Monday, July 26, 2010

Chowder Quest 2010

Hello everyone! I know i'm very very behind on blogging. I haven't done one single entry this whole entire month - I am so sorry! I still haven't announced my contest/giveaway yet either. I am working on putting my thoughts/photos together on that. Sit tight for another month..

I've been so busy and at the same time - not so busy. Traveling was definitely up there. I haven't been to Los Angeles in about 3 weeks now, i'm missing it real bad. I did however, wind up in Vegas w/ my partner in crime Melissa. There was lots of table top dancing, roasting in the sun and BOOZE. We went primarily to see our friends from London. So crazy that we met them only 8 months ago in Vegas... Only to return to Vegas to see them again because one of them is getting married. Congratulations Amar!! The next time I see you, you'll be a married man :] Oh yeah, the next time I see them will be ... in October. That's right, i'm headed to London in the fall! So very excited because I haven't left the country in a few years.

Anywho. Let me catch up on a few things!

********* IF YOU'RE HERE BECAUSE YOU ARE GOOGLING THE CA XPPINKX POW WOW TRYING TO FIND DIRT: MOVE THE FECK ON. YOU AREN'T GOING TO FIND ANY DIRT HERE. Yes, i'm talking about YOU, person from Deer Park, Texas. (multiple times Googling to my page in the last 2 days..really??)
P.S. Yes, I did leave early to attend EDC. You know what else? I left cash with another blogger and I left behind MORE than enough to cover my share and then some. 

To continue where I left off, I had a bomb time at the Pow Wow. Iyah, i'm stealing your group pic, thanks! To get a better recap of that night and see the blogs of the other ladies, please clicky on the link to Iyah's blog (she also has more photos): Pow Wow 

...all the beautiful pink ladies...
w/ the infamous xppinkxx in the middle, where else?

OOHHH. I also forgot to bring up the fact that... I had a mini Bay Area Blogger meetup in mid-July somewhere.
We had lunch at Santouka inside Mitsuwa..Hit up a Face Shop, went to Valley Fair and finally had dinner at Pepper Lunch
They're sooooo going to kill me for posting these photos but I don't care, they can't smack me over the internet! hahahhahaa
Ping & Serena.. I turned Serena into a fiend! She had Santouka 3x that week.
Sophia's 1st time at Santouka
L-R: Jen, Sophia, Ronnie (finally!), Serena, me, Ping
Pepper Lunch USA is so damn good & I introduced these girls to it
Serenaaaa womaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

So i've been having this CRAZY craving for clam chowder. It just hit me like a brick wall a few weeks ago. I didn't get any for 2 weeks! Finally, last friday I tried the infamous Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco. I was underwhelmed and extremely disappointed. $7.50 for a watered down pint of clam chowder that had rubbery clams.. It also tasted like Campbell's clam chowder. What a big letdown. That friday night I hit up Woodhouse on Church in the famous Castro district. The clam chowder was better, but still not that great. On top of that, I had ordered 1/2 a dozen Hood Canal oysters. They weren't shucked very well so my friend Leif ended up with mouthfuls of shell. Mine however, were okay but it just goes to show they were not consistent. So then, it was decided.. We would go on a quest... not just for clam chowder, but for oysters as well. Joining us was my dear friend Aurana. 

Sunday morning we waited for the San Francisco Marathon to end (so we could cross the Golden Gate Bridge). It was foggy (as usual) but I did snap a photo so I could show my friend in London. He had this misconception that it is always sunny in California. (Sorry honey, that's Southern California)
breakfast for Aurana and I? cupcakes & coffee
red velvet & butterscotch cupcakes from American Cupcake
Seamus was bad. He stomped on the box and ruined the butterscotch cupcake >=[ therefore, I made him my footrest on the way up to Marshall, CA for oysters
This spot is amazing. Great view (crappy weather, sorry), fresh oysters, bbq pits...Of course you need to reserve the tables in advance though! Leif, Aurana and I were only stopping through so we just swooped up a dozen kumamotos (my favorite!) and shucked 'em in the trunk of the car. 
ok I lied, Leif shucked them. Aurana & I don't know how.
♥ delicious ♥
Aurana & I having kumamotos with Seamus
Seamus is such a camera whore - and I love it.
Drove in to town (Tomales).. Aurana and I kicked it in front of the general store. I mean really, how many of you can say you kick it in front of the general store? Jay & Silent Bob got NOTHIN' on us
These fruit pies remind me of my grandfather. We used to buy them together when I was very young. 
If you never knew, I was raised by my grandparents up until my teens.
My grandparents and I used to take walks collecting cans along the way to recycle them (so Chinese). Once we had accumulated a large volume of cans, we'd take them to a recycling center. With the money we got, my grandparents would let me purchase either thing: a bag of Granny Goose chips or 2 fruit pies. I usually opted for the lemon fruit pies because then my grandpa would pick the 2nd pie and we'd eat them on the way home. If my grandma took me to the recycling center, i'd get the Granny Goose chips because she liked the sour cream & onion ones. I'm tearing up writing these childhood memories like a freaking sentimental sap because i'm ovulating *boohoo* Okay on with the chowder quest i'll stfu now.
After leaving the general store, we were back on the road. We had a final destination, but agreed to making multiple stops along the way.
1st clam chowder stop: Valley Ford Market
it was $4 for a cup of their clam chowder

very bacon-y but too oily. much too oily and the broth was thin and weak. 
Leif had gotten that for us while I headed across the road to a better place
much better. the chowder was also a fresh pot, score! it was $6.50 for that bowl
left: Sonoma Coast Fish Bank right: Valley Ford Market
Sorry VFM, SCFB kicked your ass.
I was rather disappointed with their clam chowder. It did have a lot of potato (which I love) but it just tasted like a vegetable chowder. I also felt there was waaaaaaaay too much herb going on in there, it left a very strong thyme taste in my mouth.
I believe this to go cup was about $4? I could be wrong
dry smoked salmon was very good though. the flavor was just aromatic and made me want to cream myself
look at that beautiful color!
Seamus is spoiled and got some too
The final destination and winner of Chowder Quest 2010 so far
my crab cocktail 1/4lb fresh crab meat w/ lemon and homemade cocktail sauce $9.95
ugghh this was the best clam chowder so far and I want more of it RIGHT NOW hence the "ugghhh" because i'm a couple of hours away from this spot
it was perfect ♥ 
great seafood taste, ample amount of fresh clams, chock full of potatoes, the chowder was thick (the way I like it) and it didn't have too much herb in there.. my mouth is watering for more
It was perfect with oyster crackers too, thanks for repeatedly putting them in for me to chomp Leif! We basically killed it.
On the chowder scale, we rated Spud Point 8-9 (if I remember correctly. Leif?)
stopped for malted milkshakes on the way home. the guy hooked me up and didn't skimp on the malt
Why yes Mr. Seamus, you may have some too. NOT
bye bye Bodega baby
guess who else is ktfo? my twin *shhh*
grrr feed me! he got crabby because it was his dinner time but we got stuck in Petaluma traffic
I knocked out somewhere along the way stuck in Petaluma traffic..but my "twin" was wide awake.
photo taken by: Leif.

The quest will continue on, but for now Spud Point is the winner. 
I'll write more later... I think.

DISCLAIMER: SEAMUS IS NOT MY DOG. He belongs to my friend Leif. Well, he might as well be my dog though seeing as how he loves me way more than he loves his owner =P