Saturday, December 31, 2016
Blade magazine is devoted to the knife enthusiast. They publish an issue monthly but seem to be three months a head of schedule. In December I received the March 2017 issue. This particular month features a very special knife enthusiast. Yes, yours truly is featured in the "The Knife I Carry" section of the magazine. I submitted an image and text to be entered in a contest to win a knife. Maybe it was shameless promotion or possibly the need for another knife. (Never ask Ms. Goofy if I need a new knife or bbq.) Needless to say I am tickled pink to be included in Blade magazine.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Bob Kramer is a 'Master Bladesmith'. He is the who's who in the knife making world. The blade material, design and craftsmanship make these knives extraordinaire. His knives are sought after by top notch, high end and celebrity chefs. At one time he would sell you his custom hand made knives, but to purchase you had to be put on a waiting list. I was on this waiting list and purchased a complete set over a ten year period. He then partnered with the famous J. A. Henckel Company out of Germany to mas produce his line of knives. You can go to a department store and buy this set for around 2500 dollars.To actually purchase a Bob Kramer handmade knife these days is almost impossible unless you have a very large bank account. He occasionally sells his handmade knifes on e-bay which sells in the thousands for a single knife. I had the opportunity to purchase a handmade custom Bob Kramer "Picnic Knife". I did not hesitate for this acquisition.
This knife is considered a 'Friction Folder' knife. A friction folder is a folding knife that doesn't use a lock or springs. It uses the handle's friction against the tang to stay open. The blade is made of 'AEB-L Straight Stainless Steel' which is the material razor blades are made of. The handle is made of carbon fiber. When the blade is open the edge of the blade tang doubles as a bottle opener. This knife feels very good in the hand. A friend asked me if I was actually going to use this knife or mount it for display. It is a beauty and a fair question. I plan to use it on special occasions.
This is one fine knife. I feel privileged and a little bit lucky to own one. These knives sold out immediately. Ms. Goofy and I met Bob Kramer when his shop was in Seattle. He gave us a tour of his knife shop. After meeting Bob and seeing the process you will understand why his knives are so sought after. I think we will go on a picnic.
Monday, December 26, 2016
What a delicious Christmas. This is an aged USDA choice grain corn fed three bone hunk of burnin love. A simple dusting of salt & pepper was all this roast needed to season. It was served with horse radish and risotto. It does not get any better than this. Happy Holidays.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Beef Roast aging in a meat locker
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
My apologies to Nat King Cole. Tis the season to cook an aged prime rib beef roast. We ordered one several months ago in anticipation of a meaty Christmas dinner. The image above is from the meat locker at Panizzera Meat Company. Yesterday I traveled on a mini meat adventure to pick up our roast. It would not be Christmas without visiting our good friend Santa Angelo Ibleto from Angelos Meats. It was a short visit because he was swamped with Holiday orders. Christmas is a couple of days away and I wonder if the Big Green Egg will make it under the tree this year. Ms. Goofy and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Meaty New Year.
Monday, December 19, 2016
"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture"
This is one beet red sausage; literally. While strolling through the Ferry Plaza Farmers market this sausage drew me in. It was sold by "Salt Pt Butchery and Provisions" a non traditional meat purveyor. They sell at pop-up events, 'Meat Share' program, and here at the farmers market. The ingredients are pork, basil, shallots and beets which are fairly obvious by the bright red color. I want to mention the price because it was on the high side. These two sausages combined weighed twelve ounces and cost ten dollars. I believe we shall have some sausage pizza tonight.
We browned the sausage in our trusty black iron pan. Once it was cooled we sliced and put it on a pre-made bake pizza. A short trip into the oven and we were ready to eat. The sausage was okay. It had a earthy sweetness from the beets. It could of used a little more seasoning because this sausage was also on the bland side. The basil and shallots were a little lost in this mix. It was fun to experiment with our sausage find. We now return control of your television set to you.
Salt Pt. Butchery and Provisons
Salt Pt. Butchery and Provisons
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Heat Hot Sauce Shop is one of my favorite hot and spicy hangouts. Dylan & Becky the proprietors of this house of heat have asked me to compile a collection of some of my favorite hot sauces for a Christmas Gift Set. They are promoting these sauces and selling them for a fantastic gift item for the holidays. I am speechless and very flattered to be included in this offering. This would make the perfect gift for any hot sauce enthusiast. My collection is all about good flavor and of course a healthy but not too hot blast of heat. I lean towards the green sauces as you shall see. Come along and take a look at the Chilebrown’s Gift Set
Lucky Dog…..Green Label
Scott Zalkind is the charismatic local producer of Lucky Dog Hot Sauce’s. His Green Label is a mild blend of fire-roasted jalapeno & Serrano peppers and garlic. This sauce is extremely flavorful and pairs with many food combinations.
Roasted Hatch chile peppers from New Mexico are some of my all-time favorite chile. Throw in a couple of habaneros and you have one fancy sauce that packs a medium punch. This goes great on pizza, burgers and will spice up your breakfast burrito.
This Verde (green) style sauce has roasted hatch chiles, roasted garlic, roasted jalapenos, cilantro and a just a splash of Scorpion pepper. It has a very fresh and crisp vinegar note up front, balanced with the legendary hatch chile flavors. It tastes so verde good.
Hell Fire Zombie Snot
This is the hottest of my collection. It has an assortment of exotic peppers such as Carolina Reapers, Jolokia, 7-Pot, and Moruga Scorpions. Let’s throw in a couple of jalapenos, serrano’s, tomatillos and sweeten it with granny smith apples. This combination works to make a flavorful sauce that demands respect with its beautiful heat rush.
This may be my personal favorite. This is a fun sauce that goes well with all food pairings. It is a mild mustard based habanero sauce that originated in the Portland Oregon area. It is listed as a medium heat level sauce but that may be a little generous on the heat scale. This will be a crowd favorite.
This is my collection. I personally use these sauces all the time. What fun it was to pick these sauces for Christmas ideas. Dylan & Becky of Heat Hot Sauce have this collection for sale at a very reasonable price of $41.99 that even includes the shipping price. Yes, you read correctly; shipping is included. There are links below to find this collection and many other offerings at Heat Hot Shop. Have a very Merry and Spicy Christmas.
Heat Hot Sauce Shop
(510) 849-1048 Ask for the Chilebrown Gift Set
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
It was a dark and stormy night, seems to be fitting way to start off our restaurant review from Hell. We drive by Mangia Bene restaurant in Martinez all the time. The outside looks like it could be a nice local Italian restaurant. At least that is what we wanted to believe. It was Monday night and we did not want to cook at home tonight so we ventured to Mangia Bene Restaurant to give it a try. You may want to stop reading now because this review will be going downhill fast.
We want to find positive in all of our dining experiences. Mangia Bene is a fun and warm looking establishment. Inside is painted brightly and decorated with Italian style adornments. The waiter was pleasant. He brought a small pitcher of sparkling water that was refreshing. The menu was reasonably priced. The wait staff was accommodating for my request for pasta instead of potatoes on my entrée. The rest of the evening was a food disaster.
Soft white Italian bread was brought to the table before our meal. The bread was okay in a white wonderbread type of way. It was served with a spread of tomato, garlic, bread and olive oil puree that I would compare to an aioli. The problem was it had just been taken out of the refrigerator and was icy cold. The texture was a little grainy and just seemed a little off. I ordered a New York steak with pasta. I always order my steak medium rare. It dawned on me; did the waiter even ask me how I wanted this steak cooked?
Our entrees arrived promptly possibly because we were one of two tables occupied in the whole establishment. Red flags screamed at me at first glance of my blackened piece of so called New York steak. I cut into this piece of protein. I am glad the steak knife was serrated because this pathetic excuse of a steak made shoe leather seem tender. It was horrifyingly cooked to past well done degree. I wanted to dial 911 and report a crime against a steak. Wow. The pasta was horrendous also. The red sauce had a greasy tinny flavor that would have brought a tear to Chef-Boyardee’s eye. The pasta must have been bought from the dollar store across the street. The steak was served with a mushroom sauce. The can opener was getting a work out at this meal. Canned mushrooms swimming in possibly Campbells soup just seemed wrong. This dish failed on so many levels.
Ms. Goofy ordered shrimp carbonara. Ms. Goofy barely pawed through this frozen iceberg shrimp disaster. The sauce was heavy and gloppy. The same mass produced pasta did not help this dish. Mangia Bene should be ashamed for sending out dishes like this from their kitchen. This meal misfired on all of its cylinders. We so wanted to find a good local Italian restaurant. It definitely will not be Mangia Bene
1170 Arnold Dr #116,
Martinez, CA 94553
Friday, December 9, 2016
Are you hungry? This is a fun recipe that was created on the Mad Meat Genius fly. I am sure it has been done before and if you follow sound cooking techniques and use quality ingredients you will have success too. We are working with an inexpensive pork loin that has been butterflied, briefly brined and then stuffed with three types of mushrooms, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. The stuffed meat roll is then wrapped in a weave of bacon and cooked in a covered kettle bbq. Let’s cook dinner.
We will start with the pork loin. The loin is approx 3 pounds. Most of the visible fat is trimmed with a sharp boning knife. With the same knife the roast is butterflied. Do not be intimidated by this process because in the end it is all rolled up and any goof-ups will be covered with bacon. Slice the length about 1/3 down the diameter length of the roll and slowly draw your knife to cut almost through. Turn your roast over and slice down the other 2/3. Place on a cutting board and flatten down any unevenness with a mallet, back of your knife or even your hand. The next step is a quick easy brine.
- 1/4 cup salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 cups of water
- ½ pd. button mushrooms chopped
- ½ pd. Portabella mushrooms gills removed and chopped.
- 2 Tablespoons dried mushrooms chopped. (Re-hydrate mushrooms in warm water before chopping)
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup bread crumbs (make your own bread crumbs by toasting some bread and using your food processor)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Salt & pepper to taste
It is time to assemble. Place your butterflied, brined meat on a sheet of wax paper. Spread cooled mushroom mixture evenly over meat. Roll the meat like a Christmas log. Use the wax paper to help you roll it firm but not tight. Wrap the roll in the wax paper and refrigerator for an hour. This will help firm up the roll. I make a bacon weave while I am waiting and place it in the refrigerator also to firm. Take meat roll out of refrigerator and place in center of bacon weave seam side up. Turn meat roll over and tie strings to secure.
You could cook this in the oven but why not fire up the bbq in the middle of winter? We built an indirect fire. This was achieved by banking approx 30 lit charcoal briquettes on each side with a drip pan in the center. Place bacon wrapped meat roll on center of a well-oiled grill grate and cover with kettle lid. Cook for almost an hour or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove roast for the very important resting time of 15 minutes.
Slice with a serrated knife. I guarantee you will impress with this Mad Meat Genius creation. Cooking in the bbq adds that certain flavor that we love. The pork loin was tender and juicy. We are sold on the brining technique. The filling was rich and decadent. This is a recipe that we are glad to share. I am looking forward to the leftovers tonight. Have fun.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
I am guilty as charged. While sitting in front of the boob tube for hours and hours watching football until my eyes bleed the Burger King commercial hawks their latest burger creation. Behold the "Bacon King". This is supposed to be two 1/4 pound beef patties with six slices of bacon with cheese. For some reason the burgers in the commercials always look better on high definition television. My burger was only one patty and I am not sure if it even had the promised 6 slices of bacon. Was this even bacon but possibly a limp facsimile of my favorite cured pork product? How did it taste? It was not terrible is about the best I can do. You see the same commercial over and over and over again and eventually it seduced me into purchase. I am weak.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
The quest to find the best Chileverde dish continues. In fact it was not even on the menu today at Canasta Kitchen Restaurant. We have been taking advantage of the discounted prices offered by Groupon. We found a coupon for Canasta Kitchen Restaurant and decided to give it a try. We bundled up on this chilly day and traveled to Concord California for upscale Mexican food.
We walked into an almost empty dining area to a chilly bare metal table. Luckily the waiter had a warming personality. He greeted us and cheerfully told us about the restaurant and offered some menu suggestions. The menu was small and had limited but flavorful sounding selections. There were enchiladas, empanadas that our waiter recommended, huaraches, chile rellenos and street tacos that were made with rib-eye steak. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with other Latin influenced menu items. I did make the observation that the prices were on the high side.
We placed our order and immediately received a complimentary serving of a flavorful tortilla soup and a small basket of tortillas chips that had a spattering of black bean puree and a side of tart tomatillas salsa. The tomatilla salsa did not have any discernable heat. We were excited for our entrees because the tortillas soup was very flavorful and warming on this chilly day. Our entrees arrived. The kitchen took pride in their plating. These were fantastic picture taking opportunity plates.
I had chile relleno with rice and beans. I do admit this was one pretty plate. One does eat with their eyes first. This pasilla pepper was filled with carne asada and vegetables. It was pleasant and filling. The beans were lackluster and the rice bland. My overall feeling was this dish was lacking in any heat and spicy seasoning. It was bland. Ms. Goofy had enchiladas with the combinations of red sauce, green sauce and fillings of chicken and beef. She also had a pretty plate but struck out in the seasoning and spice department.
Canasta Kitchen Restaurant takes care in their food presentation and customer service. Our waiter was pleasant and helpful. Our plates could have come out of a food magazine. These food offerings did not excite in the flavor department. The complimentary appetizer of tortilla soup was the highlight of our meal. Canasta Kitchen charges a premium price for these pretty plates and with all the other choices in the Bay Area for Mexican food we most likely will not return.
Canasta Kitchen Restaurant
2118 Mt. Diablo Street
Concord, CA 94520
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
I wondered what happened to our leftover 'trick or treat' candy. We rarely get costumed ragamuffins begging for sugary treats anymore. This produces lots of candy for yours truly. For some reason this years confectionery collection was amiss. Ms. Goofy had stockpiled this assortment to make a "Candy Cake". This was the 'kitchen sink' of chocolaty treats. Oh my, this is one decadent cake. It has Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, M & M's, Snickers, and Milky Way's. Needles to say this cake is delicious. In closing I would like to leave you with an image of the pecan pie Ms. Goofy made for Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
This was too good not to share. The Pt. Reyes Cheese Company is offering their version of pimento cheese. The Pt. Reyes Cheese Company is a regular vendor at many farmers markets in the Bay Area. They also sell a fantastic blue cheese that is Ms. Goofy's favorite. When we saw this, we immediately had to purchase a tub. It was not cheap at 8.00/small tub. It was a treat with its quality mix of cheeses, spices and pimento peppers. Did I say pimento peppers? After further inspection the label stated red bell pepper. It did still have a good pepper flavor distinction. We made some of the best meat loaf sandwiches ever. I wish pimento peppers were is season because this has inspired me to make some pimento cheese of my own.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Sometimes you just get lucky. We were on a Meat Adventure, on our way to lunch in Occidental California when we drove right by a barn with the sign Panizzera Meat Company. I shouted; ‘Go back!’ We did and what a meat treasure discovery. We pulled into the driveway and noticed several white coated, hard hatted butchers scurrying around the property. At first we were not sure that Panizzera was a retail operation. We asked one of the butchers and to our meaty pleasure the fun was about to begin.
Panizzera has been in business since 1914. Constante and Margaret Panizzera, Italian immigrants ran a slaughter facility and small butcher shop to process animals for the local farmers. Josh Cerda and Ryan Taylor are the new owners continuing this local meat company tradition. They make 15 different sausages. They still process local meats with custom processing options. At this time there is no actual retail shop but they had a signboard with meat options. Our butcher/owner Josh told us they had aged beef for sale too. I asked if I could see the products. He said; of course but I would have to put on a smock and hard hat to go into the walk-in. I put on my uniform and saw a display of hanging aging meat that made me drool. I picked out a beautiful T-bone steak that had been dry aged for 60 days. You should have seen the smile on my face.
We made several other purchases including sausage and aged New York steak. I could not wait to get home to try my aged T-bone. The marbling of love (fat) in this steak was spectacular. It was seasoned with salt & pepper and seared over a very hot charcoal fire. I have had a lot of great tasting steaks in my life and this one scored very highly. The beef flavor was so intense with lusciousness and tender to boot. Sometime you just get lucky on Meat Adventures. This was a meat find that made us grin. We shall return.
Panizzera Meat Company
3905 Main St.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
There is never a dull moment in the Chilebrown kitchen; literally. A sharp knife makes cooking preparation easy and safe. Over the years I have had numerous sharpening systems. Most of them take a certain amount of skill and patience to properly sharpen my knives. I have found and purchased a new sharpening device called the ‘Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener. That is a mouthful of a title. Ken Sharp is a legendary hall of fame knife maker and has designed this tool for the Work Sharp Company. It will easily sharpen any and all of your knives. It even has a scissor sharpening function. Let’s sharpen some knives.
This tool comes with multiple sharpening belts with varying grits. Depending how dull your knife is will determine the appropriate belt. The belt slips easily on and off of the machine. Once your belt is loaded you need to set the angle to sharpen. Most kitchen knives are ground to twenty degrees. There is a simple trigger switch that controls the speed of the motor which turns the sharpening belt. You draw the knife through the machine through the appropriate slot. This slots guide your blade at the correct angle. A couple draws for each side of the knife will do. You then change the belt to a finer grit and repeat. This system could not be any easier to use.
I have been sharpening my favorite knives to razor sharpness. My new sharpener is a welcome addition to the Chilebrown arsenal of cooking tools. This tool actually is fun to use. Now that my knives are sharp it is a simple task to use a hone to keep them sharp. We will see you next time I am off to sharpen some scissors.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
My downtown in now “Uptown” and a brand new steakhouse has opened their trendy barn doors. We are talking about ‘Izzy’s Oakland’ a branch of the popular San Francisco restaurant; Izzy’s Steak and Chophouse. The Oakland Magazine had just written a favorable review about Izzy’s Oakland. Izzy’s website made this proclamation; “Locally owned and operated, Izzy’s Steaks & Chops has long been a favorite of Bay Area residents who appreciate the very best Midwestern steaks and chops. All our beef is corn fed and our New York Steaks are aged at least 21 days to produce a one of a kind flavorful product." . We also found a ‘Groupon’ a discount to seal the decision to dine at Izzy’s Oakland.
Parking Karma was present by the open sparking spot right in front of the kitchen door. We walked through the front doors to take in a trendy, hip(ster), inviting, fun looking bar area. It was Monday 6:00 pm and there was only a handful of people in the bar and an almost empty dining area. There was a lot to take in surveying the kitschy art ordaining wall space. The restaurant had a casual feeling. There was even a shelf full of hot sauces and condiments that framed the room.
Our waitress was exemplary in professional service. From menu recommendations, positive minimal personal interaction and even an effort at bread crumb removal made our waitress the perfect server. You know I had my eye on the New York Sirloin steak. It is interesting that Izzy’s calls this a sirloin and not a New York strip. They are both correct but from my understanding using the sirloin moniker is usually when the bone is included. (Donna, can you help me on this?). Ms. Goofy ordered the skirt steak. What is nice about Izzy’s your entrée comes with two sides. That is almost unheard of in most steakhouses today. With our Groupon purchase we also had our choice of starters and a dessert. We were ready for a feast.
The kitchen graciously split our house salad. A generous proportion of mixed greens were dressed with oil and vinegar that was a tad on the sweet side. Promptly our entrees were delivered. Izzy’s does not skimp on the proportions. These were huge plates. My steak had all the right moves. Tender with massive corn-fed bliss was the verdict. I have to mention the side of creamed spinach. It was so decadent with several cheeses and rich cream. What a treat. Ms. Goofy enjoyed her flank steak but even though it had fantastic flavor it had a tug and chew to it. I sampled some of her flank steak and agreed. It was inconsistent in texture. One bite was tender and then next was a little tough.
Our dinner crescendo was with a house made New York cheesecake that was delicious. One last observation of our dining experience was the waitress’s crumb removal technique. She took her hand and flexed her fingers rigid to form a human crumb sweeper. With one deft sweep she accomplished crumb removal to my enjoyment. Our dining experience overall was very enjoyable. Except for a little tug to the bite in Ms. Goofy’s flank steak we left Izzy’s with satisfaction and a smile on our face. Izzy’s is a casual Uptown trending great steakhouse. We shall return.
59 Grand Avenue,
Oakland, CA 94612
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Derrick from the competition bbq team 'Son of Smoke' gifted me a bottle of Kinder's Sweet Sriracha BBQ Sauce. Kinder's is a popular chain deli/meat market located in the Bay Area. Kinder's specializes in catering, sells quality meats and has a bustling lunch business. Their catering usually involves bbq which is very decent as far as cater's can produce. We sampled this bottle with some meaty chicken thighs cooked in a covered bbq. Let's check out the ingredients.
Ingredients: On second thought, this ingredient list is massive. The short version is there is whole lot of organic ingredients. Tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, sugar, molasses, vinegar, habanero powder and a whole LOT more of ingredients are listed. Natural Hickory Smoke flavor is a listed ingredient. Liquid smoke is not one of my favorite animals.
Straight out of the bottle, the flavor is very sweet tomato base with a mild earthy jalapeno kick. In the background is the influence of the hickory smoke. It is used in restraint and seems to be a welcome flavor component. This is a good balanced sauce. It has all the right components of sweet, heat, spices and dare I say it; liquid smoke. This should work well on our barbequed chicken.
Ms. Goofy and I give this sauce a thumbs up. The balance of flavors complemented and enhanced our chicken experience. There is an added bonus of organic ingredients in Kinder's sauce. This will appeal to the Bay Area hipster's and anybody that is socially conscious and concerned about the origins of their food. In our case it just tastes good.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Today, the ‘Great White Hunter’ and I are on a Meat Adventure to Greenfield, California to visit Roy’s Swiss Sausage Factory”. Before we start, I have to mention the Great White Hunter has a red shiny new vehicle. He was gracious enough to chauffeur (his words) us to our meaty destination. We did get lost sort off because of a glitch in his very fancy and expensive navigation device. It is supposed to work on voice commands and we are not sure if the map library had not been updated or the device just did not like the Great White Hunter. We did find Roy’s Swiss Sausage Factory eventually.
It is a good thing we did have a navigation system because Roy’s is located literally at the end of a dead-end country road in the middle of a field. You are not going to casually drive by this meat market. In fact Roy’s Swiss Sausage Factory is only a small cinder block building with no signage unless you count the small sign on the road. The inside is sparse with just a few processing tables and a couple of industrial walk-in refrigerators. What did make this meat market larger than life was Roy. He was busy sharpening his knifes when we entered. Roy is an animated and passionate butcher who seemed to enjoy sharing his zeal of sausage production.
There was a small signboard that listed his sausage and meat products available for sale. We had to find out what exactly was Swiss style sausage was. Roy explained that Swiss sausage was basically the scraps, and leftover of the butchering process. He likes to use a combination of pork and Angus sirloin beef. He also had varieties of chicken using chicken thigh meat. Both of these combinations are fairly lean of fat. These two meats are then flavored with wine and additions such as; artichokes, cheese, jalapenos and chile powder. Roy would not reveal ratios or seasoning secrets but the Great White Hunter volunteered that Swiss style sausage may have flavoring of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Roy also sells steaks (pork & beef), chicken, bacon and even a garden burger (?). The sausage is house made but the other items are sourced from a Del Monte Meats a local meat distributor.
It was a lot of fun talking to Roy. You could feel the passion and love that he puts into his sausage making. Roy had fun talking and showing his operation. He processes game for the locals and showed us some hanging in the walk-in. Roy was impressed that we had traveled far for this meat adventure. He gave us both a free skirt steak for our troubles. Roy like to share and even gave us the recommendation to try the local Mexican restaurant; La Fuente. Meeting Roy and sharing his passion makes Meat Adventure worthwhile.
|Jalapeno & Cheese Swiss Sausage|
Roy's Swiss Sausage Factory
40821 Cherry Ave
Greenfield, CA 93927
Monday, November 7, 2016
We found La Fuente on a hot tip from a local resident on our latest Meat Adventure. We were in the Salinas Valley, a highly productive agricultural area nicknamed the; ‘Salad Bowl of the World” Soledad is also known for housing a large prison. We needed nourishment and a tip from the locals is something not to be taken lightly. Would this La Fuente end my quest for the ultimate plate of Chileverde?
There is more to this picture if you look closely
La Fuente is a small brightly colored establishment. We entered to an almost empty eclectically decorated interior. It took a few seconds to absorb all the art work decorating the walls, counters and any available nook & cranny. We took a gander at the fairly large menu listing the usual offering of a Mexican restaurant. The waitress brought a very nice Pico de Gallo and red chili salsa with a basket of chips. We were off to a good start.
The large plate of Chileverde arrived steaming with the traditional warning of; be careful the plate is very hot. I dug in and did not stop until I had wiped the last drop of verde sauce off with a corn tortilla. This offering was very comforting with tender cubes of seasoned pork meat. The green gravy was fairly mild but satisfying. I had a good appetite and this plate filled a need. It was very decent but the journey will continue to find the ultimate plate of Chileverde. If you are ever in the Salinas valley I would recommend La Fuente.
La Fuente Restaurant
101 Oak St
Soledad, CA 93960