Bye, bye Baha Ranch and ‘hello-no’ on fitted bed sheets

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got
’til it’s gone …” and there goes Baha Ranch Burgers, the iconic
burger joint on the corner of Monterey and Seventh that’s anchored
the corner since 1968.
“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone …” and there goes Baha Ranch Burgers, the iconic burger joint on the corner of Monterey and Seventh that’s anchored the corner since 1968. In that year of Baha’s birth … following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act; Pope Paul VI banned Catholics from using the pill for birth control; The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde were hit movies; and emergency 911 service began. That’s a long time for the Amayo family to make a great burger and provide a local hangout. Many a good conversation out in the back patio … it’s an American classic apparently gone in a puff of grilled smoke.

A little smoke will be coming off the grill when Rich Arioto, the tasting room manager at Solis Winery, entertains 8 guests for dinner. Rich, besides being a kind and engaging fellow, is culinary-school trained and has offered up dinner, with the blessings of gracious owners Vic and Mike Vanni, at the beautiful winery on Hecker Pass. It’s an auction item for the “One for Brian”

9-hole scramble format benefit golf tournament at the Gilroy Golf Course set for Friday, Sept. 9. Garlic Festival Executive Director Brian Bowe needs specialized treatments that aren’t covered by insurance in his battle against carcinoid cancer and all proceeds will go directly to Brian. Rich’s menu is fabulous, starting with a reception featuring cheeses, prosciutto, salami, fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil, curried olives and sliced artesian bread paired with Solis’ 2009 Vino Roseo di Sangiovese and 2010 Fiano Estate. That’s followed by a gourmet New York steak sandwich – thinly sliced prime grade New York topped with caramelized onions with melted Gruyere served on a French roll paired with a 2007 Solis Syrah. And it goes on … if you’d like to play golf, make a donation or come to the post-tourney dinner – BBQ ribs by Sam Bozzo and his crew for $25 – just send me an email and I’ll send you a flyer.

Taking a flyer – maybe a few days hiking in the Sierras – is what I feel like after a week like this: Stock market tumbling like a weed across the Oklahoma prarie, the SF Giants in a protracted losing streak and the August doldrums settling like the dust around Charles Schultz’s Linus. The dog days are not over. Dang.

Puppy dogs, four of them abandoned on the Uvas Levee reports neighbor Laurie who is looking after the Spaniel puppies while the search for adoptive owners is on. If you’d like a peppy Spaniel companion, contact Laurie or anyone at the Princevalle Pet Hospital at 848-3443. BTW, there’s a serious outbreak of canine parvovirus in the South County area, so it’s a good time to check on your loyal buddy’s immunization record, too. Unvaccinated puppies are the most susceptible, but the potentially fatal virus isn’t worth messing with. Get a shot and chase those worries far away.

Far away from the phone and pressing questions is our Assemblyman Luis Alejo, honoree for the most reporter evasive representative in forever who, when last asked about the California high-speed rail going through downtown Gilroy, said he had no information on high-speed rail issues in the area and would have to look into it. OMG. Thursday, Alejo received a tour of the Anderson Dam and a briefing on the potential impacts of a dam failure … a dam failure that’s just missing an “n.”

Not sure, but I wonder if Mr. Alejo will duck and cover or support this silly trial-lawyer-pocket-lining, job-killing bill Senate SB 432. What does this monumental piece of California legislation do? It requires hotels to use fitted bed sheets instead of flat sheets – that’s ostensibly to make it safer for the workers who change the sheets. Honest to goodness, that’s sillier than the Gilroy City Council discussing the all-important topic of a bocce ball court at its annual retreat, and far, far more damaging economically. Up goes the cost of business, up go the rates for a hotel room, down goes the state’s economy. Records show the bill passed out of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations with Mr. Alejo “absent, abstaining or not voting” on the fitted sheets “tax.”

It’s enough to give you fits, so there’s Sushi Omakase in the Target Shopping Center on 10th Street which is now featuring in-house Sake tasting and a new “build your own sushi roll” that allows one to explore their inner sushi chef.

Hugh Davis might like sushi, but the incoming president of the Garlic Festival, served up a simply delicious and healthy Herb Marinated Flank Steak on the Cook-off Stage at G-Fest Sunday. He took on the surprise duty after a late celebrity chef cancellation. He graciously shared details. I made it, perfect for summer, dang good, stay inbounds with the herbs:

– 1 1/2 to 2 lb flank steak trimmed of any excess fat and membrane

– 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

– 2 med cloves of Gilroy Garlic

– 2 Tbs chopped aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary, marjoram or a mix, a little sage is good in the mix, but not too much)

– 1 Tbs kosher salt

– 1 Tbs ground black pepper

In a small bowl mix the oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Rub over the steak and let sit for 20 minutes at room temp. Heat the gas grill to mid high. Grill to medium rare, 12-15 minutes turning the steak every 3-4 minutes. The thickest part will hit 135 to 140 F on an instant read thermometer.

Let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve his Chopped Salad with Roasted Peppers and Corn as an accompanying dish and it’s a great simple summer meal to enjoy on the patio. I’ll put that longer recipe online at the end of the column and … he’s going to be hearing this quite a bit next year … thank Hugh!

Chopped Salad with Roasted Peppers and Corn

2 large orange, yellow or red peppers

2 ears fresh corn

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Put the rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425. Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove stem, seeds and ribs. Put the pepper halves on the baking sheet, cut side down. Clean the corn and put them on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub it on to coat the peppers and corns. Salt and pepper the corm. Roast in the oven until peppers are soft, kind of shriveled and browned and the corn is lightly browned in few spots, about 20 minutes. When done put the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This makes it easier to remove the skin. When cool remove the skin and dice into ½ inch dice. Remove corn from cob.

Dressing

1 small clove Garlic

Kosher salt

3 Tbs fresh lime juice

3 Tbs fresh orange juice

2 Tsp finely chopped shallot

1 Tbs Honey, more to taste

¾ tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Mince and mash the Garlic to a paste with ¼ tsp. salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic paste with the lime an orange juices, shallot and honey. Add the toasted ground cumin. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with black pepper and salt and honey to taste.

2 large firm ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice. (about 1 ¾ cups)

1 small jicama, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice (2 cups)

2 large firm ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into ¼ inch dice. (about 2 ½ cups)

1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed or 1 ½ cups home made black beans

¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Keep and the veggies separate after prep. Arrange the peppers, corn tomatoes, jicama, avocados and black beans in striped on a small platter or shallow serving. We use white to show off the colors of the veggies. Sprinkle with cilantro. Cut 3-4 heads of romaine lettuce and put in a bowl. Serve the vinaigrette in a small pitcher or cruet. Invite your guests to build their own salad and enjoy.

Chop all ingredients up to 4 hours ahead and store them separately covered in the fridge.

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