The Top Three Restaurants Found in the Bay Area

san francisco pork belly restaurant

I have lived in the Bay Area for a very long time, and if there is one thing that this city does well it’s food. California is a huge state, so it makes sense that the cities here would also be very large as a result. The problem is, not a lot of people know which restaurants are actually good. Why would you waste precious time and money at a restaurant that you probably won’t even like when you could just read someone else’s opinions on it, and then decide beforehand? That is where my reviews come in, since I am pretty much a seasoned professional on anything San Francisco.

surf and turf restaurant

Belly is the first restaurant on this list, and it is amazing. Between the great service and food, it is truly a wonder that the management can keep their prices so low. Belly is located in uptown Oakland, which just so happens to be a nice area in town. You can visit the San Francisco bay, head to one of the nearby theaters, or get a hotel room and just eat your food in there. If Belly served food that was more suited for being eaten in a small container, then I am certain that I would enjoy walking around while I ate it.

Personally I think that service is the most important part of a restaurant experience, so I’ll start there. Belly has some great staff who are very good at what they do. Belly tends to get packed a lot during the week, since it is a great restaurant found near in the Bay Area. It’s a pretty popular tourist destination, after all. But no matter how busy the restaurant is, the staff never lose their cool.

Sometimes I feel like I’m being waited on by robots, because grumpy people who need to eat have no effect on them. There are some restaurants in California that I have been to where the staff shouted at each other, without any provocation! You would have to really hate your job or coworkers to do that. On top of being very calm overall, I am always witnessing the servers washing down tables and making sure everything is clean. Out of the many times that I have eaten at Belly, I have never been served a dirty dish or utensil.

Cleanliness is paramount in restaurants, and it’s another thing that can instantly end a restaurant’s career when managed improperly. That’s enough about the service, though. Food is the reason we go to restaurants, and it’s better at keeping us alive than service is. Belly serves Mexican and American food, so even the pickiest of eaters should be able to find something. My kids are horrible when it comes to choosing a meal whenever we go out to eat, but even they have found something that they like to order at Belly.

If you still have trouble, the friendly staff are certainly a blessing. The best part is that they give recommendations based on the info you give them, so it’s not just some general advertisement of what the most people have been ordering that day. It’s almost like a search bar for food within the menu. My favorite things to order from here are the surf & turf and the pork belly, and I would strongly recommend ordering them if you are a newcomer. If you are curious to learn more about the menu or other people’s opinions, then do not hesitate to check out some of Belly’s great online reviews.

moroccan restaurant bay area

Next up, an ethnic restaurant that I think deserves the spotlight. Khamsa is a Moroccan restaurant, and the first one that I have been to. If this is what all Moroccan food tastes like, then I will absolutely look forward to the next time that I can have it. Again, you will find all of the important aspects of a restaurant in Khamsa. Khamsa is located in the Mission District of San Francisco, so there is a decent amount of competition.

But even without other Moroccan food to compare this to, I guarantee that Khamsa is amazing. My favorite dish to order at this Bay Area restaurant is their Kunafeh. Admittedly, I was a little hesitant at first because ethnic foods have a bad rap with my gastrointestinal system. After discussing the ingredients with my server, I decided it was worth the risk. At first I thought it was Indian food, but I was wrong. Just shows that you should never judge a book by its cover.

All of the ingredients just taste really good, and never give off the impression of preservatives or anything like that. Each time I eat at this San Francisco restaurant there are people around me who are in the process of writing positive online reviews, so that is always a good sign. I guess you could say that this one counts as mine.

bay area mediterranean restaurant

The last restaurant that I want to suggest for you guys is La Mediterranee. Can you guess what kind of food that they serve here? If you guessed French food, then you would be wrong. This time around, you will be eating right next to the Alta Plaza Park in San Francisco. Good Mediterranean food isn’t as common in the Bay Area as you would think, even if there are a couple of restaurants.

La Mediterranee does a lot of things very well, but one issue that I haven’t put under the spotlight very much is sanitation in restaurants. It can be the difference between owning a restaurant and not owning one, after all. Any restaurant in the Bay Area is within range of an amazing hood cleaning company that I know, so there is no harm in contacting them through their website or phone number.

Better safe than sorry. I have communicated with a lot of restaurant owners in San Francisco about hood cleaning, and every time they remind me of the importance. How are you going to scoop up those many amazing reviews if your location has been burnt to a crisp?

The Best Restaurants in Denver for Dining

denver restaurant cover

I’m still new to Denver, as I’m only staying here for a week. This is day 5 of my trip, and I’ve had some really great dinner experiences so far. To help and other potential newcomers to Colorado, I’m going to describe my experiences at each one. Look away if you’re experienced and live in Denver.

So far, my favorite restaurant has been the first one I ate: To The Wind Bistro. Some may argue that it doesn’t technically count as a restaurant since it’s a bistro, but then again I don’t care. To The Wind is only like a block south of Denver’s City Park, so I got my food to go. Even though Denver is a pretty popular city, I still somehow managed to find a bench to sit at. The food was amazing enough to go back and get more, although the second time I sat inside. Just in case I needed a round three.

That’s what happens when you don’t eat during your flight. I had their pulled pork sandwich with the avocado kale salad and raspberry chocolate pie. Inside, the decor is really easy on the eyes. No effigies of communist leaders or distracting things like that. The diversity on their menu was great, so I can go back a few more times without ordering the same thing.

bistro restaurant denverNot that I would want to order anything else, because this food was AMAZING. I should probably go back and try it when I’m not starving, but I doubt it’ll lessen in quality. You won’t need to worry about having unfriendly service here, as the owner is helpful and nice. My first review in Denver, and it just happened to be a restaurant with a lot of great reviews.

bbq restaurant denver

For those who are more in the mood for barbecue, you should have dined with me on the second night. I’m glad to say that Kitchen Table: BBQ and Comfort Food didn’t disappoint, and actually managed to exceed my expectations. Kitchen Table’s also only a few buildings away from To The Wind Bistro in Denver, so if you were planning on staying at the City Park all day then you could eat lunch and dinner at each one interchangeably. Again, another restaurant with good value for your dollar. I loved the selection on the menu, because I’m a huge barbecue guy.

The place was very clean and pristine, without any spots on the dishes or tables or anything! So clean, in fact, that I wanted to check out the kitchen to see if they were any messier behind closed curtains. This restaurant’s kitchen was probably the cleanest room I’ve ever seen, especially one with so many people going in and out of it all the time! In addition, the chefs were very professional and didn’t crack even under extreme stress. This restaurant should get high ratings just for the quality of their chefs, let alone the food.

Not everyone knows this, but every commercial kitchen has an exhaust hood to capture grease and prevent fires (don’t ask how I know this). I thought I could fool the owner and spot his dirty hood, but they were all clean as well! Kitchen Table must pay top dollar to a very lucky Denver hood cleaning business.  I sat down and read through the many amazing reviews before I ordered, and agreed that this was a good restaurant in general. Maybe I’ll leave my own personal thoughts after the next time I eat at Kitchen Table.

good food restaurant in denver

Next up comes Fruition Restaurant. Sounds like a vegan place, but it’s a great general restaurant. No theme, unless you consider being a great restaurant a genre. These guys are found near the Cheesman Park in Denver. My favorite thing to eat (and the only thing of theirs that I have eaten) is the pork shoulder schnitzel, which I ordered with the duck breast as well.

The schnitzel alone was enough to share with another person, although I wouldn’t. It was too good. They can get their own and share it with me. Another place with great service and a general high standard for sanitation. Fruition Restaurant’s lighting was great as well, just dim enough to make it a good romantic setting for any potential dates.

The wait staff was really friendly, which enhanced my experience as well. Some places have staff who either bother you way too much to where you can’t eat, or they’re the polar opposite and completely avoid making eye contact with you while they socialize with their co-workers. I read the great online reviews on google while I waited, and lots of other people had positive things to say about the duck breast.

Looks like I lucked out when I ordered. Honestly, all of the food at Fruition Restaurant looked good. I’m itching to come back and get my Fruition Restaurant fix. Can somebody copy and paste this on Yelp so I don’t have to write this review a second time?

mexican restaurant denver co

Finally, last night I ate at the Tortas Grill. Likely the best Latin food I’ve eaten in a long time, even with food trucks popping up everywhere. This one’s north of Cheesman Park in Denver. Tortas has a good aesthetic once you’re inside, making it approachable and pleasing on the eyes while you eat. The owner came out and made sure I was enjoying my meal, which is always appreciated.

In fact, the one thing I appreciated most was their accommodations for children and the elderly. Some restaurants could just have some wooden box with stilts on it and hand it over to the parents, but the staff at Tortas made sure that the child was fit snug in their chair. As for the elderly part, there was a group in front of me that was led by an old man with a cane and hearing issues.

Neither of those affected the waiter’s ability to make sure they had a good experience. Things like that can really make or break a restaurant’s reputation, which is super important since the restaurant industry is so competitive. I left a great online review after eating, and I encourage others to do so if they enjoy their meals. Top-quality service, and they still manage to charge less than less accommodating places of equally poor quality.

 

Finally getting some real days off of school

For the first time this year, we are getting a few days off from school. This thursday and friday are grading and planning days, so we won’t have school then. It’s a good chance for me to catch up on some schoolwork, and actual work too. I didn’t get to finish my hours this weekend because we literally spent four hours at Todd and Mary’s, so we didn’t get home until super late. I had to study as soon as I got home, because I took my Economics midterm earlier today during second period. It still kinda sucks that I won’t be alone though. My new 2DS should arrive today, so that’s super exciting. The break should have happened last week, because then I would have been alone for all of Friday and I could have done more stuff. My buddy in Vegas didn’t have any school last week, so he got to go with his dad to work every day.

Overall, he learned a lot about las vegas liquor licenses which is a great field to be in. Plus then I probably would have had more time to do all of the work for my teammates. The project is due during my next period, but it should be perfect. I slaved away for hours on it, after all. Everything’s a choice. Seniors have school on wednesday, but I’m not sure whether or not I actually need to go. I’m waiting for 5th period so I can ask my teacher about it. Freshmen have to do this “psychology of the brain” or something like that. I wasn’t here for freshman or sophomore year, so I haven’t experienced any of these projects that they’re doing.

I think sophomores and juniors are taking the PSAT, which is the practice SAT. The SAT is a college placement exam that is mandatory unless you take the ACT, which I did. They’re only slightly different, just for different subjects I think. Finally, seniors have this workshop thing where there’s three 25-minute rotations. It’s just a bunch of college stuff that we’ve all already heard before. Juniors actually have it the worst, because there’s a ton of testing they have to do. Smarter balance testing is up next, I’m pretty sure

Favorite class last year

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ll tell you the answer to the riddle. I’m a high schooler. What a twist, who could have guessed? Anyways, I’ve been thinking about my junior year since I’m going back to Oregon in less than a month (sadly) and it’s going to suck. Actually, it might, it might not. I just can’t decide where I want to go for college because none of the schools sound that different to me. Maybe I just haven’t looked deeply enough into the specifics of each school. In any event, reflecting on the last school year made me think about which classes I liked the most. The class that I enjoyed the most, by far, was my Psychology B class.

Psychology A was kinda interesting and stuff, but all the content we learned was just plain boring. Nothing really held my attention, except for the clock. It was the last class of the day during my first trimester. Psych B, however, was chock-full of seniors who couldn’t care less about the class. They just needed the credit before they graduated in three months. It probably helped that I knew most of the seniors in that class, and they were all super cool. I had known most of them for the entire year, and they were way more welcoming than my own classmates who I’ve known since elementary school but can’t seem to remember me. We did a bunch of fun projects and got to watch movies, and our teacher was pretty laid back. She really liked me, so that helped. I even got to do a guided meditation with my class where I had to hypnotize them with my words to help them relax.

Good thing I have a seductive voice. The seniors last year got to leave two weeks early, because there were so many snows days and they couldn’t postpone graduation. So after all the seniors left, there were only three juniors in the class, including myself. At that point, my teacher would just leave to go get groceries or do some tasks that she wouldn’t normally be allowed to do during her job. If she was smart, she would have gone to get a Miami Restaurant Hood Cleaning. She was selling her house so she had to make a lot of phones calls. That meant we could do whatever we wanted, so we usually just ended up leaving the classroom. It was my second to last class of the day, but if I didn’t have microbiology then I could have just left and gone home.

My weekend’s finale

I had no idea I was gonna turn this into a quadrilogy, which is probably what Ridley Scott said about the Alien franchise. There’s a fifth movie out now though, so I’ll take up the four-story franchise for him. After Steph’s family finished shouting and accusing each other of cheating in Monopoly on a PlayStation 4, it was finally our turn to use the PS4. I signed into my profile on her account and downloaded my save data for all our mutual games from the cloud, which sounds pretty complex but isn’t really that difficult. The one game we pretty much exclusively play these days is called The Binding of Isaac, which is a roguelike game. If I had to describe it by using an older game as comparison, the closest one would be the original Legend of Zelda games before they made the transition to 3D.

reno chiropractor

However, this game features procedurally generated dungeons, so the levels will be different each time you play them (to a certain degree).  The game itself is extremely difficult, and will destroy you in seconds if you don’t know what you’re doing. Although Steph is the reason I got the game, I actually accomplished way more than her and I did it a lot faster. By beating a final boss with each different character in the game, (there’s around 10) you unlock different items that could potentially spawn in a future playthrough. But since I completed more than Steph, she always loves to watch me play and use all these new items that she’s never seen before. There’s actually also co-op in the game where you can share a screen and the second player spawns as  “co-op baby”, and they do half your damage but they consume your character’s health to spawn.

chiropractor

The game stresses me out so much that sometimes I feel like I’ll need a Chiropractor in Reno. All in all, we always play it when we’re together at each other’s houses so we played it for 3 hours yesterday while I was at her house. Because of the positioning of her TV, I laid on my stomach next to Steph which my dad says is strictly against the rules because you’re never supposed to be close to a girl even when her whole family is in the next room and the door is wide open. They can see any movement we make, and we’re just playing games.  We still had fun anyways, and her entire family loves me except for her stepdad. Her mom actually invited me to come over again in the future

House Cleaning for the Holidays

Here comes Christmas!  So happy too.  This year our son is coming to visit with his girlfriend.  This is going to be interesting because they’ve been together over a year and it’s not her first visit.  She’s an awesome young woman from Central Oregon and she not only is beautiful, but she also seems to have her head on straight.

So, as we prepare for their visit, we’re doing a little bit of typical house maintenance.  This includes touching up some paint, cleaning the garage, carpet cleaning, window washing, etc.

Hopefully we’ll get it all wrapped up by the 16th.  That’s when Colt & Em arrive.

What do you have to do to get ready for Christmas?