Walking around the town

Dinner tonight was something special–Mike and Linda took us on a walk around downtown Walnut Creek, stopping at various restaurants for a bite of the specialty of the house.

The occasion was the 14th annual “Taste of Walnut Creek”, a charity event where you buy a booklet of coupons good for a snack at 20 or so different places.  The money goes to a conglomeration of churches, synagogues, community centers and the AAUW, the restaurants get a couple of hundred visitors who become potential customers, the customers get a nice walk and a chance to try out many new places for a tiny amount of money.  Everybody wins.

We started out at the Walnut Creek Yacht Club, with a shrimp cocktail.  They offered their own house-made habanero sauce, but I passed.  Gail liked it, but she’s tougher than I am.

Shrimp cocktails at the Yacht Club--the yellow bottle is the hot sauce. Muy caliente!!

 

Crossing the street, we stopped at Hubcaps.  They were offering both chili and chocolate milk shakes.  You could have one of each or two of just one.  Micky, Gail and Linda tried the chili. I, on the other hand:

A little, tiny milk shake smothered in whipped cream. Two of them just hit the spot.

 

Next was Massimos.  We go there often, since it is just across the street from the Lesher Center and most convenient for a pre-theater dinner.  To my horror, they offered ravioli.  Mushroom ravioli.  I could only watch as my friends risked their lives eating the diabolical fungus:

Mother tried to get me to eat mushrooms by saying they had no taste. Then why bother?, I wondered.

 

Massimo’s also offered half glasses of wine for $3, which is a considerable temptation for  lovers of the fermented grape.

Next up was Lettuce, and butternut squash soup:

It was a lovely, balmy evening. Mike didn't really need that jacket.

Rounding the corner on Civic and then walking down to Main, we the headed back downtown, stopping at 1515, which was listed on the contents page of the book but didn’t have a coupon–somebody made a major oversight.  It’s a good thing we stopped there, because they had a phenomenal lobster chowder.  So good Linda enjoyed it even though it contained the dreaded “cream” she avoids so assiduously.  We sat down there for a few minutes to have a glass of wine (Gail), beer (Mike), water (Linda) and Diet Coke (moi).  There was some baseball game on the TV that seemed to have people’s attention.

Then came Modern China, where we had spring rolls and pot stickers:

Just your standard Chinese food, reasonably well prepared.

Next we had a bite of pizza at the Pizza Place.  Since I run a pizza joint in Berkeley, I’m pretty particular on the topic, but this was good stuff.

Not exactly Fat Slice pizza, but pretty darned good nonetheless.

 

On to Silk Road, and a nosh of pita and hummus and chicken:

A little mid-Eastern food for the road.

 

The group was headed for PF Changs, but I had to hustle back to my car and feed the meter.  I was parked in one of the lots managed by Regional Parking, may they be infested by the fleas of 1000 camels.  Trying to catch up with everyone, I passed Tomatinos, which was offering salad and garlic rolls.  I didn’t stop, because I thought we would all go there later.  Little did I know that the others did stop there while I was doing my chores, and I would never ever get to enjoy the good food at Tomatinos.  My heart was only a little broken……………

But PF Changs was good, and that helped to assuage the pain.  We had some shredded chicken in a lettuce roll thing, and a fortune cookie.  I’m apparently soon to be very rich, so you should be nice to me.

The crowds were considerable everywhere we went.

 

That was enough for Mike and Linda, who had parked near the theaters.  So we strolled back up to Locust Street and said goodbye, as they headed for one last taste at a Coco Swirl, a frozen yogurt to finish off their evening.

Gail and I stopped at Lift for a quesadilla and some sweet potato fries, the made our last stop at the San Francisco Creamery, where we were entitled to a “junior” scoop of ice cream

Their definition of a "junior" scoop. Pecan praline on the left, vanilla on the right.

 

The line in front of the ice cream place was humungous, but well worth the wait.

 

Everybody likes ice cream.

 

That wasn’t every restaurant available on the tour, just the ones we had the energy and the appetite to get to.  There were another 8 or 10 we missed, including McCoveys, Salvatores, Kacha, Chicken and Waffles,Tiki Toms and the Buckhorn Grill.  You’d have to start right at 6 pm and race to get to all of them in one evening, and I don’t know how you’d manage to pack away all the food offered.

We considered the night a smashing success, and look forward to doing it again next year.  Talk to Mike about getting your book of coupons, it’s only $30 and we easily ate more than that.

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