Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A Surprise On Sourdough

See?" says Hank. He's pointing at a piece of salmon in the chilled display cabinet. It's sitting on a piece of wood.

"Cedar," says Hank. "They cook it on that. Northern peoples. Arctic. Ancient recipe. Makes all the difference in the world."

"North Pole? Cedar trees?" I say. "This I gotta test-taste."

"Except, dude, I'm having the salmon, and it's bad luck to order the same thing."

"Oh, yeah? Since when?"

"Since it's gonna cost about 12 bucks and you don't have two dimes to rub together. I don't have enough dinero for two salmon plates."

"Great."

"But I've got a special treat for you."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah."

And that's how I come to make the greatest sandwich discovery since I was six and Mom stuck a banana in my peanut butter sandwich.

Hank's been crowing about this place for months. It's quite small, maybe 15 feet wide, but deep, with pale lime walls, a white acoustic ceiling, and four black ceiling fans. The kitchen is all in the open, with green, red, and yellow enamel pots dangling from hooks. They have three tables inside and a couple out under the veranda. There's a sandwich list on a chalkboard to the right and, huh, a bookshelf on the left. The bottom half holds six-packs of Cokes, traditional bulgy small bottles. Cookbooks fill the upper shelves. Dozens of them. Whole Foods Market Cookbook. Chez Panisse Café Cookbook. Hugh Johnson World Atlas of Wine. Good sign. Someone here's interested in food.

So Hank makes mystery orders for the two of us. Ten minutes later, one of the cooks, Andy, brings out this big wide square china plate loaded with a rainbow of roasted vegetables, like zucchini, mushrooms, squash, red and green peppers, and tomatoes, and a rosy square of salmon. Wow. Classy. Hank lets me take a couple of chunks. Mouth-melters, with a sorta sweet, sorta herby, and maybe I'm imagining this, but, a slightly "woody" flavor. A little salt, and for me, perfecto.

But now Andy turns up with my plate. Jeez. Just a sandwich.

"Where's the justice, dude?"

I mean, deep down, I'm not a sandwich guy. And, okay, the place is pretty sandwichy. The board shows they do everything from grilled cheese ($4.50) to fried egg with cheese, bacon, and tomato ($5.50) to roast beef ($7.00). But they also do wraps, like the chicken Caesar ($6.50), and some pretty interesting salads, like the curried chicken with chutney ($4.25).

But what turns up is this basket with...grilled sourdough filled with, what? Spring-mix lettuce, slices of fruit, and some white gunk...

"Okay, what is it?" I say. I clamp my jaws down on one piece of the sandwich. Chomp. Oh, man. Shaft of light pours through the clouds. The waters part. I taste the sourdough. I taste the lettuce. I taste the sweetness of pears. I taste the sharp, strong gunk at the bottom, and the candied crunch of something nutty between. My eyes search the menu board. Of course! Goat cheese and d'Anjou pear ($7.00), with mustard, candied walnuts...

"My man," I say. "For once, you've nailed it. This is awesome." The combo taste is really great. Something about the flavor of that goat cheese and what the pear does to it. And how those walnuts come in like referees and say, "Come on now, fellas, cool it a little."

The iced tea Hank ordered ($1.50 each) hits the spot too.

But maybe I should've had Coke. "We get it from Mexico," says Clive. The owner. "They still use cane sugar. U.S. Coke uses refined white sugar. There's a difference."

Clive trained as a chef in Baltimore. His dad was a Navy captain. "We were always moving," he says. The same happened when Clive became a chef. Now he's got a four-year-old of his own, and when this site came up a couple of years ago, two blocks from his home, he grabbed the opportunity. "It's brought our family together," he says. "My dad comes around. He loves working with the 'family firm.' We grow our own herbs in our garden up the road, recycle 40 percent of our green waste into compost." Whew. "I just love cooking," Clive says. "We did a North African carrot ginger soup [$4.50] the other day."

And Hank's cedar plank salmon Arctic thing? "I saw it on a Williams-Sonoma cover," Clive says. "The idea comes from the Inuit Indians. They soak a plank of cedar in water, tack the salmon to it, then cook it on the edge of an ember fire. It gets cooked three ways. Steam from the wet wood steams it, smoke from the fire, and indirectly from the heat. We do just the same, and we finish it with honey, rice wine vinegar, or rosemary and lemon. But cedar definitely adds one of the flavors. The place smells like cedar when we're cooking."

Huh. At a table outside, this couple, Janet and Bob, are just finishing off a hot pastrami panini. "Have this next time," says Janet. "It's as good as at the Wine Cask in Santa Barbara."

"So what do most people ask for?" I ask Clive.

He looks a little embarrassed. "Actually, the fried egg sandwich," he says.

"If it hadn't been for the big guy here," I say, "that's what I would've ordered. For once, I'm glad I followed orders."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Puerto’s “Lineas” is worthy of active listening

“The instrumental suite pays homage to the happiness that creativity grants an individual”
Next Article

First Cow: mooving picture

Carve out a culinary slice of the American dream

See?" says Hank. He's pointing at a piece of salmon in the chilled display cabinet. It's sitting on a piece of wood.

"Cedar," says Hank. "They cook it on that. Northern peoples. Arctic. Ancient recipe. Makes all the difference in the world."

"North Pole? Cedar trees?" I say. "This I gotta test-taste."

"Except, dude, I'm having the salmon, and it's bad luck to order the same thing."

"Oh, yeah? Since when?"

"Since it's gonna cost about 12 bucks and you don't have two dimes to rub together. I don't have enough dinero for two salmon plates."

"Great."

"But I've got a special treat for you."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah."

And that's how I come to make the greatest sandwich discovery since I was six and Mom stuck a banana in my peanut butter sandwich.

Hank's been crowing about this place for months. It's quite small, maybe 15 feet wide, but deep, with pale lime walls, a white acoustic ceiling, and four black ceiling fans. The kitchen is all in the open, with green, red, and yellow enamel pots dangling from hooks. They have three tables inside and a couple out under the veranda. There's a sandwich list on a chalkboard to the right and, huh, a bookshelf on the left. The bottom half holds six-packs of Cokes, traditional bulgy small bottles. Cookbooks fill the upper shelves. Dozens of them. Whole Foods Market Cookbook. Chez Panisse Café Cookbook. Hugh Johnson World Atlas of Wine. Good sign. Someone here's interested in food.

So Hank makes mystery orders for the two of us. Ten minutes later, one of the cooks, Andy, brings out this big wide square china plate loaded with a rainbow of roasted vegetables, like zucchini, mushrooms, squash, red and green peppers, and tomatoes, and a rosy square of salmon. Wow. Classy. Hank lets me take a couple of chunks. Mouth-melters, with a sorta sweet, sorta herby, and maybe I'm imagining this, but, a slightly "woody" flavor. A little salt, and for me, perfecto.

But now Andy turns up with my plate. Jeez. Just a sandwich.

"Where's the justice, dude?"

I mean, deep down, I'm not a sandwich guy. And, okay, the place is pretty sandwichy. The board shows they do everything from grilled cheese ($4.50) to fried egg with cheese, bacon, and tomato ($5.50) to roast beef ($7.00). But they also do wraps, like the chicken Caesar ($6.50), and some pretty interesting salads, like the curried chicken with chutney ($4.25).

But what turns up is this basket with...grilled sourdough filled with, what? Spring-mix lettuce, slices of fruit, and some white gunk...

"Okay, what is it?" I say. I clamp my jaws down on one piece of the sandwich. Chomp. Oh, man. Shaft of light pours through the clouds. The waters part. I taste the sourdough. I taste the lettuce. I taste the sweetness of pears. I taste the sharp, strong gunk at the bottom, and the candied crunch of something nutty between. My eyes search the menu board. Of course! Goat cheese and d'Anjou pear ($7.00), with mustard, candied walnuts...

"My man," I say. "For once, you've nailed it. This is awesome." The combo taste is really great. Something about the flavor of that goat cheese and what the pear does to it. And how those walnuts come in like referees and say, "Come on now, fellas, cool it a little."

The iced tea Hank ordered ($1.50 each) hits the spot too.

But maybe I should've had Coke. "We get it from Mexico," says Clive. The owner. "They still use cane sugar. U.S. Coke uses refined white sugar. There's a difference."

Clive trained as a chef in Baltimore. His dad was a Navy captain. "We were always moving," he says. The same happened when Clive became a chef. Now he's got a four-year-old of his own, and when this site came up a couple of years ago, two blocks from his home, he grabbed the opportunity. "It's brought our family together," he says. "My dad comes around. He loves working with the 'family firm.' We grow our own herbs in our garden up the road, recycle 40 percent of our green waste into compost." Whew. "I just love cooking," Clive says. "We did a North African carrot ginger soup [$4.50] the other day."

And Hank's cedar plank salmon Arctic thing? "I saw it on a Williams-Sonoma cover," Clive says. "The idea comes from the Inuit Indians. They soak a plank of cedar in water, tack the salmon to it, then cook it on the edge of an ember fire. It gets cooked three ways. Steam from the wet wood steams it, smoke from the fire, and indirectly from the heat. We do just the same, and we finish it with honey, rice wine vinegar, or rosemary and lemon. But cedar definitely adds one of the flavors. The place smells like cedar when we're cooking."

Huh. At a table outside, this couple, Janet and Bob, are just finishing off a hot pastrami panini. "Have this next time," says Janet. "It's as good as at the Wine Cask in Santa Barbara."

"So what do most people ask for?" I ask Clive.

He looks a little embarrassed. "Actually, the fried egg sandwich," he says.

"If it hadn't been for the big guy here," I say, "that's what I would've ordered. For once, I'm glad I followed orders."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Kanye West for president

Will San Diego voters be lining up at the polls?
Next Article

Communion on the hood of a Humvee

The Apostle Paul says we see through a glass dimly
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close