Q’s The Spot

Hi again everyone.

Thought I would share another of my favorite places to eat without breaking the bank. Not always an easy task for us Napans.

When we have company we want to take out Q (formerly BarbersQ) is where I like to take them.

Quality food — southern barbecue meets California/Wine Country comfort food. A great north Napa neighborhood hangout that is a gem for out-of-town visitors. It’s in the Bel Aire Shopping Center in north Napa.

But things just didn’t jive during out last visit. And this is all a first: Not being told they were out of something after ordering it and being charged to split a plate, which my wife and I do while ordering a couple of side dishes. I did not notice the split charge on the menu and we’ve never been charged before.

Also, can’t out server at least shave. Looked like he rolled out of bed and came to work. And the arm tattoos — I know they are popular, but I think they should be covered by a long sleeve shirt in a nice restaurant like Q. I’ve talked with several restaurant owners who do not allow tattoos or facial piercings to be visible during work hours.

But, despite all this we still love Q.  Lunch prices are in the mid to upper teens.

I’d talk more about their menu, but it’s getting close to lunch, and I’ll go crazy dreaming about going over for a quick bite. They also have a website with lunch and dinner menu items.

Enjoy.

Q Restaurant

Vine Bus Stop

Vine Bus Stop

Riding the VINE
Sometimes I find it necessary to use the city’s bus system. For the most part I have found the revised routes and GPS a big help.
And the updated VINE Bus schedule makes it much easier to track arrival times. And the new buses are very nice. I’ve only had a chance to ride on one, but the current, older buses have always been clean and comfortable.
And, this is an inexpensive way ($1.50 for adults) a reasonable way to get around town and up and down the Napa Valley. Visitors should not find the bus schedules intimidating and is a great way to talk and see some of the locals.

Smoke in my eyes

Last Friday night we were tired after long week and neither of us felt like cooking.

So we decided on take out and I knew just the place — Smokeville — tucked away in a small industrial park off of California Blvd. at the end of the cul de-sac. There is an art supply and furniture store right on the corner by the Wine Train tracks in north Napa. If you think you are lost, just roll down your car window a breath in the deep, smokey aromas filling the air.

St. Louis ribs, corn casserole and mac-and-cheese topped with crunchy potato chips — yummy! Whole chickens, crunchy hot dogs, homemade bread and butter pickles and collard greens are just a few of the delightful items on the menu. And there seems to always be a decadent dessert alway giving me the eye.

Besides offering something other than Italian food, the smoke joint won’t break your wallet. I got plenty of dinner for around $21 — not bad for two people.

The taste of smokiness is right there in every bite you take. There are a couple of picnic tables out front, but I would guess that at least 95 percent of the orders are take out. You can also call ahead and place you dinner order on your way home from work.

Smokeville doesn’t advertise and is found primarily on social media and word of mouth. You’ve got to check out there website and get on their email list. The foodservice business is primarily known for its catering, which I believe has been their bread and butter.

Please check them out, you will be glad you did! And I guarantee it.

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Oh what a weekend here in the luscious Napa

Oh what a weekend here in the luscious Napa Valley.

 

Not everyone, especially locals such as myself, can’t afford to hop for tony winery to tony winery tasting wine. The valley is more than that. Part of the strong lifestyle attraction is vegetable and cut flowering gardening. With our perfect Mediterranean climate there is a cornucopia of avid gardeners. And that is how I spent my weekend.

Who wouldn’t want to spend their time getting there hands dirty and working up a slight sweat while basking in the sunshine?

 ImageImageImageImageImageImageOne of my favorite places for buying vegetable sets is at Big Ranch Farms — where they sell locally grown produce and nursery plants. They must have a zillion kinds of heirloom tomatoes, a plethora of peppers, aromatic herbs and the list goes on. Every time I go there, I spend too much money and my heads starts spinning and a big smile fills my insides. I was very disciplined this time, I only spent $18 — which got me a cinnamon and Tai basil, Italian parsley, a cantaloupe and a Japanese eggplant.

 Check out some of the photos I managed to catch this past weekend.

 

A beautiful day in the Napa Valley

Ahh,

Typical Napa Valley weather. Mother Nature delivered a bit of late evening and morning fog. The good news is that the gray sky clears and blue, sunny, warm weather is on the menu.

It is late April and my garden has never looked better as I transitioon from winter garden to a summer garden.

Every morning I go out and cut a handful of Sweet Peas and bring back to the house and let the fragrance fill the living room.

A I gaze at my amazing garden I am distracted by the beauty of the verdant Vaca Mountains  to my east. Beauty competing with beauty. In my opinion there is room for both in my life.Image

Weather or not for Napa Valley

Ahh,

The good life and the weather to go with it. Just what my bountiful garden craves right now in the verdant Napa Valley spring.

It’s late April and after two days in the 80s, Mother Nature has turned on the air conditioning late at night and into the morning. The morning fog usually burns off around 9:30 and the day is then bathed in sunshine. Sweet peas are filling the air and flourishing in my garden. I go out everyday and cut a handful of the colorful blossoms to showcase in the livingroom.

High temperatures are expected to get into the mid 70s and inching up into the low 80s for the weekend. This is s great time for an early evening barbecue and dine alfresco on the patio — bathed in the shimmering light of candles on the table and Tiki torches around the perimeter of our little oasis.

 

Smile! Come with me and enjoy my corner of the Napa Valley