Check out Batch & Brine!

Batch & Brine in Lafayette is the newest venture from the siblings and cousins who co-own Broderick’s. I’m not the biggest fan of the latter, to be honest, but since this was a separate venture, I wanted to check out their new place. I’m so glad I did!

Batch & Brine was created by a dynamic group of relatives — siblings, Mike, Rolla, and David Ghaben, cousins, Sam Ghaben and Celina Gonzales, alongside their son, Victor Ghaben. With roots that extend from New Mexico and the Mediterranean to California, their restaurant’s culture captures the essence of growing up in their family’s kitchens and restaurants.

Their craft cocktail/Mixologist manager Casey Carr personally came to our outdoor seating area. We wanted margaritas, but not too sweet, so he made a recommendation on tequila and used all natural ingredients (no purchased sweet and sour), and the result was delicious, smooth, and not too sweet. We really appreciated the personal attention and had a nice chat. He mentioned the family hired a chef who has worked in some San Francisco restaurants, but is from New York with Jewish and Cuban family roots who uses quality ingredients in the food.

I tried their sliders, and my friend had the blue burger with whipped Roquefort and pretzel roll; both had homemade pickles. Our meals were clearly made from quality ingredients and all the food was very tasty. This is a place that will definitely be one of my new go-to restaurants.

What made it even more special on a Friday night was they had live music and happy hour M-F from 2-5 pm, all which make the ambiance more comfortable, enjoyable, and inviting. They are not allowing indoor seating right now because of COVID-19, but they did have a fire pit and heat lamps outside, so you can still enjoy the “normal” sit-down experience.

Thanksgiving Trivia!

Let’s have some fun this week! It’s Thanksgiving week and I hope you all are planning a safe, socially-distanced, and delicious holiday meal. You may not be able to gather with family like usual, but you can always do a video call and quiz each other with some Thanksgiving Trivia. Read on:

The first Thanksgiving lasted how long? (answers at the bottom)

  1. One day
  2. Two days
  3. Three days

Which Indian tribe taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land and were  invited to the Thanksgiving meal?

  1. Apache
  2. Wampanoag
  3. Cherokee

What is a snood?

  1. The loose skin under a male turkey’s neck
  2. A hat worn by a Pilgrim
  3. A hot cider drink served at Thanksgiving

Which President is believed to be the first to pardon a turkey and start this annual tradition?

  1. President Lincoln in 1863
  2. President Roosevelt in 1939
  3. President Harry Truman in 1947

Today, our Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November because…?

  1. It is the date the Pilgrims landed in the New World
  2. This was the date set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 and approved by Congress in 1941
  3. It was the date people voted to have it on

What is a baby turkey called?

  1. A chick
  2. A nestling
  3. A poult

It has been estimated that how many Americans eat turkey at  Thanksgiving?

  1. 88%
  2. 50%
  3. 75%

True or False: All turkeys gobble

  1. True
  2. False

Ready for the answers…? See how you did! Scroll down.

The first Thanksgiving lasted how long? 

  1. One day
  2. Two days
  3. Three days

Which Indian tribe taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land and were  invited to the Thanksgiving meal?

  1. Apache
  2. Wampanoag
  3. Cherokee

What is a snood?

  1. The loose skin under a male turkey’s neck
  2. A hat worn by a Pilgrim
  3. A hot cider drink served at Thanksgiving

Which President is believed to be the first to pardon a turkey and start this annual tradition?

  1. President Lincoln in 1863
  2. President Bush in 1989
  3. President Harry Truman in 1947

NOTE: Lincoln was the first to do it, some say Truman, but he never pardon, the first president to do so was Bush.

Today, our Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November because…?

  1. It is the date the Pilgrims landed in the New World
  2. This was the date set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 and approved by Congress in 1941
  3. It was the date people voted to have it on

What is a baby turkey called?

  1. A chick
  2. A nestling
  3. A poult

It has been estimated that how many Americans eat turkey at  Thanksgiving?

  1. 88%
  2. 50%
  3. 75%

True or False: All turkeys gobble

  1. True
  2. False

NOTE: Only male turkeys gobble. They do so to attract female turkeys.

Duncan Arcade Murals!

Walnut Creek has one of the most amazing ongoing public art projects a city can have and another one has just been completed. Strolling through Duncan Arcade downtown (the covered passageway that connects Main to Locust by the Amplify Barber Shop), I was thrilled to see some beautiful murals on the walls!

From: Bedford Gallery

Bay Area-based artists Velia De Iuliis, Cannon Dill, Casey Gray, Sirron Norris, and Ricky Watts are responsible for the art and did so in partnership with Walnut Creek Public Art. The murals were described by Bedford Gallery as “dynamic and colorful,” and that description really nails it.

As for the future, the city plans to rotate murals regularly, to give new artists a chance to participate in the project. For now, I’d highly recommend making a detour next time you’re wandering downtown to see these murals.

This visually improved the walkthrough from Main to Locust! Check out the shops along the way, Norf London always has fun items, and now there is a photography venue focusing on baby pictures.

Socially distance at Social Bird

I recently went to Social Bird in Lafayette, the latest venture from Esin & Curtis deCarion, who own Esin Restaurant and Bar and Revel Kitchen & Bar in Danville. I love exploring the new restaurants in the East Bay, and Social Bird is another great one!

Social Bird has two patios with lots of heat lamps and I was amazed on a Monday night how crowded they were, there was also 25% indoor seating and it was spread out well with side doors open to allow for ventilation. We went for a quick bite and some social time. I started off with one of their signature mules and what is great about them is they are not too sweet. They have small bites plates which are great for sharing and appealing happy hour from 3-5 pm.


This his restaurant is where Yankee Pier used to be, on Lafayette’s main drag Mt. Diablo Blvd. We had the chicken sliders and the meat balls recommended by the server. It was very good and the ambiance just perfect in the midst of covid.

Social Bird offers craft cocktails and rotating selection of beer, wine, and sustainable American fare. I’d highly recommend giving it a chance next time you go out to eat!

Oktoberfest: Just one of the things we have missed this year!

With this years Covid cancellations of Oktoberfest in Munich and even our local events in Walnut Creek & Clayton there as been a drought of lederhosen, dirndls and maybe even some German bier. Oktoberfest has been cancelled 24 times primarily due to war and cholera epidemics, and now Covid. The last couple of years I was invited to a friends house who does a wonderful Oktoberfest in her backyard. Like me they also lived in Germany and it is always a fun celebration of friends, food and bier. Thus I thought it was worth sharing a bit of trivia this last week Oktober regarding the Oktoberfest celebration!

Did you know, Oktoberfest actually starts in September? The original Oktoberfest was held October of 1810 in honor of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Oktoberfestbier is brewed only by the breweries within the city limits of Munich. These are also the only breweries allowed to participate in the annual Munich Oktoberfest. For beer lovers, you might enjoy the “want to know link” below as to why they needed a festival in October to finish off the beer casks

Here are some fast facts and trivia about Oktoberfest. You’ll also want to know the history of this event, as well as the differentiation between Oktoberfest the fest, and Oktoberfest the brew! Once you’ve mastered those, try your luck at this Oktoberfest quiz. I did pretty well myself!

Should you decide to host your own Oktoberfest in the future, here are some tips about clothing and food. This year, you can just wear your lederhosen and dirndle for Halloween, but that seems to be cancelled too….

Prop 19: Vote YES!

I tend to avoid posting anything remotely political on here, but today I have to urge all California voters to consider voting YES on Prop 19! The biggest reason,  allow eligible homeowners to transfer their tax assessments anywhere within the state and allow tax assessments to be transferred to a more expensive home with an upward adjustment. This means you don’t have to buy a house less than the one you sell. This could also help our housing shortage, because many seniors may now decide to sell their bigger homes and down size. I realize many may have already voted, for those who have not yet done so, this one is a no brainer.