The Fallbrook Village Association hosted a “Farm to Table” food-tasting event at their July 25 presentation of Fallbrook Summer Nights. The restaurants used many local products while preparing their tasting dishes and all outdid themselves presenting innovative and delicious fare. Ten local restaurants shared their best.
The attendees were able to vote for their favorites and, at the close of the event, two awards were given: Best Savory and Best Sweet. By popular vote, Best Savory was awarded to MaGee’s Tavern and Best Sweet was awarded to Café Bloom at Myrtle Creek Botanical Gardens & Nursery.
Best Savory – MaGee’s Tavern
MaGee’s Tavern won this award with their delicious and inventive “Avocado Egg Rolls with Guacamole.” Chef Joshua Flores created an award-winning combination that the tasters raved about. The egg roll was a simple combination of seasoned avocados, red onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Sweet Thai chili sauce was just the kick it needed. Complementing the egg roll was a tasty guacamole – also made in-house.
Best Sweet – Café Bloom at Myrtle Creek Nursery
Café Bloom at Myrtle Creek Botanical Gardens & Nursery was presented with this award for their delightful Myrtle Berry Pie, made from a fourth-generation Sherman Family recipe. The pie crust was flaky and filled with boysenberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The boysenberries are grown on the grounds at Myrtle Creek. The pie was not too tart with just the right amount of sweet.
Valley Fort Steakhouse
Valley Fort offered Rosemary Chicken, Prime Rib Shish Kabob with Chipotle Sauce; and Swedish Meatballs in a Wild Sage Bone Reduction Sauce. The shish kabob had an outstanding grilled flavor with prime rib sandwiched between red and green bell pepper and onion. The barbeque sauce used was Valley Fort’s signature BBQ sauce developed by Chef John. The chicken was perky with the rosemary sauce; and the meatballs had a different flair with the rosemary, but were also a taste treat due to the flavorful sage sauce.
Trupiano’s Italian Bistro
An inventive dish, Angel Hair Pasta and Smoked Mozzarella, was served by this restaurant, known for their exciting fare. This was a baked dish which consisted of a base of angel hair pasta layered with prosciutto and smoked mozzarella. The smoky flavor was marvelous.
127 West (Opening in the fall)
Faro Trupiano will be opening this new restaurant in the late fall. As a taste of what is to come, he served Pork Tenderloin with Cream Sauce. The pork was moist, the cream sauce added flavor; and the meat was topped with what tasted like crispy prosciutto, which gave it a surprise of crunch.
Café des Artistes
A delightful Ratatouille was prepared and served by owner and chef Michael Calvanese. The mélange of fresh vegetables – bell peppers, onions, summer squash, and mushrooms – was flavorful as well as healthful. The onions gave it a hint of sweetness.
Owner Charlotte Durick was on hand to serve three different flavors from which the tasters chose: Peach Italian Ice, Java Greek Caramel and Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel. Java Greek Caramel is creamy and very flavorful with the coffee and caramel balance. The Peach Italian Ice is a refreshing bite of peach and the Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel is a unique mix of sweet and salty.
Pala Taco Shop
Owner Esther Palos and her son, Robert, served three different types of authentic “Street Tacos”: Carne Asada, Chicken and Carnitas. I tried the Carne Asada, which was made with a corn tortilla, lightly grilled. The tortilla was filled with evenly measured servings of cilantro, onions, and guacamole with hearty portions of carne asada meat. It was delicious with a bit of a bite to it.
Elegance on Display
The Cream Cheese Tart with Lemon Curd and Raspberry was a good blend of the tart berry, lemon curd, and cream cheese. Tres Leches was a delightful taste of sponge cake with strawberries and a drizzle of honey. It was smooth and creamy. The honey is purchased from a local farm. The strawberries and raspberries are from Eli’s Farm, a local business that buys from growers in the Fallbrook area, but also grow their own produce.
Avocado Tamales & Wicked Salsa
Evelyn Gaston was serving a choice of two items: Avocado Tamale or Chicken Chile Verde with Cheese topped with Wicked Salsa. I sampled the Avocado Tamale and it was full of avocado and delicious with a little kick at the end.