Best Bites: July 13-19

Yikes! I’ve been slacking on my duties, readers. Apologies for posting this so late. Slowly, but surely, I’ll catch all of you up on my Best Bites for the past couple of weeks . . .

For those of you who missed my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald, I’m reposting the stories here on my blog. But wait–there’s more! That’s right, you’ve read about the best thing I ate all week, but what about some of the best bites that didn’t make the cut? Thank god for the internets–now you can see the top three foods I ate this week, complete with mouth-watering photos! Check back each weekend for a recap of the week’s tastiest treats!

Best Bite: Kale and nectarine salad at Happy Girl Kitchen (Pacific Grove)

Happy Girl Kitchen in Pacific Grove is taking advantage of the season’s rich bounty of fruits and veggies to craft lunchtime vegetarian fare.

Last Thursday, I picked up one of the best salads I’ve had in a long while — kale tossed with nectarines and almonds, served in a citrus vinaigrette.

A delightful combination of textures and flavors made for a tasty salad. Who says vegetarian fare has to be bland and boring?

The mix of textures was unique — crunchy fresh kale and tender, juicy nectarines.

The vinaigrette was made with Happy Girl Kitchen’s housemade kombucha vinegar. The combination of sweet nectarines, sour citrus and bitter vinegar was playful on the palate. Who says vegetarian food has to be boring?

Better Bite: Grilled cheese sandwich from The Picnic Basket (Santa Cruz)

When I heard the Penny Ice Creamery opened up a second shop on the beach, just a couple blocks down from the Boardwalk, I was intrigued–more so when I heard they’d serve not just ice cream, but proper food too. I knew I’d be over sooner or later–and then word of bourbon bacon chocolate ice cream tipped the scales and I headed up here Friday night.

While I went for the ice cream, the real star turned out to be the grilled cheese sandwich. The cheese was melty and gooey, though a tad greasy. I loved the sharp bite of gooey cheddar inside crisp bread. 

The sweet and salty combination of sharp cheddar and blackberries quickly elevated the classic grilled cheese to gourmet status.

But what made this grilled cheese so special? The accompanying blackberry chutney. Yes, a side of blackberry chutney–really more like a jam–to dip the sandwich in. The sweet berries and the salty cheese were a divine combination–and one I’d never think to do myself. I can guarantee you I’ll be making my grilled cheeses like this from now on!

Good Bite: Chicken and waffles from The Point Pinos Grill (Pacific Grove)

The Point Pinos Grill teased their new menu items in their monthly newsletter and I started salivating the minute I read three of my favorite words: chicken and waffles.

I don’t know why, but ever since I got back from Texas, I’ve been craving fried chicken. This was the perfect excuse to indule, in the name of journalistic duty, of course!

This wasn’t just chicken with any old waffle, no, the waffles are made with green chilies and corn.

Chicken and waffles. It may not be fancy, but it's mighty tasty!

The fried chicken was flavorful with a light breading. The waffles were a little sweeter than I’d expected–they could benefit from a larger dose of green chilies–but they were a tasty combination with the chicken.

This entry was posted in Best Bites, Extra Bites, Herald, Off The Menu, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.

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