Chow Interrupted: Guanajuato, Dad's Catfish Cabin, and New York Pizza
Ahh, the challenges of eating at new places in Vallejo...
I set off to North Vallejo to try out the newly opened Guanajuato Grill Deli & Bakery at Fairgrounds Plaza. Fairgrounds Plaza itself is on the edge of a dicey neighborhood (a police substation is located there, and two people looked on the edge of fisticuffs in the parking lot behind me as I was leaving), and it's other major food tenant, Pipkins Pitt BBQ, had long since departed the scene.
Well, I was hoping for something off the grill, but I spotted no grill inside the premises. As of now, the place is more of a small Mexican market with a small bakery stand near the front door and a deli counter in the back with some meats, quesos, and some fried items (including some humongous chicharrones.) I did see a note that their items are supplied from their original store and the neighboring Las Palmitas Bakery in South Vallejo, so I plan to check them out in the near future. Call this an incomplete for now.
Next, I decided to try the Dad's Catfish Cabin trailer I saw parked out at a car wash on the corner of Tennessee and Adm. Callaghan Ln. They used to have a space on Sonoma Blvd in Vallejo Plaza but closed down, and if the person manning the trailer today was any indication, I could see why. After looking over the menu, I stood there waiting to place my order; however, she just went on conversing on her phone as if I wasn't even there. After a couple of minutes of listening to her talk, I figured my food pastures were greener elsewhere.
I don't want to give it up completely (they had a chicken and waffles option that looked intriguing) but I'm not inclined to go back anytime soon.
Finally, I ventured over to New York Pizza, a place that had literally just opened up this month. I was a little dubious about this place - the name first of all (New York...yeah, sure) and their coupon section in the advertising booklet I got this week showed off a very California-style-looking pizza (it did advertise dough "tossed by hand", FWIW.)
Well, the place was empty, so I got prompt service on my pepperoni slice with a soda ($2.50). The best thing I can comment on was the crust - it was thin, was fairly dark and crispy on the bottom, but chewy in texture. The slice passed the so-called foldability test as well.
The bad, if you wanna' call it that, was that this was essentially a Blondie's thin crust in taste, and just slightly skimpy on the cheese to boot (the soda included with it, served in an awfully small cup, didn't add much value.) In other words, it'll do in a pinch, but compared to Parry's in American Canyon, it doesn't even come close - I'll take one of Parry's gigantic NY-style cheese slices for the same price anyday.
Guanajuato Grill Deli & Bakery
1652 Fairgrounds Dr, #C
(Vallejo Fairgrounds Plaza)
Dad's Catfish Cabin Trailer
1 Adm. Callaghan Ln
New York Pizza
2564-B Springs Rd
Thanks for reporting in. I used to go to the catfish cabin when it was in the shopping mall. It was very different from the other catfish fryers I tried, using canola oil and also being extremely fast and service oriented. And the clientele were mostly slim African-American 20-somethings who'd dash in dressed in work-out slothes. Very different from the very large, older slow-moving customers at the slower, greasy joints.
It's been more than two years now, but I did try the chicken and waffle thing. It was a stick-shaped deep-fried waffle, a pull-tab small tub of syrup for dipping, and some fried chicken wings. I didn't like it much and never ordered it again.
re: Melanie Wong
If you're craving chicken and waffle, you might want to check out Lois the Pie Queen. That's David's favorite order there, and he got a surprise today of a slice of well-cooked bacon stuck to his fried chicken thigh. I had a bit of the waffle -- would order it "well-done" for myself, as this was a bit blonde.
re: Melanie Wong
Actually some of the best fried seafood I had in town came from Tran's. I tried googling and it seems it's now
651 Broadway St
Vallejo, CA 94590
Hopefully it's still the same set-up. It had a seafood counter and they'd fry up anything that they had in the case. Scallops, prawns, catfish, snapper, etc., but what made it special is that unlike Ranch 99 which just fries your purchase plain, here you have your pick of Louisiana seasonings, spices and breadings. And, much cheaper and fresher than just about anywhere else around. The downside is that the tartar sauce was packaged and not a good brand at that.