Thursday, August 23, 2018

Taco Brothers Truck Rolls into Eureka

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 11:22 AM

Everybody loves dancing food. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Everybody loves dancing food.

As you zip down Eureka's Fifth Street, you're bound to spot the new taco truck that just claimed a spot on Monday at the corner of O Street under the golden pawn shop orbs. The snazzy Taco Brothers truck (1415 Fifth St.), with its dancing mustachioed burrito and taco, is hard to miss.

It's owner Cristal Pozos Ramirez's first food venture but she's not alone. Her father Raymond Pozos and uncle Guadalupe Miguel Pozos (the brothers) are doing the cooking, along with her mother, Luz, and aunt Pilar. "It's a family business," says Pozos Ramirez. Lifelong Humboldt residents, the family has roots in Oaxaca, which she says comes out in the cooking. "We kind of give it that special hit."

On the menu at Taco Brothers. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • On the menu at Taco Brothers.
Monday through Saturday you can find a member of the family working a shift turning out foil-wrapped burritos and plates of tacos. Pozos Ramirez says so far the cabeza and pastor are the big sellers, but she's not ready to pick a favorite. "I can't choose," she says. "It's hard."
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Monday, August 20, 2018

On a Stick: Deep-fried Daredevilry at the Fair

Posted By on Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 1:48 PM

The corn dog, gold standard of fair food. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The corn dog, gold standard of fair food.

There are plenty of innocent pleasures to be had at the fair, from riding the Ferris wheel with your sweetheart to perusing the prize-winning livestock. But if you're not going to indulge your gastronomic id by eating something deep fried and totally unreasonable, you're not really getting the whole experience. The Humboldt County Fair is in full swing so we returned to the stalls and trailers, strolled past the familiar corn dogs, gator tail nuggets and fried pickles we rated a few years back to sample a few items we hadn't already investigated. Here are three contenders to balance out the wholesomeness of your day at the fairgrounds and add another layer of drama to your turn on the Typhoon.

A heap of curly fries. Good luck. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • A heap of curly fries. Good luck.
Giant Kurly Fries: This $8 shoebox-sized knot of skins-on, spiraled fries is made with tools that look better suited for a woodworking shop than a kitchen. Potatoes are spun and stripped into ribbons of starch by a lathe. Stuffed into a fry basket, they're plunged into bubbling oil until crispy  and passed to you through a window by a smiling teen who knows you have no shot in hell of finishing them. Season them as you like — making it rain with a cardboard box of salt with holes punched in the top or pumping ketchup wherever you can fit it — but accept that unless you are sharing with a hungry group, you won't make it down to the paper tray where all those salt crystals have sifted. Well, maybe, but at what cost?

Shoot, that's just fried cheese on a stick. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Shoot, that's just fried cheese on a stick.
Cheese on a Stick: At first glance, it looks like its similarly priced sibling the corn dog: a pebbly cylinder of deep-fried corn bread batter with a wooden stick jabbed in one end. But inside this evil twin is a block of American cheese rendered molten in the fryer to yield the nihilist carney version of a grilled cheese sandwich ($5). The young woman at the cash register will warn you it's "very, very hot" and offer the pro-tip of removing the wooden stick to "let it vent." It's OK to be afraid. After a couple minutes of venting, the sweet, crusty cornbread breaks open to a golden yellow center of creamy, processed cheese magma. Salty, sweet, greasy, crunchy and artificially creamy. There are only two kinds of people in this world — you will either recoil or wish for tomato soup.

A deep fried Twinkie with enough powdered sugar to make Scarface sneeze. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • A deep fried Twinkie with enough powdered sugar to make Scarface sneeze.
Fried Twinkie: The fact that this $5 hybrid of childhood nostalgia and poor adult decisions is for sale at the same stand as the deep fried Snicker's bar that nearly did us in a couple years back is a very bright red flag. The funnel cake batter-dipped Twinkie is roughly the shape of a harbor seal and nearly the weight of one. It's blanketed by a snowfall of powdered sugar and criss-crossed with chocolate syrup — you can order it without but that's hardly the path of moderation. Crack open the crust and the yellow snack cake with the alarmingly long shelf life is revealed. Whither the creamy filling? Oh, it's in there, just transformed by the heat of the fryer to a translucent, sugary goo that's, holy hell, somehow exponentially sweeter than in its original fluffy form. One bite in and any plans you had to ride the Zipper or ever look your dentist in the eye again are dust. Powdery, sugary dust. 
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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Deli-ish Delish on 5th Coming to Old Town

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2018 at 3:47 PM

The future home of a "modern deli" on Fifth and F streets. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The future home of a "modern deli" on Fifth and F streets.

The windows are still covered up where the Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe once revved its engines and panini presses at Fifth and F streets, but not for long. Christine Silver, owner of Humboldt Soup Company, plans to open Delish on 5th sometime in the next couple of months.

Says Silver, "It's gonna be what I'm calling a kitchen store and a modern deli," meaning a meat-centric menu of sandwiches with house-made corned beef pastrami and roast beef, plus cheeses and charcuterie in the 11-foot deli case. There'll also be a kitchen store with upscale home cooking tools and specialty food products.

The remodel is still in progress, though the range hood has been installed in the kitchen and all the permits are in order. Silver will be hiring about 10 staff for the place, too. Outdoor seating may be in the cards down the line but right now she's "just getting the doors open."
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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dulce Open in Eureka

Posted By on Sun, Aug 5, 2018 at 6:32 PM

Pastry case at the newly opened Dulce Bistro. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Pastry case at the newly opened Dulce Bistro.

For those of you who've been watching the glacial transformation of the space at 415 Seventh St. in Eureka, waiting for Mity Nice, then Fat Cat to open, surprise! It's Dulce Bistro.

Dulce's manager Antonio Lopez says there were plans to open a restaurant elsewhere when the Mity Nice/Fat Cat team decamped and this spot became available. The move-in started in June and the doors opened Tuesday, July 31. Construction of the outdoor seating area remains in progress.
The Thai quinoa burger and fries at Dulce Bistro. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The Thai quinoa burger and fries at Dulce Bistro.

The bakery case up front holds a scattering of scones, muffins and fruit pastries, while the menu lists classic breakfasts like omelets, French toast, chicken-fried steak ($5.50-$13), and sandwiches, soups and salads at lunch ($8-$14). Dinner offerings include a pair of prix fixe options alongside á la carte surf and turf, and a vegan cassoulet ($21-$43). 
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