Napa Valley Burger Company

meter-great-haThis is a story about pickle fries. Other things happen in this story, but none of them are as noteworthy as the pickle fries. There is a restaurant, a town, some weather, a couple of dogs, and even some other remarkable food, but all of these things revolve around that one, single most important dish: Those dreamy, crispy, pickle fries. Holy smoley. Before I spend too much more time worshiping those fries, I should probably take a step back and explain how it was that I had the opportunity to eat them.

” The pickle fries did eventually run out, and that made us sad “

It was a ridiculously glorious day in Sausalito, one of those days that are so excruciatingly perfect that you can’t help but to post a picture of the cloudless blue sky on Facebook and say “neener neener” to all of the unfortunate people who don’t live in California. My wife Shawn, fellow dog wrangler and honorary food blog enabler, and I were strolling the streets of Sausalito, enjoying the 75 degree weather and looking for a place to eat. We passed a couple of somewhat promising establishments, but then we spotted the Napa Valley Burger Company. One glance at the menu and we knew this was the place to eat.

Everyone who walks by this place says to themselves, 'Damn, I should have eaten here.'

Everyone who walks by this place says to themselves, ‘Damn, I should have eaten here.’

The limited outdoor seating was completely full, but we got lucky and nabbed a table within about five minutes. We were basically sitting right in the middle of a crowded Sausalito sidewalk, but it made for good people watching and kept our two fluffy little dogs occupied as well. Our attentive waitperson stopped by immediately to take our drink orders and fawn over the dogs, much to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

We were all settled in a few minutes later with drinks and a bowl water for the pups. We ordered some pickle fries, a Stinson Beach BBQ Burger, and a Yountville Burger, our waitperson nodding with approval as she scribbled on her notepad. “That’s the three most popular items on the menu, in order” she said. “The pickle fries are my favorite.”

Oh. My. GAWDUH.

Oh. My. GAWDUH.

In just a few minutes the pickle fries arrived. It had been bothering me to this point that they were called “pickle fries” instead of the obviously much more grammatically accurate “fried pickles”, because that’s what they are. Pickles that are fried. Right? When I saw them in person, though, I understood the subtle genius of it all. They are fries that have pickles in them. Thin, julienne strips of pickle are thickly coated in the most wonderful cornmeal batter concoction and fried to crispy, crunchy, salty perfection. Heaven. If you don’t like fried pickles, these still might not change your mind all that much, but if you enjoy this sort of thing you will be stunned at how good they are. At this point Shawn said, “You know you have to rate this place 10-out-of-10 no matter what else happens, right?” That’s certainly the direction we’re trending here, no doubt about it.

There was a giant wafer of fried cheese stuck in the top of my burger as a garnish. Epic win.

There was a giant wafer of fried cheese stuck in the top of my burger as a garnish. Epic win.

Next up the burgers arrived, and we were not disappointed. They were piled high, cooked just so, and were absolutely amazing. The applewood bacon on my burger was thick, layered, and deliciously smoky underneath a blanket of garlic aioli and oozy, melted Gruyere. The accompanying burger across the table (from which I stole many bites) was equally superb; the stars of that particular show being the crispy onion ring and generously applied bourbon barbecue sauce. Accompanying each of the burgers were artsy-looking side salads, the kind I am usually not impressed with. Just to be thorough, I went ahead and ate some of mine… and it was excellent! I don’t know what they put in the dressing – I guess perhaps heroin – but it was just hands-down plain old delicious. I can’t believe this place, even the stupid salads are awesome.

This has to be one of the top ten burgers in the Bay Area.

This has to be one of the top ten burgers in the Bay Area.

As incredible as the burgers were, however, we found ourselves constantly going back to the basket of pickle fries, desperately scraping the bottom of the container that once held heavenly dill ranch dipping sauce. We boxed up the leftover halves of our burgers and sat in contentment a while, enjoying the warm sun and jealous stares of passers by. Our only dislike of the entire meal was that the pickle fries did eventually run out, and that made us sad. We paid our bill, left a healthy 25% tip for the top notch service we received, and walked away as extremely satisfied customers. I am always reluctant to hand out perfect ratings, but I’ll still give Napa Valley Burger Company 199 out of 200 delicious, delicious pickle fries. We’ll be back soon. Oh yes, we will.

Napa Valley Burger Company
670 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 332-1454
www.napavalleyburgercompany.com

Napa Valley Burger Company on Urbanspoon


I can has?

I can has?


Standard Restaurant Review Disclaimer
The ambiguous and illogical rating system used in this review is not intended to be pinpoint accurate. It’s only there to give you a general idea of how much I like or dislike an establishment, and it also gives me an excuse to write silly things. If my rating system angers and distracts you, there’s a good chance you have control issues. I would also like to point out that I am not a highly qualified restaurant reviewer person, nor do I particularly care what that job is called. If you were under the impression that perhaps I was one of those people, consider your hopes dashed. Lastly, wow! You read the entire disclaimer. You get a gold star on your chart today.


Tarpy’s Roadhouse

meter-great-haOnce upon a time, in a land not all that far away, there lived a happy Couple that were soon to be wed. They wanted their wedding to be the most perfect day that ever was, so they set out on a grand adventure to find the perfect location. Their heads were giddy in wonder of all the beautiful places along the Monterey Peninsula where they sought to exchange their vows.

Long they tarried in this land of coastal delight, sampling dainties and gazing at many-hued sunsets. It was said in legend of Monterey that it was the place of the Newly Wed or the Nearly Dead; and so it was true! The Couple discovered many young Princes and Princesses dancing gaily amongst silver-haired and wizened ancient beings. And yet all that were to be seen were happy, and the Couple decided that Monterey was still the ideal place for their nuptials.

Inside awaiteth many delicious things.

Inside awaiteth many delicious things.

Soon the Couple’s journey led them to Tarpy’s Roadhouse, a mystical… house… on the road… or something. And yet they cared not for the pedestrian name because the wonders of the kitchen had no equal! They dined on succulent lamb, rich bounties of the sea, and mesmerizing cocktails. Surely this was the place for the post-wedding feast, and so the Couple signed an accord with the kind Lady Tarpy herself, or so the event coordinator assured them she was, and so ensured a feast that would equal no other.

Pleased with their progress and fortified with the finest meal they could recall, the Couple’s next task was to seek out a grand palace to host their ceremony. First they visited the Baron of the Leaping Dolphin, who showed them a waterfront plaza of such splendor that the Couple immediately knew that their search was over. But the greedy Baron had other plans! He chuckled an evil chuck and drew forth a vile contract from the folds of his cloak; and he asked the Couple to sign it in blood!

The leaping dolphins were but the doorhandles on the fiery gates of the Underworld!

The leaping dolphins were but the doorhandles on the fiery gates of the Underworld!

“But what does the contract say O Baron, and why musteth we sign with such ink?” asked the groom-to-be.

“It says thou shallt consume only vittles prepared by my own hand!” laughed the Baron while pushing out a small fart.

“Alas, I fear your kitchen skills mayeth suck compared to the wondrous Roadhouse du Tarpy” fretted the concerned bride-to-be.

“And so my skills do suck!” guffawed the Baron. “There are but few who can burn water like me.”

The Couple quickly took counsel in one another, discussing what to do next. Their hearts ached to leave behind the magnificent waterfront plaza, but they could not bear the shame of serving their guests a disgusting meal. And so they told the Baron to put his contract where the sun shineth not, and they left.

Next they visited the benevolent hermit of the Pacific Grove Parks & Open Space Department. He was a gentle sort and was pleased to help the Couple in any way he could. “Thou willst not be safe from the rain in any part of my domain,” said the hermit sadly. “And yet I would gladly host the finest outdoor wedding ye has ever known, albeit a bit soggy. Also, I don’t provide lawn chairs.” Heartbroken, the Couple bid the gentle hermit a fond farewell and continued on their way.

Beautiful yet moist Pacific Grove.

Beautiful yet moist Pacific Grove.

They journeyed for many more days and nights, and their fortunes repeated themselves over and over. The Dutchess of Carmel DoubleTree declared, “Thou shallst eat nought but hotel food or get thou lost.” The child-prince of the Monterey Community Services Division said simply, “Huh?” And still the Couple continued on, dejected and lost. Then suddenly, the Couple smacked one another upon the head and knew the answer! Their wedding shouldsteth be at Tarpy’s!

The legendary Library of Tarpy.

The legendary Library of Tarpy.

And so they returned to the welcoming arms of Lady Tarpy, and she offered to them the beautiful Courtyard for their ceremony and the historic Library for the reception, and they were glad. The wedding was beautiful in spite of being overflown by cargo jets, and the guests of the newlyweds feasted on wondrous colossal shrimp and the exquisitely prepared flesh of turf-beasts. And the Priest said, “I declare you man and wife, and may you dine at Tarpy’s every year on the date of your vows.” And the newlywed Couple agreed that it should be so.

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Exactly ten years later, the Couple continues to live happily ever after. They visited the Lady Tarpy as decreed, and they brought with them the Count and Countess of the great and overpriced kingdom Francisco of San. Lady Tarpy proffered to them seats within the sunny courtyard and sold to them lunch specials fit for royalty. To prepare their appetites for the feast, fried pickles with mystical and unidentified Creamy Sauce were served first. They included many different types of pickled vegetables that were amazing, especially with the mysteriously delicious sauce. Only the Count Francisco of San disapproved of the fried pickles, and the others declared him to be a stinky buttface.

Pickles of frying with Creamy Sauce.

Pickles of frying with Creamy Sauce.

The brisket biscuit, also intended to whet appetites, was universally praised. Special notice was taken of the bountiful and crispy coleslaw upon which the brisket sat.

Brisket contained within biscuit.

Brisket contained within biscuit.

Next was served forth a filet mignon devised into a sandwich made of freshly toasted garlic-upon-bread. Within this heavenly envelope was also added pungent bluish cheese and straws of onion-make, and three of the party were struck dumb with awe. The fourth cared not for the bluish cheese but agreed that the sandwich was otherwise divine.

A heavenly concoction of bread and cow.

A heavenly concoction of bread and cow.

The last of the savory dishes was rib bones of the boar. They were tender and englazened with succulent sauce, but alas they were not par with the rest of the meal. The Couple still enjoyed the rib bones, but they had not the courage to inform Lady Tarpy that the other dishes were superior.

Riblets of a fallen beast.

Riblets of a fallen beast.

The time had come to review the desserting menu, and none could decide which of the dainties was best. Then, as a ray of sunlight through clouds, they beheld the words “large dessert sampler” and knew it was the only true choice to be made. And so they told the waitpersoness, and soon a mighty dish of many sweet things was brought forth.

The renowned Platter of Many Cavities.

The renowned Platter of Many Cavities.

All who were seated at the table ate like ravenous wild things, each choosing a different favorite. After much debate and the unbuttoning of pants, it was agreed that all of the desserts were of equal and exceptional quality. And they were glad.

So ends this tale of the ten-year-revisit of Tarpy’s Roadhouse. The service and gastric delights continue to be of the utmost quality, neither too aristocratic nor too ignoble. It ranks quite highly compared to other dining halls, and shouldst one find themselves in the area they would be wise to pay Tarpy’s a visit.

Tarpy’s Roadhouse
2999 Salinas Highway
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 647-1444
www.tarpys.com

Tarpy's Roadhouse on Urbanspoon


Welcome to thee, all who desire to become fat.

Welcome to thee, all who desire to become fat.


Standard Restaurant Review Disclaimer
The ambiguous and illogical rating system used in this review is not intended to be pinpoint accurate. It’s only there to give you a general idea of how much I like or dislike an establishment, and it also gives me an excuse to write silly things. If my rating system angers and distracts you, there’s a good chance you have control issues. I would also like to point out that I am not a highly qualified restaurant reviewer person, nor do I particularly care what that job is called. If you were under the impression that perhaps I was one of those people, consider your hopes dashed. Lastly, wow! You read the entire disclaimer. You get a gold star on your chart today.