Waking up to a text from Duke that he and Massimo want to go to Grass Valley this morning is welcome news to my otherwise wide open Sunday. They are just about to leave the Farmers Market at South Side Park which gives me a few minutes to get ready. I jump in the shower and turn on the water. The initial bursts of cold water spraying my face sends a shock through my entire body. It takes a minute for the water to warm up and I wonder why I didn’t just let the water run warm before jumping in. I mean, who does that?
Like clockwork, the guys are outside my house within minutes. I climb in the backseat and strap on my seat belt. Noticing that Jack, Duke’s sweet golden retriever, isn’t with them, I imagine the conversation they probably had with him.
Massimo: It says it’s going to be 93 degrees in Grass Valley today. It’s probably not a good idea to bring him.
Duke: Now, I know I told you I was going to take you somewhere today but I need you to guard the house instead. Ok?
Jack: *blank stare* expletive deleted.
The drive to Grass Valley is straightforward coming from Sacramento. We just take Interstate 80 towards Reno then take highway 49 north and follow the signs to Grass Valley. The drive should take less than an hour. Not bad for a day trip.
Like most small towns, Main Street has most of the town’s restaurants and shops. Parking is easy enough to find, we just take West Main Street and turn on Church Street. There’s a decent size parking lot that offers free three hours of parking.
We walk back to Main Street and see the Holbrooke Hotel across the street, the oldest hotel in operation in California’s Gold country. Down the street is Cirino’s Italian restaurant, voted Best Overall restaurant on Main Street according to the white board sign out front.
In all seriousness, we had eaten here in the past and it was an overall good experience. Check it out when you’re in town. Tell them #JustJackTravels sent you here.
We turn on Mill Street to do a little bit of shopping. There’s a store called Yuba Blue that sells all sorts of knick knacks. They sell home decor, clothing, books, jewelry to name a few. You can easily do some serious damage to your wallet here because everything they sell is adorable.
We walk a few stores down and find my personal favorite, Bamboo Home Store. The three of us go in and we are greeted by the store attendant. She asks if we’re familiar with the store and is about to tell us all about their products when both Duke and Massimo kindly tell her about my obsession with bamboo fabric based clothing. I go in the dressing room to try on a tank top. The fabric feels soft and cool against my skin, perfect for an Indian summer. Although, it’s not my usual style, the tank top looks a little long on me, I decide to purchase it anyway and some undergarments. It’s really life changing.
We head to a nearby coffee shop a few stores down across the street called Fable. We all get iced vanilla lattes to satisfy our caffeine addiction. At this point, it’s nearing lunch time and we are craving Thai food.
We walk back up Mill Street towards Main Street. We pass by Del Oro Theater. Massimo suggests that we watch “The Nun”, a horror movie spawned from “The Conjuring” series. I hesitate to say yes, so I look to Duke for answers. Duke shakes his head. We continue walking.
Taste of Thai
Trust me when I say, it’s one of the best Thai food you’ll ever have. That’s why I’m dedicating an entire section for it. The restaurant is located inside The Alpha Building on Main Street. We are greeted by a peppy young girl who asks if we want to sit down for lunch. I say yes to her while Duke, mutters “we want to stand” under his breath. Massimo elbows him on the ribs.
Inside the restaurant, we see hints of Thai decor, starting from the little Thai girl statue by the doorway, with its hands clasped together and her head tilted down. The bar in the back looks like traditional Thai architecture with its pointy gable and high pitch ceiling. The wall on one side is covered with rich wood paneling while the wall across from it is the building’s original exposed brick wall. It’s a mix of East meets West; the old and the new.
They have a huge selection of entrees on their menu. Duke decides to be healthy and asks for the Thai chicken salad. Massimo and I exchange a look. We both decide on the Panang Curry with chicken, pad Thai with chicken and shrimp, eggplant stir fry with chicken and a side of steamed white rice.
Our meal finally arrives except for Duke’s. “Come on” I coax him gently. It doesn’t take long but he succumbs to the temptation and has a taste of everything. Atta boy. The look on Duke’s face says it all, everything tastes wonderful.
We look outside the restaurant’s window and notice that it is still pretty bright outside. I think we have plenty of time to go to the nearby town of Nevada City. Let’s go!
#grassvalley #valleyfever #nevadacity #thaifood #shopping