The road, then San Francisco, November 28-29, 2011—IT'S DIFFICULT, these reconstructions of dinings past, even when only at the distance of two or three days. Still, one musters on.
Monday we drove a long way, leaving Portland about eleven in the morning, spending a short hour in Eugene with Penny and Gary and a slice of pizza and a salad, then driving on to Emeryville and a cheap motel. On such a day one's grateful for anything of flavor and substance, and the pizza margherita, with a Caesar salad on the side, qualified. I looked longingly at the wines available by the glass, thought about the five hundred twenty miles left to drive, and forgoddabouddit.
• Marché Provisions, 296 E 5th Avenue, Eugene, OR; 541.743.0660
Then it was on to Ashland, where we stopped for a coffee from Mix. Somewhere along the way we ate the ham sandwich we'd bought in Portland at Ken's Artisan Bakery. At our motel I settled into a glass of Cutty Sark, and so to bed.
Next day, Tuesday, we enjoyed a fish sandwich as a delayed lunch at Oakland's Sidebar, with a glass of fine white Rioja (Ostatu, Cosecha 2010, very delicious); and a dinner with friends at Piperade, where I feasted on a curious but delicious plate of local cod turned into bacalao on a bed of crème frâiche with a few oysters on top, then the piperade, sautéed Serrano ham with a poached egg atop the obligatory peppers and onions. Authentic, crisp and pointed flavors, refreshing, with a glass or two of Lagar de Cervera Albariño, 2009, and then a glass of Tempranillo, Baron de Ley (Rioja), 2004 (!), a deep, serious pleasure.
• Sidebar, 542 Grand Avenue, Oakland; (510) 452-9500
• Piperade, 1015 Battery St, San Francisco; 415.391.2555