Never-befores Week 2: The Carniceria

In my quest to do something each week that I haven’t done before, week two’s conquest was the carniceria.

I’ve long been told to shop at the Latin meat markets… (pause for laughter) but I just never got around to it. This weekend, the BF wanted to replicate those tasty Chipotle rice bowls and insisted on getting a specific blend of cheese that can only be found at the Hispanic markets.

Ironically, we had already gotten our carne asada from Trader Joe’s.

But the man was insistent on getting “real” Mexican cheese. So not only did I visit my first carniceria this weekend, I visited my second and third.

No, we did not find the magical cheese blend, but the rice bowl turned out delicious nonetheless. Sometimes, Kraft does okay.

Never-befores Week 1: The Sandwich

There’s the fast way to get to Reno from LA (I-5 to I-80) and there’s the longer way (I-5 to I-14 to US-395/I-580). That’s the one I prefer… it’s scenic (after you get past the Mojave Desert), it’s less traveled (because you have to get past the Mojave Desert) and I get to have, as a reward for getting through the Mojave Desert, the best jerky ever.

Most people who drive the US-395 through Bishop, CA head straight to Schat’s, that quaint Scandinavian cafe/bakery that’s always packed, but I head straight for the north end of town to the quieter and better-smelling reddish barn-looking building that houses Mahogany Smoked Meats.

Each time I go, always sample a few types of jerky and I always choose to leave with two half-pound bags. (I’d buy more, but at upwards of $40/lb I try not to go too crazy here.) I usually get the sweet and spicy turkey plus one more… and lately that one more has been some kind of beef brisket (we tried the teriyaki a few months ago, this time around, the sweet and spicy.)

It’s worth taking the long way to Reno for this jerky. And that’s knowing that I can also order it online. Now that’s saying something.

As soon as I sign the credit card  receipt, I hightail it out of there… sometimes the clientele sort of scares me a little (in that they need a dentist badly, kind of way) but mostly it’s just to avoid spending more.

But for once thought I’d try the sandwich, to satisfy one of 2014’s resolutions to, each week, try something I haven’t before. These do not need to be big, bucket-list type choices. Just something new to add to my journey (both spiritually and physically.)

So for the never-before Week 1 installment, I tried the grilled “Smokey” sandwich: smoked turkey, ham and bacon with pepperjack and mustard on French bread. It was glorious.

And now I have extra reason to take the scenic route.