On the way down from the ski mountains of Tahoe, we usually hit the gas peddle and don't stop until 6,000 vertical feet later, when we reach the In N' Out burger in Auburn. Perhaps because it was the last trip of the season and we were reluctant to leave the peaks, we decided to stop for lunch in Truckee, a mountain town of 16,000 people on I-80.
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If your favorite element of a sandwich is the cheese, it makes sense to get one from a place whose primary focus is cheese. In San Diego, that's Venissimo, a cheese boutique where you can get a fresh-pressed "Veninni", with Bread and Cie bread and any cheese in the display case for $6. For an extra buck, you can add some charcuterie like sopressata salami or prosciutto. A piece of fruit (apple, pear, or grapes), comes complimentary.
This sandwich is based on a muffuletta, but it wasn't as simple as removing the meat and cheese and shoving in vegetables in its place. You have to first think exactly what it is that made the meat and cheese work in a real muffuletta in the first place. For me, the success is in the texture: moist and compact, but still toothsome and giving with a balance of flavors—funky, salty, sour, herbal, a bit of dried fruit from the well-aged cured meats.
[Photographs: Robyn Lee] Note: You can use store-bought olive salad for this recipe if you prefer. Use about 4 tablespoons for each two serving sandwich. You can also make this on four smaller loaves or 1 larger loaf. About the...
There's a quiet wine revolution happening in northern California and it isn't in Napa. It's in Mendocino county, an area about three hours northwest of San Francisco that's a visually stunning mix of evergreen covered mountains and rolling vineyards. The wineries are more casual and certainly less crowded than in Napa or Sonoma, but their Pinot Noir is equally delicious. After a morning of wine tasting, I stopped to look for lunch in the small town of Boonville, where the Mosswood Cafe obliged with a menu of hot panini. I was more than happy with the Traditional ($8.75), an upscale version of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.