When we left Carnival Inspiration at Catalina we were met on the Green Pier by Donna Harris of the Chamber & Visitors Bureau and Erin Eubank who was giving us a preview look at her new "Taste of Catalina Food Tours". Erin and her family operate Catalina Coffee & Cookie Company and have been residents of Avalon for many years. The idea of a Avalon tour that includes several restaurant and eating places is new and the first actual tours started just after we left the Island.
Erin , and Mother, Cathy will act as guides and the tour, that takes 10-16 visitors, will go to six different restaurants and have a sample taste at each one they visit. The tour stretches about a mile of Avalon and takes three hours. The actual name is "Avalon Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour" and will also explore Catalina history and its unique culture.
We started our tour at Erin's Coffee & Cookie, met her Mom, Cathy, and enjoyed a brewed tea and some dark chocolate Pistachio Bark made on the premises which also features twelve styles of cookies baked daily. Erin's husband Gene is baker.
Next stop for us was CC Gallagher which includes a wine shop with tasting as well as a large collection of beers from around the world. The menu features Sushi with sake or beer with rolls, sides, sashimi and nigiri.
Among its wines Gallagher's had the Rusack wines from Santa Catalina Island Vineyards. We knew that there was a winery on the west side of the Island but not much else about it.
At present the vineyard has five acres and plantings of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Ziinfandel. The resulting wines are hand crafted and at present in short supply. You can learn more about Rusack wines by visiting their website www. catalinaislandvineyards.com.
For lunch we were at Steve's Steakhouse Bar & Grill. Steve's Restaurant will be on Erin's tour. We were already familiar with Steve Bray since in 2011 the Southern California Restaurant Writers named him Humanitarian of the Year in recognition of his work with children of Avalon as well as a leader in many charitable enterprises. Located on the second floor the restaurant gives guests a stunning view of Avalon Harbor.
We were so impressed with Steve and his cuisine that Vittles has a complete review of the restaurant, the cuisine and staff on our website.
Erin had to keep our preview tour short since we had an appointment with John Boraggina, Curator of the Catalina Island Museum. This too will be a separate story in Vittles.
To find out more about Erin Eubank's Avalon Tasting Tour call 800 979-3370, or on the web at www:catalinafoodtours.com
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