Saturday, September 11, 2021

That Day Again, Redux

The damage, and the heroes surrounding 9/11 echoes long after the actual day twenty years ago.
Here is my go to 9/11 story:
My friend DJ Skelton is wild and fun, an athlete and food nut, and a dedicated retired US Army major. DJ was enlisted, out of South Dakota and our local DLI in Chinese languages. DJ doesn’t hide his light under a bushel, so next thing you know he is one of the very, very few enlisted enrolled at the US Military Academy at West Point.
We met here when he was at DLI the second time around, and bonded over food, and wine, and general crazy and fun, with a serious side. We put 2500 crosses on Carmel Beach in 2005 to commemorate our kids killed in action, and again two years later when the number had ballooned to 6500.
DJ himself was always that guy. As a sophomore at West Point with rock climbing skills he volunteered after 9/11 to come down and help search the wreckage for survivors….well, we all knew. DJ was assigned to work closely with one particular fire house from Staten Island, and always proudly wore the t-shirt they had given him as thanks after a couple of weeks of hard, dangerous and ultimately fruitless effort.
DJ himself barely escaped being one of those numbers after being badly, badly wounded at the 2nd Battle of Falujah in November 2004. I think he stopped counting at 80 or more operations for repairs that continue to this day. He always has been, and still is, the go-to guy to try to stop military suicides, to build back wounded soldiers hearts and souls after war has done its damage….at the expense of his career. DJ does not suffer fools gladly, whatever their rank….and has the most open and giving heart of anyone you are likely to ever meet.
For years I taught a Stanford class of incoming sophomores called Sophomore College (SoCo) in early September each year. Kids were supposed to come down for three weeks before classes to learn marine biology at Hopkins Marine Station. Luckily, the lead prof (Stuart Thompson) was a recovering beatnik so we changed the curriculum. We took the kids to Big Creek, to Tassajara for work period, out to the Store and the wineries, etc, etc etc. Our goal was to try to change them into actual humans before they took over running the world.
I myself had a minor brush with 9/11 but it affected me deeply. The way I think about food and hospitality, and the importance of community changed forever that day. When I met DJ we were of one mind about trying to integrate the lives of all those who serve with those lucky folks who have no clue they are being served. Hence the crosses on the beach, bring soldiers out to the Store, etc. In 2011 I was doing my normal SoCo thing when I discovered that one of the girls dad was a New York City fireman who had died saving people in the towers on 9/11. She was seven, and was obviously still wrecked each year when the anniversary came around. She was a tall, beautiful, super smart, intuitive girl…but she was haunted. There was damage below the water line.
We talked about it with the group, and decided to do a mini memorial on Carmel Beach for the 343 firemen who were killed on 9/11. I had the stakes still, and we made cross pieces with the name of each firefighter, their date of birth and their firehouse and engine number, etc. We lined them up perfectly in a grid just be the 13th Street cove, and hung garlands and flowers and gathered shells….especially the one for her dad.
It was immensely sad. The SoCo groups and I spend three meals a day together, day after day, and you get really close. Our girl was sharing deeply personal stuff about growing up without her “hero” dad. Hero to everyone in the world…but she had grown up as the only little girl in her class without a daddy at all those events kids love to have their daddies come to. Sports, dances, graduations….It was almost like: “Why did you die for people you didn't even know, and leave me alone all this time? Why my dad?” I had called DJ to let him know what we were doing. He was super busy being an actual Army Captain at DLI at the time, but promised to come by the beach.
We had all the crosses lined up and decorated and our girl was sharing her heart and story as we sat around a fire at 13th. DJ came down the stairs to the group…..wearing the t-shirt from her dad’s engine company on Staten Island.
DJ had spent two weeks searching through the wreckage of the towers, looking for her dad.
The two of them went off by themselves to talk. For a while.
I don’t know what was said, but our girl came back transformed. She was a different person. It was as if all the pain and anger and abandonment at losing her dad had washed away. The hurt was still there clearly, but DJ’s words and comfort had given her an entirely new outlook and perspective on her dad and his sacrifice….and her own sacrifice.
Like I said at the beginning….their were heroes and awful damage on that day 20 years ago this morning, and there are other heroes walking still among us, still doing the work to shift that damage.
While we have DJ's in our lives, we have hope. Dedicated to 1st Lt Michael S. Parker, 75th Rangers.

That Day Again

Hey, folks. Thanks for your patronage with our wild, dysfunctional world these last 18 months. Thank you for your understanding and support. I am increasingly not in love with Facebook, and this blog has been traditionally an actual blog. If you want to read fun (if dated) rants about food, etc.....search back before 2020. We are returning to blog/opinion/rant mode on this page. For food/menu information please go to www.quietfoodcarmelvalley.blogspot.com We are not getting younger, and like every restaurant everywhere in the world, have no staff to help. Please don't be mad if we can't transform ourselves into those insane guys we used to be. Right now we are me, Amanda, Brendan (thank you, Jesus) and Alex (thank you, Buddha). That's it. We are open on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30-4 in the garden. Reservations are important, if you can be that guy. If you just see the flag out, and have a wild brunch hair....please pull in and check us out. All things are possible, even at the drop of a hat with weird demands. That is why we are still here. For the fun, and y'all are the fun. Still, we are also happy (we are caterers!) to open during the week by arrangement for a dinner in the garden of any size (one diner is our minimum...but even that is open to discussion). Peace, Michael

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Sunday Brunch

This is what we are up to today! Sunday Garden Catering Menu Cachagua Store Sunday Brunch; Eggs (duck or hen) bennie: Meyer lemon hollandaise, smoked salmon, wild Monterey salmon, Nueske’s ham, Corralitos sausage or smoked turkey,, Zeo tritip or bacon; simple omelettes, home fries, coffee, OJ $16 Infamous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschetta $6; Han Kook Market Kim Bap (vegan sushi) $5; Minazzoli Galia melon and prosciutto $8 Gazpacho Andaluz (Borba Farm organic heirlooms, etc) $7 Massa Estate cheese platter: Schoch Farmstead cheeses, Rebecca’s local feta, Pt. Reyes blue; lactic fermented carrots, pineapple/fennel relish, our cherry membrillo, red onion/black pepper compote, Minnazoli cherries $14 Borba heirloom tomato caprese salad: fresh mozzarella, our basil, Muia EVOO $16 Panzanella: Borba Farm heirloom tomatoes, our basil, fresh mozzarella, Muia, etc $16 *Street elotes: organic corn off the cob, spring onions, pasillas, Wisconsin butter $12 *Amanda’s kale salad with her amazing sesame dressing $9 *Cachagua Store Pear Salad: yuzu:dressing, parsnip chips, Pt. Reyes blue cheese $12 *Roast beef salad: mesquite grilled Mishima Ranch sirloin with capers, spring onions, & arugula $16 Wedge salad with mesquite grilled tritip, blue cheese dressing and heirlooms $20 *Hawaiian style poke: ahi tuna, seaweed salad, soba, spicy cuttlefish noodles $14 *Amanda’s Carmel Valley oak smoked wild Monterey salmon with capers & onions $14 Kathy Lambert’s special sandwich: grilled Nueske’s ham, Schoch Junipero cheese, Jane Flower tomato jam, baby arugula $16 Grilled OraKing salmon with beurre blanc, sprouts, black rice, etc $20 Grilled local Monterey wild halibut with caper beurre blanc, etc $20 Mesquite grilled Zeo Prime top sirloin cap with rice, potatoes, sprouts $20 Mesquite grilled (single!) Zio Brand pork chop with mango chutney $24 Desserts: Beckmann’s butter crust apple pie with Jack Daniels caramel and vanilla ice cream $8 Butter crusted strawberry rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream $7 Death by brownie: two chocolates, brownie, strawberries, coulis $9 Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate and Vasquez Ranch strawberries and strawberry coulis $8 Valrhona Araguani chocolate crema inglese: river and sea salts and Muia EVOO $10 Vasquez Ranch strawberries with strawberry coulis and crema inglese $6

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Recent menu.....

Hey, folks: This is our Saturday garden catering menu, and essentially our to go menu. We are open Saturdays from 11am to 5pm or so, and Sundays for brunch from 10:30 am to 5pm. This is essentially our to-go menu as well. We are also happy to open on any given day for private dinners of any number. Last night we did an impromptu menu for two folks who happened by and stuck their heads in the door. Impromptu and spontaneous is our favorite thing, but a day or two's notice is better. Thanks for your patience! Saturday Garden Catering Menu Infamous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschetta $6 Pinnacle galia melon with prosciutto $8; Han Kook Market kim bap (vegan sushi) $5 Gazpacho Andaluz (Borba Farm heirloom tomatoes, etc) $7 Massa Estate cheese platter: Schoch Farmstead cheeses, Rebecca’s local feta, Pt. Reyes blue; lactic fermented carrots, pineapple/fennel relish, our cherry membrillo, red onion/black pepper compote, local cherries $14 Caprese salad: 1# of Borba Farm heirloom tomatoes, our basil, fresh mozzarella, Muia EVOO $16 *Street elotes: organic corn off the cob, spring onions, pasillas, Wisconsin butter $10 *Carmelized Violini Farm brussels sprouts: Nueske’s bacon/Han Kook Market kim chee $12 *Amanda’s kale salad with her amazing sesame dressing $9 *Cachagua Store Pear Salad: yuzu:dressing, parsnip chips and Pt. Reyes blue cheese $12 Hawaiian style poke: ahi tuna, seaweed salad, soba, spicy cuttlefish noodles $12 *Amanda’s Carmel Valley oak smoked OraKing salmon with capers and onions $14 Roast beef salad: mesquite grilled tritip, spring onions, capers and heirlooms $16 Kathy Lambert’s special sandwich: grilled Nueske’s ham, Schoch Junipero cheese, Jane Flower tomato jam, baby arugula $16 Grilled Ora King salmon with beurre blanc, Violini asparagus, forbidden rice, etc $22 Grilled wild Monterey Halibut: beurre blanc, Borba Farm green beans, forbidden rice, roast potatoes, etc $18 Mesquite grilled Zio Brand top sirloin cap with sides or as a sandwich with garden salad $16 Double Duck: Confit of Sonoma duck leg with grilled cured breast, cassoulet, our kraut $22 Normal mesquite grilled Zio Brand pork chop with mango chutney $18 Desserts: Butter crust apple pie with vanilla ice cream and Jack Daniels caramel $8 Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate and Vasquez Ranch strawberries and strawberry coulis $8 Valrhona Araguani chocolate crema inglese with river and sea salts and Muia EVOO $10 Vasquez Ranch strawberries with strawberry coulis and crema inglese $6

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Menu for 5-6 June

The garden is open for brunch and lunch Saturday and Sunday in the sun. Sunday we open for Cachagua Store style brunch at !0:30, and look forward to the dulcet sounds of Rick Chelew after 1pm
We are back in the kitchen, and for pickup and delivery.
Give us some notice....but it is OK to just call up and see what we have.
831-659-5100
We are happy to deliver anywhere in the Village....even just a quart of soup or an order of brussels sprouts.
Famous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschette $6
Monterey salmon, leeks and saffron soup $6

Massa Estate cheese platter: Schoch Farmstead cheeses, Pt Reyes blue, Rebecca's Garden Variety local feta; our cherry membrillo, Borba Farm beet gelee, lactic fermented carrots, red onion/black pepper compote, pineapple/fennel/rosemary relish $10

Elotes: Mexican street corn with spring onions, pasillas, organic corn and Wisconsin 88% butter $9
Violini Farm asparagus! Mequite grilled with Rebecca's Garden Variety local sheep feta, Mora Farm poached duck egg, Meyer lemon $12
Roasted Borba Farm brussels sprouts with Nueske bacon and Han Kook Market kim chee $10

Cachagua Store Pear Salad with yuzu dressing, parsnip chips and Pt. Reyes blue cheese $10
Lokal style charred Caesar salad with Asiago crisps $8 Amanda's amazing kale salad $7

Hawaiian style poke: ahi tuna, seaweed salad, soba, spicy cuttlefish noodles $10
Amanda’s cold smoked wild Monterey salmon with sweet spring onions and capers $16
Ceviche of super fresh local rockfish (Bear’s limes, Meyer lemon, tangelo, cara cara, Oro Blanco grapefruit, etc $12

Mesquite grilled LE (Zio Brand) Almond top sirloin cap with Bhutanese red rice, Borba Farm green beans, Yukon gold butter roasted potatoes $16
Grilled OraKing salmon with champagne beurre blanc, as above $18
Grilled Mexican wild white prawns with asparagus, peas, cream, pasillas and angel hair pasta $16
Grilled local rockfish with champagne beurre blanc, wild rice, Borba Farm green beans $12.

Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate crema inglese $6
Laurie Massa Kahlua cake with Valrhona crema inglese $6
Valrhona single source Araguani chocolate crema inglese with river and sea salts $10
Vasquez Ranch organic strawberries $5 per basket
Death By Brownie: our killer brownies with two chocolates and Vasquez strawberries $8
OraKing salmon $18 per pound)
Amanda's kale dressing $6.50 for 8oz
Yuzu dressing $6.50 Muia EVOO $12 for 250ml
Vasquez Ranch organic strawberries $6
Ceviche, pear salad, cheese platter, beet salad, pork belly served on our platters. Best for orders in the Village or close.
Text orders to 831-659-5100
Free delivery in Carmel Valley Village

Friday, May 21, 2021

Menu for May 22-24

Mother Nature's gift of Monterey Bay Salmon is in...in limited quantities, but no less glorious
We are now getting all of our meats from Elly Almond at Zio in Salinas. A great butcher with access to local critters. We are putting USDA prime tritips and a delicious top sirloin cap on the grill right now.
The garden is open for brunch and lunch Saturday and Sunday in the sun. Sunday we open for Cachagua Store style brunch at !0:30, and look forward to the dulcet sounds of Rick Chelew after 1pm
We are back in the kitchen, and for pickup and delivery.
Give us some notice....but it is OK to just call up and see what we have.
831-659-5100
We are happy to deliver anywhere in the Village....even just a quart of soup or an order of brussels sprouts. The lockdown is suspended for now, but it is still wise to stay at home whenever you can.
Famous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschette $6
Monterey salmon, leeks and saffron soup $6

Massa Estate cheese platter: Schoch Farmstead cheeses, Pt Reyes blue, Rebecca's Garden Variety local feta; our cherry membrillo, Borba Farm beet gelee, lactic fermented carrots, red onion/black pepper compote, pineapple/fennel/rosemary relish $10

Elotes: Mexican street corn with spring onions, pasillas, organic corn and Wisconsin 88% butter $9
Violini Farm asparagus! Mequite grilled with Rebecca's Garden Variety local sheep feta, Melinda Friday poached duck egg, Meyer lemon $12
Roasted Borba Farm brussels sprouts with Nueske bacon and Han Kook Market kim chee $10

Cachagua Store Pear Salad with yuzu dressing, parsnip chips and Pt. Reyes blue cheese $10
Cachagua Store (Brendan) roasted baby beet salad with coconut chevre and balsamic reduction $12
Amanda's amazing kale salad with mushroom risotto cake $9

Hawaiian style poke: ahi tuna, seaweed salad, soba, spicy cuttlefish noodles $9
Amanda’s cold smoked North Coast salmon with sweet spring onions and capers $12
Ceviche of super fresh local rockfish (Bear’s limes, Meyer lemon, tangelo, cara cara, Oro Blanco grapefruit, etc $12

Mesquite grilled USDA Prime tritip with Bhutanese red rice, Borba Farm green beans, Yukon gold butter roasted potatoes $16
Grilled Monterey Bay wild salmon with champagne beurre blanc, as above $18
Grilled Mexican wild white prawns with asparagus, peas, cream, pasillas and angel hair pasta $16
Petrale sole Veronique (spring onions, cream, champagne), black rice, Violini asparagus $14
Grilled local rockfish with champagne beurre blanc, wild rice, Borba Farm green beans $12.

Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate crema inglese $6
Laurie Massa Kahlua cake with Valrhona crema inglese $6
Valrhona single source Araguani chocolate crema inglese with river and sea salts $10
Vasquez Ranch organic strawberries $5 per basket
Half garlic/rosemary roasted chicken $7
Monterey Bay wild salmon $22 per pound)
Amanda's kale dressing $6.50 for 8oz
Yuzu dressing $6.50 Muia EVOO $12 for 250ml
Vasquez Ranch organic strawberries $6
Ceviche, pear salad, cheese platter, beet salad, pork belly served on our platters. Best for orders in the Village or close.
Text orders to 831-659-5100
Free delivery in Carmel Valley Village

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Sunshine

Mother Nature's gift of Monterey Bay Salmon is in...in limited quantities, but no less glorious
We are now getting all of our meats from Elly Almond at Zio in Salinas. A great butcher with access to local critters. We are putting USDA prime tritips and a delicious top sirloin cap on the grill right now.
The garden is open for brunch and lunch Saturday and Sunday in the sun. Sunday we look forward to the dulcet sounds of Rick Chelew after 1pm
We are back in the kitchen, and for pickup and delivery.
Give us some notice....but it is OK to just call up and see what we have.
831-659-5100
We are happy to deliver anywhere in the Village....even just a quart of soup or an order of brussels sprouts. The lockdown is suspended for now, but it is still wise to stay at home whenever you can.
Famous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschette $6
Monterey salmon, leeks and saffron soup $6
Massa Estate cheese platter: Schoch Farmstead cheeses, Pt Reyes blue, Rebecca's Garden Variety local feta; our cherry membrillo, Borba Farm beet gelee, lactic fermented carrots, red onion/black pepper compote, pineapple/fennel/rosemary relish $10

Violini Farm asparagus! Mequite grilled with Rebecca's Garden Variety local sheep feta, Melinda Friday poached duck egg, Meyer lemon $12
Roasted Borba Farm brussels sprouts with Nueske bacon and Han Kook Market kim chee $10

Cachagua Store Pear Salad with yuzu dressing, parsnip chips and Pt. Reyes blue cheese $10
Cachagua Store (Brendan) roasted baby beet salad with coconut chevre and balsamic reduction $12
Amanda's amazing kale salad with mushroom risotto cake $9

Amanda’s cold smoked North Coast salmon with sweet spring onions and capers $12
Ceviche of super fresh local rockfish (Bear’s limes, Meyer lemon, tangelo, cara cara, Oro Blanco grapefruit, etc $12

Mesquite grilled USDA Prime tritip with Bhutanese red rice, Borba Farm green beans, Yukon gold butter roasted potatoes $16 Grilled Monterey Bay wild salmon as above $16 Petrale sole Veronique $12 Double duck: confit of Grimaud Farm Muscovy duck leg and sliced grilled breast. With wild rice and cassoulet $18

Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate crema inglese $6
Laurie Massa Kahlua cake with Valrhona crema inglese $6
Valrhona single source Araguani chocolate crema inglese with river and sea salts $10
Half garlic/rosemary roasted chicken $7
Monterey Bay wild salmon $24 per pound)
Amanda's kale dressing $6.50 for 8oz
Yuzu dressing $6.50 Muia EVOO $12 for 250ml
Vasquez Ranch organic strawberries $6
Ceviche, pear salad, cheese platter, beet salad, pork belly served on our platters. Best for orders in the Village or close.
Text orders to 831-659-5100
Free delivery in Carmel Valley Village

Friday, April 30, 2021

May Day Weekend!

We are celebrating spring onions and leeks this weekend. Weird, I know.
Chilled asparagus vichysoisse (potato/leek soup) is the bomb....takes me back to the Colony in the '70's. Jacque Kennedy, Truman Capote kind of place.
Amanda's sister Gabrielle gave me a pie crust lesson this week. It was pretty hysterical, but I was able to stumble through it successfully.
Spring onion, leek, potato and Schoch Junipero cheese pie. I know....weird.
We finally (touch wood) found a reliable baby beet grower, so (against Brendan's wishes:"Dad, it's a twenty year old recipe!") we have four colors of nice beets again for beet salad.
I found some USDA Prime Black Angus tritip which is going in the dry rub right now. Also a dozen fat Little Bear style double pork chops, and whole Mary's organic chickens are in the brine as I type
And really nice black cod and local rockfish just arrived, with lots and lots of OraKing salmon.
The garden is open for brunch and lunch Saturday and Sunday in the sun. Sunday we look forward to the dulcet sounds of Rick Chelew after 1pm
We are back in the kitchen, and for pickup and delivery.
Give us some notice....but it is OK to just call up and see what we have.
831-659-5100
We are happy to deliver anywhere in the Village....even just a quart of soup or an order of brussels sprouts. The lockdown is suspended for now, but it is still wise to stay at home whenever you can.
Famous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschette $6
Kim Bap: Korean vegan sushi from Han Kook Market $5
Vichysoisse: (chilled cream/leek/potato soup) $6
Massa Estate cheese platter: Schoch Farmstead cheeses, Pt Reyes blue, Rebecca's Garden Variety local feta; our cherry membrillo, Borba Farm beet gelee, lactic fermented carrots, red onion/black pepper compote, pineapple/fennel/rosemary relish $10

Amanda's citrus/shaved fennel salad (Schletewiscz Farm organic cara cara, blood, tangelo and navel oranges, oro blanco grapefruit), baby arugula, walnut oil and toasted cashews $10
Violini Farm first asparagus! Mequite grilled with Rebecca's Garden Variety local sheep feta, Melinda Friday poached egg, Meyer lemon $12
Roasted Borba Farm brussels sprouts with Nueske bacon and Han Kook Market kim chee $10

Cachagua Store Pear Salad with yuzu dressing, parsnip chips and Pt. Reyes blue cheese $10
Cachagua Store (Brendan) roasted baby beet salad with coconut chevre and balsamic reduction $12
Amanda's amazing kale salad with mushroom risotto cake $9

Amanda’s cold smoked North Coast salmon with cucumber/dill salad $12
Ceviche of super fresh local rockfish (Bear’s limes, Meyer lemon, tangelo, cara cara, Oro Blanco grapefruit, etc $12

Little Bear style brined double pork chop with mango chutney and hibiscus/berry reduction $18
Mesquite grilled Mishima Ranch Wagyu sirloin with wild rice, roasted Yukon gold potatoes and Violini asparagus $18

Mesquite grilled USDA Prime tritip with Bhutanese red rice, Borba Farm green beans, Yukon gold butter roasted potatoes $16 Mesquite grilled California leg of lamb with garlic/mint reduction, Bhutanese red rice, roast Yukon gold potatoes and Violini asparagus $18 Double spring lamb chops persillade (parsley, mint, panko stuffing) with rice, potatoes, asparagus $20

Grilled Monterey Bay rockfish or OraKing salmon with wild rice, etc with tomato beurre blanc $12
Moroccan style California lamb stew with couscous $14
Tasmanian black Kampot pepper crusted black codw ith seaweed salad, soba noodles, spicy cuttlefish and Borba Farm green beans $12
with balsamic/soy reduction $14 Double duck: confit of Grimaud Farm Muscovy duck leg and sliced grilled breast. With wild rice and cassoulet $18

Roast Mary's organic chicken with butter roasted Yukon gold and Violini asparagus $12

Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate crema inglese $6
Laurie Massa Kahlua cake with Valrhona crema inglese $6
Valrhona single source Araguani chocolate crema inglese with river and sea salts $10
Mesquite grilled whole Mishima Ranch Wagyu sirloin (approx 1.5-2.5# ea) $12 per pound
Half garlic/rosemary roasted chicken $7
OraKing fresh salmon $18 per pound)
Amanda's kale dressing $6.50 for 8oz
Yuzu dressing $6.50 Muia EVOO $12 for 250ml
Melinda Friday eggs $7
Corralitos sausages (coarse grind kobasica, andouille, linguica, German) $3 each

Vasquez Ranch organic strawberries $6
Ceviche, pear salad, cheese platter, beet salad, pork belly served on our platters. Best for orders in the Village or close.
Text orders to 831-659-5100
Free delivery in Carmel Valley Village