Monday, February 11, 2013

Back to Cali: The Food (Part 1)

Although my food experience in Long Beach didn't come close to my time in New Orleans last summer, there were some definite palate pleasers! Breakfast at the trendy Berlin Coffeehouse was delicious. I had a veggie bagel with hummus, avocado, cheese, sprouts, tomato and onion. For me, one of the best aspects of California is that most produce is local and fresh! The fruit was juicy and delicious and avocados are never far. If you grab some food at Berlin, be sure to visit Fingerprints Music next door. They have lots of music on CD and vinyl and a variety of cool toys, gifts, and cards. Tequila Jack's has a great waterside view, delicious salsas and veggie tacos, and giant beers at happy hour.

One of my favorite Long Beach spots is the Belmont Shore neighborhood. The streets are bustling with people and pups; cute flower shops and creative restaurants dot the street. Orange, lemon, and avocado trees grow in front yards and parakeets flutter among the tops of palm trees. Lunch at Simmzy's was delicious! Since it was packed I ended up in the back bar by a window looking right into the kitchen. It was mouth watering watching all the delicious food come out. I had the vegetarian Whole Grain Jane burger (quinoa/farro/tofu) with apple slaw, avocado puree, and cheddar on a ciabatta roll. It was delicious and tangy, but a little messy. I turned it into a fork and knife sandwich! On the side we shared shoestring fries served with homemade blue cheese, ketchup, and a special fry aioli. I paired it with a Mad River Brewing Company - Jamaican Red Ale (yum) and stuffed myself with goodness. After lunch we strolled along the beach walkway for 3.5 miles back to the hotel. I was still full!

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