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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Road Trip = Relaxation

Yeah, road trips can be so relaxing!

I had not been back to No. California in a few years and I really was looking forward to this road trip. I needed to relax before I start my ‘commuting’ to Virginia to kick-off our season out there.

Took the back way to SLC, up through Price, Utah and I already was looking forward to my 1st Road Food Stop along I-15, just south of SLC… In-n-Out!! But as I am trying to watch my carbs, I had to deviate from my norm… Ordered an Animal-Style (for you ‘novices’, that’s a burger of your choice with hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, a mustard cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread with grilled onions) Double-Double but Protein-Style (wrapped in hand-leafed lettuce instead of a bun), no fries and a diet coke. Hey, gotta watch those carbs! Feeling quite good as I drove off, I headed to I-80 West and the stay-over in Elko, where I found some of the best street taco’s (and you all know how I love me my tacos) I have ever had.

Right down the street from the Red Lion and across from the Stockman/Commercial Hotels/Casino, it a parking lot, I found the Las Brisas Taco Truck. A Chicken Taco, a Carnitas Taco and soda for $5? And they were great! This is the blue truck, there is also a Red Truck, The Taco Truck by the same people, Stop by and you will not be disappointed.

Hit Santa Rosa the next day and you know I had to, went to Johnny Garlic’s for dinner, this was Guy Fieri’s first restaurant and as I had not been there in over 10 years, I was really looking forward to it. I had the Chipotle Shrimp & Hotlinks (Tomatoes, Scallions, Penne Pasta + Chipotle Cream Sauce) and as I am not the hugest seafood fan, they doubled up on my Hot Links, thank you very much! Food was outstanding, maybe a little too much sauce, but oh well!

Headed out to Bodega Bay for a few nights and as the sun set over Bodega Head, I sat outside and realized that, yes!! Relaxation! Found some great tacos at La Bodeguita, Had their ‘Tacos de la Calle’ (three tacos with Carne Asada, Chicken and my third was a Carnitas. $7.50 for all three, I was in Taco Heaven!

I am sitting outside the bar at The Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa, barely seeing the fog banks off in the distance as the sun has set, Channel lights coming on for the late arrivals in the fishing fleet, I see Bodega Head in the darkness, where 30 years ago I used to sit and take pictures of the birds dive-bombing in the water, getting their meals on the bay's bottom.

Getting ready to start the commute between W. CO and Richmond, VA for the season, more food blasts will be coming!

Sitting back in one of the Adirondack Chairs outside of the Fire Pit, (ok, and after a few double Woodford Reserves), let myself lean back, exhale and realize that I can relax out here! 

I have lived many places, but the Northern California coast has always been one of my favorites! 

After a road run up Highway 1 to Fort Bragg, did the wedding the next day and drove back, stopping for more Las Brisas’ Tacos, of course
Yeah, our ‘Website of the Week is on Taco’s! From our friends and (

Our 'Recipe of The Week' is one that I gotta try, Thai Chicken Taco’s!

Thai Chicken Tacos
  • Makes: 4 servings, Serving Size: 2 tacos per serving,Yields: 8 tacos
1 lime, halved
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
16 corn tortillas, heated
1 recipe Cabbage Slaw
  1. Juice one lime half (about 1 Tbsp.); cut remaining half in wedges. In bowl stir together chicken, cilantro, shallot, garlic, the 1 Tbsp. lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper, and chili sauce. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour. In large skillet cook chicken mixture in hot oil over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked, stirring occasionally.
  2. To serve, layer two tortillas. Top with chicken and Cabbage Slaw. Serve with remaining slaw and lime wedges. Makes 4 (2-taco) servings.
Cabbage Slaw
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot (1 medium)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (4)
1/3 cup sliced radishes
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
  1. In a medium bowl combine cabbage, carrot, green onions, radishes, cilantro, and, if desired, peanuts. Add vinegar; toss gently to coat.

Pics from the trip!...

Gotta love the open road!

                                                                    Sonoma Coast
                                                                     Dillon Beach
                                                                       Bodega Bay
                                                            Sunset over Bodega Bay
                                                                 Sonoma Coast
                                                              Bodega Bay Tacos
                                                              Sonoma County Winery
                                                           Johnny Garlic's Santa Rosa
You can know also follow us on Pinterest; Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Decadence Cheesecakes Cooking Thoughts... Check them out and let me know what you think!

You can now also follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook at ,on Twitter ( and on Pinterest (

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Beckoning of the Highwa

The Road.. it be callin’ my name!
After the holidays, our cheesecake business tends to slow down a little; people are on their New Year’s Resolution diets, paying off their holidays bills and so on and as such, I tend to hunker down here in Casa Mathis, watching the rest of the country go through what seems much harsher winters than we have here in The Grand Valley.
But as much as I love living out here (and I really do), after a couple months, the road just keeps calling!
As it turns out, an old friend of mine who used to be the manager at the Palisade Brewery (predecessor of The Palisade Brewing Company) is getting married today in Sonoma County, CA and wants our cheesecakes for the wedding reception. Now I could have shipped them, but, again, The Road, it be a callin’
Now I used to live in California, spent almost 20 years up in Northern California and once you get out of the suburban sprawl, driving down 1-80 through Sacramento/Fairfield/Vacaville and such, hang a right and drive through Sonoma into Santa Rosa, it is really, really nice.
And as much as I love me my road trips, one of the things I always look forward to is the food! Yes, Sonoma has some great restaurants (some of which we can actually afford) but some old ‘fav’s’; of course, In & Out Burger (though with my watching my carbs, might have to go ‘Protein-Style’, Togo’s, with their #9, ‘Pastrami’, Johnny Garlic’s (Guy Fieri’s 1st restaurant in Santa Rosa, where I took my mom and sister to back in 2002) and the soon-to-be discovered new fav’s!
There are many websites where you can find neat places to try; Diner’s, Drive-In’s & Dives, Road Food and more, but what I have also found out is the locals know! Ask, seek and ye shall find!! I am taking an extra day to cruise up the Sonoma/Mendocino coast, from Bodega Bay up to Fort Bragg and cannot wait to see what I can find!
To help you get ready for your next road trip, our 'Website of the Week', from our friends at The Splendid Table and has some great places to stop and try! (Enstrom’s here in town in listed as are three places from my Jersey Shore roots in Atlantic City!)(

Our 'Recipe of The Week' is one that I saw on that page and it just sounds tasty, Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream.

We would also like to thank everyone who has been coming out to our ‘Pop-Up’ restaurants! We have had a blast doing something different and will continue to do so. If you want to know when and where we are doing them, keep an eye on our Facebook page! The ‘Return on En Fuego’ is Thursday, March 20th at The VFW, 14th & Ute, 5 – 7 pm.

You can know also follow us on Pinterest; Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Decadence Cheesecakes Cooking Thoughts... Check them out and let me know what you think!

You can now also follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook at ,on Twitter ( and on Pinterest (

We are loading up recipes and discounts on our Facebook page and will also be letting our ‘fans’ know of upcoming events, sales and the like. There are even videos! Check it out and become a fan!

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached at, through their website at, on Facebook or by calling 256-4688!