Latest Adventures

Grand Tradition Estates, Fallbrook


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We attended our friends' wedding at the end of last month, held at the picturesque Grand Tradition Estates in Fallbrook, California. Now, I have to admit that I was really looking forward to the reception, as I had browsed the venue's website a few weeks prior to the wedding. Here are a couple of pictures of the garden:

On to the reception... Beginning with the cocktail hour in which the servers walked around with assorted trays of crudite, antipasta, hors d' oeuvres and crackers/bread with dips and spreads. The hors d' oeuvres included a beef and chicken satay in a spicy ginger and peanut teriyaki sauce, roasted lamb chops with an apple cider glaze, and a tropical mango ceviche-tini with fresh fish and bay shrimp. Personally, I felt that the dipping sauces for the satay were a little too salty, but otherwise, it was flavorful. I didn't try the lamb because I don't like lamb. I thought that the ceviche presentation was cute and appropriate for the event, but it could have definitely used more acid.

It was a buffet reception, and here's a list of the dishes included in the buffet menu, followed by a picture of my plate, which I know looks very messy. But hey, it's a buffet, you have to stack up your food, especially if you know you may not get another chance to go back.

* Fresh Berries and Baby Spinach with a Raspberry Feta Vinaigrette
* Traditional Caesar Salad with Parmesan Croutons
* Carving Station with Tender Prime Roast Rib of Beef
* Chicken Portobello with Sweet Madeira Wine Glaze
* Broccoli Penne Pasta with Smoked Gouda Cream Sauce
* Mashed Red Baby Potatoes
* Grilled Asparagus
* Crudite of Assorted Seasonal Vegetables and Fruits
* Assorted Tray of Domestic and Imported Cheese and Crackers

I know that most people don't necessarily associate wedding reception food to be exceptionally great, but I am frankly still thinking about that prime rib to this day. The meat was cooked to perfection, and these days, I have to eat red meat completely cooked. It was tender and flavorful and it was exactly the way a prime rib of beef should taste. I didn't get to try the spinach salad because of the feta cheese that I'm not allowed to have, but I thought that the Caesar salad was very good. The chicken tasted okay, it was not my favorite dish, because it seemed like it was typical wedding reception food. The penne was also a good dish, the broccoli was fork tender, although I thought it could've used just another smidge of salt, maybe more gouda. The sides were also good, nothing negative to say about them. Overall, the entire dinner was great and completely exceeded my expectations.