Chilebrown at home

Thursday, November 8, 2018


We start out this story with a hearty bowl of ‘Thanks’ to our fellow bbq Judge Aaron for telling us about Chili Joe’s in Petaluma California. Chili Joe’s is a small six table restaurant that specializes in house made chili. Ms. Goofy and I are certified chili judges but never actually get the opportunity to judge sanctioned contests. We love a bowl of red and were excited to give this establishment a try. They have been open less than a year and if it was not for the heads up by Aaron we would have not discovered this place. Parking Karma was in full force evident by the Racing Honda parked right in front. This may be a good omen.

Inside is a very small xix table room with a small counter to place your order. A red flag immediately flew with little post up notes proclaiming the chili con-carne was sold out. We asked the clerk why and she replied;  it is popular and certain ingredients are not local and they were waiting on deliveries. There were plenty of other choices on the menu and placed our order. Luckily a table broke right as we placed our order.

Our meal was delivered promptly. Even though the signature chili’s were not available, the house and “Green-Go Chili Verde was available.  Green-Go Chili Verde; Succulent chili-grind pork shoulder, skillet seared and simmered with poblano & Hatch Chile peppers, tomatillo, pinto beans onion, garlic, fresh herbs and roasted spices. Topped with Petaluma Creamery jack, sweet white & green onions, crema fresca, fresh jalapeno and cilantro. This was a bowl of green chili to die for. It was mild but so flavorful with green chili love. The balance of spice and fresh green chili flavor was everything that makes chili so addicting. I may order a large bowl instead of a cup next time. The menu says a bowl comes with  organic corn street tortillas.

Ms. Goofy had Frito pie with the “La Street Chili’ that was very good because she cleaned her plate not leaving any Frito chips for me to finish. This too was a mild chili with beans that we found out later can be customized with added heat. In fact, I quote; “Extra spice and/or extra red chili-grease on request” (Chili Grease?). The combination of heartwarming chili with salty Frito chips cannot be beat.

I had a “New Mexijoe” burger; Char-broiled beef patty with flame roasted Hatch and poblano peppers Petaluma Creamery jack cheese , flame charred sweet white onion slab and green onion-garlic mayoli on a toasted potato bun. This was a juicy burger that satisfied. The roasted hatch and poblano was mild addition that added texture and green pepper goodness. The cheese was ooey and gooey to make this a very good menu choice. I do wish the Hatch pepper had a little more heat. Ms.Goofy had a cheeseburger and was not as enamored as myself.

A side of CJ’s cornbread had to be ordered. This was called Santa Fe style with sliced jalapenos and red peppers. This came with orange/honey butter studded with sweet peppers. How can you resist warm cornbread and sweet flavored butter. I really enjoyed it.

We definitely have a virtual reservation to return to try the signature chili’s. The menu also has other chili influenced items to be explored  Chili Joe’s is a small establishment and I am afraid this could be a detriment with possibly becoming too popular.. Hopefully they can work out the ingredient supply situation because the chili we tried was fantastic. One can only imagine how great the signature chili’s could be. We love a good ‘Bowl of Red” (or green) and look forward to our return. Thankyou Aaron.

Chili Joe's
312 Petaluma Blvd S,
 Petaluma, CA 94952

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Those of you that recognize this mounted skyward cow will know where we are. We, actually Ms. Goofy is in Lockeford California at Lockeford Meats. Lockeford Meats is famous for their delicious and reasonably priced sausage. This fact is reinforced by the lines to get in the store on the weekends.  Ms. Goofy was attending a dog show near by and had to stop by, and I am glad she did.

Ms. Goofy loves the "Dakota Sausage' evident by this pile of sausage tubes. It is a mild sausage which is a combination of pork and turkey. It is one of my favorites too. This sausage is mild enough to be enjoyed in multiple dishes. She also knows what I like and bought several sausages with the title Bacon Sausage.

This sausage was a little darker in color than the Dakota. We fried the sausage in a cast iron pan until browned and internal temperature reached 150 degrees. It was juicy and tender when bit into. It had a smoky flavor as bacon would. I believe I noticed a sort of breakfast sausage type of spice. It too was mellow and mild like the Dakota. Overall did it taste like bacon? I would answer; sort of. What it was, was a very yummy and delicious sausage that I would not hesitate buying again. Meanwhile we have a few more Dakota Sausages to consume. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018


We found Palenque Grill quit by accident. We were actually on our way to a different restaurant and it was closed. A quick search on our fancy smart phone tether devices  and Palenque popped up. Palenque Grill has only been open a couple of months and it was time to give them a try.

Parking Karma was turned off today because they do have off street parking in their lot. We came in at the noon hour with a practically an empty house. Be prepared to practice your high school Spanish because the menus are not in English. Palenque Grill is located in San Pablo which has a predominately Hispanic population. Our waitress spoke English perfectly fine but apologized for her lack of confidence in speaking our language. This was not a problem and we proceeded.

Freshly fried tortilla chips with salsa with a oh so very slight pepper bite was brought to the table to whet our appetite for the meal to come. Ms. Goofy informed me they were pressing fresh tortillas in the kitchen for our meal. This will add bonus points immediately to our critique. Our meal was delivered promptly.

The carnitas plate was fit for a food magazine photo cover. It was stunning. The salsa were fresh, The carnitas were crisp on the outside with fried goodness and soft on the inside with pork love. Ms. Goofy had a burrito made with the same carnitas and really liked it too. The beans and rice were okay but the carnitas with fresh house made tortillas and salsa just made me plain swoon with Mexican delight.

I have to mention an appetizer we ordered called 'Cowboy's Ball" They were fried dough with a center of jalapeno, cream cheese, fresh corn and bacon served with sour cream, spicy ketchup and french fries. These were hot off the fryer and were delicious. To be honest, we could not tell there was any bacon in them. They still were addicting with the cream cheese, jalapeno and fresh corn.

We felt very lucky today to find Palenque Grill. This restaurant definitly deserves a return trip to explore other menu options. I was too full to experience the Jamaican Cheesecake listed on the menu and will report back later.

Palenque Grill
1439 23rd Av.
San Pablo Ca.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Safeway Grocery Store is our go to store for most food staples. It is close and convenient. They are not known for having a quality meat selection. In fact their Safeway Brand meat called Safeway Select is almost laughable in how low quality it can be. We usually go on Meat Adventures to purchase good meat until today.

We got a heads up that one branch of Safeway in Livermore had Snake River Farms beef in their meat department. Those of you not familiar with Snake River Farm they are a very high quality American Waygu beef purveyor. A lot of barbeque competitors use this beef in competition. We are no strangers to this product because Ms. Goofy has gifted me this product several times. It is some of the best and with this title it also has a very high price tag. It was a little shock that Safeway would carry this product.

This particular branch of Safeway is an hour drive. In fact we drove by a dozen other Safeways to our destination. Sure enough our Snake River Farm products were available. I broke out the credit card and bought an assortment of steak. Boneless Rib-Eye, New York strip, and two decadent filets. You could see the beautiful fat marbling throughout these quality steaks. I also had the butcher cut the New York two inches thick. You should see the smile on my face. 
  We are happy today with our quality purchase. Only time will tell if more Safeway's will carry the Snake River Farms meats. Until then we will enjoy our steaks today.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


The Barbeque season has ended for this year but that does not mean our weekends are idle. We are cooking a huge festive meal at a gathering of black iron pots and like minded people. We are at the Dam Dog Society IDOS Fall D.O.G. For those of you who don't know IDOS is the International Dutch Oven Society and D.O.G. stands for Dutch Oven Gathering. This event took place at the El Sobrante Elks Club on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Of course we would like to bring you along and share our meal with you.

Young, old, experienced, novice and local celebrities were all in attendance today. We had a good representative from the local community today. We had the local owners of a bike shop and insurance agency cooking today. The president of the Elks Club and the Galileo Club were present. New members and old members of the Nor Cal Dam Dog Society brought out their best recipes and techniques to create a fabulous feast.

These two dishes above were very fantastic offerings. the top was a corn meal muffin with a chicken pot pie underneath. While the bottom was blueberry muffins with a sweet glaze. Remember everything is made from scratch this day at the event. The image below is butter melting in a cup with a flame. What makes this dramatic and interesting it was a dutch oven boo-boo..The cooker spilled butter and ignited creating this dramatic effect. It was all in fun though a little dangerous.

Let me explain my favorite image a little. This is Chris Irving making his famous maple bacon cake. If you look underneath the table you can see a yellow generator. This generator is powering his old school gold mixer. Now this event was not a contest so everything goes in preparing your meal. I was duly impressed by Chris Irvings effort and results.

Chris and his famous Gold Mixer

It is a little hard to grasp the actual amount of food we cooked today. We all drew numbers to determine what to cook today. I drew vegetables and made a green been casserole. This casserole included fresh frenched beans from my farmers market, bacon from Angleo's Meats and topped with french fried jalapenos. Today we had chicken enchiladas, beef stew, red beans and rice, chicken and dumplings, blueberry cinnamon rolls, lumpia, chile verde, potatoes, banana empanadas, and so much more. I can guarantee nobody left hungry.

We have a D.O.G. twice a year and I am all ready looking forward to the next one. That is if I can ever get off the couch. Sure I ate way too much but it was all so good. It is amazing what one can cook in a dutch oven. Today was proof that even bacon maple cake can be created in a dutch oven Good times.

Thursday, October 18, 2018


We love to go on Meat Adventures. We also have our favorite stops to stock up on some of the best meat products in our area. It is also fun to visit with our good friend Angelo who runs and owns Angelos' Meats. Today was no exception in the treats department. We hung out with Angelo while he was preparing some smoked sausage. Angelo  shared some of his great mustard with some freshly made sausage.Angelo then broke out some of the best biscotti ever. It just something about his home made rendition that is special. This has just the right amount of crunch, tender inside. and sweetness. Sometimes biscotti has the possibility to crack teeth but not Angelo's  It does not get any better than this. We said goodbye to Angelo with bacon, mustard and biscotti to go.

It was then off to Willowside Meat Market. They specialize in aged USDA beef. You should of seen the smile on my face when I saw a sweet 3 pound Porterhouse with my name on it. Our cart was filled with Porterhouse, New York, sirloin, hamburger and pork chops. Today was a good day for a Meat Adventure. 

Monday, October 15, 2018


Everybody deserves a second chance. It also helps when your Sunday special is one of our favorites;beef ribs. We went to a show at the local theater and afterwards stopped on by Slow Hand BBQ of Martinez California. Parking Karma was present but we did not get the prime spot right in front like the classic car pictured above. We were right across the street though. Downtown Martinez on a Sunday afternoon is pretty vacant. In fact this is a challenge for any restaurant in this downtown area.

We walked into Slow Hand around 4:30 pm and the first question I asked was do you have any beef ribs? I had to ask because this is a Sunday only special. They did and we ordered a couple. We had a couple of choices for sides. Ms. Goofy loves her mac & cheese and I know the Cole slaw is a winner here. We also opted for German Potato Salad and just for kicks a key lime pie for dessert. We, well maybe I was very hungry.

Technically these are beef short ribs but 'Boy O Boy" are they meaty, beaty, big and bouncy. They are falling off the bone tender. Yes, they are falling off the bone and I do not care. I love them. In fact I will repeat; I love them. The  flavor is full of yummy luscious corn fed mouthwatering lip smacking beef amazement. Ms. Goofy tasted garlic in the rub which had crusted the exterior of the rib. They are rich with beef love (fat) and I may be paying for it later but I ate it all. The German potato salad was warm with real bacon and a mild vinegar tang. This help cut the richness of the beef ribs. The Parker House style rolls still were a miss and I am not sure why they are included with this great meal. 

The key lime pie was said to be home made. The whipped cream was not. It still was a very fine end to a fabulous bbq beef rib dinner. We returned to Slow Hand BBQ with reservations from our last visit. I am glad we returned. I would highly recommend the Sunday beef ribs. I may not be a fan of some of the other menu offerings but will be totally happy and satisfied with some more beef ribs.