Posts Tagged ‘cowgirl creamery’

Let’s Go Away For A While…

August 31, 2010

3191 Miles Apart had a great post a few weeks ago about “packing a bag, leaving your home and venturing out into the world.” I thought the premise behind these tips was oh-so-inspirational and definitely worth sharing – not just for holidays but for work travel as well.  Here are her tips, with my input.

 ••• Pack Only Your Favorite Items (And Pack Slim)
I have my work-related trip packing down (Black pants? Check. Sensible (i.e. convention center friendly) shoes? Check.). It’s the fun trips I can get a bit befuddled (ten outfits for 3 days? YES!).  Regardless, my goal is to get everything I need into one carry-on bag. That’s it. As 3191 Miles Apart said, “If you love to wear it, bring it, period.”

••• Meet New Friends
I try to resist the temptation to hole up in my hotel room and eat (not very delicious) room service. After all, I’m usually in a great city with an amazing variety of restaurants at my fingertips. This is the perfect chance to schedule a meal with a vendor you’ve worked with but never had the chance to meet.  I’ve even found that you can hear plenty of interesting stories from your fellow road warriors when you’re out and about too.

••• Take Photographs of Yourself In Places You Love
I’ll take it straight from 3191 Miles Apart on this one – “This one is so simple it almost didn’t make the list. It’s sort of silly in fact. What can I say? I like to take photographs of myself in some of my favorite spots so that I have those images and I can see that I was there. It helps me, a very visual person, transport myself back to those moment and therefore those feelings. It’s a lovely way to savor where you’ve been and an easy way to bring back smell, light, sound and color.” 100% agreed. I’ve taken a gazillion pictures of scenic vistas, dreamy forests and statuesque buildings – only later to not really remember where I even took the picture.  

••• Eat Whatever You Want
Now, for event planners this should be taken with a grain of salt. Those tables piled high with pretzels and cake and cheese? STAY AWAY – too many events in a row and those pants start to feel a bit snug :). For me, this line is about tasting what the city has to offer – a more “Eat Pray Love” mentality. That means if I’m in NYC, I’m going to buy a bag of roasted nuts and search out the nearest Pinkberry (don’t judge – they don’t have them in the NW). If I’m in San Francisco, I’m headed straight to Blue Bottle Coffee and the Ferry Market for a little chocolate (Recchiuti), a little cheese (Cowgirl), and a little lunch (Boulette’s or Gott’s).

••• Bring & Wear A New Scent
This is definitely a vacation line item for me – and not so much a work trip recommendation.  But it does work – every time I spritz on the perfume I bought for my wedding, I instantly remember minute little details about that day. Why wouldn’t the same be true for a vacation?

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The Best Grilled Cheese in the West

May 26, 2010

Nothing beats a grilled cheese sandwich. In my opinion, paired with a cup of soup, it’s the perfect meal for a cold, rainy NW day.

I got to thinking about the grilled cheese yesterday, after UrbanDaddy  posted about a new restaurant in San Francisco – the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. The restaurant was started by a seven-time award winner of the Grilled Cheese Invitational (yes, this is real. No, you already missed it for 2010.).

And while I’ll definitely be taking a field trip to the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen the next time I’m in San Fracisco, I thought I’d share my current list of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve ever had.

Hog Island Oyster's masterpiece. Image from Flickr.

San FranciscoHog Island Oysters may not seem like the most likely location to have a great grilled cheese, but it is. Located in the Ferry Building, Hog Island makes the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich – Fromage Blanc, Mezzo Secoo & Cave Aged Gruyere from Cowgirl Creamery with Acme Bread Company ciabatta. Paired with an Anchor Steam and a view of the bay – this is quiet possibly the recipe for a perfect afternoon.

Seattle – While Pike Place Market’s DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine just won the grilled cheese honors at the Seattle Cheese Festival (yes, it exists. Sorry, you *just* missed it.), my top pick goes to another Pike Place location. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese may seem like an obvious choice, but I just love their grilled cheese.  They feature Beecher’s Flagship, Just Jack and World Flavor cheeseson locally produced
rustic artisan bread. Yum!

Portland's Grilled Cheese Grill. Image by Road Food.

Portland – Portland’s a bit tough, because there are SO many good places to get a grilled cheese (yes, a bit biased).  I suppose I’d have to pick the Grilled Cheese Grill, located on NE Alberta. Not only is it too darn cute (it’s a little compound of school buses that have been turned into indoor seating), but their sandwiches are just good. I know it’s boring, but I always stick to the Kindergartner – with white bread and cheddar cheese (if you’re feeling particularly old school, you can even order American cheese).

I know I’m missing a lot of good locations, so if you have a favorite, fill us in!