Chilebrown at home

Saturday, May 29, 2021


Sometimes you just stumble into a Meat Adventures. I was in San Francisco to visit Dago Bagel and procured a coveted parking spot in North Beach. Little City Market just so happened to be right across the street from my parking spot. “And Away We Go”…Jackie Gleason.

This is an old school butcher shop located in the North Beach area of San Francisco. The retro red sign is a beacon inviting you to step back in time. Mike and Ron Spinali, father and son owners make more than 30 types of sausages, and make guanciale and meatballs in addition to stocking a full butcher case. This is living meat history. They do not have all 30 sausages available at a time but I did pick out two; Calabrese and Puccini. There were lots of other cuts of meat that sparked my interest and will return at a later date.


We cooked up the sausages and were pleased with the flavors. The Puccini is an Italian style sausage that does not have the traditional fennel as an ingredient. It was mild with lots of garlic to keep the vampires away. The Calabrese was my favorite. It was aggressively seasoned. I would not say it was hot but this pork sausage got your attention. It did have some wonderful pepper flakes throughout. We plan to return to Little City Market. Hopefully our parking karma is intact. 


Friday, May 21, 2021


Tony Gemignani, 13 time world Pizza Champion and food celebrity extraordinaire opened a bagel shop in the City and I had to go visit. You may have seen Tony on the food network tossing pizzas. He has built himself a food empire. The bagel shop is his latest venture. My parking Karma has not been lost. I did take a quick (illegal) U-turn but I landed a coveted parking spot in San Francisco only a block away from my destination.

As soon as I walked through the door, there was Tony to meet and greet the customers. He is larger than life with charm and humility. He took the time to meet and greet anybody that wanted a picture or chat. I ordered a couple of bagels and then talked to Tony. I felt like a little schoolboy meeting some sports or action hero.

I was a fanboy today and the image above is a rare photo of yours truly. It is not every day you get to meet food royalty. I think Tony was impressed.

Sunday, May 16, 2021


What a wonderful day in Galt, California at a beautiful private ranch to host the Canyon Riders Invitational BBQ Competition. This competition had all the right components. Friends, great weather, fantastic bbq, beverages, and just the sense of normalcy. We gathered to judge three categories of food that consisted of Ribs, Pork and Anything Goes. After judging we were invited to participate in a huge buffet supplied by all the competitors. Oh we had so much food today. We would like to share a couple of images with you.

This was our tables entry of Anything Goes. There was a bacon and grits dish *upper left corner" that was heavenly. A tortellini salad with cheese balls, pasta salad and a bacon macaroni salad with a shot of Jack Daniels on the side. I would like to mention the mac & cheese ultimately won and I am not sure if the booze was a bribe or a good pairing.

This was a private residence and we judges hunkered down in a spacious garage. We have not judged a lot of contests in the last year but it is just like riding a bike. It is what we do. It just so happens this judging included a side dish of fun. Tasty Fun. 

This was a beautiful day to have a competition Congratulations to Son of Smoke for taking Grand Championship honors. Most important of all is that we got to hang out with our barbecue friends. We hope to talk to you soon.



Sunday, May 9, 2021


 New growth on some very exotic Bhut Jolokia pepper plants. This may not look like much but what it is is a successful overwintering of a very hot pepper plant. This beautiful Mother's Day I did a little weeding, pruning and fertilizing.  You may ask what my gardening secret is to have these pepper plants survive the winter? I will tell you; Total neglect. It works for me.

Friday, May 7, 2021



My good friend Angelo from Angelo's Meats in Petaluma California is alive and kicking. This man has more energy than anybody I know. He has endured and prospered during the last year. He has even introduced his own line up of raviolis. It is made my an outside company but uses his secret recipe. Angelo did tell me it has mushrooms and squash and spinach in the dough. This ravioli does not contain any meat. Angelo is NOT making any statement. It is just the fact that his processing facility is not certified to use meat products. This ravioli has the Mad Meat Genius seal of approval. If nobody had mentioned the lack of meat it would not be known with is delightfully savory flavor. I usually serve it with a red meat sauce anyway. Bravo Angelo.

Monday, May 3, 2021



Ms. Goofy has outdone herself in the baking department with this quadruple chocolate cheesecake. She has had a lot of time on her hands to hone her skills in the dessert department. She loves to bake and I am the lucky recipient of her craftsmanship. This cake has a crust of Oreo cookies that have a chocolate filling. The cream cheese filling has a chocolate mixed throughout. The cake is covered with a dark chocolate ganache. This topping is decorated in a white chocolate lattice glaze. Is there such thing as too much chocolate? I do not think so.