Wednesday, February 15, 2006

mike dunne goes off

I made some great pasta with sausage last night if I do say so myself. I could post the recipe if anyone thinks they might actually want to make it, so let me know.

There's an article by Mike Dunne in the Bee today about the history of fine dining in Sac. It's interesting. This is a good quote by the owner of El Novillero, "Ninety-nine percent of our customers know more than me about Mexican food," says Joe Davalos Sr., who in 1970 opened El Novillero along Franklin Boulevard. "They eat at different places every day, but I never go to any other restaurants. I don't know any restaurant besides mine." I would have to agree because the one time I ate at El Novillero it totally sucked and the salsa tasted like ketchup. And don't you El Novillero lovers jump on me. If you like that place you should admit that it's because you've been going there forever and it has good memories for you or something. Cuz there are way better places to eat Mexican food.

It's weird to me that I've eaten at so few of these pioneering Sac places. I've never eaten at any Fat restaurant or Lemongrass or Maces and I've only eaten at Biba once.

Dunne has a little paragraph at the end bemoaning the lack of trained, dedicated servers around here and I'd have to agree. NOT because bad service fucks up my meals all the time but because I think for these upscale restaurants there's no reason that they shouldn't make enough money and be treated well enough that they would want to make it a career. That was an awkward sentence. The Waterboy must be an exception because there servers are knowledgeable, competent, and seem to stay around for a long time. All the sushi restaurants downtown are the worst, probably because they mostly are looking for sexy young girls to staff the restaurants. There's another little part to the article that mentions that Rick Mahan (the Waterboy guy) is looking to open a second location downtown!!!! That's great! I hope it's a more downscale, cafe-type place. I'm guessing it probably will be because otherwise it seems like it would be too similar to the Waterboy.

This dining history thing is a four parter. I wasn't eating downtown in '86, but for those of you who were it might be a walk down memory lane.


livmoe said...

I want the recipe!

OMF and I have been buying the fancy handmade sausage at the farmer market under the freeway which is delicious. I made pizza with the Italian sausage and ate close to half the pie. I really only stopped myself because I was alarmed at the thought that I could eat half of a large pizza in one sitting without batting an eye. Anyhoo, post it and I'll try it!

Anonymous said...

Anybody go to Moran's on Franklin? They make so many kinds of sausage in their weird surgical looking kitchen. MMM!!!

My trouble is that I can't get good linguica except from these "secret" portuguese guys who come up and deliver by subscription to the old timer's ranches. They drive an ancient ice cream truck and deliver homemade portuguese sweet bread in addition to the linguica.

Anonymous said...

I mean MORANT'S!!!


Anonymous said...

Anna went to morant's for some delicious choucroute that they she prepared this Christmas. The sausages and chops were great. I'd never heard of the place before.


Anonymous said...

Yea, what is it with all these newer Sushi joints hiring young chicks? And what about that pseudo glitzy LA vibe these restaurants are trying to project? I hate what happened to Taka's--it was much better when it was a tiny hole in the wall joint in the 80s...

Sacramento Appreciation Society of San Francico

Stephen Glass said...

Something cannot be declared a collective yawn unless I join in. Well, actually I'm certain that it can, because I great many of them have been directed at me.
Yes, Dunne does give a good tour down memory lane, and I say that as a firmly ensconsed old-timer. Which reminds me, I think Gary Paragary may still owes me $89.11 or such from being a dishwasher in 1984 at his Fair Oaks "Eestaurant Row" establsihment, which then had the-oh-so-80s moniker "Zito's" See how can name-drop about the glamourous and fabulously zestly things I have in my past?
And Dunne gives a shout-out to my own family member Horace Wulff. But here's where the name-dropping gets sketchy: I never actually ate in Horace's restaurant...

beckler said...

Here's my recipe (modified from one on, which is such a great source)

go get yourself some Molinari sausage from corti's, I recommend two of the spicy ones or four of the regular (they're smaller)

take it out of the natural casings (which can later be used as condoms) and roughly chop while sauteing for about 10 minutes in a bit of olive oil

take sausage out with slotted spoon and set aside, slapping any hands that try to eat bits of the sausage with the spoon

in that grease saute three finely chopped shallots or half an onion for a little while

throw in some chopped cloves of garlic and a bunch of fresh chopped oregano, or oregano and basil or whatever fresh herbs you like and saute for barely a minute, then...

slosh in some red wine and take a few swigs out of the bottle, let it reduce for a couple of minutes while continuing to drink wine

put the sausage back in along with about 2/3s of a can of trader joe's marinara, which is the freshest tasting canned stuff i've had-i usually end up furtively eating a bunch of it out of the can with a spoon

cover and let simmer for 10-20 minutes depending on how hungry you are, then add about four medium sized chopped tomatoes

simmer for about ten more minutes and then, just as you are draining the pasta, turn off the sauce and throw in a small head of roughly chopped escarole into it. delicious!

Anonymous said...

> take it out of the natural casings
> (which can later be used as condoms)

They were ALREADY used as condoms--that's where used condoms go to die. They're recycled as sausage casings. Earth day is everyday.

Sacramento Appreciation Society of San Francisco

Anonymous said...

> take it out of the natural casings
> (which can later be used as condoms)
> and roughly chop while sauteing for
> about 10 minutes in a bit of olive oil

They were ALREADY used as condoms. That's where used condoms go to die--they're recycled as sausage casings (Electric Boogaloo II). Earth Day is everyday.

Sacramento Appreciation Society of San Francisco

lisa d! said...

There are too many places open and not enough qualified people to serve in them. It may sound like a simple job, but not everyone can be an awesome waitperson. I'm not the best at my place, but I always am polite, knowledgeable and quick. I've had some of the best service at the most surprising places like Spaghetti Factory and Zelda's. Everything was prompt and whatever questions I had were answered politely. On the other hand some of the worst experiences, or most disappointing, have been at 33rd Street Bistro and The Waterboy. Waiting ten minutes before anyone has been to our table and being treated with just plain arrogance. My wine gets warm, but I never let it ruin a meal.