My favorite time of year again! The Most Exciting Travel Show Returns to the Bay Area and I will be there to get the scoop. Tickets are available on line or at the door. My mentor Rick Steve’s will be there to name a few. The interesting thing about going to expo events like these, is how excited you get when you’re surrounded by things you love. Who doesn’t love to travel? This show is at the Santa Clara Convention Center but there all over the USA. Click on the book!
SF / Bay Area: February 17-18, 2018+ Other locations and dates.
Event Description; The Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show is where travel lovers come for travel inspiration, expert information and fun, cultural interaction. It’s where you’ll discover thousands of authentic travel experiences and speak directly to the travel experts who can get you there, give you the inside scoop, and save you money on exclusive travel deals.
Host, Rick Steves’ Europe, Samantha Brown, Travel Channel Host, and Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides and Publisher.
Dexshell Waterproof hiking and kayaking Socks http://amzn.to/2vd8ppaWaterproof Tested Review, Not attractive but works By Stacy Poulos PostcardTravelers –Unless of course you think my legs are sexy?
I recommend Dexshell Waterproof Socks! If Dexshell says it’s waterproof, I believe it! Not attractive but good! This link has more and better options. http://amzn.to/2vFv3JI XOXO
Ok, as you may know I have different interest in sports and like to get equipment with duel purpose. When you do any sport, it sucks to get wet and be in the cold. Your feet, hands and chest are the most important for me to stay dry and warm. So I got neoprene socks for kayaking, they may keep my feet warmer, but they don’t keep them dry! I keep seeing these ‘waterproof socks’ and thought I’d try them out. I figured I can also use them for hiking on rainy days. So I set out to dip them in water to see if they were in fact water proof and wa-la, they were. TIP: My feet stayed dry. My second suspicion was my feet will sweat more being in a something that keeps out water. However, this will also lock moister in when you sweat. So I put a cotton sock under one sock and one with out on the other. Yes, the one without a cotton sock, underneath was little more sweaty after a mild, 2 mile hike which means maybe after a long day, a lot more sweaty. So I say layer with a cotton socks. The socks are already thick and to me very unattractive. I got the Black and Olive socks. However, who cares when your feet are cozy warm and dry? Anyway, you can see for yourself in this video I made. Enjoy. Here is a link to them on Amazon. I got a medium. I don’t mind that they are longer, I intend to tuck them under my dry pants when I kayak.
Price? There are different prices, not too spendy for the importance of dry feet. I would have a pair in all aspects of my life. I’m going to leave mine in the car with my hiking boots.
Monterey’s Tasty Olive Bar has 70 varieties of olive oils and balsamics that you can taste before you buy free! Many of the infused Olive oils are the same olive oil base with different flavorings. The olive oils come from two different hemispheres in Tunisia and Australia, and the balsamics are aged the traditional Solera Method from Modena Italy. Each container tells you the mix of oil and acidity. Although I’m not big of infused flavorings, the ones I tried are rich in flavor. I’m a straight olive oil gal. I like the kind that has a natural nutty flavor to it. My favorite Olive Oil is ‘Koronieki olive oil’ extra virgin from Greece. They do not mix their oils with any other oils like big grocery store chains do. Hold on, I’m not done… You may get dizzy with so many varieties.
Pressed every week are there specialties oils; white and black truffle oil, sesame seed oil, roasted almond oil, seasonal pumpkin seed oil and my favorite for the day; buttersquash seed oil. Which has a really unique roasted taste to it. Now that I have it, what am I going to do with it? The owner said it’s great for roasting vegetables on a BBQ or adding to mash potatoes. They have a sleek 200 ml bottle that they will bottle your favorite on the spot for around 13 bucks. Specialty oils are more and other sizes are available.
As far as the balsamics I liked the ‘Cranberry-Pear White Balsamic Vinegar Condimento’ and the ‘Pomegranate-Quince White Balsamic’ was best. They are open everyday at 10:00am to 8pm and will give you a free taste with bread and education about the oils.
I went to 4 Hoagie places in Pennsylvania, some twice (two Lee Hoagie locations, and the Food Network’s famous ‘Pat’s’ and ‘Gino’s’) in Philly and hands down my last day, I wanted to go back to end my Pennsylvania eating experience here at Sessano Cafe and Deli. I recommend award winning Roast Pork sandwich with sweet peppers. They start slow roasting the meat 4 hours before they serve it. It’s run by a small Italian family. The father; Santino Ciccaglione is from Central Italy out side of Roma and somehow landed in the odd small town called Norristown, PA. The food is worth the trip. Don’t expect a fancy environment, it’s a deli style restaurant with seating and just good food, the atmosphere is your happy taste buds. Santino said he has shipped the sandwich to people out side the State, it’s REALLY that good!!! (I am personally plotting to get him drunk one night, hoping to have him spill the beans of how he makes it). In the meantime, Santino, my address is….
I love a great discoveries! Today I toured the ‘Jack London Square bay’ taking photos on a Kayak with a friend. We went in the public entrance at Jack London Square, free to launch my own kayak, and my friend rented a paddle board $15.00 an hour at “California Canoe And Kayak” which was very helpful and lots of cool stuff to buy. We parked our car for $5.00 for 12 hours a block away takes cash and cards.
After, my friend wanted to go a restaurant ‘with a view of the water’ and we were too dressed down from paddling to go in any of the fancy restaurants, so we poked around and found ‘Miss Pearl’s Jam House’ Cuisine Inspired by the Caribbean Islands. It looked fancy, but we asked if it was ok the way we were dressed, and they welcomed us with open arms. When I saw ‘gumbo’ on the menu I knew that’s what I wanted. I am always excited and leery about restaurants that claim to make ‘Gumbo’ I’ve had the best ‘Gumbo’ in the center of New Orleans. And I haven’t come close to what I’ve experience yet and that’s always a disappointment when your pallets been so sophisticated. So I took a chance. I ordered the “Creole Gumbo” (Pulled chicken, Andouille sausage, Tasso ham, Gulf Prawns, and Okra, floating around a cup steamed rice) ($18.00). I’m not a huge fan of Okra, so I asked them to use a little less, and dice it. They were happy to accommodate me and my ‘high maintenance’. It was soooo good, I am trying to figure out when I can come back again. I forgot to ask for extra sauce, as I do for everything I ever order, but it came plenty saucy already- woo hoo extra bonus! The meats were of high quality had a great texture and flavor.
My friend had just a few appetizers, very tasty ‘Rosemary Polenta’ ($4.00) and ‘Seasonal vegetables’ ($4.00) which happen to be ‘Young Broccoli marinated in fresh (un-refrigerated, huge difference!) potent Garlic cooked absolutely perfect.
So as the sun fell on the water, we enjoyed a superb 2008 Petite Sirah; R&B Cellars Pizzicato, Napa Valley’s; Rock Wall Wine Company ($9.00 glass). www.rbcellars.com From a very fun and knowledgeable waiter and staff that checked in often. They went as far as letting me in the kitchen to get a photo. If you didn’t get the window view, the restaurant is uniquely designed with beautiful mosaic sea shell tiles on the wall. If you go into the bar, they have live music as well, and a nice atmosphere. I’m definitely coming back soon. Problem is, there looks like a lot of good stuff on the menu, but I think I’ll have the gumbo again, and warm up to the chef for the recipe.
Caio’ for now. -Stacy
Miss Pearl’s Jam House
Cuisine Inspired by the Caribbean Islands
One Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
Jack London Square
at the Water Front Hotel
Telephone: 510.444.7171 http://www.misspearlsjamhouse.com
Oakland Greek Festival is my favorite of all Festivals. Always the 3rd weekend in May, like a lot of events, but I always find room for it. I have been to Greece and I am Greek. My Grandfather or Papo Achellies Poulos played the Oud (Greek guitar) and was best friends and played with Marko Melkon in the 1950’s. When my Grand Mother, or Yaiyai, Maria Stevens, or Stavos, herd my grandfather was coming to America she went down to the ship yard and woo’ed him over to marriage. Maria was coined the Grandmother of Greek cabaret in the 1950’s ‘Variety Magazine ‘ and started Belly dancing in the United States. She entertained thousands, including Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. I have a tambourine (pictured below photo by Lynette; gildedserpent.com) made by Greek prisoners, signed by famous Belly dancers in the 1950’s. I also have an original menu from one of her restaurants. I have a very rich and interesting heritage, including my Yaiyai got arrested during prohibition for serving alcohol. Go Grandma
The marriage wasn’t a match made in heaven but lasted long enough to bare 3 children my dad; John Poulos (A Bay Area Bartender and President of Entertainment East Magazine pictured below), twin brother Alex Stevens (President of East Coast Stuntmen’s Association. People are most are impressed when I tell them he was the stuntman for Frank Sinatra (pictured below), when I was a kid I was enthralled by the fact that he was the Ware Wolf on ‘Dark Shadows’ (pictured below). How cool is it to say your uncle’s a Ware wolf? I was young enough at the time to believe he really was one. They also had another daughter… my Aunt Ann Poulos, who I never got a chance to meet. There is a lot of rich Greek/American culture running around the festival behind the scenes that makes me feel at home. Some familiar with my Papo and my Yaiyai. As for my Uncle, he always says he’s “Practically Famous”.
The food is the best! Gyros in Greece are much different, they don’t have ground meat, but they are excellent just the same. They serve; Gyros; ground meat, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce -yogurt, sour cream, garlic & cucumber, served with pita bread), Spanakopita; Spinach & feta pie in phyllo, Tyropitakia; Feta Cheese Pie Triangles in phyllo, Loukaniko; Greek Sausage; Cooked on grill with oregano and lemon), this year they added a treat; Avgolemono Soup; Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. All of which I eat on my first day! I’m still full. It’s not everyday you get this quality of Greek food in one location. These are not trained professionals in the kitchen, they are authentic Greek grandmothers showing off their talents (maybe with a little grandma to grandma, or yaiyai to yaiyai competition) in the kitchen handing down there skills and tradition to the next generation.
There is also Souvlakin; marinated chunks of meat on little skewers Chicken and beef, Greek Halloumi; cheese grilled, topped with capers salad dressing, Dolmathes; stuffed Grape leaves, Greek salad; lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, feta cheese, vinaigrette, and to my surprise they had a Greek salad in a pita with my favorite salad dressing ‘Greco Fusion’ from Elio’s Family Restaurant (The Eliopoulos’s) they now bottle and sell. Ironically they had an AD at the Gyro booth for the dressings that I made (Photos, layout and printing). They happen to be a customer of mine, I made the restaurant and the dressings website and eliosdining.co
I’m not even going to start with desserts, but mention my favorite; Baklava; flaky fillo filled with ground walnuts & cinnamon, topped with homemade honey sauce. Yummy! Maybe on Sunday. You might even run into Dee Andronico volunteering, she is one of the founders of Andronico’s markets; also another client of mine. A few years ago I was honored to make a video of their 75th year History, played at the prestigious Paramount theater (Pictured standing with Bill Andronico President of Andronico’s on stage), my first video on the silver screen.
If you end the day with a Greek espresso be prepared to have something that resembles mud in the bottom of your cup, Greek style they don’t filter out the grounds. When you go to a Greek festival be prepared to do as the Greeks do. What I love about the Oakland Greek Festival is the atmosphere, they import a Mykonos type windmill as you walk through the front door, the center piece is the beautiful Greek Temple, with rows of pillars, Greek blue windows. Inside the temple is one large room where a wispier will echo throughout the temple, religious icons painted on a copper sealing. Not many know but the rocks are also imported from Greece.
You can dance to several bands, watch period dressed Greek dancers, while you sip on a Imported Greek wine or American/Greek wine made in California; Lolonis, they even have Retsina – defiantly an an acquired taste. Or if you prefer there is micro brew, and Mythos; a Imported Greek logger. And of course, there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages including a Iced Frappé coffee. Lots of vendors selling Greek Imports, cloths, jewelry, religious icons, paintings, photography, tee shirts, music, etc. There are also cooking demonstrations, if you want to try your hand in cooking Greek style.
The people are fun to work with, they are all members, or friends of the church and volunteer (Like I do). I always volunteer to bartend, proceeds go to build their church, it’s a great cause, and event, usually packed out.
The Oakland Greek Festival is as close to Greece you will get in America. You can get discount coupons from there website www.oaklandgreekfestival.com/ Elio’s, and Luke’s Grill in San Leandro www.yelp.com/biz/lukes-grill-san-leandro havesome Greek dishes for those of you who crave Greek food in between Greek Festivals. Or you don’t have a Yaiyai to whip up something for you. The next festival up, local to me is the Castro Valley usually in October. The Festival’s sometimes hosted in Hayward at the Centennial Hall. I prefer when it’s out doors in Castro Valley at their church,but with the weather so unpredictable it’s a safer bet for them inside.It’s another place to enjoy great Greek food, family and entertainment.I typically bartend there too. Hey, it’s easier than working the salad bar like I did one year. www.cvresurrection.org
I’ve never been to PA (Pennsylvania) and was looking forward to going, a friend of Local Pages Publishing (a local
phone book) recommended I try ‘Lee’s Hoagie House‘ for a Pennsylvania style Hoalgie while I was in the Norristown Area.
I tried there special an “Italian Hoalgie”, and I loved
it. I loved it so much I wanted to go back for dinner but they were closed. Hungry for that experience again, I tried another place nearly across the street, and it ruined my experience. Just cuz there in Pennsylvania doesn’t mean everyone who claims to make a good one, does. It actually bothered me so much, I went back the first opportunity I had to have another one. The freshness in the bread took it over the top and the dressing gave it a nice kick. The other place was like eating a dry sponge. My guest let me try her stake Hoalgie with mushrooms, and that was good to. I can go to Pennsylvania and be happy just eating the Hoalgies.
Next time I’ll just get a stake with mushroom. The atmosphere was a deli / sports appeal. I don’t like sports but I love the charm and love the food. It’s a good get-it-and-go. It’s located in a
not-so-fancy strip mall. But the quality of food is outstanding. Just a few doors down from a fish store, you have to see Nemos Aquarium… I don’t know if you can bring in your lunch
and hang out but I promise you will want to see there shark tank and 100’s of different fish, most of all, the amazing live coral. I have never seen before and I’m a diver.
PS Do NOT Mix Lee’s up with Lee’s in California I about feel over when I recently seen one in Pleasenton, not the same at all!!
As you can see it is a little messy with dressing dripping, that dressing and the peppers gives it a unique kick.
The bread has that fresh chewy texture while the inner bread is soft pillow of freshness.