Where did Mrs.Chino Wayne celebrate her birthday? (A report)
Just need the facts ma'am.
re: torta basilica
OK, OK, I will fess up. First of all thanks 'hounds for all of those great recommendations, I hope to actually check them out some day.
Now this was not *planned* this way, but Chino Wayne, being the inveterate 'hound that he is, does know when to recognize certain situations, and shall we say, exploit them. First of all Mrs. Chino Wayne is not a confirmed 'hound, Chino Wayne is diligently working with her, in a never ending process of molding her chow sensibilities (so far the molding has been going on for 30 years). As an example, on Wednesday night Chino Wayne, wanting to do something special for the night before Mrs. Chino Wayne's birthday, broiled some filet mignons he had created by cutting a whole beef filet in to steaks a few days before and letting them marinate in some Teriyaki for a few days in the refer.
So once Mrs. Chino Wayne finally got home from the office, Chino Wayne served her a nice Caesar that he had compiled from a couple of packages of Dole Low Fat Caesar Salad kits, a nice filet, broiled to a point somewhere between medium and medium rare, and a glass of the definitely déclassé Chino Waynes' current favorite wine, Sutter Home Moscato (not even the Proprietor's Reserve special stuff, which has a real paper label on it, but the cheap stuff with a label printed directly on the bottle).
While Chino Wayne thoroughly enjoyed his meal, consuming two steaks, which rendered plenty of wonderful meat juices on his plate and two helpings of salad, the Mrs. was not happy with her meat once she cut it open and discerned pinkness. This did not bode well for Chino Wayne, and resulted in some unpleasantness as Chino Wayne THREW a certain filet back under the broiler for another 10 minutes. This of course resulted in a totally carbonized piece of former meat which was presented to Mrs. Chino Wayne. At that point Chino Wayne withdrew from the battlefield. All of this having been said to make the point that Mrs. Chino Wayne is still among to un-enlightened in terms of chowing, and to set the stage for what occurred next.
So Thursday, Mrs. Chino Wayne's birthday is fast approaching. Chino Wayne had previously arranged for a rendezvous with some fellow 'hounds at La Casa Russkar on Thursday afternoon for a few hours, for some all important 'hound business. Realizing that this was a special day for Mrs. Chino Wayne, Chino Wayne graciously (heh, heh, heh) extended an invitation to the Mrs. to accompany him to La Casa Russkar, and also extended an invitation to the Mrs. to later dine, just the Mr. and Mrs., at a suitable venue in the Newport Beach/Orange County area later. Chino Wayne, while he would not be able to accompany Mrs. Chino Wayne, due to work related commitments, also suggested that Mrs. Chino Wayne might like to visit Disneyland with the Daughter Of The Chino Waynes' all day on the special day, and Chino Wayne could join them for dinner after attending to his important hound business. Chino Wayne, ever the loving husband also offered to rent a hotel room for Mrs. Chino Wayne and the Daughter Of The Chino Waynes, at one of the Mrs. favorite casino venues just across the border. So when asked on Wednesday evening if she would like to accompany Chino Wayne to La Casa Russkar, Mrs. Chino Wayne replied No! Do you think I want to do Chowhound things on MY BIRTHDAY.
Thursday morning arrives, and Chino Wayne is informed by Daughter Of The Chino Wayne that she and Mrs. Chino Wayne will be feeding slot machines that afternoon. So Thursday afternoon, after providing Mrs. Chino Wayne with funds for the room rental, and some lunch money, Chino Wayne bids the Mrs. and Daughter, and Melanie adieu, and heads over to Newport Beach in Herman, Chino Waynes conscience now clear.
The primary purpose for the visit to La Casa Russkar was to pick-up on KILLER CHEESECAKE that Russkar imports in quantity from the best cheesecake bakery west of the Hudson River. The secondary purpose was to attempt some of the many, many, claims of culinary skill that Chino Wayne has heard from Russkar, and to maybe experience some new taste sensations in the process. Ever the hospitable and gracious hosts that Russkar and Karla are, Chino Wayne sampled the following:
One ice cold Budweiser, which as with any fresh Budweiser was nice and cold and beery tasting.
One Claro Pacifico cerveza, imported from Mexico. This was a first time with this beer for Chino Wayne and he remarked to Russkar that this beer had a very mild, smooth taste, it actually tasted like cold water to Chino Wayne, which in Chino Waynes opinion could make it a very dangerous beverage, especially on a hot day.
In between beers, baby back ribs and deconstructed beef ribs from the infamous super duper, steel smelter-ingly hot Brinkmann broiler/smoker, and Lobster raviolis with a Vodka cream sauce.
The baby back ribs were very nice, but with one of Russkars rather more pedestrian BBQ sauces, which was unremarkable to Chino Wayne. However, always being three steps ahead on the chow front, Russkar was able to provide a selection of hot sauces for Chino Wayne to sample:
Straight, regular Tabasco, which Chino Wayne passed on.
***** Chinese Hot Chili Sauce, in a squeeze bottle, with a processing source that did not have anything Chinese in its name, nor any ingredients that seemed indigenous to China (mainland or otherwise). This had a slight bit of heat, and kind of a fishy taste (but no listed fishy ingredients).
Cholula Hot Sauce, this was a bit hotter, and more satisfying, nicely perking up the BBQ sauce on the ribs.
None of the hot sauces approached Daves Insanity in terms of Scovilles.
In terms of Russkars rib technique and the 800 degree smoker, the second batch of baby backs was far superior to the first, falling off the bone before Chino Wayne could get the rib and meat up to his mouth. In full disclosure to other hounds though, while Chino Waynes nostrils immediately discerned smoke upon entering La Casa Russkar, the ribs themselves, seemed lacking, at least to Chino Waynes taste in sufficient smokiness. Chino Wayne does not wish to pass judgment on either Russkar or the Brinkmann at this time, and is always available to perform a second evaluation (Russkar) in his continuing service to fellow hounds. The concept of the Brinkmann does intrigue Chino Wayne, and while driving home later Chino Wayne did spend some time ruminating on building an appropriate foundation to place a Brinkmann on, in close proximity to the natural gas stub in the backyard of the Chino manse.
In addition to the baby backs, Russkar did produce beef ribs that had been eviscerated (i.e. the far reaching provisioning arms of Russkar had acquired beef ribs with the bones removed, and just the meat and fat left). This is very handy for those who wish to waste the least amount of time between rib on plate and rib in mouth. But once again Chino Wayne, must in full disclosure to fellow hounds report that somehow, eating a boneless rib is just not the same as knowing on a pristine rib, bone and meat.
In between batches of ribs, Lobster raviolis (just ravioli dough with unadorned Lobster meat inside) imported from Boston were proffered with a Vodka cream sauce, infused with king crab meat harvested from Russian waters, shallots, butter and pepper flakes that Russkar whipped up. The Vodka cream sauce was truly magical, and Chino Wayne was eyeing a bag of Italian torpedo rolls on the counter covetously, thoughts of soaking up all of the saucy goodness and scaring it down. Alas, Russkar slipped the remaining Vodka sauce in to a container and in to the refrigerator (actually a noble roundly trait, husbanding deliciousness for another time). Word is it that Russkar had Vodka cream sauce for breakfast today.
Sometime after the Lobster raviolis and before the second batch of ribs, a bottle of Kaman Cabernet Sauvignon was opened and poured. Now the last time the proudly ignorant wine amateur Chino Wayne had tasted Cabernet Sauvignon was at the old Griswolds Inn restaurant in Claremont, about thirty years ago, while trying to impress a female who was impressive to Chino Wayne. The recollection was of a very dry, unpleasant taste. The Kamen Cabernet was the antithesis to Chino Waynes last experience. Chino Wayne is not adequate to the task of describing the Kamen to true wine connoisseurs, however, Chino Wayne reports that this was really smooth stuff. Chino Wayne would have quaffed a lot of this wine, except that Chino Wayne did not feel that his wine goblet swirling technique was up to the same standards of Russkar, Woo and Torta Basilica, who had joined in to this houndly business. Chino Wayne, does sincerely hope, though, that his more sophisticated fellow hounds will continue to impart their superior oneophilic knowledge upon Chino Wayne (how else can Chino Wayne get to taste some great stuff, since he is far to much of a wine hick to be able to find the good stuff on his own).
After the two beers and about two glasses of the cabernet, a bottle of Roda 1 that Woo had brought was opened and sampled. Chino Wayne enjoyed the Roda 1, but thought that he enjoyed the Kamen more. The Kamen was more mellow to Chino Waynes palate. Somewhere along here some very good pork tamales were passed around, with a fresh salsa imported from Mi India Bonita in East L.A. The salsa was fresh tasting, but no where near hot enough to Chino Waynes palate, which Chino Wayne has embarked upon training, so that Chino Wayne can walk with the true Big Dogs of Hot Sauce, like Tom Steele.
Sausage sandwiches, on the aforementioned torpedo rolls were prepared by Russkar using sweet and hot sausages from Sabatinos, Newport Beach. The combination of sausage, melted cheese and what appeared to be a marinara on the toasted rolls was very good. Russkar reports that instead of plain old port fat, Sabatinos mixes CHEESE in with the meat for their sausages. In the estimation of Chino Wayne, a very brilliant idea. It was very difficult for Chino Wayne to refrain from reverting to his baser instincts and scarfing all of the sausage sandwiches himself.
This sampling was ended with a taste of absolutely KILLER NEW YORK STYLE CHEESECAKE imported from J.M. Rosens in Petaluma. This after all was the reason these hounds had gathered at La Casa Russkar. J.M. Rosen is a wholesaler to the restaurant industry. One cannot go in to a store, or simply order one cheesecake from these wizards. You either go in to the right restaurant, or you make contact with a knowledgeable insider. So Russkar was the hounds connection, and like any deal involving hard to obtain contraband, cash money changed hands, very willingly after Russkar, the enabler, proffered samples of the merchandise.
This cheese cake stands high on the plate and consists of a pure white, very smooth and creamy cheese filling. A hint of lemon can be tasted in the cheese filing, as can a very nice decided sugar sensation, but the sugar is not overpowering. The base crust is of crushed graham crackers and it is a perfect, mellow, light bordering on medium brown color. The side crust is also of the classic New York style consistency, and when Chino Wayne approaches a slice of this cheese cake he always starts at the pointy end, getting nice mouthfuls of creamy cheese filling, alternating with bottom crust, and then he works his way back to the side crust. The side crust on one of these cheesecakes will always adhere to a good amount of filling, so the very best part of eating a slice of this cheesecake is the amalgamation of cheese filling and wonderful, almost crisp, but firm and sweet side crust.
So having experienced some good taste sensations, and having enjoyed some very mellow time with fellow hounds, Chino Wayne reluctantly carried his precious cheesecake cargo out to Herman and headed for the reality of the 55 freeway. Chino Wayne does report that the wonderful cheesecake deliciousness remained intact for almost, but not quite, 24 hours. One slice was consumed this afternoon. The only thing that is holding Chino Wayne back from scarfing more of this cheesecake ambrosia is the fact the Chino Wayne has foolishly revealed to Mrs. Chino Wayne the presence of this cheesecake wonder, and now would be in jeopardy of being the recipient of The Look and The Interrogation, should Mrs. Chino Wayne return home and find that the bulk of the cheesecake will have seemed to shrink in the refrigerator. So far the cheesecake is only absent a single slice, however, the dinner hour is fast approaching, and Chino Waynes will to resist is slowly and steadily breaking down
74 East Washington
Petaluma, CA 94952
(Sold only in quanties of 6 or more, $30.00 each.)
re: Chino Wayne
Kicking myself! Grrr! I hate my employer for scheduling such a forgettable, useless training class in BFE Anaheim Hills so that I was unable to leave in time enough to partake with y'all. I'm glad everyone had a great time, Wayne, and that your evening's plan B worked out well. Russ, I do still look forward to the rib epiphany awaiting me. Time to rev up for next weekend.