Sunday, June 10, 2012

SF: To Monterey

11th April 2012

Today CY drove us to Monterey, about 2 hours away from Oakland. We left before noon and had lunch at In-N-Out Burger in Gilroy, which when I last visited 15 years ago was famous for its garlic. Now I think it's more famous as an outlet town.

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On the way, I insisted on visiting Castroville, The Artichoke Capital of The World. My daughter teased me about it ("Seriously? You want to spend precious time looking at artichokes?"). Unfortunately we didn't see a single artichoke, except those painted on signboards. The town was rather like a deserted cowboy town. The artichoke festival was coming up in May.

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The Gilroy Premium Outlets are fantastic because there are 145 stores and the brands are middle-class affordable (BCBG, Calvin Klein, Ann Taylor...) but the stores are sprawled into 4 or 5 sections over a large area so it's quite hard to walk, especially if your arms are heavy with shopping bags. I really enjoyed myself, shopping from noon until 6 pm. It's best to spend a whole day there. The discounts are crazy!

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Yes, In-N-Out burgers are better than the burgers in other chain restaurants. The patties have a strong char-grilled flavor (comparatively) and definitely taste halfway between a home-made burger and a fast food burger. I know some people disagree but hey, I'm comparing with just McD and Burger King.

I had forgotten about the free soda refills until I was filling my paper cup with Dr Pepper (which we don't get in Msia). It is pretty obvious why there are so many 'plus size' people in America. It's just crazy how fizzy drinks are guzzled like water. I think that the best thing America can do for its people is to stop free refills of soft drinks and reduce the salt and sugar levels in all their food. I was in Europe for a couple of months and never felt that the food was salty but in America, cakes are too sweet and savory things are too salty. It's strange how they could impose the non-transfat thing so quickly yet can't or won't do anything about their salt and sugar intake.

We arrived at Monterey and checked into JW Marriot which is annexed to the Monterey Conference Center where the e.g. Conference was held. Dinner was at the Great Wall Restaurant, owned by CY's friends.

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Goh bak, crispy rice with a soupy sauce of seafood and veggies. Very yummy, especially on a cold night, although it tasted strongly of msg.

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Fried tofu with prawns and nappa cabbage. Yum too.

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The salt and pepper dungeness crab (I think) was very fresh and delicious. Unlike mud crabs which have all their meat in their bodies, this crab has most of its meat in its long claws.

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Dry-fried spicy french beans were so good.

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A juicy roasted duck for about USD18, believe it or not.

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I am happier than I'm wise.

7 comments:

Michelle Chin said...

I agree with your sentiments about softdrinks. Also, have you noticed that they choose soft drinks over water? How strange!

RUNNING BROOK said...

Hi Terri (and Michelle)

Yes, I totally agree. I have a cousin whose kids were born and bred in the UK and they drink juice, tea and fizzy drinks but not a drop of water. From morning till night.

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry

I really enjoy reading your blog as it was so interesting and your pictures are so beautiful.

I am currently staying in the US and had been to most of the places such as SF, LA, NY that you had blogged and I fully agree with you that States is truly a very beautiful country and the branded things at the Factory Outlets here are truly very cheap.

Theresa

the lunch guy said...

Dr. Pepper, great stuff. good to use as a mixer with bad red wine (root beer too). i know, sounds crazy, but makes a good beverage when all else is lost.

Dry cooked beans, even better. used to eat them with my mom whenever we could.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

miche: they prolly think tt we are strange to choose water over fizzy drinks!

brook: tt's what my BIL did too whenhe came back frm Canada. for 10 years, he drank nothing but coke and local kitjai sui/ limenade.

theresa: tq:). yes, there's so much to see n the country's so big n diverse. one day, i'd love to drive across the US!

lunchguy: mix red wine with root beer? ok, i'll try tt! what's dry cooked beans? hey, are cannelini beans butter beans?

Nate @ House of Annie said...

In-n-Out! My favorite fast food burger.

The Gilroy Premium Outlets is a dangerous place for your wallet.

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