I spent the last of my TGIF by a toasty fire in Oakland.

Bonfire in Oakland

I love Oakland for all the tasty food spots here – greyhounds at Van Kleef to pork belly rice bowls at Hawker Fare.

I also love Oakland for bonfires. Our buddy Scott has a fantastic garden where he grows hops for beer, tomatoes, cucumbers and more. He dug out a pit under the stars and holds bonfire cookouts.

On the menu:

  • Tri-tip
  • Pork kielbasa
  • Slow-cooked beans (the beans simmered in bacon, molasses and more for more 24 hours)
  • Homemade ice cream. Mark dubbed it “Scott’s Nuts.” The flavor: toasted pecans
  • S’mores: I used ghirardelli chocolate Carmel squares. Mark and Scott went with chocolate with chili. Crazy!

The perfect ending to my TGIF and my challenging work day.
Good times.

Got Dim Sum?

Tables covered with small, hot plates of savory and sweet bites. A cacophony of English, Mandarin and Cantonese from families, couples and friends. Ladies in red and black uniforms push silver carts between crowded tables.

My reward for waiting patiently at my table with Lorraine, a Sacramento TV alum: Sticky rice wrapped up in a lotus leaf. This dim sum dish hits all the right comfort notes for my belly: hot white rice mixed with bits of succulent pork, mushrooms and eggs.

Sticky Rice

Restaurant Peony is one of my favorite spots for dim sum in Oakland’s Chinatown.
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Food Trucks

Camping trips and Hollywood Bowl concerts nurtured my love of eating good food outdoors. California has beautiful weather, fresh ingredients and bold chefs.

Most people have a craving to combine all those elements at food truck events.

A few weeks ago, we discovered mobile food heaven in Palo Alto at Edgewood Eats.

We lined up at different food trucks for our entrees. Next, we claimed a patch of asphalt with our camping chairs.

Then I scarfed down this incredible Maine lobster roll from the Shack Mobile.

Maine lobster roll from Shack Mobile
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