Have You Tried Sammy’s BBQ Catering in King Salmon?

No one goes to King Salmon by accident. You have to want to go ‘way out there. When I heard about Sammy’s it was from friends in Washington State,  go figure.
So when my friend and I checked them out on Tuesday, they had already been open for a year. The first thing we learned was, don’t go late. We thought showing up at 1:30 was the right thing to do, but they were already out of tri-tip by then. As you can gather from their website,  they usually have tri-tip, kalua pork, pork ribs, teri chicken, and meatballs.

The sides include chop suey, unusual for Humboldt but considering it’s a Tongan family that runs the place it all makes sense.  The menu is similar in part to that of the Banana Hut and it would be interesting to do a side-by-side tasting of the two versions of kalua and the two versions of pineapple gravy. The chop suey is made with glass noodles which I hadn’t seen before.  They also have a pineapple cole slaw which I didn’t expect to like, but I did.

I had the kalua pork, salty as heck but I can never resist it, and the ribs , which could have used more cooking. They were okay but not falling off the bone.  My friend got ribs which were too fatty.  The lady who was serving was slow about offering to replace them, and an unseemly discussion ensued during which my friend pointed out the layers of fat on her rib. Hers were too fat, mine were not. I liked the potato salad, wasn’t crazy about the meatballs. Things would have gone a lot better if we’d gotten there early enough for the tri-tip. 

The whole family works the restaurant .  When I lived on Oahu I had Tongan friends who used to come and visit me out on the North Shore and every time they would find an excuse to clean my house, which was not up to their standards. Sammy’s is spotless.

I see an ad for Sammy’s in the Times-Standard this morning, but the print is so muddy you can’t read it.  I hope they got their money back. Sammy’s will be open tomorrow and Friday but closed on the Fourth.  Check them out and have  a great holiday.

END

Brius Not Out of the Woods Yet

Or perhaps we should say, not out of trouble yet. Brius, as you recall, is the outfit that bought the local operations of Skilled Healthcare after they lost their court battle with DA Paul Gallegos over substandard conditions in their facilities, which include the Seaview, Granada, Pacific, Fortuna and Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Centers.  The original jury award was for $62M, a lot of which went to legal fees. Brius, which does business here under the name Redwood Healthcare Services, is the largest chain of nursing homes in the State with 82 facilities.  It has come under fire from the State, which decertified three of their facilities. This is a serious sanction as it means they no longer qualify for Medicare funding. 

If you have a loved one in one of these facilities drop over frequently and on short notice and keep track, as best you can, to ensure each resident receives the 3.2 hours of daily care to which they are entitled under the law. Health care is a tough business but it’s even tougher to be a patient.

End

We Finally Review the Humboldt Soup Company

The Humboldt Soup Company opened for business in early December to an enormous fanfare of reviews and gossip. People were realy jazzed about it and for a few weeks it seemed to be attracting crowds. Now the hubbub has subsided. The Yelp review count is roughly divided with about four more positive than negative reviews. Practically all the Yelp reviews mention prices.

Price jumps out as an issue because the little 8-ounce cups of soup that go for $3.99 DO seem pathetically small, especially when the soup is particularly  good.  But we ‘re getting ahead of ourselves.

The soup selections when we went last week were as follows:

Farmers’ Market Vegetable:  plenty of vegetables , including broccoli.  I though it was a bit light on flavor but it improved a whole lot with a slug of Lea & Perrins and I finished every drop.

Tuscan Turkey Sausage: This soup got most of its flavor from the sausage, strong fennel flavor. Pretty good.

Smoked Ham & White Bean- my friend complained that hers wasn’t thick like mine but mine was fine.

Coconut Chicken and Curry: WE HAVE A WINNER.  This was the best soup I’ve had in a while and I’d go out of my way to get it again.  Absolutely scrumptious! Terrific!

Now, about those prices. HSC doesn’t have a functioning website and they present their menu on a Facebook page with a photo that looks like a selfie- blurred.  The cups of soup go for $3.99, the 16-oz bowls for $6.99, which seems like a much better deal. They have a good selection of salads and some sandwiches.  My friend had the pulled pork, which she pronounced fine. There’s enough on the menu to explore that I forsee several  upcoming visits. They really do stress local ingredients and in that context, they are not overpriced. The staff are excellent. 

So there it is.  I’d go back. And I’ll get a bowl of the Coconut Chicken Curry next time.  Definitely an upgrade from Church’s!

 

 

Friday is NATIONAL DONUT DAY!

And the lovely Happy of Happy Donuts (2916 Central in Eureka, across from Eureka Mall) said that as of 4pm Thursday she had orders for 60 dozen donuts. I can’t count that high but it’s a lot.
Happy and staff are having a party today with a DJ, gifts and door prizes and she’s running a special involving a free soda with one of their Asian entrees. All well and good, but the crowning glory of Happy Donuts is the spring rolls, which are world-class and if you call ahead they will make them WITHOUT CILANTRO which is a godsend to cilantro-haters like me. I’m picking mine up at noon.

See you there.  Happy National Donut Day!

SAFEWAY IS HIRING!!

In Eureka, anyway. Good local Union jobs! Everyone starts out part-time. Do not be fooled by the phone listings in the phone book. The first is actually the pharmacy,   the second answers with a fax tone.
 No, instead go online at Safeway.com, click on “careers’ and download the application form then call the customer service number, 269-0133, when you’re ready to bring it in. Good luck!

END

We’re Gonna Have a BOAT PARADE!!!

The Greater Eureka Chamber announces in its newsletter that on Saturday, July 11 a Lighted Boat Parade will be held in conjunction with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  “The Lighted Boat Parade will showcase beautifully decorated boats of all sizes adorned with a dazzling array of lights and sounds, circling the Bay from the Eureka Public Marina to Halvorsen Park beginning at 8:30 PM.”

The City of Eureka,  Eureka Main Street,  the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum,  the M/V Madaket, and the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center have joined forces with the Chamber to coordinate this event.

We haven’t had a parade like this in years, or if we did, I missed it.  The last time we  were supposed to have a boat parade I and several other cars full of folks drove around the Adorni Parking lot looking in vain for a parade. This time it’s for real!

“To participate in the boat parade, please contact Amanda at Eureka Main Street at 442-9054.” 

END

 

MY FAVORITE BUSINESSES- Shopping at the Grocery Outlet

When I first discovered the Grocery Outlet, they were in a slightly different location than they are now. The old place was in the same part of town, I just can’t remember where, so if anyone does, tell us please. The old one was a bit more adventurous for the shopper. The used to carry jams from Turkey and honey from places like Moldova. Every visit was an adventure. If you saw something you liked, you had to just grab it because it might disappear, never to return.

Since the move, it’s a different experience. Gone is the schadenfreude I used to feel from mixing with the hoipoloi.  These days I’m one of them, and glory in my identification with the 99%. GO is evolving, too.  Nowadays, like Safeway, they send you emails about their current offerings. I go about once a month (my food comes from Winco, COSTCO, Murphy’s and Safeway, in pretty much that order). I always go when there’s a food drive on.  Not only can you fill your bag cheaply, they stock the kinds of food you want for a food drive- canned soups and stews, peanut butter, tuna. I go to buy for the food drive,  then end up buying more stuff for myself than for Food for People. This last time GO was featuring Harris Ranch ground beef in 3 lb chubs for $10 and change. Considering the godawful rise in GB prices lately ($4.99/lb at Safeway) this is a no-brainer.  Made two meat loaves.

They still have the weird imports and the domestic non-starters too.  I bought tapenade from Peru and low-sugar marmalade from Smucker’s for $1.99.  (The NO-sugar version version goes for over $3 at Murphy’s.) They have Irish cheese and I picked up some Stilton, very cheap. They have a lot more fresh produce than they used to and their beer prices are excellent.  Definitely the first stop when I’m giving a party. 

So if you haven’t been  there, give GO a try.  Nice people,  good prices.  And on top of everything else, it’s just across the parking lot from Mike’s DriveUp,  of Garlic Fries fame.  I’ve never appreciated the Garlic Fries,  but Mike’s is the only place in Humboldt -as far as I know-  where you can get an LA Tommy’s-style cheeseburger, sloppy. drippy, gooey. With chili? Of course.

END

 

 

The REAL High Crime Counties

The data crunchers at FindTheHome have an interesting approach . If you count robbery as a “violent” crime as opposed to a mere property” crime,  the “high crime” areas shift and San Francisco becomes the highest crime area in the State! Take a look at this great interactive graphic that shows, among other things, that Del Norte’s crime rate is twice ours.  I always knew Crescent City was a pit.  I just didn’t have proof.

I think this statistic-  how likely are you to be a victim of crime in general- is a lot more useful than splitting it up.  YMMV.  It’s a great map.  Have fun with it.

END

SUPPORT THE LETTER CARRIERS’ FOOD DRIVE

Tomorrow, Saturday May 9, you have two painless opportunities to do something good for the community. Take that plastic bag that was left for you earlier this week, or any other bag, fill it with food for those in need, and set it out for your letter carrier to pick up tomorrow. Save gas! Save hassle! Help someone!

This is a huge undertaking.  Last year’s NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) food drive netted 43,409 pounds of food, which amounted to a third of all food donations received by Food for People last year. Food for People helped 12,000 people in Humboldt County last year,  half of whom were children. 10% of our population needs help to have regular meals. You all know the statistics.  They translate into hungry seniors and kids, among others. 

Those of you who have the pleasure of knowing me know that I never give a party without setting out a can for FFP donations. One of my neighbors used to bring over all her expired food.  She’s passed away now but when I think of her, that’s the first thing that comes to mind, that she was chintzy with the food drive. Don’t be that guy! Fill up those bags! (I use Grocery Outlet) and give till it hurts.  Then to reward yourself cruise by the Zoo and enjoy the Brew at the Zoo from 4-8pm.  Another great weekend in Humboldt!

END