Russian River Brewery Co. (Santa Rosa, CA): My Shitfaced Dreams Come True

It was the last day of the tour…the last town left to hit was Santa Rosa and the only thing on my mind? Russian River Brewery! I first learned of this exclusive brewery through the homie Chuy Tovar and his craft beer way of life. I immediately became a fellow fan after tasting Pliny the Younger for the first time a few months ago when they had 13 of their kegs on tap at The Surly Goat bar.

The Delirians invade Dolores Park
ginger-orange coconut special truffle zest
Dolores Park Rules

I had hyped up the band about Russian River and we all agreed to roll in to Santa Rosa a little bit earlier to hit up the celebrated Russian River pub. But those plans didn’t stand a chance when pinned up against going to San Francisco for a picnic lunch. So, we ended up doing that instead. For dessert, we had some tasty homemade coconut, ginger, orange zest truly special truffle sold by a roaming vendor. I forgot how much I loved San Francisco.

We arrived to the venue with just half an hour to spare before they played their set. “You have arrived at your destination on the right” said my ghetto PCS Blackberriy’s GPS system. Trip out! The venue was just a block away from the brewery!!!!!!!!!!! It was shitfaced destiny.

russian river front
There It Is

The bar was cracking for a Sunday night. It had the feel of a saloon or something, with wooden framed signs all around the place and a classic rock band playing inside. I don’t know if it was chocolate kicking in or the three beers I had earlier but I swear everyone can could tell that my friend Carlos and I were not locals. We were probably the youngest guy’s there, not to mention the only latino’s too. But it didn’t matter, I was there for the beer and was not going to let any paranoia kill it!

inside russian river
Russian River Brewery beres
Behold:Russian River Pub

Sooner than I knew it, I ordered some Consecration, their sour brown ale aged in Pinot Noir barrels that goes for $15.99 a bottle at our dear Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Height’s. Here, a chilled tumbler filled with sour stuff went for $7.

The first glass of the hefty 10.00 ABV brew went down my throat too easily, but what can I say, I was a giddy fan girl for it and was looking forward to it since Friday morning. We went out into the patio to sip our second glass while enjoying the cool Santa Rosa dusk.

consecrations at dusk

Shortly after downing my second glass, I was made aware of the pub’s sampler set for $12. DUH! Oh well, never too late for a sampler right?

Russian River sampler
Two Drinks in and Then a Sampler

Now the problem with blogging about beer, I have no recollection of it! haha. Well, aside from the tasty Sanctification, the pub’s sour ale brewed with 100% wild Brettanomyces yeast! And the Redemption ale, only because Carlos called it a “blondie”.

empty sampler
two growlers to go at Russian River

My open-minded friend Carlos really liked the beer, enough so that he bought two growlers full of ’em to take back home. Now, I don’t really remember much after that last flight of beer. But I must of had a good time as I somehow magically woke up back in my own bed by 9 AM the next morning?

drunk photographer shot
Drunken Photographer Shot of The Delirians

echoes of kingston tour last shot
Echoes of Kingston Tour: Goodbye Shot

mission complete
Mission Complete: Partying, The Delirians Style!

Mariscos Las Islitas in Stockton, California: Rocksteady Dining while On Tour with The Delirians II

It was the second day of the tour and we found ourselves in the middle of “Buttfuck Egypt” as Angel Salgado, The Delirians singer called it. Its true, the lonely streets of Stockton may not be the premiere central California destination but at least you can find some semi-decent Nayarit style Mexican seafood.

Delirians Brunch Picnic
Picnic Brunch with The Delirians!

Earlier that day, we partook in an extremely delightful picnic brunch in front of our lovely Motel 6, courtesy of governor Arnie himself. I oversaw and planned the menu, it included entrees like Laura Schudder’s peanut butter and raw blueberries on whole wheat bread with Almond Milk, veggie tray, baked Tostito’s and black bean salsa. “Hey, you down to be The Delirians official chef or what?” said Jo QuiƱones, the the smokin’ bassist of the band, haha. But now it was time for a hot dinner before the show.

bienvenidos a su vitamina
Bienvenidos A Su Vitamina

While the majority of the band members drank 32’s and recuperated before the set, Cuca, Carlos and I went out and explored the city a bit. Unfortunately everything was pretty dead, even on a Saturday afternoon! Luckily though, our randomly chosen motel for the night happened to be next to this attractive mariscos joint. “There are more than six cars in the parking lot, it can’t be that bad, trust” I explained to Cuca and Carlos.

Sooner than we knew it, we were sat and pounding Modelo’s as we waited for our Pescado Sarandeado. “Awh dude, I LOVE ostiones, let’s just get it, its on me!” said an excited Carlos when he saw the attractive “Ostiones Preparados” on the menu. Something about ordering raw oysters in the middle of Nor. Cal. didn’t sound good to me, especially with the huge disclaimer on the menu basically saying if we die, it is not their fault. It didn’t help that half a dozen went for $20+ on the menu. But like I said in my earlier post…sometimes you just gotta say fuck it!

ostiones preparados
Ostiones Preparados at Mariscos Las Islitas in Stockton

The oysters came in their full briny, glory, topped with a tablespoon of gunpowdery, chile-de-arbol salsa, cubed pepino, a couple of chewy, chopped octopus fragments and one butterflied shrimp. It looked expecially plump and pink atop the black and chalky oyster. I like to think the jet-black liquid that seeped out into the plate and stained your fingers worse than a leaky pen was natural for an oyster. And with a squeeze of lime, I engulfed it whole. Salud! “You all know that oysters make you wanna do it, right?” said Carlos. Luckily, we did not share the same bed that night….

pescado sarandeado
Pescado Sarandeado at Mariscos Las Islitas

Almost an hour later, our main course had arrived. Pescado Sarandeado is a whole, grilled fish that is marinated in a red chile sauce. I’ve tried some in the beaches of Ensenada, Vallarta and even found an astonishingly delicious version in L.A. Suffice to say, the version at Mariscos Las Islitas was good, definitely not the best, but awesome for Stockton standards I’m sure. We got three pounds worth of the fish, it was slightly charred but didn’t really taste of wood and smoke. The flesh was mealy but when combined with the chunky salsas and fresh pepinos, it was pretty bomb. I was just grateful to eat some hot food and seafood.

The meal turned out to be pretty expensive actually, more than $60 if I remember correctly, so that sucked. But if that is the premium to pay for semi-fresh seafood in Stockton so be it.

Later on that night, the Delirians played at the Plea For Peace Center along side the swaying east coast ska sounds of The Forth Right. No one really showed up but better for us, we all left early and had a midnight snack of In-N-Out where I had my first ever animal style fries (extra crispy of course)!

Role Call Group Shot at The Plea For Peace Center in Stockton

Anthony tearing it up
Anthony Medina (Keys) Devouring a 3×3 Right Before Going to Bed

post show snack
You Never Forget Your First: My Extra-Crispy Animal-Style Fries at the In-N-Out in Stockton.

Mariscos Las Islitas
319 S Wilson Way
Stockton, CA 95205
(209) 938-0939

In-N-Out Burger
2727 West March Lane
Stockton, CA 95219-6572
(800) 786-1000

Chicken Pie Shop in Fresno, California: Rocksteady Dining While On Tour With The Delirians

Sometimes you just got to say “fuck it” in life and go on an impromptu tour with your old high school homie’s rocksteady/reggae band. That’s what I did last weekend and oh how happy I am to have done so. I woke up last Friday to a text from my friend Anthony Medina at 10 AM.

Tony: “Hey, you wanna come on tour to North California with us? We are leaving in half an hour, we’ll be back Monday morning.”

Me: “Dude! What the hell? I have math class, I have fencing club, I was going to cut my hair, I was going to Silver Lake Jubilee [blah, blah, blah, blah].

Tony: “Don’t think about it, don’t think about it, just say yeah, just say yes….just go, we are loading the van now, see ya’.”

Me: “I don’t know dude.”

And sure enough by the time I made up my mind, calling around and getting opinions from my parents, friends etc….it was too late and they had already left. “Damnit!” But then as soon as I knew it, they were in front of my house and waiting for me. And that was that, I left un-showered, with only $60 in my pocket, my laptop, camera and a couple of handfuls of whatever clothing I could snag on my way out.

A few hazy hours later, we arrived in Fresno and I had the munchieeees! Most of the band just settled on a thrifty dinner of Keystone Light and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches but those days were gone for me, thus, I convinced Carlos (swinging trumpet’er of the band) and Cuca (smokin’ saxophonist of the band) to come with me downtown and hunt our meal.

chicken pie shop facebook

We researched and found this sushi place earlier but on the way there, my foodie sense was tingling for this place that touted “Chicken Pies”. We immediately made an illegal u-turn, parked and sat in the neon green diner’s counter.

cafe at the bar

It was about seven in the afternoon and we were the only ones sitting inside. It was a spacious restaurant, the pastel -green theme of the empty place gave it an eerie, zombie-like feeling, I knew I shouldn’t had watched that movie “Legion”, haha.

“When are you going to find something like this in L.A?” I told Cuca and Carlos as I worriedly tried to rationalize my random decision to eat here.

The laminated, two-page menu boasted an entire page of traditional breakfast foods with only a quarter of the other page dedicated to dinner. They offered pies in two sets, “lunch” for $6.95 (pie, biscuits and choice of side) and a “dinner” option for $8.95 (pie, whipped potatoes, daily veggies, choice of side and dessert). “What ya’ll be taking” our waitress asked, “the lunch or dinner?”

” We can actually choose?!” I replied ecstatically. From that point on it was official, Fresno rules!

chicken pie shop lunch plate
biscuits and gravy
daily veggies

Cuca and Carlos jumped on the wholesome dinner plate’s. I knew I was going to be drinking in my carbs later on that evening so decided to jump on the frugal-lunch gravy train, with a side of veggies and extra gravy. And the verdict? Well, the pie was better than Marie Calendar’s (my standard unfortunately) that’s for sure! The whole meal screamed “homemade”, the flour-dusted biscuits were light but it didn’t really matter when dunked in their shmalt-intensive, lump-less gravy. The coleslaw was lightly dressed and the crinkle-cut veggies were marinated in this spicy, dill flavoring. In the words of Cuca and Carlos, “That shit was all booooooomb!”

desserts at chicken pie shop
strawberry rhubarb pie

For dessert, I persuaded my friends to order the the diner-dessert archetypes, their house-made apple betty and a slice of their rhubarb-strawberry pie. The server must had seen my craving displacement, she brought me a free rice pudding as well! And I was grateful! The apple betty mash was sweet and tasty, cooked gelatinous apples tossed and turned with this dulce de leche-like thick caramel and yellow cake pieces. The rice pudding was creamy, and packed with al-dente short grain rice. But my absolute favorite had to be the strawberry-rhubarb pie, with a tart, filling of rhubarb and strawberry and even more of that shortening-loaded crust. After all, I love pie.

The Delirians at Fulton 55 whole band two tone
Fresno Rude Boy Pride

The Delirians show was particularly more enjoyable thanks to a full tummy that night.

Stay tuned to see what else I ate on this trip!

Chicken Pie Shop
861 E Olive Ave
Fresno, CA 93728-3352
(559) 237-5042

Hours 7 AM- 8 PM