How To Gain Five Pounds In Two Weeks; Eating Out At Brick, Kyoto, Toni’s and the Benbow

Had a crowd of summer visitors? At least they’re a excuse for eating out. Here are some meals we enjoyed recently.

Brick & Fire- this is everyone’s favorite restaurant and if you haven’t been,  do yourself a favor and go.  Go now.   They’ve had a good run and nothing lasts forever.  Yes, it’s spendy but you could have a Wild Mushroom Cobbler ($9) which is pretty darn filling. Add a salad for $7 and you’ve got a nice meal. Add WINE  and your costs increase exponentially. If you order the brick-pressed bird, ask for it well done. ($22, enough for two meals.) The Italian Mac’n’Cheese ($15- also so rich it’s two meals) is so good I ordered it for my birthday dinner. We came back the next week and I ordered it again. We are so luck to have a bistro of this caliber I don’t even mind calling it a bistro.  Their website is HERE.

Masaki’s Kyoto- We wanted to see how the Kyoto was holding up without Eric Masaki, now with the HCSO and good for him. The answer is : just fine. We walked in on a Friday night with no reservations, ordered dinners and sushi-  lemon and Eureka rolls and something with eel. Service was quick considering  we were ordering sushi.  I’ve always loved the Kyoto but one of our group is a Shanghai native who has lived in Japan, is a damn picky eater and has an encyclopedic knowledge of Asian food. He pronounced the meal excellent and we all agreed. No website.

Toni’s 24-Hour Restaurant – is just that, a real restaurant, not a burger stand.  I didn’t take Toni’s seriously because all I ever heard about it was that it ‘s a great place to go when you’re drunk, hungry and it’s 3am. Also I could never figure out to get there. With someone else driving, and headed  for a movie in Arcata, we got there at around 7pm and found only a short line. The menu goes ‘way beyond burgers. The folks across from us were all eating chef salads and they looked good. I had a blue cheese burger on ciabatta and really liked the way they grilled the ciabatta. The onion rings, unfortunately, were cooked with oil that tasted stale,but I would try them another time. The burgers and shakes were excellent, but I would definitely think about getting the chicken-fried steak next time. Cozy atmosphere. Their website is HERE.

The Benbow Inn- Our family has always loved the Benbow and it just gets better and better. We lost a family member earlier this year 

and a reunion at the Benbow just seemed like the right thing. Actually, my parents spent the first night of their honeymoon there and I thought that perhaps the reason I love the place so much is that I was conceived there. HA! Probably not since it would have involved a two year gestation. Yes, its spendy but they’ll negotiate, especially for groups. We had nine, in three rooms and two KOA “cabins” and they gave us a rate of $175 for Terrace Rooms, which are much nicer than some of the “historic” building rooms and are located on the other side of the building. The Terrace Rooms are a lot better for anyone who wants to avoid that godawful staircase going up to the front entrance. The food was perfect as always. They were featuring a white gazpacho ($7) with grapes which was pretty wonderful and very refreshing.  (The temperature was 95 and it didn’t start cooling off till 8pm.) The salmon ($32) was great, the linguini with vegetables was a big hit ($19) and the crab cakes ($15) are good and substantial  enough for a main course.  If you drive down for lunch , which is a nice excursion, you can have sandwiches and that gazpacho. You won’t spend any more at the Benbow than you will at Jack’s and some other mediocre places in Eureka. Benbow is especially nice for lunch around the holidays, when you can eat in the lounge near a roaring fire. And you feel like a millionaire. The website is HERE.







Tidbits and Gossip August 19 2015

One thing leads to another: I called the Kyoto Restaurant because I saw one of these liquor license notices in the window and wondered if they had changed hands.  Not so, said Jenny Masaki,  wife of owner Eric Masaki.   The liquor license transfer came about because Eric has been hired as a Deputy Sheriff and was only pinned a day or so ago. A corporate “split” was necessitated because law enforcement personnel are prohibited by law from selling booze. Good luck in your new assignment, Deputy Masaki!

The Cutten Inn is still in a holding pattern.  No less a personage than the owner’s brother gave us the word on when the Inn will be open again: “Sometime”.

I apparently don’t get  out enough or I wouldn’t be the last person on earth to know that The Works, our hallowed indy record store, has left its digs on “C” Street and is now located at 434 Second Street. They have less space but lots more visibility.  Bandon hasn’t thrown a grand opening party yet but let’s keep asking. The old space on “C” Street was taken over by neighboring Mantova’s Two Street Music.

I signed up for Newsmax by mistake- and it’s been enlightening. One of the out-of-town papers I read is showing a lot of Trump ads and when I clicked on a poll I somehow ended up with a trial subscription. I’ll be bailing soon because most of their “news” is about health matters and topics of interest to the elderly. I had expected a lot of right-wing politics,  not so much the alzheimers-and-diabetes  ads. I guess they know their market.

The ONLY fast-food chain that I would cheerfully welcome into Humboldt County,       Chick-fil-A, is opening a new store today in Rancho Cordova at 2234 Sunrise Boulevard. The closest CFA fix remains the Santa Rosa store at 1452 Mendocino Avenue. Ave. For those of us who are truly addicted, there are days when we have to stop ourselves from hitting the road in  pursuit of the Magic Sandwich. To go from the sublime to the ridiculous, I’m even having pangs for KFC lately.  We are truly a chick-deprived community.

CNBC’s latest series, “Make Me A Millionaire Inventor” is an oddball show, to judge from its first episode. They followed two inventors through the initial pitch.  The first was a woman from an events-planning background whose invention was a kind of chocolate fountain but instead of chocolate, it showers down cascades of marinara sauce! I didn’t find it appetizing at all;  it reminded me of chainsaw massacres and Edgar Allen Poe, but maybe some one will find it charming.  The contraption kept breaking down, since marinara sauce is much thicker than chocolate, fountain chocolate anyway.  Maybe they should try alfredo sauce.  The other invention was a device to be worn by athletes which signals when one is in danger of sustaining a concussion. The two Silicon Valley types who pitched this came away with some seed money and a lot of compliments and encouragement from the investor. THEIR  invention didn’t remind anyone of a slasher movie.  Continues Wednesdays at 7pm, repeats at 10pm, on CNBC, Suddenlink Channel 51.  I’m in.