A sophisticated white wine.


Sunday night dinner was lobster pasta as the main course.  With comfort food on the table, I wanted to choose the wine accompaniment carefully to complement the dish.  I settled on Bedrock Co.’s Cuvee Karatas Sonoma County 2010 white.  Have been saving this one for a while.  Today’s meal presented the right opportunity.

Here’s why … the lobster dish called for a sauce made with avacado, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, basil and fresh lemon juice.  The pasta was then topped by baked lobster tail meat.  The sauce coated the linguine pasta beautifully with a creamy, lemony taste balanced with texture from a topping of sharp shaved parmigiano cheese and lemon zest.  The pasta on the plate below looks sloppy but trust me – it tasted fantastic!

Here’s my tasting notes on the sheer delightful of a wine … First and foremost, the nose was fantastic with freshness to it followed by mouth watering tropical fruit (think melon, kiwi and lychee)  with a spicy finish that was long!  It has a luxurious texture and a nice creamy body.

This wine is not readily available retail (at least in my town) but probably obtainable online.  Highly recommended!

The New iPad


Upgraded my iPad 1 to the new iPad this weekend.  As always, the packaging from Apple is a marketing marvel.

As you unravel the packaging you understand what Jobs means when he says “In simplicity, there is sophistication …”

Slimmer and lighter than my iPad one, the new tablet feels good in the hands.

Hooking up and connecting is a cinch as with all Apple products.  Charge up the battery, connect to wi-fi and you are in business!

The screen resolution is an amazing upgrade from the Gen 1 tablet.  For the brilliant and crisp retina display alone, the upgrade is worth it.  The 4G network is another great upgrade for lightning fast page loading and downloads.

I loaded the tablet with some great apps. Here’s the list so far:
Facebook
Twitter
Hootsuite
Zite
Pandora
Wall Street Journal
Bloomberg
Stitcher
Yelp
Flipboard
Crackle
500px
SnagFilms
StumbleUpon
Vevo HD
ESPN ScoreCentral XL
MOMA AB EX NY
Netflix
Slacker Radio
NPR
Instapad
Craigslist
Epicurious
Google Earth
Hipmunk
OpenTable
HSW HD
WebMD
Flud News
Life
Google Currents
Wikipanion
Calculator Pro
Thrillist
Evernote
Jetsetter
Kayak
TripAdvisor
IMDb
Sonos

And of course, WordPress to blog!

Highly recommended!

Franklin BBQ In Austin, TX


Like barbeque?  Let me introduce you to the the world’s best – Franklin BBQ in Austin.

Owner Aaron Franklin started his business in 2009 from a trailer serving beef brisket that began to garner a following amongst patrons and media alike.  Last year Aaron moved his operation to a more traditional brick and mortar restaurant.  Alas, while production has increased, lines continue to form two hours ahead of opening time everyday at 11am.  Most days the food is gone by 1pm!

I lined up at 8:45am on a Saturday morning and was greeted by this chair.  More on John later …

I settled into this chair iPad in hand to while away the time.  By 9am the line starts forming.  A group of four young men arrive with coffee and doughnuts.  One of them offers me a cup that I cheerfully accept.  What a great town I say to myself!

At 10:15ish a gentleman (pictured behind me below) arrives and starts to remove my iPad.  I say “hey that’s mine” and he replies “my name is John and that’s my chair”.  I apologize and we introduce ourselves.  Turns out that John is a long time patron of Franklin and has earned the right to be first in line regardless of when he arrives!  John is a true gentleman.  He tells me his story and that of Franklin barbeque.

Once the doors open, John introduces me to Aaron, tells him that I am visiting from San Diego.  Aaron welcomes us, cuts a nice slice of burnt end beef brisket and offers a taste before we place our order.  What a treat that was – first taste of the freshly seasoned barbeque that just melts in your mouth!

As you approach the counter, you encounter true southern hospitality from Aaron.  No customer is rushed into ordering.  Aaron answers your questions, describes his food that is crafted with passion and all with a smile as he expertly handles brisket, turkey, pulled pork, ribs and sausage.

Our sampling included beef brisket, turkey, and pulled pork with sides of slaw and beans and of course white bread!  Whereas most places smoke brisket for seven hours at 500°, Aaron cooks his for 18 hours at 250°.  The meat emerges with a pink smoke ring around the interior the hallmark of great barbecue.

It’s all good …

Judging by that look, Connie is loving the food!

And that key lime pie to follow – sweet heaven it was.

As we finish up and walk out, the line is still thick.

And here’s what happens around 1pm …

A visit to Franklin is highly recommended if you’re in Austin. Thanks Aaron and John.  We had a great time.

The Car Shoe!


Car Shoe was founded in 1963 by Gianni Mostile. The brand soon became best known for its signature moc which feature tiny rubber nubs. The brand earned a patent from the Italian Ministry of Industry and Trade with fans that included Giovanni Agnelli, JFK and Roberto Rossellini.

Great kicks to get with the start of spring.  I got a pair of suede dark  with rubber-studded soles and rope-effect leather laces. A footwear classic, these loafers will will work with denim effortlessly and look amazing with good chinos or shorts.

In 2001, Car Shoe was acquired by Prada, which soon opened stores in Milan and Capri and introduced the line into over 200 major boutiques internationally.

According to Fashion Wire Daily, Car Shoe is one of six most copied labels in China 😦

Available at Nieman Marcus and Mr Porter.

Carnitas Snack Shack


Carnitas snack shack is located in the Northpark neighborhood of San Diego. Chef owner Hanis Cavin and partner Sara Stroud started this pork haven last year and serve slow food to die for!

What differentiates Carnitas is their commitment to locally sourced farm fresh food.  Menu items include the listing on the board below …

We tried the carnitas tacos with avacado and salsa fresca.  Beautifully grilled and seasoned carnitas with crispy burnt ends and gobs of delicious pork with the right amount of fatty goodness!  Comes with a side of sweet creamed corn.

The seasoned fries as a side – nice touch of spice on the skinny fried potatoes with homemade ketchup!

For dessert – Bacon ice cream sandwich – home made ice cream with vanilla ice cream flecked with caramelized bacon. It’s amazing … a must try!

You order your food at the front window and head back to the comfortable patio type seating area.  The fenced area features colorful homages to the humble pig.  All bow to the mighty PIG!

Chef Hanis Cavin has a distinguished bio with stints at Pacifica Del Mar, Kensington Grill and Chive.  He let us sneak into his tiny kitchen and proclaimed … “I love pork”!  The man’s passion shines through his simply cooked and locally sourced food.  Long live the pig!  Highly recommended.

2632 University Ave
(between Pershing Ave & Villa Ter)
San Diego, CA 92104