Tuesday, July 07, 2009


There’s disagreement in our group about our next stop.

We normally like to eat early, around 11:00 for lunch and 5:30-6:00 for supper. It’s not only what we’re used to, the crowds generally haven’t yet hit the eateries yet at those times.

It’s now 11:30, and we’re ready to eat, but Brandon and my parents haven’t ridden Toy Story Midway Mania. We’d looked over the food choices available in California Adventure before arriving today and settled on the Pacific Wharf Café, located back in the wharf area of the Golden State section of the park. If we went there now, we’d have to backtrack quite a bit afterwards to get back here.

We end up in a split, but everyone’s happy about it. Bob & Linda are going to go on to eat, while the rest of us stay behind to ride. We’ll all meet up at the restaurant afterwards.

So my parents, Becky, the boys & I walk over to Midway Mania. The wait time is up to 20 minutes, which is still very doable, and which surprises me. At the same time, though, while my breathing is a bit better, my ankle (the one that was surgically rebuilt last Fall) is starting to bug me, so I choose to sit out riding again. The other five get in line, and I find a shady spot near the ride exit to sit.

There’s a lot to watch – people, attractions, games, workers down in the drained lagoon – so the time passes pretty quickly. My five come out of the exit after a half hour raving about the ride. I have a more important question, though – did anyone beat my score of 121,500? No! (My dad did come close with 112,000.)

Okay, now we’re ready for lunch! We wind back around the east end of the lagoon – uphill this direction, so it’s slower going for me – and then across a couple of bridges to the wharf area. They’ve done a great job recreating the feel of the San Francisco wharf areas, and the smell of sourdough bread baking adds a lot to the atmosphere. I love fresh-baked sourdough!

Bob and Linda are dawdling at a table waiting for us. We head inside the café – okay, the smells are making me really hungry now – and get in line. Despite the noon hour, the lines are not too bad. Brandon gets a good-looking sandwich, Benjamin opts for clam chowder in a bread bowl – yum! – but the salads catch Becky’s and my eyes.

I order a Sonoma Chicken & Apple salad, described on the menu as “tender pieces of chicken breast with tart, crisp apples, celery, and walnuts in a creamy honey dressing with a dash of lemon, served atop a bed of garden fresh lettuce.” Mm-mm. Becky immediately zeros in on the word “shrimp” in a neighboring item on the menu, the San Francisco Shrimp Louie salad. It’s listed as “chilled bay shrimp on a bed of mixed greens with hard-boiled egg, tomato wedges, olives and a zesty Louie dressing.” Neither of us has any idea what “Louie dressing” is, but she decides to risk it.

My salad is absolutely wonderful, exactly as described, but tastier. Very filling and satisfying. The texture of the cooked chicken blends perfectly with the crunch of the apples, celery and walnuts, while the sweetness of the apples and the dressing really compliments the chicken well. Becky’s delighted with her salad as well.

The salads are served in bread bowls, so even after the salad is almost gone I can tear off big chunks of fresh sourdough to enjoy. Yum – who needs dessert when you have a meal this rich and good?

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