A little insider travel tip…when you can stay at a bed and breakfast and talk to the innkeeper. B&Bs tend to be similarly priced to hotels, especially in places like Napa. But the amenities are so much better. That being said, this isn’t a post about the B&B (though we highly recommend the Old World Inn). it’s a post about a great little lunch secret that we got as we were running out the door.
Already running a little behind for the morning (we had a bike rental and tasting appointment first thing…) we were trying to get out the door. But we took a minute to see if the innkeepers had any tasting certificates for any of the places we had planned. After we said thanks for looking and headed toward the door he asked if we had lunch plans. Since the bike tour provided lunch we said yes, and kept going. Then he mentioned Thomas Keller. I paused and turned back. Thomas Keller is the preeminent chef in an area dominated by superstars. French Laundry is supposed to be one of the finest restaurants in the country. He also has Ad Hoc, Bouchon and the Bouchon Bakery. And, the insider secret, he has Addendum.
Addendum is literally a shack in the garden behind Ad Hoc. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it opens at 11 o’clock. 200 box lunches are prepared and served. Once they are gone, they are gone. Guess who was there at 11 on Friday…an hour after eating breakfast. Yep, this guy…and by default, Ashley. I used the excuse that we had to go to NapaStyle to get one (or three) bottles of Michael Chiarello’s wine.
The choices for the day were fried chicken, lobster roll and a pork combo. I went for the chicken, Ashley the lobster roll. The plan was to go find a place to picnic, but the weather was cold so it ended up being a car lunch as we headed back to San Francisco. In the car, on the grass, heck in the middle of a parking lot…it didn’t matter. The food was fantastic. The chicken was perfectly cooked, the breading light, crispy, a little salty, but not overwhelming. The potato salad was fresh and vibrant and dressed just enough to add flavor without overwhelming the palette. And the lobster was sweet, fresh and overstuffed. No skimping at all.