The weekend was a whirlwind, consisting mostly of driving. Ryan and I took to the roads Friday evening and found ourselves in Orange County just a half hour past midnight! We met up with bloggers and old friends on Saturday [more on that later!], and then spent the rest of the evening celebrating his grandmother’s 80th with the extended family.
Instead of the 5, we took the 101 back up on Sunday. It made for a more scenic drive, and I got to make a pit stop at the outlets. I found my formal floor-length dress! The sun was on its way down by the time Ryan could peel me away from the stores.
Difficult to capture in a moving vehicle, but it was breathtaking. We stopped in Santa Barbara for dinner at The Palace Grill.
They start you off with five different little muffins. Rosemary, Apricot, Molasses, Jalapeno, and Banana Nut. The flavor of the savory muffins seemed to pop with just a light spread of butter. It was difficult to refrain from eating another basket of them, and we took some for the road!
As recommended by our server, we ordered the “All the Best” platter since it was our first visit. With all the fried stuff on the plate, I was happy to see that they balanced it off with some grilled veggies and starches.
Caribbean Coconut Shrimp – Jumbo Prawns dipped in homemade beer batter, then rolled in coconut and flash-fried, and served with a Marmalade Horseradish Dipping Sauce.
Louisiana Soft Shell Crabs – Hand-picked Soft Shelled Crabs, stuffed with Bienville Crabmeat Dressing, then lightly dusted with Cornmeal Flour, and flash-fried. Served with Jalapeño Beurre-Blanc Sauce.
Spicy Crawfish Étouffée – Louisiana Crawfish tails smothered with Bell Peppers and Onions in a traditional shrimp stock with dark roux and garnished with green onions.
Blackened Salmon Pontchartrain topped with Crawfish Tails.
Since we knew dessert was on its way, we made room for it!
Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Chocolate Bourbon Cream Sauce.
Louisiana Bread Pudding Soufflé – Soufflé and Bread Pudding laced with Grand Marnier and Raisins, served with a Whiskey Cream Sauce.
We left stuffed to the gills, and I basically passed out in the car for the remainder of the trip home. I’m looking forward to Monday’s lunch because it’s going to be leftovers!