Chilebrown at home

Sunday, December 25, 2022



A Christmas miracle was under the tree this morning. After so many years of asking Santa for the Big Green Egg it has finally materialized and I am so happy. Ms. Goofy you are the best.


Monday, December 19, 2022

4000 MILES

Today, I hit the 4000 mile mark for riding my bicycle for the year 2022.  I could not have done it without help. Thankyou to the best S.A.G Wagon driver ever; Ms. Goofy. I also want to thank my very special emotional support Monster; Rocky. This year I was fueled by pie and seasonal fruitcake.

Sunday, December 11, 2022



The Women's Auxiliary of the Galileo Italian Club had a bake sale. This sale was to raise fund for parking lot improvements. This was an occasion to buy home made sweet treats and help the club. I went to the bank and made a withdrawal. It was for a good cause after all. 

Because this was for a good cause, I made sure to buy a huge assortment of these delectable delights. I was in sweet shop heaven. It is just something special to see all the love that went into these treats. They did not disappoint.

I may have spent enough money to purchase my own parking spot. It was all for a good cause. That is what I keep telling myself. Yummylicious

Monday, December 5, 2022



I love fruitcake. There are haters but I do not care. This Madmeatgenius grew up in a fruitcake lovers house and experienced some of the most decadent delicious home made cakes one could imagine. This year I will not be baking my own fruitcake and have been in search of commercially made cakes.

The top cake was bought from the Dominican Sisters of San Jose. They make 1,500 cakes a year for their yearly craft fair. Believe it or not these cakes are very popular and sell out fast. I was lucky to get one. It is a traditional fruitcake with candied fruits, nuts and laced with brandy. It was most excellent.

The second cake is a steamed pudding more affectionally known as Figgy Pudding. Ms. Goofy brought it to me from the Dickens Faire. This cake was very moist and yummy. The instruction for servings suggested to soak in in rum for a couple of weeks. I passed because of my teetotaling lifestyle. (I was known to like my drink in the past but have gone 10 years with my new improved lifestyle). Stay tuned for more fruitcake acquisitions. *

* If you do not like Fruitcake; you will be in our thoughts and prayers. See you in January. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022


 This was the final weekend of Black Star Pirate BBQ to be in operation. They have lost their lease and will shutter at their present location. Tony Carriacci owner of BSPB is a member of our Galileo Club. He has been a member and a good friend to our Italian club. We decided to go as a group to bid him farewell at his restaurant.

We had an impromptu cocktail station set up in the parking lot an hour before the 11:00 am opening. We chatted and imbibed. Eleven o’clock rolled around pretty quick and we did not even notice the huge line that had already formed. We were not the only ones that had come to say goodbye. We got in line.

{ I have included this photo of my two friends Tony & Donna to show you the Myron Mixer commercial smoker in the background. You do not see that very often)

It was a festive crowd entertained by live music. The weather was perfect. The food was fantastic. We all scratched our heads wondering why all good things must come to an end. We all hope the best success for Tony in the future.

Monday, November 21, 2022



There is no need to adjust your television set. Yes, you read correctly; Figgy Pudding Spam. I had to to do it. I am not sure what I was thinking. I thought this was actual figgy pudding. It is not. It is figgy pudding flavored Spam. I have to say it was not terrible. It had a sweetness with a Christmassy spice blend of cinnamon and nutmeg (?). I fried some in a pan because I was too chicken to sample it raw. To sum it all up; It is still Spam.

Monday, November 14, 2022


Inflation, gas prices and high food costs, when will it all end? Through our lifetime we have always dealt with rising prices. In my fathers later years, he and his friend would go out to lunch. They would pride themselves with how cheaply they could have lunch. They would search out senior discounts and sometimes get free coffee with their meals. A Wendy's burger for under a dollar and a free coffee was a successful day for my father and friend. My father and friend have long passed and I am glad he would not be able to read what I am about to print.

Downtown Oakland is across the bay from the "City" San Francisco but always in its shadow. Oakland has their skyscrapers and fine restaurants. We went to "Tribune", a restaurant located in the iconic Tribune tower. This used to be the headquarters of the local newspaper. It is a fairly fancy restaurant decorated with modern urban art. I dined with two other friends. We all had burgers with two orders of fries and we all drank water. We enjoyed our burgers. The service was more than fantastic. What is not to like about Tribune? Eighty dollars for 3 burgers, 2 fries and no drinks not including tip was our price tag for dining today. What is one to do? We paid of course but I am glad my father did not see the bill.


Monday, November 7, 2022



I did not make this pie but I did buy it. We were at the Calico Christmas Faire in Crockett California this weekend. Hey wait a minute. Thanksgiving has not even passed and people are putting up Christmas decorations. Santa Clause visited the local Bass Pro Shop this Saturday. What is it with the marketing department. I am expecting Valentines advertisements to drop any day now. Whoops I am sorry about this little rant but it never ends.

  I did buy a frozen pie. It was wonderful.

Sunday, October 30, 2022


We attended the U.S. Coast Guard Island Harvest BBQ this last Friday. We were invited as judges but left as happy attendees. This was an event for Coast Guard personnel, family and friends. It really was an event for the children with a bbq contest thrown in for the larger kids. Eight teams, some “Backyard’ and two “Pro” teams competed together. They cooked ribs, tri-tip and mystery meat. (pork belly). I would like to share some images with you.

The kids got to trunk or treat with elaborately decorated candy stations. Yours truly found the homemade dessert station and was told to help myself. I did. The Coast Guard people created two separate haunted houses. One was on an actual Coast Guard Cutter. I had to explore this venue. It was a blast. The ship was decorated with macabre scenes and costumed actors would jump out at you every opportunity. We ascended and descended between the decks/level by a very steep ladder type staircase. It was a work out.

Today was a fun day. The children have a wonderful time. This Mad Meat Genius child probably had the biggest smile of all.

Monday, October 24, 2022



We acted on a tip from a trusted friend. He suggested Trancas Steakhouse located in Napa Ca. He reported it was an 'Old School" meat and potatoes restaurant with a fun bar. He was right.

We arrived on a Friday night at 500pm. The parking lot was full and we had to park on the street. We were concerned about having to wait for a table. Once inside we were pleasantly surprised that there was plenty of open dining tables. The bar was packed with local clientele. It looked like a fun party. We were there to get our steak on.

The menu was fairly standard with the usual American standard dishes. The menu also stated the beef was USDA Choice grade with 21-28 days  aging. I had 14 ounce N.Y. steak and Ms. Goofy the 12 0unce Prime Rib. I want to touch on the dining area's ambiance. It was bright. We had a lamp on our table and a hanging lamp directly above. It did make for easy menu reading but was a little harsh on the eyes.

The service was fine except for the waitress forgot an ordered item. It was not on the bill so no harm no foul. The steaks were good but not great. I have had many steaks in the day and this offering did not impress. Maybe it was the harsh lighting, sparse seasoning, and possibly just the presentation? Trancas Steakhouse is a fun place for the locals to hang out and have a steak afterwards. We are glad to have experienced it once.

Monday, October 17, 2022


The Depot was a restaurant in Napa that served Italian Food family style. They have long since shuttered but the memory lives on. Clemente Cittoni was the cook and had a signature dish called Malfatti. Malfatti is the filling only of a ravioli.(Malfatti is translated from Italian to mean; "poorly made, or mistake'). It is gently simmered and served with a red meat sauce. We have never experienced such a taste, texture and delicious pasta dish that Clemente's created.  Clemente has a cult like following of Malfatti lovers. He did open a to-go only restaurant located in a Napa liquor store. He has recently moved to a new location in Napa called; The Food Mill. Have I mentioned that Clement is 84 years old?

We made the 1/2 hour pilgrimage to The Food Mill. It is a small restaurant (?). I question the restaurant part because they did have a mismatch of tables and a bar but we were the only seated customers. There was a constant ringing of the phone and lots and lots of people came to pick up their order to go. There was no bartender, waitress, silverware or ambiance to be had. Clemente's daughter Joanne took our order at the counter. She was very busy and it might of actually been easier to phone in our order. We ordered our beloved Malfatti. It was served in a to-go foil pan and we had to beg for some paper plates and plastic utensils. Besides the sparse and almost non existent service we relived a taste and memory from the past. Malfatti is something to be experienced. We were happy.


Monday, October 10, 2022

Salume & Focaccia Class

The Ligure Club sponsored a salume and focaccia cooking class. I signed up just to sample all of the homemade meats and bread. Lots of samples and they tend to push the vino if you are so inclined. Ms. Goofy was not going to let me go alone and I am glad she decided to attend. The class is very informal.  They even threw in a pasta course to make sure you left satisfied. Needless to say, we were very full at the end of the day.

Ms. Goofy left the class full and was inspired. The next week she created this very special homemade focaccia. I am in heaven. She has made several other focaccias since then.. I am so happy she attended this cooking class.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022



The "Mercury News" today reports that Black Star Pirate BBQ" will shutter in November. Apparently they have lost the lease on their present location. They had a two year run which seemed to be gaining momentum. I have met and become friends with the owner Tony Carracci. Black Star Pirate BBQ was once quoted as being; " “One part New Orleans, one part old-school Haight-Ashbury.”. I will be sad to see them go. 

Monday, October 3, 2022



We look forward to Pig Jig event held yearly in San Jose California. This is a corporate fund raiser for NepCure Kidney International. This year was not open to the general public but was well attended by donors and guests. This event also happens to host a bbq event which needed judges. We judged tri-tip and ribs with our favorite category of "Anything Goes" Anything Goes is a category that comprises of the teams special culinary creations to impress the judges. It seemed the theme this year was to include booze with every entry. It may or may not have worked because everything is a little fuzzy right now. Please enjoy the images below.