Napa, California: The weather is just outstanding. Warm sun, a little breeze, and zero wildfire smoke. Dave and I were up early and headed out on the Napa River Trail for a walk/jog. We covered over 3 miles, and I stopped to take a lot of photos (with my phone).
Our first stop was to the Culinary Institute of America (the other CIA). The museum is still closed to visitors due to COVID, but the restaurant is open several days per week. We really want to visit the museum as Chuck Williams (Williams-Sonoma founder) left his stuff to the CIA when he passed away and it is all on display inside the museum. No worries, the incredible vegetable garden is open and we had a good look at the amazing produce there. Pomegranates!
We pointed ourselves towards the river and followed the path for a mile or so, until it faded into a neighborhood - then reversed our route. Some views from along the Napa River:
As long as we were in the area, we stopped for one of my favorite treats in the Napa Valley - an English muffin from Model Bakery.
Not a great photo, sorry, but the muffins are over one-inch tall. We ordered one, with butter, and shared. $2.50. Perfect reward for our exercise.
After showers and a rest, we walked to the Oxbow Public Market for lunch. Today, we tried Mexican food from C Casa. Everything was just outstanding, but ridiculously huge portions, resulting in wasted food! Dave asked the clerk how large the tacos were (because one taco was $9) and she replied they came on 6-inch flour tortillas. So he ordered two:
Massive! Loaded with all sorts of wonderful things too. The taco on the left is grilled lamb; the right is rotisserie chicken. C Casa is famous for their rotisserie birds. These tacos are “fork and knife” tacos - much too large to be picked-up, folded, and consumed as a normal taco.
I went all-healthy-like and ordered the Mexican Chicken Salad, and it too would have fed a family of four:
There were all sorts of stuff in the salad: cabbage, red pepper, mango, pumpkin seeds, chili peppers, corn, avocado, green onion, tossed in a spicy dressing - with a huge portion of their famed chicken. We didn’t clean our plates, so could not have dessert. Too full anyway.
A few photos from inside the fun Oxbow Public Market (restaurants, wine bars, oyster bar, cheese shop, olive oil shop, tea shop, spice shop, book shop, grocer, pizza joint, chocolatier, coffee bar, and much more):
If you can believe it - we went for more of a stroll after lunch.
And then a rest.
And then we went for a drive. One thing we rarely do in Napa is to visit vineyards to taste wine, so he headed out on the Silverado Trail to do just that. Nope. Many of the tasting rooms are closed, or only have their wine to purchase by the bottle (without a tasting). Which means we only went for a drive. Not a problem, it’s not like we don’t drink enough wine already. We did find a few turkeys though. Mama’s and babies. Is there anything uglier than a turkey? Even baby turkeys are hideous.
Turkey Mama was squawking!
Our plan for dinner (technically “third meal” if you count our shared English muffin) was to walk back into town and share a pizza at Azzuro Pizza (they do not take reservations) - another restaurant we tend to frequent. Should we try new places?
Though the restaurant has now taken-over a large portion of the sidewalk for outdoor dining, we ended-up sitting inside (first time on this trip) simply because there was only one other table occupied indoors and they were miles away from us.
This (above) is their Tuna Salad. It is basically a Caesar, but with tuna, garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Something I make at home.
For our pizza, we again opted for the Sicilian - red sauce, olives, and anchovies. A salt bomb. Delicious, and thankfully small.
We walked back to our hotel. My pedometer reads nearly 9 miles for the day.
Tomorrow brings yet another old favorite restaurant visit. Until my next update, I remain, your happy correspondent.