Thursday, July 17, 2008
FIGHTING BACK… As the wildfires and blistering heat scorch the world around us, we here in idyllic Never-Never Land by the Sea remain seemingly oblivious to the plight of others less fortunate in their choice of housing locations. Folks around here are awakened briefly when their patios and shiny automobiles happen to be dusted by ash when the wind direction shifts unfavorably. But overall, everyone appears completely unfazed by our neighbors to the south burning away.
We are certainly experiencing regular, ongoing dramatic expressions of natural and man-made catastrophes around this country and the world. Perhaps it is all so overwhelming that we can only plod onward, eyes straight ahead, overloaded by all the emotional imagery available through the endless communications community.
In today’s electronically enhanced clusterfuck, we must simultaneously process every disaster and emergency as it occurs everywhere on Earth.
To all the folks uprooted during the recent fires, all their family and loved ones, all the honorable and tireless firefighters and rescue personnel who still fight on here and wherever the call comes from– the best fortunes from here on to you and yours. May your journeys flow along flower-strewn pathways of blissful joy and light forevermore.
DRINK TO YOUR HEALTH… I’m sure the firefighters of the world share a common love– beer. It would be great if they could take a day off to enjoy the upcoming edition of the Monterey Beer Festival. On Saturday, Aug. 2, from 12:30-5pm, the Monterey County Fairgrounds will be awash in beer from around the world. Add great live music, delicious food, the beautiful outdoors, an authentic, European-style beer garden and you have the best party around for fans of the fermented foam.
In addition to this year’s activities, MBF owner Jeff Moses has gotten together with Mary Pagan at the Culinary Center of Monterey for a special “International Beer Experience,” bringing together food from eight countries around the world matched with beers from those same countries. Chris Nelson (thebeergeek.com), local beer guru, has been telling people for years that beer is better with food than wine. Here’s a chance to experience that firsthand. This takes place on the Friday evening before the festival at the Culinary Center from 6-10pm. You can get more info by calling 333-2133 or at www.culinarycenterofmonterey.com.
For tickets to the Monterey Beer Festival, visit www.montereybeerfestival.com, call 373-2843, or pick them up at Compagno’s Deli in New Monterey, Wild Thyme Deli or English Ales in Marina, Zeph’s One-Stop in Salinas, the fairgrounds office in Monterey or at the gate on the day of– but that will cost you a little more.
HEALTH AFTER DRINKING… All that good living is fun, even more so when you take good care of yourself. That’s why you need to go listen to Jack Medina teach you about fitness, health and how to take better care of yourself so you have the chops to continue the gourmand lifestyle you know and love. Jack has been lecturing throughout the world for more than 25 years, inspiring tens of thousands of people to take charge of their lives through, as the subtitle of his latest book reads, Fueling & Training the Body for Peak Performance. Medina has worked with many top gymnasts in the world, including Cathy Rigby, and has served as strength and conditioning consultant to the Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Golden State Warriors and others.
He’ll be speaking on Friday, July 18, in Marina at the Shoreline Conference Center from 7-8:30pm. There is no independence or freedom greater than rip-roaring good health and an overall sense of well being.
This will be a free lecture sponsored by the Monterey Bay Co-op but requires a reservation. Call 632-2167.
STROKE OF GENIUS… The other day I got a great idea. The Pebble Beach Company should flip the Tap Room with Club XIX. I always felt the Tap Room was in a poor location and too stuffy feeling. When you finish up a round at Pebble, you want to roll right into the 19th hole. What better place than just off the 18th green, where Club XIX is. Plus you have the outdoor patio, the views and the adjacent banquet room for spillover, etc. Meanwhile, Club XIX would fit nicely into the clubby-feeling location where the Tap Room is. Go ahead Pebble Beach, do what I suggest here, it will make a big difference. Meanwhile, buy me a beer at the new Tap Room, maybe after a complimentary round on the links, and we’ll call it even.
Here’s a way to capture the magic of Highlands Inn without the hefty Pacific’s Edge price tag: California Market is featuring produce from local farms seven nights a week at the casual first-floor eatery. Chef Shean Sutter has gotten together with Executive Chef Mark Ayers to create a lively, rotating seasonal menu, including delightful matching cocktails. There’s no better location than the Highlands to enjoy, impress and relax. The price on this menu is affordable, too.
NEW BEGINNINGS… Lots of places turning, burning, changing, building, reinventing… Fournier’s Bakery Café at 650 Lighthouse Ave. in P.G. Breakfast is new: sandwiches, deli sandwiches, panini, salads, soups, etc., 655-1447… Firok Sheild is launching Bistro Beaujolais in Carmel Plaza soon… L’Auberge Carmel’s new name– Aubergine (with Chef Christophe Grosjean)… Julihanh succumbs on Ocean Avenue, new owners, new concept… Bath House rising from the ashes… new restaurant in Del Monte Center from folks who bring you Ellie’s in Salinas and Lallapallooza in Monterey… former AJ Spurs spot in Marina– new Bill Lee project? Gotta make a few tours, get the lowdown… stay cool.