I was going to let our Monterey trip be any type of birthday celebration I’d have be it, this year. But then I figured why not? Why not see if anyone is available to do something different? Clubbing birthdays were our early 20’s. Wine tasting was our late 20’s. Let’s dayscape to Sausalito for lunch with the girls!
So, I sent out a quick email to see who could make it. Knowing most probably wouldn’t want to drive somewhere for two hours for lunch, I knew the turnout would be low. I was okay with that. I just wanted to something different — no lunch in town, like last year.
I was hesitant to book a reservation anywhere. I wanted a good view. I wanted good food. I was mainly relying on Yelp, but used Trip Advisor, Eater SF, and a Google search too. I finally settled on Barrel House Tavern. There was a pic posted of a great view and the menu was varied enough to satisfy the group that would be joining me.
The morning of, a few girls met at my house. We met the other girls at The Trade to grab coffees for the road. I was able to introduce the girls to an Iced NOLA! Lucky them 😉
Then we were on our way. A little less than two hours later we were driving along the coastline, through the little town of Sausalito. We found the restaurant, but needed to secure decent parking. Lucky for us, there are huge parking lots ‘for pay’ right near where we needed to be. We beat the other car to the restaurant, so we headed in to check-in, since we were a few minutes late. Don’t fret, we called ahead to let them know our travels were taking a few extra minutes than anticipated.
I had the resie for one more person than we had. The hostess said she could work with that and moved our table — to what she made seem like had a better view. We loved the view! It was actually really warm that day and it started to get toasty by the window!
As we sat and waited for the other girls, we noticed them sneaking in a selfie down by the water! HAHA!
The first thing that caught my eye was the Crab Donuts. Huh? Is that real life? It read Crab Donuts – Cream Cheese, Cayenne, and Powdered Sugar. The last two things had a me a little worried, but more so intrigued. We asked our waitress about these little nuggets and of course she suggested we get them. She said they weren’t spicy at all (re: YES) and that they weren’t much like a donut.
To our surprise and hesitation, they were awesome. The creamy, crab mix in the middle of a fried puff topped with powdered sugar was awesome. As gross as that may be to read, it was really good. We thought they only add sugar on it so they could call it a donut, since you can’t even taste it. Also, the cayenne is used with very good measure — barely anything.
Some of us ordered wine, me, red, duh! The others ordered soda, which we thought was bottomless — but it turns it out wasn’t. Kel and Lot, both drank $8 worth of soda each. How annoying that the server didn’t mention that little tidbit. They came in mason jars, so it seemed normal to assume it was a flat fee for soda. Lesson learned.
They have a really cool option to create a Bloody with all the fixin’s. You could select every single thing that goes into it, from the base to the booze, to the final touches. On the small drink check-off list, you could also order three different Mimosa’s. I didn’t see this before I ordered wine, or else I may have gone for a mimosa!
Since we were in Sausalito, I thought I should order something more seafood. But a lot of their items read tasty. We could either order brunch or lunch, but we all went with the lunch option. I ordered the Albacore Tuna Melt, which was essentially a scoop of old fashioned tuna sitting on a grilled cheese, all laid upon a bed of greens that were lightly dressed. I also added a size of Garlic Parmesan fries. I enjoyed my sandwich, but it wasn’t my favorite. It was more on the tart side, very lemon forward and the capers aren’t my favorite. But the fries were amazing, but missed the garlic part of the title. I really enjoyed all the greens that had a very light drizzle of salad dressing, it was a great addition to the plate.
The Guidette ordered the Crab Pasta and it was amazing, I probably should have ordered that. Squid ink still is kinda creepy by name, but fun by aesthetics. They did not skimp on the crab and the cream sauce was delicious.
After we devoured our meals we all wanted dessert. But we wanted to see what else the little city by the water had to offer. We politely perused the dessert menu, but opted to go elsewhere. We did consult our server about local spots and she confirmed we should go to Lappert’s Ice Cream. She said despite the Yelp reviews, it was really good. She said they get low ratings because of the line customers have to wait in.
I cannot even begin to tell you about the lighting in the restaurant. We all were swooning over the pics we were taking, because the lighting was soooo nice to our complexions. Of course we had to snag a group pic and a lovely, fellow patron offered so we took her up on it. We had a mini photo shoot and then headed down to the water for a bit.
Right next to the restaurant was a little spot to hangout by the water. Picture prefect. A very nice foreigner snapped a few pics of us, then we tried some ‘Usies’ too! It was such a lovely day, the breeze felt good against the sun shining on us. After we wobbled on the rocky pavement we decided to head to get some dessert.
Yes, the line was long by appearance, but it went by short. Two of us waited in in line, while a few went and looked in a little touristy shop. The line went by fast, as we had a guy behind us that didn’t understand personal space. I didn’t realize this spot was 808 inspired, until I was reading all the flavors offered. They had tops of options, but I went with a simple scoop of Kona Coffee ice cream. They also had milk shakes and fun cones too. You know me, simple when it comes to my desserts!
After most of us grabbed something sweet, we sat outside on their very small patio and chatted and enjoyed our cold treats! Since I didn’t want to monopolize everyone’s entire day, we decided to head back home. As we walked to our car, we stopped by the water one more time. We snapped a few pictures and then headed to our awesome parking spot.
Four hours driving for a three hour adventure may seem a little indulgent, because it is! But I’m lucky that a few of my friends were willing to celebrate my birthday with me, in this way. It was the most fun and relaxing bday I’ve had in a few years, even though we had to drive a lot.
I think Sausalito made us soon harder than any of us thought possible. The charm of this little city by the water was perfect. The weather spoiled us too. In all, it was a lovely afternoon spent with some of my fave women doing what I love to do — eat and drink, of course!
Forever Sausalito swoonin’…