Chowdown Report: Mateo Granados at the Healdsburg Farmers Market
This morning three chowhounds and assorted friends met up at the last market day of the season in Healdsburg for a Yucatan-style breakfast by Mateo Granados Catering.
Here's the day's menu offerings:
You order and pay at the counter. Then take a seat at the table and your order and utensils are brought to you. The tables are set with bottles of Granado's own habanero hot sauce. He has a new green version, made with the green, not fully ripe, end-of-season chilis grown by Soda Rock Farms. Not as much of a burning wallop as the original orange one, brighter and more precise with higher acidity and a larger component of onion in the blend. I like them both a lot.
El Yuco bottled habanero hot sauces
We ordered one plate of Bruschetta con menudencias, $14, shown here,
and two plates of the Preston goat hash, $14, to share, as shown below.
I'll ask my dining companions to share their opinions.
One of the friends I bumped into at the market knows Granados quite well and we had a chance to talk to him more than usual. They had recently slaughtered young goats together at Lou Preston's farm. Granados comes from a ranching and butchering family and is considering offering a farm-to-table butchering and cooking class.
I asked him what his winter plans are since his appearance tomorrow at the Sebastopol farmers market will also be the last of the year for that venue. He is undecided about returning to Santa Rosa FM, still thinking about what it takes to be successful there, as previous seasons have not drawn as much business. Then I spoke to his catering manager, Randy, who said that going to Santa Rosa two Saturdays a month might be feasible if a routine schedule can be worked out. So, as it stands today, the Sunday farmers market in Sebastopol tomorrow may be the last chance this year to try Mateo Granados cooking.
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Great photos of the food, Melanie! This was my first time to taste Mateo Granados food and I had the Preston Goat hash and a non-giblet taste of the Bruschetta con Menudencias. I loved it all and, as I said at the time, the food was unlike anything I've ever had, particularly in the combinations of food on the plate. The goat hash plus greens plus vegtables (great carrots), duck eggs, pomegranate seeds, and the smoked tomatillo sauce plus his habanero sauces. Plus great bread. Whew, just great eating. It makes me want to try more of his offerings, but I suppose that's going to be a while (I can't go to Sebastopol tomorrow).
The bruschetta and hash were reminders that sometimes, all you need to do with delicious produce is to put it on a plate. When I saw the carrots, pomegranate seeds, broccoli and greens piled onto an already stratospheric goat hash, I had doubts. It looked like too much on top of too much.
But as I dug through layer after layer, I was struck by the brightness and vibrancy that tied it all together. It spoke to the freshness that surrounded us at the farmer's market and was a testament to Mateo's sourcing. What was on the plate was what was at the market, and it was delicious.
Between the two, I might prefer the bruschetta because of the variety in chicken gizzards. The livers brought funky depth, and the hearts brought crunch. But then again, the unending variety of flavors in the hash- sauces, vegetable garnishes, goat, potatoes- kept it always exciting. I'd gladly order both again.
Talking with Mateo afterward, he told us he had put his green habanero sauce in some miso soup the other day and found that it was delicious. That's the Granados spirit. He takes that same playfulness, puts it on a plate, and serves it on a crisp Saturday morning. Like Melanie said, he didn’t seem sure about coming to Santa Rosa. I sure hope he does.