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Monday, May 17, 2010

BBQ Tuesday IS Back At Mission Beach Cafe

Mission Beach Cafe is currently doing a BBQ Tuesday Menu.  I was so excited to bring a party of 5 in the other night to attack these dishes.  We sat down, with the light of day fading. The interior is so comfortable at MBC.  And it never seems to get too noisy in there. My group began ordering libations as we perused the evening's menu.

The seasonal soup for the night was a corn & cauliflower soup.  It was made with roasted corn, Huitlacoche, Garlic oil and creme fraiche.  We found out from our server that the Huitlacoche is like a Mexican truffle.  It actually is a fungus that grows naturally on the ears of corn.  Well, from the sound of it, I was intrigued and the soup turned out to be phenomenal.  First of all, it had a smoky BBQ finish in each spoonful.  And that roasted, fresh corn, let me tell you... But truly, the Huitlacoche really left an impression.  A real delicate and delicious addition.

Everyone at the table raved about the tea smoked albacore tuna that was being passed around.  It was served on crispy lemon-saffron risotto with a chili creme fraiche. There was a fried quail egg on top of each piece dashed with caviar.  Sounds dreamy, huh?  We felt slightly in dream scape as it disappeared in front of our mouths.  Another dish that was made with so much thought.  The quail egg that was on top of pieces of tuna, the crispy risotto, the caviar.  I mean, come on! It was an excellent starter and our audience was howling for more.

Our table also got a salad to share. It had fresh escarole hearts, shaved fennel, rhubarb, hazelnuts, pt. reyes blue cheese and creme fraiche blue cheese dressing. I simply love blue cheese.  It stems back to my youth as a chubby kid.  I used to over pour dressing on my salad and simply get lost in the blue cheese.  Now that I am older and healthier, I prefer a lite pour to really taste the elements of my salad.  And that is how this salad was presented.  With just the right amount of dressing and the additional crumbles of cheese, I was very pleased.

The smoked lamb meatballs were also brought out from the kitchen for our enjoyment.  We each shared a half each along with some baby shiitakes, some red pearl onion and green garlic.  They were tender and had a great spice to them.  We all cleared that plate with no problem. 

The fifth starter was the collard greens with black-eyed peas, ham hock and lemon.  A great BBQ treat! The greens were the perfect texture, the black eyed peas crunched, the lemon left a great essence.  All the starters left us excited for what was up next in the barbecue.

There was a mesquite smoked pulled-pork shoulder sandwich that was going around.  I got a small taste of some very large flavor.  Large and in charge, in fact.  I loved the sauce with all the smokey flavors.  I also loved the fennel-cabbage slaw that came with the pork.  The dish has fries as well.  I love MBC's  fries. They are always crowd pleasers.

Next up on the entrees was the grilled organic half chicken.  Now, get this...It had a seasonal strawberry rhubarb glaze that was mighty pleasant to taste.  I thought the grilled corn was also done well.  And the presentation with the egg and flower was a great touch.  The chicken was thick, juicy and full of flavor.

Speaking of full flavor, we got the fig-wood smoked devils gulch ranch pork ribs with rancho gordo baked beans and grilled asparagus.  I got a big piece because the table was starting to get full.  I shredded the meat off the bone with ease.  It was tender and succulent pork.  I also loved the way the asparagus was cooked on the grill.  I was glad I got a solid helping.

I also had a robust helping of the tamarind-soy glazed arctic char.  It came with an olive oil yukon gold mash that was outstanding.  I popped many of the roasted cipollini onions and the sauteed pea shoots in my mouth.  The fish was cooked the way it needed to be.  Here again, it pointed to the thoughtful chef.  He really takes the time to perfect the dishes he sends out.  My party was oh, so pleased.

Everyone was so content but I insisted on some dessert selections.  It would have been a sin for them to miss the sour cherry pie.  I had this a few weeks back and have been dreaming about it ever since.  There is nothing that can touch it.  It comes with fresh whipped cream, that I insist, is a gift from god.  We also shared the banana butterscotch cream pie for the first time.  I thought it was very yummy. I also had bites of the honey lavender cheesecake before I called it quits. That was also quite something.  All the desserts are always amazing.  It's one of the things MBC is known for.  I just wish I had them right now because I am so hungry reflecting about them.
Photos by Karri Cormican

The night was now upon us and the room had just the right amount of light.  I looked around to see a very satisfied crowd.  I came back the next day and brought Bill, the owner some fresh flowers to thank him for a splendid time.