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22 December, 2016

Sustainable Food and Drink of Contra Costa

Sustainable Food and Drink of Contra Costa
Posted in : Beer, Beer, Wine, Sake, Dining in Walnut Creek, Port/Sherry Wines, Red Wine, Restaurants, Rose Wine, Sparkling Wine, White Wine on by : The Gourmez
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For the second year in a row, I had the honor of attending the Sustainable Contra Costa Awards Gala, an annual fundraiser and ceremony honoring businesses and individuals who’ve modelled sustainable practices in Contra Costa County. Lest you get confused, the event took place in September, not December! I’m a little behind on my blog
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13 December, 2016

Gloria Jean’s Coffees’ 2016 Fall Flavors Review

Gloria Jean’s Coffees’ 2016 Fall Flavors Review
Posted in : Coffee Shops, Product Reviews on by : The Gourmez
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Obligatory disclaimer: This post is based on free coffee samples I received from Gloria Jean’s Coffees. Gloria Jean’s Coffees is a mall favorite for grabbing a caffeinated treat to keep you buzzing through the holiday throngs. They’re also one of the few coffee shops out there these days that wholeheartedly embraces flavored coffees, and frankly,
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7 December, 2016

Paris Baguette’s New Dublin Store

Paris Baguette’s New Dublin Store
Comments : 2 Posted in : Dining in Dublin, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
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Obligatory disclaimer: This was an invited visit to Dublin’s Paris Baguette and thus, all food and drink was free to me. Early in November, I was invited out to Paris Baguette’s newest franchisee in the Bay Area: the Dublin store opened just over a month ago at the Almond Plaza shopping center. Before this visit,
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5 December, 2016

The Lunchpad in San Francisco

The Lunchpad in San Francisco
Posted in : Bars in the Bay Area, CA, Cocktails, Spirits, Bars, Dining in San Francisco, CA, Restaurants, Vodka on by : The Gourmez
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Obligatory disclaimer: This post is based on a media event held by the Lunchpad, so portions are sized down and it was all free to me. The Lunchpad has been holding court in Hayes Valley’s Noir Lounge for about three years now, transforming the posh, gothic nightlife space into . . . a posh, gothic
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25 November, 2016

Château Ksara 2013 Reserve du Couvent

Château Ksara 2013 Reserve du Couvent
Comments : 2 Posted in : Beer, Wine, Sake, Red Wine on by : The Gourmez
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Château Ksara 2013 Reserve du Couvent Bekaa Valley, Lebanon Obligatory disclaimer: This Château Ksara 2013 Reserve du Couvent was given to me for review. Founded by Jesuit priests in the mid-1800s, Château Ksara boasts Lebanon’s oldest vineyards, though winemaking in the country dates back 5,000 years. I’ve had the chance to sip a number of
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17 November, 2016

Azzurre Spirits Vodka and Gin

Azzurre Spirits Vodka and Gin
Posted in : Cocktail Recipes, Cocktails, Spirits, Bars, Gin, Vodka on by : The Gourmez
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Obligatory disclaimer: The Azzurre Spirits I’m about to review for you were provided to me for sampling. Vodka and gin made with apples, grapes, and sugar cane instead of potato or corn or wheat? Why go against the grain, so to speak? Because Azzurre Spirits founder Dan Pettit found the liquor industry trend toward numerous
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15 November, 2016

Cityscape at the Union Square Hilton

Cityscape at the Union Square Hilton
Comments : 3 Posted in : Bars in the Bay Area, CA, Cocktails, Spirits, Bars on by : The Gourmez
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Obligatory disclaimer: This write-up is based on a media event previewing Cityscape’s space, food, and drinks for free. Hotels may appear off limits to pedestrians passing by, but often, they harbor secret niches the public can access if they know where to go. Such is the case at the newly opened Cityscape, a sleek bar
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2 November, 2016

“A Perfect Score” Book Review

“A Perfect Score” Book Review
Comments : 1 Posted in : Beer, Wine, Sake, Food, Product Reviews, Red Wine, Writing on by : The Gourmez
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Obligatory disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of A Perfect Score to read for this post. Released in September by Center Street, A Perfect Score ($26; 207 pgs.) tells the story of the founding and growth of the HALL and WALT wineries from the intertwined perspectives of its two founders, Craig and Kathryn Hall.
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14 October, 2016

Zing Cafe in Berkeley

Zing Cafe in Berkeley
Posted in : CA, Coffee in Berkeley, Coffee Shops on by : The Gourmez
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Zing Café is located in the Marmot Mountain Works suite of buildings, a really unique complex done in old Storybook style right across the street from the Ashby BART station. The Marmont Mountain Works has been defunct for a number of years now— –but there are still plenty of businesses in working order within its
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6 October, 2016

Specialty Cocktails at Albany’s Ivy Room

Specialty Cocktails at Albany’s Ivy Room
Posted in : Bars in Albany, Cocktails, Spirits, Bars on by : The Gourmez
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The Ivy Room Back in March, I visited the Ivy Room soon after its redesign and re-opening. Since then, they have added specialty cocktails to their full bar, and whichever bartender has developed them deserves a raise! Sure, a full bar ensures you can always get your favorite drink when you want it, but I
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