The Shil-Shul Diaries

The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.

I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.

If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at shilshuldiaries@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Muir Woods Trading Company





From Best Thing I Ever Ate

1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Let me begin by saying something that is blasphemous, that is atrocious, that is offensive, and un-patriotic.

I do not like grilled cheese.

DO NOT HATE ME!!!

I despise, loathe, hate the taste, texture, and idea of congealed cheese.  Cheese that is melted and then has been left to room temperature to be cold. GROSS Unless cheese is in its original form cold or so hot that it melts RIGHT as it is served, it's not for me.

Grilled cheese is the epitome of congealed cheese.  Melted cheese that has now set.  It's like the lava flows in Hawaii.  Rock hard fragments of what was once liquid hot queso…I mean magma.

Muir Woods Trading Company is located at the entrance to Muir Woods, a majestic and wonderful national park just outside San Francisco home of magnificent red woods.  A must see.

The trading company is the cafe and the park shop, but it holds a much better secret.

This pace is supposed to have the best grilled cheese and tomato soup, so I said no to hate and gave it a try.  My wife is a grilled cheese afficinando, so this was a must try.

When we told people we were going, they asked "did you try the grilled cheese?"

The ingredients are simple and fresh.  Locally sourced bread, cheese, and veggies. My cousin Danny who was the basis of this blog said "It's shocking.  This is the best cafeteria food in the national park system and it's not that difficult.  It's mind-blowing that no one else has followed suit"

The grilled cheese, known as the Marin Melt, is outstanding.  Hot off the grill.  Melts perfectly (key for me).  Three distinct cheeses that on their own are outstanding, but together match in perfect harmony. Thick cut multigrain bread toasted to perfection.  Tomato soup that warms the soul both with temperature and spice and is the best I have ever had.  Perfect for a cool, damp day, which is common for the area.

You must visit Muir Woods for the grilled cheese and tomato soup…and while you are there take in some of the most incredible scenery in the world.  



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