The Little Pear: Delicious In Downtown

A new restaurant opened in downtown Walnut Creek where The Counter burger restaurant used to be. The Little Pear is from the same ownership group (The Worth Group) as The Peasant & The Pear in Danville and The Peasant’s Courtyard in Alamo.

When I visited, I ordered the Bishop Ranch salad with Mexican White Prawns and it was absolutely delicious (unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture!). The Little Pear is open every day except Mondays from 11 am to 8:30 pm (opening at 10 am on weekends) and I highly recommend you add it to your list of downtown Walnut Creek restaurants to try.

They offer a menu for weekend brunch, several tasty starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, specials, and burgers and other entrees. My Bishop Ranch salad had pear, candied walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic over greens and I still think about it!

They also have nice outdoor seating for when the weather warms up. I have ate at both of their other restaurants which are also fantastic and think The Little Pear will be no different. Chef Rodney Worth grew up in Northern California and learned to make “good food that makes you feel good” while pursuing a Culinary Arts degree from DVC. He has worked at Wente Vineyards, Bizou, and in catering so he has a wide range of experience that you can taste in every bite.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think about it!

5 Tacos And Beers

5 Tacos and Beers just opened after months of waiting in the former Tender Greens location. There was a line to be seated, which was not surprising given the hype surrounding the restaurant. The food was very good (a bit pricey, but what isn’t these days?) and the margarita was excellent. One negative is that you pay for chips and only get a small amount.

A little bit of background about 5 Tacos and Beers: A unique Mexican restaurant that offers healthy, fresh, and traditional food from south of Jalisco, Mexico. Traditional recipes have been passed from generation to generation, making their “homemade” food full of flavor and authenticity. They are also the only restaurant in the Bay Area with more than 25 local beers on tap, coming from award-winning breweries.

The chef, Lito Saldaña, is the Founder and Creator of Los Moles restaurants in Emeryville, San Rafael, and El Cerrito. His cuisine focuses on bringing in distinct flavors from traditional Mexican pueblos and showcasing them with a modern twist. He uses family recipes and keeps the food simple, but enjoyable.

On the menu are three prominent names: Mama Luisa, Don Pedro, and Mama Elena. These are important people in Chef Lito’s life. His parents, Pedro and Luisa, have been the inspiration for his career and his greatest culinary instructors. In the traditional pueblos of Mexico, mothers and grandmothers prepare enough food (with plenty of tortillas) for family and neighbors. Everything is shared and everyone eats well!

Have you tried 5 Tacos and Beers? Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Shake Shack Opens In Walnut Creek

The anticipated opening of Shake Shack in Walnut Creek did not disappoint. It has had a line every time I drive by and the downstairs seating is completely full. There is additional seating upstairs and an elevator for those who don’t want to navigate a tray of food up the stairs.

I really enjoyed my meal there. For $19, I had a regular cheeseburger, fries, and a small drink. I had Shake Shack in New York City many years ago, and I remembered it being good (and there was always a line there, too). I’m glad it stood up to my memory!

Walnut Creek has a few burger joints like George’s on Newell, Burger King by Civic Park, and Gott’s across from Broadway Plaza. When my kids come to town now, we might not have to drive to San Ramon or Pleasant Hill for In-N-Out. We can just stroll over to Shake Shack instead!

Have you tried it yet? Let me know what you think by commenting here.

Panama Bay Opens Downtown

I checked out Panama Bay recently, located in one of the most unique buildings in downtown Walnut Creek. You may remember it as Yogurt Castle (a cousin to Yogurt Park – ah, those were the days!), next to Scott’s Seafood. Sadly, Scott’s has been closed down.

Panama Bay, though, is a coffee shop! I tried a mocha, but they were out of whipped cream (because of one too many pup cups that day, which is an adorable reason!). I thought Panama Bay was a little bit pricey, but they had some uncommon syrups like banana bread syrup.

I had caramel, coconut, and sea salt added to my mocha. It was delicious and definitely a unique drink. They also have sandwiches and a banana bread mix for sale. I’m just glad to see something finally go into this little hobbit house downtown. They get a lot of business from people who live in the apartments across the street and in the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as lunchtime office workers.

New BART Art!

I found these wonderful new statues at the corner of Pringle and California by BART. As it was new construction, builders are required to provide artwork, as is city policy. These can be found in front of the new Waymark Apartments, once a parking lot for Walnut Creek Bart.

I love the flowers (are they California state flowers, poppies?) and the bees! These are so awesome! I could not find any specific information about this art but I wanted to share it with all of you. This is one of my favorite installations, I drive past it on my way home from work and it always puts a smile on my face. Check it out on the corner of Pringle and California.

Where are your other favorite pieces of art in Walnut Creek? Comment below!

Broadway Plaza Summer Concert Series

This is one of my favorite Walnut Creek events of the year: the Broadway Plaza Summer Concert Series! Since Nordstrom was robbed in 2021, they have closed the street between it and the fountain by Brighton’s off to traffic. This makes for a much more enjoyable and intimate concert series event!

Petty Theft Logo

Starting this Thursday, Aug. 4, and continuing every Thursday throughout the month, a Bay Area band will take the stage at 7 p.m. each night. This week, it is Petty Theft, which is a San Francisco-based tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Next week (Aug. 11), The Sun Kings (a Beatles tribute) will take the stage, followed by a Journey tribute band on Aug. 18 and The Best Intentions on Aug. 25. The Walnut Creek Downtown Association will serve beverages at each concert, and surrounding eateries will be open to the public. Time to rock out to some fun music!

If Oprah Likes It…

…then I’m gonna try it! Model Bakery, apparently one of Oprah’s favorite bakeries is slated to open in Walnut Creek. They will be opening their fourth location on Main Street in the space formerly occupied by La Fogata.

Model Bakery has been a popular place in Napa Valley for almost a century, offering pastries, breads, coffee, and more. If you’ve ever tried to go to the original location in Napa on a weekend…good luck! There are lines out the door every day and, from what I hear, it’s for good reason.

Os-favs-2021
From the Model Bakery website.

As if you need me to explain it, when you can hear from Oprah herself: “I dare you to find a better English muffin than these! I’ve sent them to just about everyone I know, I even travel with them. The crunchy-yet-fluffy muffins have made my list before, but now they ship with homemade strawberry jam.”

You don’t have to tell me twice. The bakery should be open by late 2022. I’ll be there to try out one of their delicious treats when it does! Who’s with me?

LITA: The Bay Area’s Little Miami

LITA is a trendy new restaurant in Walnut Creek on the corner of Bonanza and Locust. It brings Miami flavors with Caribbean influences. The chef-driven menu delivers classic Caribbean-Latino dishes, reimagined to highlight locally-sourced ingredients.

I visited LITA to explore its fresh and modern approach to Latin Caribbean cuisine. It was really good but definitely pricey! I went with my friend Victoria, who ordered a lobster corn dog. It had a ketchup sauce with it that she didn’t like, but the concept is interesting!

I loved my shrimp and lime ceviche and the plantains we ordered were spot-on. They have lots of creative cocktails (some even come with flames!). The restaurant was packed on a Friday night, so I think this might be one of the trendiest new places in town.

We were able to snag two seats at the bar that night, but they also have private patio seating if you’re so inclined. It was a fun place to go for a night out or a special occasion. Just make sure you have some spending money!

Happy Chinese New Year!

If you’ve visited Chinatown in San Francisco, you know what an amazing place it can be to experience Chinese culture, food, and more. They really do it up for Chinese New Year, complete with an amazing parade. The festivities begin on Feb. 1st this year, with the parade taking place on Feb. 19th.

It is the Year of the Tiger, which is known to be king of all beasts in China. People born in a year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, strong, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. They are also expected to display great levels of willpower.

Previous years of the Tiger include 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010. If you or someone you know was born in one of those years, take a look at that list of attributes and see if it fits!

If you can’t attend the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown, you can always refer to this awesome list from 7×7 for other holiday-related inspiration, including some great eats and other adventures!

Let me know if you have ever gone to the parade and what your experience was. I was born in 1962, so I am a Tiger and a Capricorn – both have similar traits. I currently have a client who is Chinese and just got into contract, and she said she would make me some Chinese food for the New Year. I am very excited to taste her cooking; she has spoken about cooking on most of our house-hunting trips!

(The reason why Chinese cooking came up: most townhomes and condos don’t have a vent from the stovetop venting to the exterior. It is usually a microwave with a fan that blows out into the kitchen. If you pull the cabinet doors open above the microwave, more times than not there is no venting. Don’t worry, they did end up finding a townhome with a vent and it was new construction!)