Napa.


Back story:
Back in December when Catalina and I went to Monterey, the whole trip, she was raving on about “the best English Muffin” she had when she was in Napa. She kept talking about it so much that I was like, “okay, I need to try this English Muffin now..”

February:
Cat and I were planning to make a trip to Napa to try out this “best English Muffin”. When she was browsing around the internet, she came across an event that was being hosted near the bakery of this “best English Muffin” that we decided to buy tickets for it.


Fast forward to February 23rd, I got off of work, she came to pick me up, and we were on our way to try the “best English Muffin”.
….. little did we know, however, that no one was checking the GPS, so we ended up driving all the way out to the outskirts of Berkley. We decided to make the most of this accident and check it out – we still had time after all. We found a sign to a park and followed it. We also found out that this wasn’t an ordinary park, this was a dog park! “The best open field dog park of all Bay Area.” … there’s a lot of “bests” in this story, now that I think of it.



I was in puppy heaven as we walked along the trail. The other side of the park was a Groomer just in case there were some dirty pups playing around and on the side of that building was a little cafe that caters to dogs and humans. Pretty cool.


Since I got off work and had nothing in my system, I ordered one of their special sandwiches. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was super vegetarian with tempeh and various oats inside of it. It was really good, except for the oats hurting to chew after a while.

After that, we made our way to Napa to try this “best English Muffin”.


Model Bakery is what this place was called, and they had yummy looking treats other than just bread and English Muffins.
The sad part about this visit?
Well… after all that trouble, they were out of English Muffins by the time we got there. I have never seen Catalina so heart broken that her voice was crying when she ordered a couple of baguettes and a grilled cheese for us to share.
Me, I had to think positive on my feet. No one is to be the Debbie Downer of the group but me! I put on my best Catalina positivity impression, “Listen, Catalina, this is all just a sign. We weren’t meant to have this best English Muffin today, but rather make a whole over night trip with it. See, fate is telling us that this is all the more reason why to come back again, but this time, we’ll plan to stay longer so we can go wine tasting and do other things that we can’t do today!”
(You’ll have to know Catalina in order to understand why I’m talking like that..)
But when all else fails, I know the way to her heart: food.
I ended up buying one of those yummy looking treats.


.. and that grilled cheese was amazing too.


After eating, we checked out the marketplace that was behind the bakery. Tell me why my work sells half of the products in this marketplace??

(Heaven.)
We just browsed for a bit until we decided to attempt to wine taste.


Cat mentioned of a place that was 20 minutes away from where we were that does wine tasting, but also features an art show.



I also made my own art here:

It was pretty cool seeing all these pieces at a wine factory, until we saw a giant, blown up photo of someone. That was kind of creepy..
Unfortunately we ran our of time with the art that we didn’t have time to wine taste. We headed back to the location we were are to get ready for the event.

The DoNapa Culinary Crawl was our event, and basically it’s a walking restaurant tour. Our list had three places to check out, and I was excited.

First stop: Napkins.

Napkins is where the whole group of the event met up, as we all sat down, munched, and got to know everyone around our tables.


Oh, and the hosts also did some raffles, and I won a gift card there for next time.

The next stop was Tarla.
Home of Mediterranean food, and the ambiance looked expensive.

They first started us with some pita bread and three different dips to try. There was Baba Ganoush, Tzatziki, and Hummus. All were pretty good.

The main “entree” was a White Truffle and Mushroom Risotto.
I wasn’t too thrilled about it because there was pork on top and they used wayy too much truffle oil. The rest was good though.

Dessert: Baklava.
Not as delicious as the one I had at Zara, but still pretty good.

Last stop: Uncorked.

This place was just a wine tasting place and didn’t have food, so the hosts of the event brought over Napa’s best pizza to a room they reserved. We didn’t have any pizza because why? But Cat ended up taking a box home because the hosts brought too much.
Cat and I had our FIRST and ONLY glass of wine of Napa. What kind of trip is that, going to Napa and only having one glass of wine at 9 pm??
Also, the place was packed because there was live music playing.


…. I may or may not have stolen that glass too.
The event was super cool though. Not only do you get samples of Downtown Napa’s best restaurants, but you’d be surprised who you could meet along the ride. We met people from Georgia and Indiana, all because they were on a business trip or visiting family and just decided to check it out. Funny how it all just works out.

Before this all happened, Catalina made a reservation to Celadon down the street because we were in the search of the best Creme Brulee, which apparently Celadon has. So what did we do, we ate more..




Food story time:
So Catalina decided to share the Mussels, but since it came with bacon bits, we asked for without, and we decided to have the Braised Pork Belly because the Soba Noodles that came with it sounded so good, but had asked to put the pork on the side so I could just take it for my dogs. We waited for our meals, until the guy that came up with our plates sarcastically remarked “you do know that bacon is pork, right??” Meanwhile, my request for the pork to be on the side was apparently a joke because they put it on the dish.
I was so turned off by everything that it really upsetted me. The next day I emailed the manager about the situation and the fact I’m a pescatarian. Didn’t get a response back, but as long as they read it, I’m okay with it.


Oh, and the “best Creme Brulee”??
… it sucked.

After all that food and indulging, we headed home with our stomachs full and eyes tired. We’re currently planning of another time we can go back. After all, I still need to try the “best English Muffin”… according to Catalina.

Rest of the photos are on my Smugmug

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2 thoughts on “Napa.

  1. Really entertaining post! I’m sorry you missed out on Model Bakery’s English muffins. They really are the best. I try not to eat carbs but have to give in when we go to Model (ps, there are two in Napa Valley – the one you visited and the second one in St. Helena). We live in Napa and I agree about Celadon – not close to one of the best places. Next time you come check out our wine and food “hidden gems”: http://www.topochinesvino.com.

    • Aw man, so my friend wasn’t kidding about these English Muffins lol. Thanks for your link! Definitely using this little handy resource for our next visit :3

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