This week's tablehopper: high-low.

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The exterior of Château du Sureau. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Bonjour. The weekend is almost here, and a bunch of industry folks are preparing for a big weekend of Eat Drink SF festivities. Three days of the grand tasting pavilion start this evening (remember, use code TABLEHOPPER for 15 percent off!), and tomorrow morning I’ll be moderating a demo with Fabio Viviani, see you? There are also classes and demos too. I’ll see you on the track! Fortunately the roof of my mouth has almost returned—I totally scorched it on a crazy-hot piece of pizza Tuesday night. Seriously, ow ow ow. Food writer injuries are the worst, I tell ya.

A couple of months ago, you may remember I took a trip to Yosemite and stayed at a dreamlike location, Château du Sureau. I was finally able to carve out some quiet time to get this jetsetter piece written for you, which I can’t wait to share. It was such an exquisite experience. If you’re looking for a special anniversary spot, a honeymoon location, or you just want to get out of town and pay a visit to glorious Yosemite, here’s your destination. (You can view the entire photo album here.)

I have to admit, I had one of the funniest experiences on the drive back to San Francisco after our time in fairyland. I was pretty tired from all the driving, and when I saw a drive-thru espresso spot in Merced, I let out a little whoop. Mama needed some fuel. When my friend and I pulled up, it took awhile for someone to come to the window—I was praying it wasn’t actually closed—and then the window slides open and I am greeted by a heavily made-up young woman (with colored contacts) in a practically sheer bra and panties with ribbons on the sides. It’s something like 3pm on a Saturday. It takes a lot to make me speechless, but this was, bar none, one of the weirdest moments I’ve had in years. I ordered our coffee drinks while trying to act like everything is completely normal, and gave her a good tip because I suddenly felt like I was actually at a table in a strip club, and not an espresso drive-thru.

My friend and I pull away, both of us cracking up and trying to figure out what the hell just happened (“Hold up, was she a working girl busy with a customer when we pulled up?”) and that’s when I looked back and saw the sign: Double Shot Espresso, with an outline of boobs fitting into two teacups, plus a lipstick kiss. Oh yeah, and there’s pink trim on the building. Ahem. After my friend did a quick internet search, we learned how this new “pick-me-up” spot (near the high school no less) was scandalizing Merced (kind of like all those places in the Northwest, like Cup of Joe). Oh, and according to Double Shot’s Facebook page, our girl was Janine. Of all the places to stop for coffee, I’m so glad it was this one. I’m still laughing over it.

Seems like a good time to segue to my article this week on 7x7.com about high-low dishes, with humble ingredients getting the high-end treatment. Ha!

Have a great weekend. Meep meep.
Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Friday, Aug 1 2014