Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 1 (201)

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Check, Please! Bay Area's second season episode 1 (201) profiles and reviews these three Bay Area restaurants:

1) Memphis Minnie's Barbeque Joint and Smokehouse: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe |

2) Ovation at the Opera: | restaurant information | reviews | [CLOSED]

3) Café Gratitude: | restaurant information | reviews | recipe | [CLOSED]


Other ways to watch episode online (and on video iPod):
Download episode (requires iTunes or QuickTime)
Subscribe to Video Podcast

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Leslie SbroccoMy name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Welcome to the second season of the show!

On the heels of our first season's success, we're expanding our online offerings. New to this season will be my "Wine of the Week" post, in which I'll share my tasting notes about the wine the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. Another new feature will be my "What to Sip" suggestions. In response to viewers wanting wine and drink recommendations, I choose one restaurant from each show and offer tips for selecting libations to enjoy with your meal.

We're thrilled you've tuned in and look forward to hearing from you.

Wine of the Week:

2003 Penfolds “Bin 389” Cabernet/Shiraz, South Australia $25
Year in and year out, this is one of my favorite wines. That’s high praise coming from someone who samples more than 5,000 bottles annually. The seamlessly smooth blend of nearly equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (Syrah) from one of Australia’s top producers can be enjoyed now with everything from roast chicken to filet mignon, or, since this wine has the ability to age for years, it can be held and enjoyed at a later date.

What to Sip: Café Gratitude

Though Café Gratitude does offer a selection of organic wines, I learned first-hand that their unique, non-alcoholic drinks are the restaurant’s signature beverages. Kick off your meal with one of their fresh fruit juice elixirs made every morning in a hydraulic juice press. Then wrap up your vegan feast with an organic coffee that has been infused for 48 hours in cold water rather than brewed. Don't miss:

“I AM SUCCULENT” $4 / $6.50 per glass

This is the actual name of the drink, not me touting my botox-free facial skin. The exotic elixir is a blend of grapefruit, apple, celery, fennel, and mint. Be careful, though, this drink is easy to sip and you’ll find yourself ordering multiple glasses. You don’t want to be too succulent.

“I AM MARVELOUS” Single $4.25 / Double $5

While ordering I felt like Billy Crystal impersonating Latin actor Fernando Lamas on Saturday Night Live -- “Darling, you LOOK marvelous!” After drinking this café mocha-style drink made with organic chocolate, however, I felt marvelous. I vowed to go back just to sip the ultra-smooth coffee layered with intensely rich chocolaty flavor.