23
Sep 12

Beckett’s Table

 

Even Driving by Beckett's Table Looks Like a Scene.

We have been meaning to visit Beckett’s Table for about a year. In fact, since Beckett’s Table’s pre-launch (and launch)  PR campaign has died down, we are usually reminded of our desire to dine with Justin Beckett by driving past his restaurant on Indian School on the way to someplace else. Two or three weeks ago, rolling down Indian School on the way to Crudo, we passed Beckett’s Table and noted, again, that we meant to go. That was probably our 4 or 5th time remembering we meant to go.

A quick detour away from Beckett’s Table here. Crudo is Cullen Cambell’s new award winning place. If you saw the cover of Phoenix Magazine with the chef wearing the pink fish tie, that is the place. We loved Crudo but did not blog about it yet because we plan to return in October with cameras for The Sour Ball put on for charity by Sweet’s Brands. Also if truth be told, after the Summer Food Drive 2012, I was not much in the mood for eating blogging-style with cameras and lights and questions and notes.

Sorry for the interlude, now back to our Beckett’s Table story. Mrs. P Chef has become more restricted in her diet for some health reasons. The process that used to be a simple read of a menu and then some ordering is now akin to a detective’s interrogation. Picture a young, excited, fresh-faced server being grilled (not literally) by Mrs. P Chef over the terms: “Gluten Free,” “Soy-Free,” “Smoke-Free,” “Butter-Free, Etc.-Free,” etc. and you will have the picture.  The restrictions are now a part of her, and by extension our, meal planning and menu perusing lexicon. It is not a lot of fun chowing down on a cola-braised, smoked, pork shoulder slider, in front of your scowling wife, and her salad, but sometimes it has to be done. Sometimes it does have to be, really, for work, honey.

Okay. With lessons learned, on “Date Night” we are now usually looking for restaurants that are both on the cutting edge of cuisine and on the cutting edge of making something from nothing. As you can imagine, places that fit both bills are few and far between. We imagined that Beckett’s Table would fit into the first camp and offer cutting-edge, fine-dining, comfort food. Mrs P Chef was a trooper in offering to visit there for AZ Restaurant Week 2012. We were both pleasantly surprised to find out that not only does Beckett’s Table serve up thoughtly constructed dishes, well-exectuted, but they are very sensitive about food allergies and food preferences and can be very accomodating.

The menu is marked with (gf) for Gluten-Free, and the vegetarian items are marked as well. Having worked in the kitchen, our server, Brandon, was well-versed in the detailed preparations of the items and their ingredients. He was also extremely patient as we had a mini-seminar, breaking down the most likely dishes for Mrs. P Chef.

In the end, we ordered and hoped for the best. We used to have an inside joke that I always ordered the best thing between us when we went out. I say “used to” because it was a lot more amusing before Mrs. P Chef was kicked down to the equivalent of the Freshman ordering team by her dietary restrictions. Trouncing her Trout Almandine selection, or Sauteed Vegetables, isn’t the same game.

Ultimately, Mrs. P Chef’s options were good enough to leave her smiling (not scowling at the dishes of your’s truly)  and a successful dinner was achieved. She was starving as we arrived and got started right away with the Oven Roasted Organic Beets to sustain her for the negotiations ahead.

The Combination of Flash & Flashlight Made These Organic Beets Glow.

I typically have a hands off policy with regards to her limited menu options but I did sneak a single Golden Beet, off her plate (for work) while she was visiting the powder room. It was flavored with Crow’s Dairy Feta, herbs and pecans, making for a tender and earthy dish that was a very good choice for either of us.

My first dish was the gluten-free, Achiote Citrus Poached and Chilled Shrimp with black bean salad and avocado puree. It was acceptable to both of us and a really good example of “Flair,” the 4th of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking.™

Attention to Detail Raised this Dish from the Ordinary

Without it sounding too bad, a lot of the appeal of this shrimp dish was in the visual presentation. Arriving at the table, it looked like it should have been on a pedestal at the Phoenix Art Museum. The looks set up some great taste expectations. The great expectations were ultimately not met by the dish as a whole. The shrimp, which our brains knew were poached and chilled, turned out to be poached and chilled. It was a much more subtle flavor and experience than that advertised by the visual presentation of the fresh, succulent shell fish sitting on a black bean salad.

Now, Mrs. P Chef loved the black bean salad, but I thought it was reminiscent of the black bean salad at Chipotle, as if a master chef had slipped into the burrito place and prepped it that day, making a sexier, older cousin of Chipotle’s normal black bean fare. It was tasty and delicate but the similarity to faster food ruined it for me. Mrs. P Chef loves Chipotle (and their black bean salad) and loved this one, too.

The avocado puree was a beautiful painted green flourish but fairly inaccessible since none of the other items on the appetizer plate were soft enough or absorbent enough to take it up. All-in-all, the chilled shrimp read like a masterpiece on the menu, arrived like a star and ate like a pretty-good jumble (to me). Mrs. P Chef would probably criticize my take on it, as she ended up with the lion’s share of the dish and a happy “cat-who-ate-the-canary” expression.

Mrs. P Chef ordered from the regular menu and got the Gold Canyon Flat Iron Steak with fingerling potato salad, aioli, & Rocket (a leaf veggie like a milder spinach) for her entree.

An Umami Work of Art on the Plate

The Flat Iron Steak was a great, though pricey, dish. My one small bite was sultry and succulent with accents of butter and umami. I wanted a bit more but left Mrs. P Chef to it because she is not getting as many choices theses days. She cleaned the plate and was a very happy and satisfied spouse.

Cola Braised Pork Not Exactly Like Your Momma's

I ordered off the restaurant week menu for my entree and got the Cola Braised Pulled Pork that came with a Bacon Cheddar Biscuit, the Fingerling Potato Salad and Carolina Cole Slaw.  It was not exactly like your Mama would have made (in a good way). This difference from Mama’s cooking is the essence of what I came to like about Beckett’s Table. The items are comfort food, like Mama might have made, but re-imagined as though Mamma were a culinary professional with some serious chops. The pulled pork was tender, moist and flavorful. Examining the plate with a jaded eye, I actually thought that there were some margin enhancing games being played at the center of the plate. I saw how the pork was laid alongside the bulk of potato salad, slaw and biscuit and expected chicanery. Lifting the slaw and potato salad with my fork to uncover the plating ruse, revealed only more pork instead. The revelation made me both happy and wrong and cynical all at the same time.

 

More S'mores Please

Only your’s truly could venture into dessert land…..because it was included on the Restaurant Week menu. At least, that is how I attempted to assuage Mrs. P Chef, who was actually happily sated from her big portion of steak, and able to hear me.  The re-imagined S’mores dessert, called Bacon Chocolate Smore’s, was really interesting. There were a lot of different tastes and textures and a number of combinations to try to determine which method was the best eating. It was like a new culinary playground on the plate that was tasty, engaging and interesting. It was a very flavorful, playful way to end the meal.

As the check arrived we both agreed that we were glad we had visited and liked the experience. The rub was that we were not so sure that we would be rushing back. I think our reluctance stems from the focus on a fusion of  fine dining & comfort food. Beckett’s Table is good but neither fish ‘nor fowl. Every dish we had was good, even really good in its way, but none of the dishes that we had (so far) were “crave-able,” like the hatch green-chili burger at Le Grande Orange, or the pork at Bryan’s BBQ in Cave Creek, or the oxtail at Atlas Bistro. There won’t be a mental linchpin of craving to remind us  to return.

Beckett's Table on Urbanspoon


12
Jun 12

The Drover Steakhouse – Summer Food Drive 2012

Last year on our Summer Food Drive 2011, I was super excited to visit Gorat’s Steakhouse in Omaha. We were writing our Beef Topic (it ended up running 800 pages in doc format) and Gorat’s was voted one of the Top 10 Steakhouses in America by Saveur Magazine and they had a reputation for a great dry aging program and it was one of Warren Buffet’s favorite places. Wouldn’t a man who can buy everything, (I mean anything) get the best steak in town?

One would think, but the problem was that whenever I mentioned my excitement to Nebraska based foodies, they invariably said “oh,” like they were talking to their slow cousin Norman. An “oh” wasn’t promising for a once-in-a-lifetime, steak- visit to Omaha, NE the home of the nation’s feed-lots.

If you can believe it, the 3 Nebraska folks I spoke to before the trip were not raging fans of Gorat’s. They all spoke of this other place in Omaha: The Drover.

Even While visiting cattleman Dan Morgan who runs Morgan Ranch in Burwell, Nebraska, which is one of the leading Wagyu Beef operations in the country (Kobe Beef is made from Wagyu Cattle), The Drover came up. Dan was gracious enough to show us around his ranching operation and to cook some steaks with us in 2011. Dan’s favorite steakhouse in Omaha, NE was The Drover. In fact, everyone I bumped into and spoke to about Omaha steaks mentioned The Drover as their favorite for corn-fed Nebraska Beef. They felt that Gorat’s had passed its prime (no pun intended) and was a bit long in the tooth.

In 2011, I was booked and still excited for Gorat’s (had a great visit) but had to footnote The Drover so it could on the agenda for another Summer Food Drive. This year, 2012 was the year.

From my earlier conversations, I imagined The Drover as a sprawling, country-style ranch property near the stockyards. All of the pictures of the Drover on the Internet (even ours) seemed to confirm the ranch motif. I fantasized about big burly butchers in their spattered white coats and construction helmets, just walking over with the best cuts; a Filet here, some Sirloin there. “Oh you say there was run on Porterhouse? Just pop over next door and re-load the larder.” It was some fun imagery and I have to contain myself to stop from going on and on.

As I headed down Mercy Road with its malls and strip centers in Omaha in the ‘Smart Kitchen’-mobile I wondered where they were going to hide a ranch amid the urban landscape. My “Culinary Sense” wasn’t tingling that a stockyard was near.

You Can't Take a Picture of the Homey Entrance and the Office Park

It turns out that they do  sprawl but not on a spread. The Drover is a wide-open, sprawling ranch house on about a half a block of land surrounded by office buildings and very near a hospital. The Internet illusions, seen above is really just a fortuitous real estate development history and a bit of photographic framing. No stockyards, no butchers rushing to and fro. I was a bit disappointed after all of the raves from first hand, knowledgeable, sources. I bucked up though when I saw a major hospital across the auspiciously named “Mercy Road,” in case my set-to with so much beefy cholesterol went horribly wrong.  In this day and age, beef eaters probably need mercy more than they need proximity to a stockyard.

Entering The Drover, is like entering a “speak-easy” for “beef-a-holics.” One step into the dark entry way and I forgot all about the warm summer day outside or anything else. I gave myself over to the cool, dark, Vegas-like home of grain fed beef. The Drover may be the bad boy, newcomer in Omaha, NE (according to my sources) but it still feels like your parent’s restaurant (in a good way). The salad bar (and presumably the whole place) has been there serving customers since 1968 with those magical ice-cold metal plates. I can’t recall exactly what I was eating in 1968 but it was probably made by the Gerber’s Company.

A Bronze Plaque at the Salad Bar Explains that the Drover has been serving Salad this way since 1968

The Drover’s layout and feel is pretty basic by today’s standard but it isn’t tired or played out. Instead it felt like a restored CLASSIC, sort of like the ’57 T-Bird or ’72 Eldorado of steak houses. And it is getting current media attention. It turns out I missed Man vs. Food’s Adam Richman’s visit by only a week. I had met Adam in Scottsdale this past spring and few culinary people are as current as Adam. After my visit, I am looking forward to watching The Drover episode of Man vs. Food Nation to get his take.

To place my order, I had a choice to make. Whiskey Steak or the Grilled Prime Rib. The Drover is famous for its Whiskey Steak (a secret whiskey based marainade), and I had been thinking of an Omaha, corn-fed Steak for over a year, yet I had always thought of Prime Rib as a Roast. I had never considered cooking a big cut of Prime Rib like a hefty steak. Where they on to something here? When you are just passing through it is hard to come back and try both. What to do? I used a lifeline and conferred with Mike “Spike” Sabin (managing The Drover for 38 years) about my options. His years of restaurant experience came into play. He told me that the Wednesday lunch special was the $17.49 Prime Rib Steak, Whiskey Style. I am not sure if he was pulling my leg and artfully bending the rules, but my problem was solved. There is nothing like a true restaurant professional. Thanks Spike.

The Prime Grade, corn-fed, Nebraska Prime rib is Roasted at 225° F for 4 hours and then Held Warm until it is Sliced as needed. The steak-cut slice is then Marinated in The Drover’s secret whiskey-soy sauce a few minutes before hitting the char-broiler and being Finish Cooked like a steak. The Prime Rib is available until they run out.

As I waited for the my order, I observed the lunch crowd. They ranged from an unlikely table of 4 college girls to business men to the old couples that had been frequenting The Drover since 1968. All sorts of business discussions were taking place. I overheard words like “designated agent” and “ROI” along with foreign place names like “Shanghai” and “Frankfurt.” There was a vibrancy and sense of youthful energy here that I did not see at Gorat’s. It feels like The Drover is replacing their aging customer base and actually they are doing better than ever.

You Can't Argue with the Simplicity of The Prime Rib "Whiskey-Steak-Style"

The Drover’s Prime Rib, “Whiskey-Steak-Style” was a dream. All the buttery goodness of Prime Rib with the Browning and Caramelization of a perfect steak. This is not a “Classic” preparation of Prime Rib, but a classic example of good old fashion American ingenuity. I didn’t ask Spike how it came about but I imagined a re-enactment of the argument.

Chef 1: “Why can’t you cook Prime Rib like a terrific Steak?”

Chef 2: “You just can’t.”

Chef 1: “Yeah?”

Chef 2: “Yeah!”

Chef 1: “I’ll show you.”

The Prime Rib masquerading as a steak falls to the char-broiler. “Sssssssszzzzzzzz.”

Chef 2: “Hey its looking pretty good.”

Chef 1: “Just wait until its ready, Sucker.”

Chef 1 pulls the thick, beautifully marked steak from the grill.

Chef 1: “OMG”

Chef 2, his mouth watering, “Can I get a little of that.”

I also imagined a Reese’s Peanut Butter scenario where two chefs bump into one another and one chef’s roast landed on the grill and they decide that 2 great tastes can go together. OK, maybe I was a little punchy after such a long drive, but all I am going to say by way of explanation, is that sitting by yourself, 1500 miles from home, you have some time to day dream about different scenarios.

However, they came upon it, Grilling the Prime Rib struck me as a stroke of genius. They were not trying too hard, or loading the steak/prime rib up with bells and whistles, like some places. It was just a simple, epic, eye-opening dining / cooking experience.  The sides (thick cut toast, cinnamon apple and cottage cheese) were supporting members of the plate. The dated, but welcome, sides also served to confirm that I was still, after all, in the Heartland of Nebraska.

Perfectly Cooked Rare Prime Rib / Steak

With my visit to Fiorella’s Jack Stack in KC just a few hours down the road, I did not even risk a look at the dessert menu.

Writing up my visit, has me almost ready to point the Smart Kitchen mobile towards Nebraska and drive as far as I need to go. If you are a beef eater and you have a chance to drop in, do. And do say “hi” to Spike.

P Chef

Smart Kitchen

“The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook™”

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The Drover on Urbanspoon


10
Jun 12

Root Down, Denver – Summer Food Drive 2012

We had planned a trip to Pinche Tacos (apologies if you are a Spanish speaker. It’s their name) in Denver with our colleagues and friends Chad and Danielle but Chad had already been to Pinche Tacos. Since they are Denver locals and since I had not eaten since Winslow, Az 30 something hours ago, I was persuaded to change the venue. I did insist that Chad pick someplace noteworthy and off-beat. He did not disappoint with Root Down. As he discussed it, early on a Sunday morning, Danielle opened her eyes and exclaimed “I’m up!, I’m up.” She wanted in too.

Even the name is off-beat. With a name like “Root Down” I imagined some kind of eclectic, skater-face-feed where the dudes munch down or root down on great food. It wasn’t that at all. In fact, it was kind of “Duh.”

With an Image the Meaning of Root Down is Obvious

Apparently Root Down is the kind of place where local ingredients like Radishes from the Pecos Street Community Garden are put to good, creative use.

Root Down Aims to Connect the Neighborhood to the Dining Experience

Even the architecture of the building screams creativity.

Comfy & Quirky; and Perfect in Denver

We had a 40 minute wait but were not disappointed with our meals. After a bit of the bottom-less Blood Orange Mimosas (virgin for me), we decided to use a modified Chinese – Family Style dining system and all have a bit of everything.

 

The Darker Virgin Blood Orange Juice and the Bottomless Blood Orange Mimosa Catch the Sunlight and Shout "Drink Me!"

The first dish out was a unique take on Egg’s Benedict: A Hollandaise & Balsamic Drizzle over Smoked Duck and Caramelized Onion all resting on a cherry waffle.

Smoked Duck Benedict with a Balsamic Hollandaise

It was delicious and a good conversation piece. The next item was another riff on the Eggs Benedict theme: The Root Down. I had never seen a Quinoa English Muffin, and with Mrs. P Chef and Little P Chef being Gluten-Free, I was in on that one dimension alone; but then there was also Iberico Cheese and a Sun-Dried Tomato Hollandaise Sauce. Taking a Mother Sauce to the next level is almost always an interesting idea.

Quinoa English Muffins in The Root Down

Next up was Chad’s Choice: a Pulled Pork Omelette with Smoke Mozzarella, Charred Scallion Sauce, Lime Crème Fraîche and pickled Habaneros. I was very glad we were sharing.

The Pulled Pork Omelette with Greens and Some Savory Potatoes

On the fork, the dish that played well in the mind, suffered slightly. For me, the pulled pork was a bit too sweet and sharp to perfectly compliment the eggs. It was as though it was trying a little too hard to be different and not trying hard enough to be fabulous. Finally, came Danielle’s favorite: The Veggie Burger Sliders.

The Veggie Sliders Did Not Perform as Danielle Remembered Them

At the first bite, Danielle’s look of anticipation turned to disappointment. They had CHANGED the slider of her dreams. And she wasn’t wrong. Apparently, the topping was switched out from a Tomato Jam on her last visit to a jalapeno spread this time. She was very unhappy about it. As for us, the veggie slider was just run-of-the-mill, not day-wrecking. Vegetarian Slider aside, the experience was a good one, as much for the vibe and hip crowd, as for the distinctive food. Thanks Chad and Danielle for the suggestion, the friendship, the visit and the business.

P Chef

Smart Kitchen

“The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook™”

Smart Kitchen on Facebook

Follow Smart Kitchen on Twitter @SmartKitchen1

 

Root Down on Urbanspoon

 


30
Sep 11

NOCA = “Si Va”

NOCA's Inviting Interior

For a while NOCA had fallen off of our radar and was essentially “No-Go” (No Va in Spanish) because of the pricing and the idea of relative value. Let’s just face it, with the economy the way it is, NOCA just felt flat expensive for the dining and the experience.

As luck would have it, we were speaking with our friend Dak about getting together to decant our homemade Limoncello and then have a meal. FnB in Old Town was the spot of choice but it is notoriously hard to get a reservation at the relatively last minute, which in the case of FnB was a Wednesday. They are not open earlier in the week and I guess the starving hoards, not only know to book early but actually get around to doing it. We were skunked. Second choice, (though both are actually first rate) was NOCA, which neither of us had been to in a while. Dak made the reservation so I can’t say if we squeaked in, or made it by a mile but I can say we I’m glad we had the opportunity and it was populated, though not wall to wall, with customers when we arrived.

Before we headed out to Camelback Rd., we decanted and sampled our Limoncello work; which is immodest, but accurate, to label as “excellent.” Lest you think we were deluding ourselves, our wives, including Mrs. P Chef, agreed. And if you think they are just voting the family line with their praise, you don’t know our wives.  Stay tuned, we will document the process, and I think, do some citrus variants with the next citrus season.  So one success behind us, we tipplers were chauffeured by the wives to Eliot Wexler’s NOCA. Leopold’s Apple Whiskey was available and made a nice follow on.

A Nice Whiskey that Borders on a Calvados

 

We spent some time on the choices and shortly convinced one another to partake of the Tasting Menu (4 courses $50), which needs 100% participation by the table.  With some judicious teamwork and some cross-sampling, we all got to try 10 of the 15 dishes on the whole menu. The first taste was a watermelon Amuse Bouche

Our Bouches were Amused with the Watermelon Amuse Bouch

One of the joys (or pains) of going out with us in “blogging mode” is the passing of the camera so that every dish has its portrait taken. And a dark restaurant is not the best photo studio. The Dak’s did a great job and have our thanks for their sharing in the fun (the pain) and letting us photograph their meals.

Heirloom Melon Salad

 

Simple Salad

Starters were Heirloom Melon Salad with Benton’s Ham* prosciutto, Simple Salad with shaved fennel, Castelvetrano olives and an Orange Vinaigrette, Chilled Gulf Shrimp with green apples, yellow curry, red chili and panang aioli, and Peanut Crusted Berkshire Pork Belly.

Grilled Shrimp Appetizer

The Peanut Crusted Berkshire Pork is Rich but Worth it

Oh and a Big Eye Tuna Crudo with fresh wasabi, nori, soy and a tasty Yuzu gelee, bought for the table for an extra charge.  The Big Eye Cruddo was refreshing and filling, as if the Italians had invented Sashimi.

Big Eye Tuna Cruddo

By near unanimous vote, the Peanut Crusted Berkshire Pork Belly was the winner. The only hold out, was the “fish-a-chick-e-tarian.” I am just getting off of a post Summer Food Drive diet and have been eating lean. I could have had 2 more and been a happy camper.

Carolina Grit Risotto

House Made Rigatonni Noodles Make This Dish

Secondi was a pair of Risottos and Rigatonis. The ladies both chose the Carolina Rice Grit Risotto and were not impressed until they got into the soft poached egg and let the yolk add its richness. The Rigatoni looked like a good, solid, old school New-York style pasta dish. Eating it though belied a certain sophistication lacking in any excellent traditional dish. It was as if NOCA’s risotto was the sophisticated off spring, the next generation of the hard working Italian immigrant parents. It had the legitimate Italian roots but included house-made, thicker-walled, risotto noodles, pomodoro chili, and a rich parmigiano-reggiano, that lent it a certain domestic refinement, sophistication and Flair. Again, a post-diet wish would have been a larger portion or a second go at it.

The Hake was Flaky and Delicate

The Lamb Chop, on the Menu as a Lamb T-Bone

Entrees were Atlantic Hake with with a pole bean cassoulet, belly clams, parsley jus and normally with pancetta, but the pancetta was out for our chicko-fisho-tarian. The rest of us all settled on the Lamb T-Bone (better known as chops) which were a little under cooked for the gentle ladies. Mrs P Chef solved her problem by proclaiming her husbands lamb dish (mine) “Community Property” and annexing it to her plate. As I could likely dine with Hannibal Lechter, I was happy to please my wife and bank some brownie points by going extra rare.  Mrs Dak may have sent hers in for a bit more fire or born up and dug in. I already had my lamb under the knife and fork and I am not so clear on her specific lamb details. I do know that I am a fan of the Perigourdine sauce, and will have to get out the saucier guide in the near future.

A little too soon the gustatory delights came to an end, only to begin anew with a round of desserts sent over by Eliot Wexler, who had been on site, photographing the outgoing dishes, just before we put them under another lense at our table and flashed the room a second time, in the photography sense….well….I mean the clean-cut, food photography sense of the word flash.

The Grape Cotton Candy was Pretty Sweet but Fun

The Lemon Meringue Tapioca Pudding/Pie Was Better than it Sounds

We were happy diners with a selection of house-made grape cotton candy (they can make extra for the kids at home), Lemon Meringue & Tapioca Pie/Pudding, house-made doughnuts with caramel, pomegranate, and chocolate dipping sauces, a selection of house-made ice creams: Maple Something, Pistachio Something & Salted Butter, a Hazelnut-ish nocaBAR (terrific), and a Sticky Toffee Pudding.

House Made Doughnuts were Nice but not Over the Moon

My Sticky Pudding was Sticking to a Lot of Fingers and Forks

The Sticky Toffee Pudding landed in front of me but had a lot of incoming air traffic control issues as the sharing forks of my fellow diners made many repeat trips to that tiny dessert landing pad.

We never got a chance to ask Eliot what his pictures were for. He did not ask us what ours were for. It feels like a lost opportunity but the good news is with the Tasting Menu softening the economic impact we will be back.

*Benton’s Ham that was used in the heirloom salad is a heck of a place and I am a year or two late in writing about it. I visited on Summer Food Drive I and they were really hospitable. They also do a nice mail order business.

 

Noca on Urbanspoon

 


09
Jun 11

Buffet, Warren Buffet, at Gorat’s For Steak

I don’t know about you, but if you can’t tell from these posts, I am interested in history and food, including when the two combine as in iconic restaurants of yore. Places like Delmonico’s (NYC), The Brown Derby (LA), Chasens (LA), Skandia (LA), Riccio’s (Palm Springs), Musso & Franks (LA), The Hurley Bell (London), Talbott’s Tavern (KY), peak my interest like nothing else.

The Original Gorat's Structure

I love the play-acting of feeling like you are traveling back to experience the vibrance and joy of an earlier generation.

The patina of some special places, retain in their walls, the psychic energy, emotions and human experiences of people-gone-by, including the callow youths who became our parents and grandparents. Their highs were celebrated with fine dining and their low sorrows drowned with good food and drink at places like these.

Gorat's Aging, Iconic, "New" Classic Exterior

Much as a Medium clutches a personal talisman to focus their vision, dining their way, in their style, frees me up to commune in new ways with people I’ve only ever known as old or historic. With my meal, I imagine them shining youthfully bright, with shared belly laughs and clinking glasses. That active nostalgia is something I savor besides the period flavors.

"Finest Steaks in the World" Enough Said

It was from this appreciative point of view that I read a 2007 issue of Saveur that listed their favorite 7 steakhouses in the U.S. Six of the 7 were old timers (40 years or more) with reputation, experience and charm to spare. Bern’s in Tampa, Fl was number one, Gorat’s in Omaha, NE made the list at number 5 and Peter Luger’s the NYC landmark was number 7.

As much as I wished to visit, I never had made the mental leap to include a “Steakhouse” or “Fine Dining” place on the Summer Food Drive which usually includes more road food. As luck would have it, at Smart Kitchen we have been working for weeks now on our upcoming Lesson 7: Basic Proteins, which includes chapter and verse on beef. A visit to beefy places including ranches and a classic steakhouse was certainly top of brain.

Gorat’s in Omaha, a town once rife with cattle yards full of fine grain fed beef, is reputed to be one of Warren Buffets favorite restaurants (he went to high school with the proprietor), so I did not know what to expect. Atypically, I phoned ahead to arrange a visit to the Dry Aging Room with Brian Jurgens and of course to make sure that some of the finest T-Bone Steaks were available at lunch as well as at dinner.

I walked in right on time for lunch (food trip travel routing and timing is a whole other subject). Terry, who was filling in as hostess, greeted me warmly as did a picture of the Gorat family, as though they were presiding over my experience. Shortly, I was introduced to Brian Jurgens, who has been with Gorat’s for 31 of its 68 years, and we headed to the back of the house.

the kitchen of Gorat's steakhouse

Heading Back to the Dry Aging Room

In the old days they Gorat’s brought in sides of beef, including the champion steer at the Nebraska State Fair a time or two.

The Stairs to the Good Stuff

Back in the day, sides of beef hung wherever the Gorat’s had room any number of different coolers. But things have changed and USDA Choice beef now comes in as “Boxed Beef” already cut into Primals and even Sub-Primals by the meat packing plant. It likely already has some Wet Aging on it before it arrives.

the door to the dry aging room at Gorats

One of the "Walk-Ins" Where Dry Aging Occurs

The Dry Aging process, which follows First In First Out (FIFO), can take 2 to 3 weeks  to Concentrate the flavor in the 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the meat. Once the meat is properly aged, the Primals are “Broken Down” on site into portion cuts. Nothing goes to waste. Extra bones are used in their fantastic spagetti sauce, excess meat is used for ground beef, fat is saved for Suet, even trim is sold to pet owners for their dogs.

20 oz T Bones

Portion Cut, Dry Aged 20 oz. T-Bones Ready to Grill

In my case, a Loin was portion cut into beautiful T-Bones like those above and taken upstairs to the grill where they were Seared and then cooked 6-7 minutes on the first side at 325 degrees and 5 minutes on the second side before hitting “The Pass.”

Where My T-Bone Would Reside Momentarily

I did not request floor seats, to sit grill-side and watch my steak cooked (I should have) but instead went to the dining room where my meal began arriving. I started with the fried raviolis, because they were a Mid-Western, (St. Louis) creation and very old school. They came with the house spagetti sauce made from beef bone stock. It was better than my Granny P Chef’s, which is not saying enough in praise of Gorat’s spagetti sauce, because I was not born to an Italian family.  : )

Terrific Fried Ravioli served with House Spagetti Sauce with Beef Bone Stock

While I was working on the raviolis, the house bread arrived, with 3 kinds of herbal butter, which you get too much of in the video, but no photo of here, because I was working too many gadgets, and forgot. Next the T-Bone arrived, accompanied by pasta with more of the house spagetti sauce, a side of aged parmegianno  (a beautiful supporting flavor), and the best hometown hash browns I have ever had.

Pasta Like I Woulda Remembered...

Another Missed Shot of a Superb Side Salvaged by the Internet

And of course, they all supported, like a carrier battle group, the beefy tenderness of a 20 ounce broadside of some of America’s best.

As Rare & Juicy as it Looks

The whole bill came to $39, which is alot for a daily lunch but a pittance relative to a tank of gas for the SK Mobile and for what was prepared and consumed. As Brian explained it, being old school, they have had the same prices on some items for 15 years. I’d pay more every 10 years to ensure they survive but this time I just accepted and enjoyed the largess of an extreme value.

I Left Well Nourished for the Haul to KC, MO

As, I was leaving Brian told me that they host the Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet’s main company) annual shareholders’ meeting, where they served 1,000 T-Bones a day. In fact, it turns, out I missed seeing Bill Gates & Warren Buffet having a sandwich at Gorat’s by barely a week.

If you have the chance, and you can appreciate something less glitzy or glam, I’d stop in for the food, the celebrity-watching, the spectres of the past and alowing  them to remain in the present.

P Chef

Smart Kitchen

“The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook™”

Smart Kitchen on Facebook

@Smartkitchen1

Gorat's Steak House on Urbanspoon


08
Jun 11

Whatza Runza Summer Food Drive

Read on and Find Out!

That’s what I thought too when our friend Kellen suggested that I add a search for a “Runza” to my foodless Nebraska leg. I had images of being pretty hungry to eat the spiny 7 legged Runza, but I planned to try one and curse Kellen’s name as I crunched on the horrid carapace and got graphic photographs.

A Good Sign! A Runza is a Sandwich, with 86 Franchised Units.

This was a good sign. My first Runza was not stored away frozen in a Nebraska storm cellar. Apparently, these Runzas were popular and advertized. Folks must like them enough if they needed a drive through and ordered them “fast-food” style.

If You Don't Want a "Runza" Get a Burger?

A quick, ethical-gut-check: “Weazel out and count seeing a Runza as a victory so I can order a burger?” No, couldn’t do it. Runza, ordered.

It Looks Safe

So before we unveil the Runza, what the heck is it? I asked Jeff Whiting, the local Gothenburg, NE franchisee.

Is that enough build-up? Now, the “UnVeil.”

TA DA!, a Runza. Thanks Kellen

So how was it? First of all, thanks Kellen for mentioning a Runza on the Smart Kitchen Facebook Page, apparently, such things really exist and are extremely fabulous tasting in rural Nebraska when your last meal was the previous day’s breakfast 30 hours ago and three states away.
The Runza is something like an un-sloppy joe on a terrific fresh, soft torpedo roll. It is a local German sandwich variant with local ground beef (Kansas & Nebraska), cabbage , and cheese, according to Jeff Whiting the local franchisee of the 86 unit Runza chain. If you have had a Made-Right sandwich in Iowa, a Runza is similar but moister and not square. I believe that a Runza is actually a riff on a “bierogie”, the German word for a “pierogie.”
How did it taste? Let’s just say that either I   enjoyed mine so much or was that hungry that I forgot to video it or snap a shot of it. I actually had to buy a second one, (can anyone spell Freud?) for the photo seen here.
The Runza chain started in Lincoln, NE and some of the fun is the rural, heartland setting in which the Runza is served. The drive-thru (rural welding truck) or the parking lot (tractor and irrigation canal) are very different from home.

A Mobile Welding Truck at the DriveThru

I Didn't See the Tractor Driving Farmer Inside but It's Bucolic

If you happen to be in Nebraska try and stop in to sample what might soon become the “In-N-Out” of the Plains.  If you stop in at the Gothenburg location, see Jeff and don’t miss the Pony Express Capital of Nebraska.

From St. Jo, MO to CA in 10 Days, Galloping 10 Miles at a Time.

P Chef
“The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook™”

Runza on Urbanspoon


06
Jun 11

Acoma Pueblo – Summer Food Drive – First Stop

The Summer Food Drive 2011 started at 02:00 A.M. with a 351 mile jaunt to the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. It is a geologic wonder and also known as the “Sky City” by the native Hopi people. It is a place I’d barely heard of but the idea of the Ancients, their philosophy and soulfulness, still lingering around their  long abandoned dwellings was compelling. I was also drawn to the idea of experiencing native foods in the most native of environments.

Can you Guess Why it is Called "Sky City?" (Photo Courtesy of Sky City)

The Yaaka Cafe (Yaaka means corn) promised to serve traditional fare in a traditional setting. What better way to kick off an American  food trip than with Native American foods? If my luck held at all the dishes would be “authentic” and not the doughy overly fried versions found at weekend events.

After 6 hours of driving, I was ready for a meal but the beauty of the high desert vista leading to the Acoma Pueblo and the elegant soulful design of the Sky City Cultural Center and the Haaku Museum fueled curiousity at the expense of hunger.  Martha Watchempo Fasel, a very talented fine arts painter was featured.

The visual beauty continued as I finally made my way to the beautifulYaaka Cafe, which takes full advantage of the natural and historic views offered by its surroundings and Sky City. If there wasn’t a permit-only, photo ban, there’d be a few more photos. I did seek permission to take a few snaps of my traditional meal with “bread.”  Some of the Menu can be seen by following the link.

The Acoma "Bread"

In the same way that round ham-like back bacon shows up when “Bacon” is ordered in Canada, fry bread is “Bread” on the Native menu. The bread was not a completely different animal but well executed and more delicate than the Big Top Faire. It was also a good counterpoint to my local dish: Nanna’s Sheepherder Wrap.

Sheepherder Wrap from Yaaka Cafe, Acoma Pueblo

That's just a Burrito, Right? Not!

From the picture you probably expect another burrito, as I did. Instead, what arrived at my table to the accompaniement of native chanting on the Muzak system (It grew on me and I may seek it out on I-Tunes), was a super pleasant surprise for the taste buds and the ever curious brain.

The “Nana’s Sheepherder” had none of the acidy spice of the Mexican meal. It was earthier with more of a Umami taste that I have rarely experience. At first happiness was fueled by surprise, then by the dish as I acquired a taste for the hard to describe flavor. Think of it as a crispy mutton hash with an umami flavor (from the pan fried potatoes and slow cooked roast beef) supported by the traditionally flavored, red chili paste and you won’t be far off.

Truth be told, I entered the Yaaka Cafe a bit worried after 350 miles.  It is homey but touristy, a kind of cross between Southwesterny home style and a tourist attraction food court.  The hot dogs and burgers are front and center but you can find the Traditional Menu on the take-out paper menus.

All in all, it was an auspicious start in a fairly remote, long-shot restaurant that should hold me until Cafe Pasquals in Santa Fe (that turned out to be another story). I thank the ancestors for sharing their cuisine and approach the rest of my travels with an open mind and heart.

P Chef

Smart Kitchen

“The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook™”

Smart Kitchen on Facebook

@SmartKitchen1


24
Dec 10

Reddi-Chick

The Counter at Reddi-Chick in Brentwood

Litterally a Hole in the Wall

I have been visiting the Brentwood Country Mart in West L.A. since I was a kid in the 1970’s.  Now that I have kids, I enjoy taking them back to visit, eating outside on picnic tables and star gazing (Hollywood Stars not celestial ones).

I have my favorite places, including Barney’s from the Bay Area for their burgers, and Frida’s mostly because I like the one in Beverly Hills so much. Now that I live out of town, I rarely get past one or the other to try anything else. In fact, it took the early closing of every other old standby in the place to get me to try Reddi-Chick, a roasted chicken and fried food place that serves ’em up old school cafeteria style and has been doing a brisk business for years.

Chicken from Reddi-Chick

That is the Gold!

Reddi-Chick does not sell on its decor, or service but on its tasty chicken eaten around a central (fenced in for safety) fireplace.

Fire pit brentwood country mart

Its like Camping but Without the Tents and in West L.A.

I expected juicy, tender chicken and the bite I smuggled away from Mrs. P Chef was all that but I did not expect East Coast fried seafood (clam strips & scallops) just like you can get at the Jersey Shore. I’m not talking about the high end stuff like Day Boat Scallops seared just so, but about the clam shack stuff on the boardwalk across from the Atlantic, which also has it’s appeal.

Fried Clam Strips

Just as Good as Any East Coast Tourist Trap

Fried Scallops

At $7.64 the Scallops are a Deal.

The thing I really liked besides the boardwalk taste and the board walk feel of sitting on wooden picnic benches was the pricing. The clams were $5.37 and the scallops were $7.64 for a decent sized order in one of West L.A.’s toniest neighborhoods. It also did not hurt that we were in line behind Dennis Quaid of The Rookie and other wonderful movies on Christmas Eve, with the place almost to ourselves.

When we return, if my chick, Mrs. P Chef, suggests eating here again, I’ll be Reddi; even if it means missing out on Barney’s or Frida’s.

P Chef

 Reddi-Chick on Urbanspoon


19
Nov 10

At Last — Atlas Bistro

Atlas Bistro Sign

I have a Know-It-All-Friend, the kind who actually knows a lot and isn’t afraid to let you know he knows it. We shoot the breeze and share recommendations on wines, beers, foods and swap samples of our latest creations. His Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie was pretty good. My Orange Chiffon Thanksgiving Pie, would have been shared in return, except none of it survived the holiday.

Dining room at Atlas Bistro Scottsdale Az

The "Exclusive" Dining Room

Dak, (who I’ve learned to credit for his accurate opinions in all things but politics) opines and had been pushing me to try a smaller place (see dining room photo above) in town, one I had not even heard of before he mentioned it, one that was a bit of a drive and in a neighborhood not known for fine dining. In fact, the neighborhood is better known for fast food and “those kind” of dance clubs and book stores. I could tell from Dak’s discourse that the place would be good, but would there be enough “WOW” to ever here the end of it on the long drive back from “that kind” of neighborhood with Mrs. P Chef?

“WOW” (& “WOW from Mrs. P Chef too)!  Dak was right (again) and we have double “WOW’s” to confirm it. To fully disclose, our “WOW’s” could have been over the bill (which was significant, $$$$$ territory) but the “WOW’s” were first and foremost over the food (local, fresh & in season), and secondarily over the total dining experience. We did not feel overcharged by an iota for the value recieved.

Amuse Bouce

My Mouth & Eyes were Amused

Atlas Bistro is a food museum of modern culinary art featuring edible masterpieces. Does that sound too strong? Does it sound like I’m being paid $10 per superlative? Well I’m not being paid for my opinion at all, not a cent. In fact, I shelled out $$$$$ for the privilege of dining at Atlas Bistro. From the plate design, (colors, pairings & presentation) to the knowledge and involvement of the team (staff grown endive, home-made mustard by one member’s mother), to the taste and pure joy of dining, Atlas Bistro, lead by Chefs Joshua Reisner and Keenan Bosworth, delivers.

Josh Reisner, Joshua Reisner, Atlas Bistro,

Chef Joshua Reisner, Confident for a Reason

And there is a bonus. Atlas Bistro is actually called Atlas Bistro B.Y.O.B. but unlike most BYOB corkage places, Atlas Bistro is adjacent to AZ Wines where Bob can advise you about his 5,000 different types of bottles and more than 20,000 bottle total inventory.  Within minutes of asking we were standing in front of a perfect, moderately priced, low sulfite, low histamine, organic white from Mendoza which meant Mrs. P Chef could hand over the car keys and imbibe some herself.

Bob from AZ Wines

Bob from AZ Wines Knows His Way Around the Grapes!

So what did we eat? The menu is seasonal and varies with what looks good at local farms, including McClendon’s Farms and what is flown in fresh from around the country. The ingredients alone give Atlas Bistro a leg up but then the chefs dazzle with skilled preparation and novel pairings of ingredients, all pulled off with aplomb & panache.  Chef Joshua Reisner won’t call it showing boating, though that’s what it is. In the interview below, conducted with some detachment since I had not eaten at Atlas Bistro yet, Joshua calls it 20 years of technique and experience.

When we visited there were some fine distinctive touches like heirloom Watermelon Radishes (in photo just below), Washington Matsutake mushrooms, and veal cheek woven into the menu that demonstrated culinary bona fides, attention to detail and a fully developed palette. Mrs. P Chef & I, chose the Prix – Fixe Menu @ $60 a head which included a Starter, Soup or Salad, an Entrée, and finished with a Cheese Plate or Dessert. Experienced, married team diners, Mrs P Chef & I divided and conquered the menu, knowing we’d share. And we threw in a special or two because Joshua had mentioned them and they sounded too good to pass up.

Watermelon Radish

Even if you don't Like Radish, Watermelon Radish on Block Island Swordfish Impresses

We opened with the Agnolitti (semi-circular pasta pockets) stuffed with veal cheek, enhanced with Beemster X-O cheese and served on grilled endive with Washington Matsutake mushrooms and sage from Joshua’s own home garden.

Agnolitti stuffed with veal cheek

Agnolitti Special Stuffed With Veal Cheek

Then on to the Prix-Fixe starters:  Block Island Swordfish, (flown in refrigerated daily from Rhode Island) with heirloom Watermelon radishes, Wakame sea weed, baby carrots and Ponzu (shown two pictures above) & the Gnocci Terrine with lardons, home-made sauerkraut (put up 50 LBS at a time and out of this world), Amy’s Mustard (made by our talented server, Nolan’s mother: Amy),  and Montagnolo (a triple crème that is surface ripened with Roquefort). The taste and experience was akin to a Reuben Sandwich but so much different and another example where the sides make the dish. The home-made sauerkraut is the best I’ve ever had, here or in Germany.

A De-Constructed & Fine-Tuned Reuben Sandwich

Duck Egg Salad

Duck Egg, slightly Richer, Caps this Salad

Salads followed: The McClendon’s Romaine salad with a Rainbow Valley Farms Duck Egg, Spanish Anchovies and Parmigiano-Reggiano & A Bob’s Baby Greens salad with Gorgonzola Crumbles, Dried Fruit, Mixed Nuts, Sherry Vinaigrette for Mrs. P Chef.

Nolan was Tops

Our service was tops, handled by Nolan (shown doing corkage  for the BYOB thing) assisted by Natasha Sawyer, the owner, who had her own tables. With a brief interlude to digest a bit, it was on to the entrées.

 

Osso Buco to Come Back For

Veal Osso Buco with Roasted Butternut Squash, Gremolata and Capricho Cabra con Pimentón was oh so worthy an order and worth the treck all by itself. Osso Buco is the kind of thing I’d have shied away from as a younger man, but as I continue to grow (no waistline jokes please) I am really coming to appreciate gestalt of a great Osso Buco. I remember my Dad, P Chef Sr., digging his over the years for the marrow and finally understand why. Atlas serves their Osso Buco with a small spoon for easy access and enjoyment.

Osso Buco Marrow

The Marrow is a Delicacy for a Reason

Mrs. P Chef went for the Prime N.Y. Strip Steak, with Lump Crab, Purple Fingerlings, Asparagus, and Ii’tois Tarragon Aioli.

A Good Portion of Great Prime N.Y. Steak

I was so wrapped up in my Osso Buco I can’t remember her take on the steak. I know she enjoyed it and felt it was high quality and a more than decent portion, especially compared to what you usually encounter at fine dining establishments these days. And then it was time to try and shoehorn in dessert or cheese.

Pumpkin Soup Dessert

A Soup Like Pumpkin Pie with Ice Cream to Finish

Luckily, the wife showed wisdom and brought home some of her steak, saving room for a novel dessert: Sweet Pumpkin Pie Soup. Watch the video to get the full idea of how the Rainbow Valley Farmers’ Cheese, Marscapone Salted Ice Cream, Pepitas, Whiskey Caramel are flooded by the sweet, seasonal pumpkin.

 

As for me, too full to complete the Prix-fixe half-marathon, I took my Artisan Cheese Flight home in a doggy, or if you prefer for cheese, a mousey bag and extended the fun for one more day.

Cheese Selection

The Artisanal Cheese Selection the Next Day with Some Color and Light

 

I feel like our visit to that litttle room next to AZ Wine was a present, and I know its weird, especially from some one who works for an online culinary school and someone who paid those $$$$$ prices. But Joshua, Keenan, their friend former Sassi (N. Scottsdale)chef Peter Deruvo who just stopped by to cook and the crew shared more than a meal with us. They shared some of themselves, their philosophy, their humor (sometimes at our expense as when a question about the spelling of the guest chef’s last name produced an autograph) and their improvisational culinary art work. It wasn’t just dinner it was an experience. I can’t wait to do 30,000 calories on the treadmill so I can go back.

Peter Deruvo Autograph

Good One! An Autograph for an Answer

 

As for Dak, I have to thank him for the suggestion and be prepared to wolf down a heaping helping of Humble Pie, the next time he hits the kitchen.

P Chef

Atlas Bistro on Urbanspoon


12
Nov 10

My Fork was Roaring for Some Zing

The entrance to Roaring Fork Scottsdale Az

The Attractive Entrance to Roaring Fork, Scottsdale, AZ

Now here is the thing, I’m a curious person, I like juxtaposition and competition but I am an optimist by nature. So I was intrigued to visit Roaring Fork in town, (I’ve been to the Austin location) a week after our outstanding visit to Renegade Canteen. Both are arguably the creations of Robert McGrath but one has him and one does not. Would the latter beat out the former, or would Robert’s latter beat out his former?

The Flash Did not Do the Interior Justice

My amateur photography sure doesn’t help but even in person the first clue was the chicken roasting on spits in the entryway’s river-rock fire place. That roasting chicken was not performing any pavlovian tricks, olfactory or otherwise. It just did not jump out at you and say eat me, the way a good food marketing gimic should. Feeling sorry for the chickens, especially from a devoted carnivore is not a good start. 

Spit Roasted Chicken

Ok The Chicken is Cooking

The second clue is that we arrived at 7:00 on a Friday night and though the restaurant was doing business, we secured a nice table  for four without a reservation. A happy event for us, but maybe not such a good indicator for the house. Most of the business was at the bar, where they were having a great time.  We sat and fate handed us a terrific and patient server, Melissa, who handled the myriad questions about the product from Mrs. P Chef and her good friend J. I call them the Yenta Mafia and they can go on (and on, and on; in a good way dear) asking about gluten, organics, farm vs. wild, foreign vs. domestic, etc. We learn alot about the ingredients and a lot about our servers professionalism and patience. Melissa was aces. Finally, an order was placed, with a few extra sides for the table.

The Butter "Spread" was Attractive

Not a Colorful, Flamboyant or Remarkable Dish

The Noted Green Chili

Green Chili Mac n Cheese, Green Chili Macaroni & Cheese

Green Chili Mac & Cheese

Interior of Mac & Cheese

Under the Crust Something to Write Home About

The Green Beans were not a hit with our group, despite the vegetarian vote. The Green Chili, that people who know rave about at Renegade Canteen (but that I missed at my last visit), was at best decent. The Green Chili Mac & Cheese (which I did not have at Renegade Canteen) was great, just the right spice level (from jalapenos with spinach for extra color) to cut the cheesy smoothness. Everyone tucked in, despite the health hazards of cheese, spice and gluten.

After a brief pause, where Melissa was funny and attentive, our entrées arrived.

Big Ass Burger

The Big A$$ ($$ because the kids might be reading) Burger was a heavy weight and a contender. I really enjoyed it, and did a lot of damage, but I did not dig way  down and finish it off, the way I might have at Ray’s Hell Burger, Shake Shack, Indulge Burger, Five Guys or The Grind. All I can say is that it is Big A$$ and I was full, but that usually won’t hold me back. 

Big Ass, and Good It Is

Next came the let down of the other entrées.

I'm Not Sure if Any of the 3 Meats Were Well Cooked

Shrimp Entrée @ Roaring Fork

Competent Fish Tacos

Maybe its me, but none of those dishes above got any sort of a “WOW” they way they might have 10 years ago. I titled this post “Roaring for some Zing” because that is, to me, what was missing from the not inexpensive meal. Granted my camera skills can improve, and nothing was staged but I shoot everything with the same digital camera and same hurried staging. In my mind the underperformering dishes were either missing skill/talent or caring. They were long on campfire looks, but had none of the flair. If I didn’t know Robert was still well and truly alive and working across town, I’d say it was his ghost cooking the ghosts of his dishes. If we are headed back anytime soon, I’m sticking with the Big A$$ Burger and the Green Chili Mac & Cheese.

P Chef

 Roaring Fork on Urbanspoon