Saturday, August 29, 2015

Eating My Way Around the Valley of the Moon

Near Sonoma about twenty minutes from here, hugging highway 12, is a roadside Mexican eating place of exceeding charm but without affectation. El Mollino Central has been there for years, I understand. One thing that is unique about it is that customers walk right through the kitchen to get to the outdoor seating area. A well printed sign on the screen door reminds one  to step UP or DOWN when passing through. The clientele is diverse, but the presence of many hispanic laborers is a clue to its good taste.

Because of its popularity and authenticity the food never fails to satisfy and exudes freshness. Last time I was there I ordered fish tacos which were fresh and munchie. I usually succomb to the guacamole (even the small is a huge serving) and chips (thick but not greasy) for an appetizer. I recently took the  plunge and tried fish tacos for the first time. Yummy. Its hard to know what not to pick. Its not often one sees cooks casually cutting up piles of fresh octopus. Maybe for cerviche? I haven't extended my imagination quite that far yet.
On the other hand, my book club here has taken to going out to dinner once a month, trying to have the choice of a restaurant coincide with the geography of the book we are reading that month. My turn to choose a book (and restaurant) is coming up in November, and I'm drawing a blank. Any ideas out there? So far we've tried German, Indian, Portugese, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican.

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