Monthly Archives: April 2016

Steppin’ Out – Timmy’s Brown Bag

timmy's brown bagIt was my friend, Russ Salazar, who first noticed this tiny restaurant in Placerville. It is located at 451 Main Street and is the first restaurant you come to in Creekside Place.

It was a Sunday when Russ parked in front of the restaurant, the only day it is closed. He saw their menu and emailed me with the comment, “We have to try this place on Tuesday.” So, Tuesday around 12:30 we planned to meet there for lunch.

I arrived a bit early (actually on time) and looked over that day’s menu (Tim changes it around daily) while waiting for Russ. I had taken a quick look at it on their webpage at, but now that I was really reading it, I was amazed. This is a place you have to try. Wait until you see the sandwiches for that day.

I sat outside at one of several tables in Creekside Place trying to decide what to have when Russ arrived. Before he even looked at that day’s menu he said, “I saw that they serve a fried boloney sandwich. We have to try that.”

That took care of our first choice, so, it being my turn I looked at the list of sandwiches: Asparagus, Speck (like porchetta) and Lemon Chever with fried onions, Ponzu marinated heirloom tomato, wild arugula and, Korean pear vinaigrette on sweet pan de mie (a mild bread that is baked in a special pan so that it has a very thin soft crust – like commercial bread)

Mustard & Beer Braised Chicken with fresh apples, Chipotle chever, pink grapefruit and currant slaw and wild arugula, all on ciabatta.
Smoked Oyster with pressed pepper bacon, Asazuke cucumbers, butter leaf lettuce and P’yatdesyat sim (I think that is nutmeg, or maybe not) mayo on brioche.

Miso Marinated Tuna slow poached in extra virgin olive oil, with heirloom tomatoes, toasted sesame seeds, butter lettuce and Key Lime mayo on brioche.

Ham with homemade apple butter, extra sharp Cheddar cheese, beet horseradish slaw, fresh apples and whole grain honey mustard on ciabatta.

Speck with Pt. Reyes Bleu, porchetta, mascarpone cheese, wild arugula, honey walnut aioli and Korean pear vinaigrette on sweet pan de mie.
Pulled Pork al pastor (grilled “In the style of the shepard”) with Yucatecan marinated sweet onions, Havarti cheese, wild arugula and chili morita mustard marmalade on ciabatta.

I selected the Pulled Pork to share with Russ’ Fried Baloney, which comes with Pt. Reyes toma cheese, all smashed up Cerignola green olives, and honey walnut aioli on sweet pan de mie.

They also serve French fries and Tater Tots with or without truffles or chili. But Russ noticed they also serve Real Texas Chili and he can’t pass up chili if they have it.

We went back to our table an in a few minutes Tim brought out our sandwiches in fancy brown bags with handles.

They were each cut into two pieces as requested and we both started with the Fried Baloney sandwich. We both agreed it was wonderful.

The baloney (actually mortadella) with the walnuts and smashed olives was unique and quite a mixture of tastes and textures. The bread was buttered and grilled which added even another taste and texture. That is one I have to try again.

The Pulled Pork came on a large, ciabatta roll (easily large enough for two and excellent) and had an interesting sweet taste due to the marinated sweet onions.

It was not what I expected, but I really enjoyed it. Russ, I found out too late, is not a fan of pulled pork nor arugula, which he thinks tastes like cilantro, one of his least favorite veggies. Well, I really liked it, so that is what matters.

The chili, which has no beans, was very much like competition chili. It was a bit dry but very good and almost all meat. Both of us thought it needed an additional bit of heat, but we have to remember that most Americans like food fairly bland and restaurants make it for them, not us chili heads.

Tim Swischuk is the owner and makes all the food, with the help of a gentleman I think he introduced as Richard. Tim was a chef in Napa for a number of years, so he has the talent. He lives in Roseville and commutes daily to make sandwiches for the us folks in Placerville.

On his menu, which I mentioned is modified daily, is a picture of a Pileated woodpecker. I had to ask him why. He told me, “Woodpeckers are a bit of crazy with all that shaking their brain around. I thought it was appropriate.” Think about that for awhile.

Timmy’s Brown bag is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday. For more information call (530) 303-3203 or visit his webpage that I mentioned earlier. He posts each day’s menu there.

Soon, beer to enjoy with your food.

I tried the Corned Beef Reuben on rye swirl at It’s Personal (across from the Bell Tower in Placerville). It was very good and so big I took half of it home so I could enjoy it a second time. Mark told me the use corned beef they cook themselves, not sliced deli meat, and that it is now on their regular menu.

Steppin’ Out – Cork & Fork for St. Patrick’s Day, Cool, CA

cork and forkOnce a year, on St. Patrick’s Day, the Cork & Fork, which is located at 3006 Highway 49 in Cool (intersection of Highways 49 and 193), holds their annual “St. Patrick’s Day Joke Off.” This year it was held on Thursday, and, again, I got to be a participant and judge.

When Russ Salazar heard where I was going and I could bring a guest, he immediately signed up, especially when he found out that the owner and Executive Chef, Dennis Edwards, had some new dishes to taste like Salmon in Dill/Caper Sauce and Molasses Marinated Tri-Tip Steak.

Dennis, a real Southern Gentleman, greeted us as we entered and we found seats at the wine bar, perfect for observing the joke tellers.

While we were pondering over the menu, Dennis had one of his friendly servers pour us some wine while he went into the kitchen to prepare us a plate of appetizers. They turned out to be their Asian Panko Batter Fried Shrimp and Fried Pickles (Crispy Dills in an “Ol’South Batter).

The pickles, which I have tried before, were outstanding, but I have never had shrimp like that. The batter was lacy and melted in your mouth and the Sweet Chili dipping sauce was perfect as an accompaniment. Dennis told us how the batter was made, but I am sworn to secrecy (unless I get a good offer).

The menu has a large number of delicious looking dishes, but we decided to split the salmon and tri-tip dishes, but also asked to try a couple of meatballs with sauce from one of the pasta dishes. I’m glad we did.

The meatballs were tender and delicious and the sauce tasted like fresh tomatoes, even though Dennis told us they weren’t. He works magic in the kitchen.

The tri-tip, which came with chunky mashed potatoes, was delicious (who ever thought of using molasses as a marinade) and the salmon, well, Russ is not a fish eater, but I think this dish reformed him. It was tender and tasted fantastic. The dill/caper sauce they made really complemented it. It came on a bed of California five grain rice (I didn’t know we grew five different rices) which added more flavor and texture to the entire dish.

For dessert we had a cookie made with roasted coconut, macadamia nuts, chocolate chunks and more, over which they put caramel sauce and French vanilla ice cream. I forget what Dennis called it, but I just called it magnificent and memorable. Fortunately Russ is still on Weight Watchers, so I got most of it.

Well, back to the jokes, the reason we were invited.

Since it was a Thursday, the crowd was slightly smaller than it would be on a weekend, but after a number of opening jokes by Dennis and his lovely wife Ann, several customers got up and told some really good ones. Even Russ and I joined in, but since we were judging, we didn’t get any of the great prizes like, shirts, dinners and such.

The Cork & Fork has a very large menu of salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, lots of sides and “Original Ol’ South Bar-B-Q” dishes (Dennis is a barbecue competition winner from Memphis and a chili winner locally). That part of the menu includes the regulars like pulled pork and baby back ribs, along with their own Philly Cheese and a number of different tacos, including great looking fish tacos (tacos on a barbecue menu…why not? We’re in California).

They also have their “Indulge” dinner menu that changes monthly and often new dishes that Dennis or his chefs Michael and Mike come up with. You could eat there twice a day for a month and probably still have new dishes to try.

Coming up at Cork & Fork next month (April) is Southern Cooking, with catfish, fried chicken , okra and fried green tomatoes. Starting in May: Party on the Patio, music and appetizers on special every Thursday through September and a car show every third Thursday.

On top of all this, they have a second operation, Cork & Fork’s Express Pizza, where you can pick up pizza baked or to bake at home, along with Calzones, Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. until closing.

Dennis also has Xpressions Catering, that provides their great food for your special events. As Dennis say, “We cater to you.”

Stop by to find out everything that is going on or follow them online at or, you can like them on Facebook at The Cork and Fork. That way you can keep up on what’s new in food, entertainment and everything else.

The Cork & Fork is open Tuesday from 4 until 8:30 and Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information check online or call (530) 889-1195.

Pastrami is back at Wienerschnitzel for a limited time. I heard that for a while it got too pricy for them to serve. You really should try the sandwich (it also comes on fries and a hot dog). The sandwich is on rye bread with Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, just the way it should be.

I was actually impressed with the Double Jack burger at Jack in the Box. Right now they are running a $4.99 combo special on it (ended). Nice bun, nice flavor in the burger and just the right amount of sauce. Now, if they could just get the sauce in the middle of the bun.