fighting the lack of good ideas


I love paella. Whoever it was that thought to harvest crocus pollen for flavor was a genius.

Last night after arriving in Sunnyvale CA for a training class, I started Googling for tapas places nearby. I had been looking forward to going to a restaurant in San Francisco, but driving an hour for dinner, when the folks I had originally planned to eat with were at work, wasn’t worth it to me.

I found one close-by in Mountain View. Cascal is located at 400 Castro St. They have extensive outdoor seating, as well as dozens of tables indoors.

One of my co-workers and I headed over to Cascal at about 8:15p, and when we sat down and perused the menu, I had the enjoyable, but somewhat unusual, task of getting to explain large chunks of the menu (thanks to both a food & culture class, and a Spanish culture class I took at Elon). We both ordered paella, which is roughly a Spanish saffron rice casserole. I ordered the Paella Rustica, which had chicken and rabbit, and he ordered the Paella Cascal, the house special which included sausage, and interesting vegetables. Our meals were about $25 each.

The small size orders, which we had, came out in pans about 10″ across. I was afraid to ask how big the “large” orders were, but they were about twice the cost. They must be meals for two or three. As it was, I wasn’t even able to make it through the whole small order, and I can pack food away.

Our waiter was attentive enough to make sure we had everything we needed, but didn’t hover. Overall, it was a pleasant meal with quick service, and I would recommend Cascal to anyone visiting or living in Silicon Valley.

fire from the sky

While flying to Sunnyvale yesterday, I had the “privilege” to see a small wildfire from the air. It was very small, on the order of a couple acres, and somewhere nearish to Monterey, and close to the coast.

The orange smoke was quite striking from the air. Hopefully, firefighters have been able to get it contained by now, but it was definitely interesting to see from 30,000 feet.