Saturday, October 31, 2009
Yesterday, I posted pictures of an E34 M5 convertible. I thought to myself: Self, I wonder if they ever made a Mercedes-Porsche W124 500E convertible. As far as I know, it never existed. Enjoy this article from Hemmings which compares the two sports sedans while I continue the search for that imaginary convertible.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I looked up this blog tonight on Technorati and found out it's the 26,545th most popular blog in the world.* That doesn't sound like much to brag about but it does to me.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Address: 2750 El Camino Real, Redwood City
Last week, I reviewed Bistro 33 at a Mercedes dealership near Sacramento. Today, I will review F-1 Bistro inside a Ferrari-Maserati dealership in Redwood City.
Let me just start by saying that the food at F-1 Bistro is light years better than Bistro 33. I may have been a tad generous with my assessment of Bistro 33.
F-1 Bistro is an integral part of Ferrari and Maserati of Silicon Valley. It is right next to the receptionist’s desk and gift shop. It consists of a small open kitchen (very residential), a small bar with a few stools facing the kitchen, and five small tables. I am quite astounded by the kitchen fan’s power and lack of noise as the smell of food does not end up in the showroom at all.
I am greeted by a stand-offish cook. He is a one-man team and acts as the waiter, cashier, and maitre d’. First impressions are deceiving. He is actually a decent bloke and quite a talented chef.
I had the pan seared chicken breast ($18.99). It was the best chicken I’ve had in years. The skin was crispy but not crunchy. The large piece of meat, which included a leg, was tender, lean, and moist. It was served atop spinach and a white bean ragout. The portion seemed large when presented but was appropriate. A very fresh and healthy meal. My only small complaint was that it was a bit white wine-heavy.
My companion had the sausage and peppers with polenta ($12.99). I am not a polenta fan so I am not qualified to judge it. The sausage, though, was excellent.
When we went, there were only a few other diners. I don’t know how well the chef can handle a full house by himself. All in all, though, this is an excellent restaurant that just happens to be in a car dealership.
From the bistro, you can barely make out one of the cars in the showroom. But throughout our meal, we could hear the rumbling of V12s in the parking lot. I’m not a big fan of modern Ferraris (anything from the last two decades), so I didn’t check out the showroom after the meal.
Next stop: The Horseless Carriage at the Galpin dealership in L.A., which I will visit after The Best of France And Italy this Sunday.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Nick Heidfeld was the forgotten man of the 2010 silly-season, but he could be in the running for a coveted seat at McLaren or Renault.
The Abendzeitung newspaper reports that, with Lewis Hamilton pushing hard against the prospect of sharing a team with Nico Rosberg or Kimi Raikkonen next year, Germany's 32-year-old Heidfeld has emerged as a candidate.
See. I was right about Hamilton not wanting to share any of the attention. We saw what happened to Alonso and something very similar can happen again with a "star" like Kimi or Nico. What McLaren needs is a low-profile guy who can rack up the points for the constructors title. That perfect number two is Heidfeld.
"He is the most under rated driver in Formula One," McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh, likely to part with Hamilton's current teammate Heikki Kovalainen at the end of the season, is quoted as saying.
And Mercedes' Norbert Haug adds: "He (Heidfeld) brings over ten years of consistently strong performances."
See. I've said repeatedly that Heidfeld is the most underrated driver in F1, despite outperforming his "better" teammates consistently. All I got were snickers.
Germany's Bild newspaper said Heidfeld, who debuted for Prost in 2000 and also raced with Sauber, Jordan, Williams and BMW although never winning a race, is also in the running for the Renault seat currently occupied by Romain Grosjean.
Although I have to wonder why McLaren and Mercedes would want to praise Nick if they are indeed negotiating a contract with him right now. Wouldn't these accolades just push Nick to demand a higher salary? That wouldn't be smart. I just hope this isn't all a ploy on McLaren's part to get Kimi back to the bargaining table. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Address: 4747 Granite Drive, Rocklin
So the gimmick is an eatery in a car dealership. I had to check it out.
Bistro 33 is a trendy micro-franchise of eateries in the Sacramento metro area. It recently opened up a restaurant inside the Mercedes dealership in Rocklin, which is just a few blocks from the Rocklin Road exit on Interstate 80.
Upon entering at noon, I was pleasantly surprised at how packed the place was. Truth be told, when I read about the concept, I thought the idea was doomed. But I was wrong, perhaps. I was seated at the last open table. The decor can best be described as upscale IKEA, very Northern European, simple, clean. The staff was efficient and neither friendly nor unfriendly.
As for the food-- I want to preface this review by saying that just by the mere fact that I am being very nitpicky about the food says a lot about the place. The food is good enough that I am actually comparing it to serious restaurants. So there you go.
The sweet potato fries ($5.95) were seasoned, cut, and fried perfectly. The three dipping sauces were truffle mayo (tasted like regular mayo), peach ketchup (tasted like Domino's pizza dipping sauce), and bleu cheese dressing (exactly as described).
I was eager to try the tasting sized clam chowder ($1.95). It's soup served in an espresso cup. The ingredients and presentation were excellent, but the chowder was barely lukewarm.
I had the meatloaf ($16.95) as my main course. It came with cayenne aioli on top, which didn't taste like anything but left my palate with a spicy sensation five minutes after completing my meal. It came with a side of mashed taters and a few spears of asparagus. All of the ingredients were fresh.
The meatloaf itself and the dark brown sauce which hugged the circumference of the plate were interesting, to say the least. The loaf was made of ground lamb and pork sausage. The outside was a bit burnt and the inside was soggy with an almost eggy consistency. The ponzu-like sauce smelled like Japanese curry and was uber-rich. Tiny specks of spices can be seen in the shallow pool of sauce. One taste and I knew that I was going to be thirsty for the rest of the day.
Overall, the meal was between average and decent. I think the place is worth going to if you are on your way to Reno or Sacramento.
You really don't get that great of a view of the showroom while sitting in the dining area. I did get lured into the showroom after the meal. My observations: the new E class's taillights look like those from the Mitsubishi Galant. And, the CLS really has no rear headroom, but it remains the best looking Merc sedan of the last 15 to 20 years.
At the end of the meal, I got a 2 for 1 coupon to revisit the restaurant. That may explain why the restaurant was full and why there were so many even-numbered parties.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Yesterday, I posted the new Panamera ad. What far eclipsed the new four door sports car is the collection of classic race and road cars that accompanied it. 49 other cars to be exact. I've done my best to identify them, but there are a number of 356s, 911s, and some odd ducks that have me scratching my head. What I can say for sure is that there were no 924s, 944s, or 968s.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Check back in the next couple of weeks as I will be reviewing and comparing three restaurants in car dealerships: