September 19, 2011
OK, confession time.
I have to admit I'm a little worried about Susanne Brunner and, by extension, local TV news.
Brunner's a KION reporter who stopped by the Weekly world headquarters last week.
I'm worried because it's her job to figure out what's going on in county, on behalf of thousands of viewers.
And she really missed the point on the Smart Guide we put out last week: In fixating on a couple of ads from local businesses promoting medical marijuana, nighties and a Kula Ranch happy hour as part of a hit piece—they recycled stirring shots of those ads at least three times over the segment—she and her producer lost track of the fact that it's a college student publication stuffed with bike maps, study spots, cheap eats ideas, computer repair outlets, affordable live music venues, outdoor adventures, farmers markets and slick (and free) computer apps, among other highlights.
Makes you wonder what else she's missing in her search for "news."
My favorite moment from the cluelessness that accompanied her interview of our publisher, Erik Cushman, came after he patiently explained the magazine has a very specific target, college students, and that our independently conducted audits give us a clear idea of our readership:
Brunner: "You said a lot of your viewers are under age 18?"
Cushman: "No, I said the exact opposite, and we don't have any viewers…"
Brunner: "Excuse me, readers."
Cushman: "I said 0.2 percent of our audience is under 18."
From a food point of view, her myopia meant she missed out on all sorts of tasty food information, including:
• "High Five: Places to Take Your Parents," which works as a handy guide when you're aiming to impress anyone. (It also appears below.)
• "Cheap Eats & Cool Hangouts," a nice city-by-city peek at good value and/or young-energy outlets like Chopstix (899-2622/Seaside, 372-BOBA/Monterey), Pelican Pizza (649-4040) and Tommy's Restaurant (582-9503), where you can have breakfast for a buck.
"Happy to the 10th Power: Ten Places to Find a Happy Hour Pint at the Right Price," which probably needs little further explanation.
• Guides to all of the area's farmers markets and Monterey County's family-owned cafés, juice bars and frozen yogurt.
Here's a look at the "High 5." I'll post our happy hour suggestions soon too.
High Five: Places to take your parents. A semester of relentless thriftiness merits a splurge when the folks hit town. And besides, you want to show them what transcendent tastes reside here anyway.
Marinus Chef Cal Stamenov’s mastery of European-inspired cuisine, plus Bernardus’ magnificent wine cellar and four-star service start to explain why Marinus is one of the Peninsula’s only Zagat-rated dining rooms and a frequent choice for Best Restaurant in the County by Weekly readers. A must-visit for any serious foodie and their parents. 415 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, 658-3595.
Pacific’s Edge The atmospherically attractive food like, say, the yellowfin tuna tartare tower, is not the only thing to marvel at: one look through the floor-to-ceiling windows through the soaring pines to the Pacific seduces every diner who visits. When Weekly readers vote on Best Place to Splurge, this place has the Edge. 5:30-10pm. 120 Highland Drive, Carmel. 620-1234.
Passionfish This jewel has attained near-cult-like status among local foodies who swoon over its eclectically appealing Wine Spectator-award-winning cellar and mouthwatering, pioneering, sustainable seafood driven menu. Try the tempting Alaskan halibut with black-pepper rum sauce. 701 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, 655-3311.
Restaurant 1833 1833 takes more than its name from the year its historic adobe building was erected. It borrows much of the inspiration for the apothecary-style craft cocktails, the rustic-chic decor and fresh, accessible tastes from the era when Spanish and Italian settlers dominated the local landscape. A variety of beautifully outfitted spaces—from the comfortable library lounge to the lively firepit-dotted garden—offer contexts for a range of experiences. 500 Hartnell St., Monterey. 643-1833.
Sierra Mar With a 4-Star Award from 2009 Mobil Travel Guide and Top Décor from the 2010 Zagat Guide, this Big Sur destination enjoys heart-stopping clifftop views, 13,000-bottle wine cellar, and a seasonal, local, and garden-derived meal that will run a handful of well-worth-it Franklins. 12:15-3pm, lunch; 3-5:30pm, snack; 5:30-9pm, dinner. 47900 California 1, Big Sur. 667-2800.