A quick visit to Chico, California

Thanks to my profession, I have the opportunity to travel. The Butte College Small Business Development Center in Chico, CA, asked me to keynote their 18th Annual Women in Business event. I was so happy to not only speak on topics I am passionate about to sister entrepreneurs and visit new places in the process.

The Flights

Delta got me to California and back. The flights were great. The flight crews were fun and positive. The planes were new. Comfort+ option for seating and SKY for boarding were the options I choose and I will gladly pay the little bit extra for it all. The seats had plugs for devices. The planes were equipped with inflight wi-fi, which allowed me to be super productive coming and going. When you are a consultant, time really is money. All of this all made with a very civilized flight experiences. Now of course, 99 percent of my fellow travelers around me were grumpy and some behaved like children when they did not get what they wanted. But that is for a totally different post on my business blog.

Roadside Farmstands

chico roadside farmstand

While traveling, I do try to eat healthy, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. In order to make my flight, I needed to be on the road by 4am, so along the way to the airport, I did drive-thru for an Egg McMuffin with a Coke. I know, but I didn’t feel like an unsweetened iced tea at 5am. Once on the plane, it was carbs, carbs, and more carbs. My bad. By the time I got off the plane in Sacramento, my body was screaming for real food.

The landscape is so very different from the east coast and where I live in North Carolina though both are heavy agricultural areas.  The view of miles and miles for fruit and nut trees were amazing. For as the eye could see, it was orchards. At the end of the orchards right before the landscape changed racially, I came across a roadside farm stand selling strawberries.

How could I not stop? I mean fresh strawberries. Who could resist that? I could not. I even turned around and drove back. I am glad I did. The stand had gorgeous strawberries, blackberries, and these little yellow grape tomatoes. Not to be too greedy, I purchased strawberries and tomatoes for $6. That is what I ate while driving to Chico. It was such a satisfying treat! And it made me feel so good! Always keep some cash on you, so you can stop at roadside farm stands. You are supporting small farmers and great produce.

Once I got to my hotel in Chico, I needed to figure out dinner.

Priya Indian Cuisine

chico priya indian cuisine

After been up and traveling since 3:30am, I needed comfort food and honestly I was nervous about keynoting at a conference. Indian food to me is comfort food and I needed to have it. Lucky, I found a restaurant near-by, which had good reviews. It is always a good sign when you go into an ethnic restaurant and you are the only person not from that country there. This was the case.

I ordered a vegetarian thali, which is a meal of small portions of different dals and curries. I went with the main course of aloo gobi per the suggestion of the waitress. Starting from the left above: Raita (yogurt cumber and onion sauce), Sambar (lentil veg soup), dal curry (spinach), veg curry (mixed veg), and aloo gobi. It was all favored nicely with the right about of heat. I finished it all. I have no shame is writing that; it was hit the spot.

Priya Indian Cuisine
2574 Esplanade,
Chico, CA 95973
(530) 899-1055

Two-Twenty Restaurant

chico-two-twenty

I was only in Chico for two nights. I did not really get to explore; however, it looks like it has a nice downtown. Two-Twenty Restaurant was suggested to me. It is in the historic Hotel Diamond. I appreciate a good old-fashioned neon sign and this one I thought was nice. I walked into the lounge. Turns out they serve the full menu in the bar. There were seats so I decided not to go formal, but instead casual staying in the lounge. The table next to me was drinking the most wonderful vintage cocktails served in glasses that our grandparents sipped drinks out of in the 1940s and 50s. So cool. Turns out this place is known for the cocktails and the bartenders excel at it.

I comment to the couple how neat the cocktails were and the next thing I know I was sitting with them and their family celebrating their son’s birthday. I had the most wonderful time. Even I though I had spent the day “on” at the conference, I welcomed this gesture. We talked about everything. And parted like old friends with hugs and kisses.

But the food. One of the bartenders was vegan, so he was able to make dining suggestions. I chose to start with a Porcus Caesar salad, which was chopped hearts of romaine, poached farm egg, garlic croutons, crispy Sriracha bacon, and a traditional Caesar dressing. I asked they not include the bacon; however, I think the bacon would have made the salad perfect. For my entree, I chose the Vegetable Lasagne that was house-made pasta, fall vegetables, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, hand crushed San Marzano tomato sauce, and garlic bread. Fresh and flavorful.

Two-Twenty Restaurant
220 West 4th Street
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 895-1515

It was a great visit to Chico and Butte County. Next time, I will give myself more time to explore the town and surrounding areas.

 

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