops, and like it.
i don't know. if the service had been better i would probably have had nothing to bitch about. but everything was sub-par in my book. the only good thing about it was that we were with my wife's folks, and that made the trip worthwhile.
if you want to experience oldschool berkeley, go to spenger's. if you want good service and great food, try somewhere else.

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