Paella Friday at Stone Creek Kitchen in Monterey
Last Friday with sunny skies and temperatures pushing 80 degrees in Monterey, Mom and I lunched al fresco at Stone Creek Kitchen. This was our first time here. I was drawn by the promise of paella, offered on Fridays. It's $16.99 per pound and made with real Bomba rice. The website said that it's available in the afternoon; the counterman told me he tries to have it ready no later than 10am to satisfy lunch take-out orders. The paella is sold room temperature and there's a self-serve microwave to warm up your food. Rice was heavily seasoned with smoked pimenton and too soft for my taste. Yet, this was pretty packed with cubes of chicken breast, chorizo, piquillo peppers, green beans, pickled guindilla peppers, lemon, and some big fat shrimp. The portion in the photo was just under a pound and cost $16.
We also tried the sweet potato casserole. Mom said she liked this better than the paella. Fluffy mashed sweet potatoes were baked with a fragrant and flavorful pumpkin seed-dill pesto and crunchy bread crumbs.
Besides these items, the deli case is full of composed salads, tartine of the day, bocadillos and other sandwich fixings, tomato tart, and other ready to eat heat-and-serve preps. I'll mention that the website says that indoor seating is now available. This would be tall counters with backless stools that might challenge some elders.
Stone Creek Kitchen
65 Canyon Del Rey Blvd
Monterey, CA 93940
Last week we were in the neighborhood again and bought a number of items for a take-out lunch. This turned out to be a preview of several deli items available for the Thanksgiving table (and the shop is open until 7pm today, closed tomorrow for T-day).
Toasty Roasty - Chunks of roast beets with toasted pecans, tossed with goat cheese and chopped Romaine in a slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette. $10.99/lb
Israeli couscous with butternut squash - Fat couscous with diced and roasted butternut squash, sweet dried cranberries, and baby lettuces with an herb dressing. Overall impression was a little too sweet for me. $10.99/lb
Three Bean Salad - Not your typical canned stuff with bottled dressing. Red kidney beans, creamy textured Greek gigandes beans, and snappy crisp haricots verts plus roasted cipollini. My favorite of our salad selection, mostly because it wasn't overtly sweet. $7.99/lb
Tomato tart - Flaky puff pastry coated with creamy goat cheese and topped with juicy uncooked tomatoes. $4.95/slice
Chile Relleno - Roasted and peeled poblano chile pepper with some kick to it filled with sweet potato puree and queso fresco. $3.50 apiece, and my favorite of all.
Also bought fresh cranberry-orange sauce for the big day. At $8.99/lb, a cup of sauce turned out to be $6! I had some buyer's remorse when I saw cranberry sauce for $5 per pint at Healdsburg's Downtown Bakery, not exactly a cheap place either. But at least it tastes good and saved me some extra work.
Pumpkin pie - Very smooth and nicely spiced filling, thickish buttery crust was good on the fluted edges but too wet on the bottom. $6.99/5" pie