Monday, September 3, 2012

Chillin' and grillin' in Modesto.

On my first full day in Modesto I awoke refreshed with a clean, billowy bedhead. I had to be mindful of the adopted feral cat lurking about, acting all cutesy but ready to claw.

Tim whipped up a quiche with leftover marinated tomatoes, spinach and cheese. Pretty much the tastiest breakfast I had since leaving Iowa.

Afterward Tim took me for a spin around Modesto, starting with a visit to Loretelli Farms for some O'Henry peaches for dinner and strawberries and almonds encrusted in an orange honey shell to nosh on. The floral aroma and subtle flavor of orange was outstanding.

Our little trip around town continued down to the central business district and southward to Ceres to briefly peruse La Perla Tapatia, one of a small Mexican grocery chain in the Central Valley.

A lazy afternoon was spent sipping Bushmills White Label; alternating between watching the Giants on TV inside, or listening to them on the radio out on the back deck while Tim prepared brisket with a dry rub, followed by a long smoke on the Weber grill with cherry wood. For supper: brisket and slaw on soft focaccia rolls, with grilled corn and peaches. The tart flesh of the O'Henry peaches remained firm despite its time over the coals.

The next day Tim and I skipped breakfast and took a morning walk around a trio of parks – Thousand Oaks, Kewin, and East La Loma – all connected by a paved trail, though at one point we circled back on the other side of the creek on a challenging, dusty trail more frequented by homeless than by recreational walkers.

Feeling peckish after we swung by the house to grab Julia, and have lunch nearby at Taqueria Mis Compadres. A big-ass bottle of Modelo Especial and the chile relleno and enchilada plate caught my attention immediately. For my enchilada filling I requested chorizo. What a revelation! Swimming in a sea of brownish-red chili gravy, it was one of the best enchiladas I've ever eaten. The stuffed poblano for my chile relleno had retained some structure, requiring a little effort to cut with a fork, but still tender enough to enjoy. No slouch on melty cheesy goodness within either.

Another afternoon spent listening to the Giants, followed by leftovers for dinner. Tim and Julia ate cold brisket sandwiches while I opted for slices of heirloom tomatoes with cheese and mayo.

I retired early in preparation for my departure the next morning.

Taqueria Mis Compadres on Urbanspoon

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