Howard and I ventured out West with Shearwater (him + me) and The New Year + David Bazan (just me). Too slow on the draw to take photos and too busy with rocking to make detailed notes, I'll have to make do with a quick run-down of the notable meals:
1. Tacos @ El Chilito, Austin, TX: Migas tacos for breakfast, veggie tacos (saved for the 16-hour drive to Tucson). The former were magnificent, and not too greasy. The veggie tacos were less exciting -- plenty flavorful, just not that memorable -- but they had been sitting for four hours or so, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.
2. Granola & fruit at Cup Cafe, Tucson, AZ: Homemade, not too sweet. Excellent texture (all bits easily identifiable), to boot. I was tempted to repeat it, Chris Weber-style. (Legend has it, Weber once experienced a breakfast so grand that when the waitress asked, "Anything else?", his only response was "Repeat it!")
Shearwater's rented van (thanks, Okkervil River!) turned out to require $1600 worth of repairs so it could, you know, stop at red lights and stop signs (thanks, Okkervil River!). As a result, we arrived too late to L.A. for a proper dinner.
After the L.A. show, Shearwater traveled on to San Francisco and left me in the hands of the New Year, which led to:
3. Thai Food @ the Thai restaurant up the street from Spaceland: Bazan learned the New Year practice of "out-ordering" one another when Donofrio ordered pad see yew for the entire table, "stuffing" us both in the gastronomic and urban slang senses. I had a barely passable Tom Kha soup and an excellent panang curry with tofu. Biznono rocked the pinapple curry fried rice, besting us all. Damn him!
4. Granola and grits @ The 101 Cafe, Hollywood, CA: My only other time here was two years previous with Silkworm (where I met Greg O'Malley of Sunn0)))) and Southern Lord -- we listed to The Grimm Robe Demos all the way to Visalia), but the experience was much better this time. Bazan made a power play, going for the friend catfish and scrambled eggs, but I was unimpressed (I needed the fiber, really).
5. The Tex-Ass Donut @ Voodoo Donuts, Portland, OR: The photos really tell it all (scroll down). As food, I dunno how I feel about Voodoo's stuff, but as curiosity, quite amazing. They no longer sell the Robotussin-glaze, BTW.
6. Granola and fruit (WHAT???) @ J & M, Portland, OR: Amazing place. Fresh, simple, excellent diner food, done very well. I don't even remember what these other fuckers had.
7. Machiatto @ Stumptown Coffee, Portland, OR: The best coffee I've ever had, hands-down.
8. Various 'nuts @ Top Pot Donuts, Seattle, WA: We all went back for seconds on the raspberry creme, and the cinnamon cake was no slouch, either. Excellent all around.
Other notables: We hit In-and-Out Burger a couple of times (including the most northerly one in Redding, CA), and the cook at the Bottom of the Hill made us a very fine spread of pasta and salad. Serious Pie in Seattle did a great job with fancy-schmansy gourmet pizza.
One last note: according to the GPS, there are 27 Starbucks within a .5 mi radius of the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle. Sheesh!