Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Pizza or Not to Pizza - Lunch in Santa Barbara

Olio Pizzeria for lunch! Torn between ordering something new or just eating one of their pizzas (which I have a major addiction to...), I ventured into the unknown of the Olio lunch menu. A variety of salads, sandwiches, and egg dishes made choosing very difficult. I was swayed towards a panini because they made pizza pita things as the bread!
 This is the Cotto sandwich with ham, robiola cheese, and artichoke hearts. Mmmm, good.
My friend enjoyed the butter leaf lettuce salad which looks an awful lot like a salade nicoise... She really enjoyed it as well. Looked delicious.

Of course, their lunch is fantastic and I can't wait to go there for brunch and try one of their egg dishes as they looked very enticing. It's going to be mighty hard not to order a pizza though...

Olio Pizzeria
11 West Victoria Street, Suite 21
No reservations
Open 11:30am-close Daily

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mammoth Eats

Sushi in the mountains tends to sound like an odd combo, but if you find the right spot, it can be a welcome treat. In Mammoth, you'll find Sushi Rei. This very hiptser cool restaurant located in The Village, is filled with locals, beautiful art, and colorful rolls. Exhausted from days of backpacking and still quite full from the restorative burgers we had once off the trail, our stomachs led us to Sushi Rei.
Octopus sunomono. The octopus wasn't too chewy and their sauce was quite good, though I like mine on a more acidic side.
Over the years, I've become more sushi-snobby and moved away from the cream cheese in a roll concept, but for some reason I wanted to try it again. This New York roll (more often known as a Philadelphia roll) was quite tasty and the fried capers were an interesting twist!
These dumplings were delicious. If I lived there, I would crave these and need to eat them that day. Filled with pork and veggies and cooked perfectly, I'll be ordering these during my next visit.
My boyfriend ordered the soup which was filled with pork, mushrooms, noodles, a poached egg, and jalapenos. He ate the entire thing except for a few bites of the noodles I stole. I bet this one is a big seller during the winter months.
Overall, we were both quite pleased with our experience. Though the service was a bit odd, it wasn't bad (if you don't count the young lady that picked up every water glass by the rim with her fingers to refill the glass - ohhhhhh boy...) we found this to be a warm and welcoming locals spot with good food and an awesome atmosphere. Dial 760.934.0774 for reservations.

Jumping on the coffee shop craze that has hit the US, Mammoth has joined in with a new coffee spot called Black Velvet. They must have spent a fortune getting the space the way they wanted it and the machines they have in there and the equipment must have cost a mint. All this creates a very clean, hip, industrial ambiance. White washed floors, off set the darker touches and wooden tables. They do cold-brews (literally cold water poured over ground coffee for hours and hours) and pour overs and fancy drinks with artsy foam designs. It's definitely got all the touches of the cool coffee shop trend including chandeliers, the clear wine bottle water bottles, and sparse shelves. They, of course, roast their own beans!
 The cold brew set up.
 Fancy machines and pour-over station.
I unfortunately forgot to write down which brew I ordered, but I believe it was the Peru...the darkest roast, as I love an intense cup of coffee. It was prepared pour-over style and I wish he hadn't put so much water in it, but perhaps I just don't know enough about coffee and this is the way it is supposed to be... Either way, it was quite delicious.
We'll go back for sure, but I hope they get more speedy because there sure are going to be a lot of cold skier and snowboarders standing in line waiting for their hot coffee this winter.

Black Velvet - 3343 Main Street, Suite F
Mammoth Lakes, CA