Friday, November 4, 2011

The Road to Romance and Ribs

Just like driving on an open highway
Never knowing what we're gonna find
Just like two kids, baby, always trying to live it up - Lady Antebellum

Ah, Romance.
You would think that living with a Marriage and Family Therapist would be a dream romance for my wife.
But it’s not. Not always.
But sometimes you hit the mother lode.
My wife and I were overnight in San Jose, California and decided to take a scenic route home. So we drove over to Santa Cruz and hopped on the fabled California State Highway 1. It was a Sunday morning and we had no particular time to be anywhere as we headed north to the Golden Gate.
Santa Cruz to San Francisco. The romance opportunities were practically handed to me.
Add to that sunshine and seashore and I was set.
Yes, sometimes you hit the mother lode.
You never know what you might find while driving on the open highway; stunning scenery, interesting people or fine dining.
We were like two kids and this is what we found.

Let’s talk about the Road.
Correct me if I’m wrong. Can there be a more romantic road in the country than California’s Highway 1.
Maybe that’s why it’s called number 1.
Highway 1’s route curves along hugging the California coast. You can inhale the scent of the ocean breezes and see the horizon where the sea and sky meet to kiss. If you pull over you can hear the surf crash. You should know that the coast likes being dramatic. She will thrill you with her sheer cliffs and tease you by hiding in shrouds of fog. Now we love visiting the coast anytime and every time but in California, October is month to be there because that’s when the weather is best. 

The Romance Factor:
Remember, take your time; drive slowly. Stop and treat yourself to a coffee and pastry. If you are with a companion, welcome the potty breaks and vista stops as photo opportunities to etch great memories onto your brain’s hippocampus.
Remember, you are on one of the great highways in the world. So, put your top down, or open your sun roof or at the very least, roll down your windows and enjoy the ride.

Let’s Talk About the Ribs
You want to bring up subjects that get people going? We all know about politics and religion. But I think we could add “ribs” to that list. People take their ribs seriously. St. Louis cut or baby back? Dry rub or wet?
Thankfully, we like it all and the ribs we found at Gorilla’s did not disappoint us. My resourceful wife discovered Gorillas while we were driving. She used her iPhone (thank you Steve Jobs) looking online at a couple of sites and suggested Gorillas Barbeque in the city of Pacifica.

Gorilla’s is a railroad car turned BBQ shack. This diner was established in 2006 by “Gorilla” Rich Bacchi and Jeff Greathouse. Rich was nicknamed Gorilla by his dad as a kid because of his Gorilla size stature and Gorilla size cheerful personality.
There is no inside dining at Gorilla’s. You can use the picnic benches provided outside to eat but we opted to simply sit in our car. Be advised, expect a line, especially around the meal times. We didn’t mind waiting. We saw our visit as a dining experience and chatted with people. That and the aromas simply built our anticipation.

We shared the “2 Meat Combo Plate”. Standard with each plate as sides is the rice and beans, cornbread and sauce which is vinegary and spicy. For our plate we chose ribs, beef brisket, Mac N Cheese and grilled zucchini. Okay, so guilt drove me to order something green.
Mac N Cheese: This signature dish is made with butter, cream and 4 cheeses; Fontina, Asiago, Parmesan and Cheddar. The Mac N Cheese is topped with a layer of crumbled Cheddar-flavor Goldfish crackers whose texture makes the dish excellent.
Cornbread: Take a bite out of these golden brown muffins and watch the steam rise. Inside these moist gems, you’ll discover kernels of corn and a subtle sweetness.
Ribs and Brisket: This is what you come for. They are dry rub. Our ribs were nicely charred. The portions were generous, the meat tender and the flavor delicious. The brisket was my favorite. The bark was crisp and the meat inside tender and flavorful. By the way, when I say that their sauce is spicy I mean that it is like having a platoon of Habanera peppers march over your taste buds.

The Romance Factor:
Share a plate with your partner. Now say that word out loud with me.
Can you feel all the attachment and emotion residing in that word? Sharing a plate will elevate these excellent smoked ribs to a level of soulful bonding. Seriously, if you are still hungry after eating you can just make yourself a peanut butter sandwich. Not available at Gorillas, though.

Gorillas Barbeque
2145 Coast Highway 1,
Pacifica, CA 94044
650-359-RIBS (7427)

So, you ready for an adventure?
Next chance you get, hop in your car and make your way out to California’s coast. Be young, live it up.
Driving on an open highway, you never know what great things you’re going to see. Or what great places you will find to dine.

Life is a Coastal Highway; drive it slow and with the top down- Pelagia


Anna's kitchen table said...

Awwwwww, lovely post Mario!

rachel said...

haha, i especially love the bit about sharing. and the peanut butter sandwich. great one mario!

Mai Yang said...

what a coincidence sir! I was just thinking about romantic stuff before checking here. haha!

Christine's Pantry said...

Great post.

Elyse @The Cultural Dish said...

I could use a day trip like this! :)

Magdalena Troncoso Espinar said...

esta muy bien este tipo de viajes simplemente viajar y no pensar donde

Anonymous said...

Some of the most significant moments in your life happen without you even knowing it."
- -Alvin Law-
Thank you for your comment have a beautiful week :)

Smareis said...

Oi Mário lindíssimo seu post. Essa ultima imagem é um sonho de tão bonita. Beijos e ótima semana!

Beta. said...

Hi Mario, How are you??
I love your blog, and this publicacion.
LAdy Antebellum is good ;) I like it.


Drizel said...

Hey Mario, sounds really described it so stunningly:) Wish I was there:)

Unknown said...

wow.. awesome trip.. hv a nice day Mario.. ;)

Unknown said...

ribs and romance! wowwwww!!! lip smacking!!!

anónima(?) said...

hello Mario, you wrote in my blog, thanks for your comments.Is really interesting.I invited you to visit mi other blogs:

Your blog is very nice...

mangiawithmario said...

Anna, as always you are kind in your compliments. By the way, what book are you reading in your picture? Looks captivating

Rae, PBJ's are the best food filler, aren't they?

Mai, let me know if you picked up any tips here, cause I'm looking for a few too

Christine, thank you

M.R.T.E., gracias. Si la versed es que un viaje sin pensando sonde vamis es un regalo

Fly, thanks so much. What an awesome quote

mangiawithmario said...

Smareis, saudações! Obrigado por seus pensamentos gentis. Tenha uma ótima semana, meu amiga!

Beta, thank you. Yes, Lady Antebellum has become very popular!

Drizel, yes! I think you should put it on your list of places to drive in this lifetime.

Covalimawati, thank you.

Rita. Yes and finger licking, too. Eating those ribs in a car took skill and determination.

Anonima, thank you for your thoughts and your suggestions

Caroline Taylor said...

awww very sweet. The ribs sound amazing from your description!

Anonymous said...

Who wouldn't want to jump in the car to try this amazing ribs:)))

Christine Gloria said...

love the beach!!!!

Lilly said...

Hi Mario,

Did you change your picture? I don't remember seeing this one last time.

Are you seriously talking about sharing a dish? As romantic as it sounds (just sounds) I’m not a fan of sharing. I like my own plate and then eat some of others =)

I’ll be taking this road up to SF hopefully this January. I drove (or my hubby drove it) twice now and it is indeed beautiful.

Can’t wait to see where you end up next.


Maria-Denisa said...

First, thank you for your nice comment on my blog. Althought I don't have much time to blog lately having a new born child, the time spent on your blog is always quality time. Thank you again and congratulations for your blog!

Emily Malloy said...

This is lovely! Really!! :)

firefoodie said...

Lovely story Mario, and those ribs.. I'm drooling..

Jessica | Cajunlicious said...

Lovely story and post! Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!

Noelle Dunn.... A Poet in Progress said...

Hey Mario. Thanks so much for your kind words!! By the way, I miss Highway 1. I used to live in So Cal for many years! I miss the ocean's beauty. Happy Thanksgiving!!

My Kitchen Antics said...

Hi mario...thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. That was probably the most sweetest comment ive ever received about my blog posts :)
I am so glad i found ur blog, love love love the quotes and writing as well.
And the bloody mary, i am such a fan

Brittany said...

I LOVE Highway 1! You're absolutely right, it is incredibly romantic. One of my favourite memories of my time in Cali is a driving down Highway 1 along the cliffs and looking out at the ocean on a beautiful, sunny day. I was with my mother at the time, so no romance for me, but I can definitely see where you're coming from!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mario :) I want to thank you so much for the lovely comment you left on my blog. I am also very happy to have found the blog of a marriage and Family counsellor as we are a very close nuclear family always looking for new ways to be closer together. Thank you again. Sharon, Melbourne

mangiawithmario said...

All That I'm Eating- Thank you for the visit. Yes! They were amazing

Dzoli- Thank you. Yes, definitely worth jumping into the car to go to. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Christine- Love the beach, too!

Lilly-You are too funny! So you don't like to share? Seriously? Well, let me know what you think when you try these in January.

Maria- Thank you for stopping by. COngratulations on your precious new born. That is AWESOME!

Emily-Thank you

Firefoodie-You will definitely need lots of napkins!

Cajunlicious- Thank you and a Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

Noelle- Highway 1 is the coolest. You will have to drive it again one day. And the ocean is beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving!

mangiawithmario said...

Nisha- Thank you for the kind words. I love quotes, too, so I generously use them. Have a great and happy Thanksgiving!

Brittany- Thanks for sharing that memory. The cliffs and the ocean. Whoever we travel it with makes a great life moment. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sharon- Thank you. Bonding experiences are so important for families. And so often it is around food! Happy Thanksgiving!

Alessandra said...

Love to travel there, I only drove from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and that was so many years ago... must go to California again!


J.P. Alexander said...

Hermosa vista de la bahía un saludo desde ecuador

Miluna said...

Hola Mario lindo viaje el tuyo y muy bien explicado lo de las costillas tiene muy buena pinta deben estar deliciosas...por aqui las hacemos muy parecidas ..

bueno un saludito y muchos Besos y Sonrisas,,

BlogS of Hariyanto said...

wow..amazing road,
really full romance with beauty place :)
nice share post,
greetings from Makassar - Indonesia

Unknown said...

Primeiro, eu adoro viagens; Segundo, eu adoro cozinhar, então, comidas são sempre bem vindas... LOL. Terceiro, eu não tenho a menor ideia de como você acabou encontrando meu blog.. LOL normalmente quem o lê são meus amigos apenas, mas fico feliz que tenha gostado do texto. :D Parece que sua viagem foi muito produtiva, hein?? rsrs

Ann G.

Andie said...

Oh my... I find myself plotting to steal my mom's car kidnap someone and make my way to California's coast and drive. Stop at Gorilla's for some ribs and **maybe** share my plate with the person I've kidnapped.
How lucky you are Mario!

Smareis said...

Oi Mário, Viajar e conhecer lugares é bom demais...vim trazer meu abraço, meu carinho e te desejar uma excelente semana. Beijos grande no teu coração meu amigo.

mangiawithmario said...

Ciao Alessandra! At least you had the opportunity to see and drive it once! A Wonderful drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.

Hola Citu! Gracias por visitando otra vez. Mi esposa y yo ha visitado Ecuador dos veces a visitar nuestra amiga en Quito. Su pais es muy hermosa, mi amiga.

Miluna, gracias por sus comentarios.El mundo ha tan muchos lugares hermosas a ver. Tan muchas viajes lindos a hacer. Besos y Sonrisas!

Hariyanto, thank you for the comments. Indeed, it is an amazing road.

Ann, Saudações! Obrigado por seus comentários. Estou certo de que o Brasil deve ter alguma comida incrível, demasiado. Obrigado, meu amiga. Beijos.

Andie, does this make me an accessory to the crime?

Smareis, Saudações! Como sempre, você compartilha amáveis palavras. Si, viajar e conhecer lugares é bom demais. Obrigado, meu amiga. Beijos!

Jessica | Cajunlicious said...

I came back to this post today because it's our 3rd wedding anniversary! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season Mario!

mangiawithmario said...

Happy 3rd Anniversary Jessica!

Anonymous said...

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy 2012!!

Kim - Liv Life said...

We love the California Coast and have driven it a number of times... I very much enjoyed your post and a Happy Anniversary to you!

meghan said...

truly beautiful! i must drive the california coast one day. i explored the oregon coast this summer and it was marvelous. happy anniversary :)

author casulo-online said...

Dear Mario,

thank you so much for your comment, you are always awesome!

Now is everything ok, I hope nothing change.

So delicious what you posted here :)