Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Maya Restaurant, Sonoma, California

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There are a lot of things in Sonoma to like, here's one of my favorites, the Maya restaurant, right on the southeast corner of Sonoma Plaza.  When we dropped in at Maya we caught the end of their Happy Hour, so we grabbed a couple of their "half-priced" margaritas.  We've all had "happy hour drinks", they are usually small and weak- Maya doesn't play that game, you get their normal drinks at low prices.  That was a good start and an omen of things to come.  We ordered another round of drinks before the end of Happy Hour, then ordered our meals- I had fantastic prawn enchiladas, my son was with me that night, he said Maya served him one of the best meals of his life.  Great service, fantastic food, reasonable prices (not cheap, but very reasonable for what you get).

The enjoyment doesn't stop when they clear the plates,  I passed on dessert and tried their tequila hot toddy.  I strongly urge you to be within a short walk of your hotel if you have one of these to end your day- tequila, agave nectar, an orange slice, and just enough hot water to warm it up and blend the tastes and aromas- it is fantastic.  If you are a tequila aficionado and prefer yours unadorned, you will appreciate Maya's extensive tequila menu (PDF).

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A side-note, I commented on Twitter about Sonoma and the meal and received a quick response from @InsideSonoma offering to provide suggestions or advice.  Without going into details, whoever was behind the Inside Sonoma Twitter account that evening was unbelievably helpful and friendly, a perfect study in using Twitter to connect with people.  If you are headed to the area and are on Twitter, make sure you follow them.  You can also visit the Inside Sonoma website for information on events and promotions.

 

Jack

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mean Eyed Cat

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I mentioned this one in a previous post on the Austin Cosmic Cowboy Tour- the Mean Eyed Cat, so it is worth a quick visit.  The Mean Eyed Cat is not likely to be mistaken for a chic and trendy hotspot.  No Appletinis here.  Sadly, not even real martinis, as they only serve beer, wine, and similar drinks.

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There is a little space around the bar for gathering, a bit more around the pool table in the next room, but the big space is semi-outside- under a roof, enclosed with fencing, and housing the rudimentary stage.  The quasi-outdoor area is where you can see the Mean Eyed Cat's savior, a 300 year old tree which prevented the old shop from being leveled to make room for yuppie condos.  Seating is the mostly picnic bench style in this area, and that encourages conversation.

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I like the Mean Eyed Cat, but you have to like it on its terms; for me, its limited menu, funky seating, recycled facility (and appearance) and very rough edges add to its appeal- it will either attract or repel you, but you aren't likely to be ambivalent about it.

 

Jack