5,000 pounds of Gilroy Garlic Mac and Cheese and firefighter greed

Mark Derry

A concert last weekend called Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park and a restaurant in Oakland called “Homeroom” lead us, of course, to our Great Gilroy Garlic Festival. “Homeroom” Co-owners Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade run a mac-and-cheese restaurant that serves up creamy goodness that is, by all accounts, “to die for.” At Outside Lands, which daughter Mariah attended, they served up 5,000 pounds of Gilroy Garlic Mac and Cheese in two and a half days, according to a story in the Contra Costa Times. Note to incoming G-Fest volunteer President Vito Mercado: Road trip to “Homeroom” is in order, meet Allison and Erin and get them to the festival. I’m thinking a booth for the Gilroy Garlic Mac and Cheese (near a microwbrew beer station) a guest appearance on the Cook-off Stage. Who wouldn’t want to take in a few mac-and-cheese recipe variations – and the recipes in their new cookbook “The Mac + Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes from Homeroom, America’s Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant” are in the form of teacher lesson plans. That’s cool.
Cool, too, is what the Exchange Club is doing this Saturday – taking as many needy Gilroy school children as they can shopping for school clothing with Kohl’s helping out as a sponsor. Unfortunately, the Exchange Club only has enough for 25 children ages 6 to 12 and the list that came back from the schools is 65 strong. Police Chief Denise Turner is searching for help, so if you’re inclined this morning to help out give her a call at (408) 846-0315 or contact Exchange Club President Alan Ladd at [email protected] so they can add some names to the list. 
On the list of colorful new taco-stop restaurants are two, one on First Street and the other on 10th Street. Yeah, the colors are wild, but I’m over it, at least the places have new paint jobs and people working inside.
Speaking of working – working the system that is – I should clarify the wage number for the two Gilroy fire chiefs who are suing the city for overtime back pay. Phillip King is being paid $180,232 annually and Edward Bozzo retired at $167,386 annually and now collects a monthly pension of $10,800 for life. Again, if you know these guys, let them know that you think they should do the right thing and withdraw the lawsuit. I mean, really, could they make firefighters in general and Gilroy firefighters in particular look any greedier?
Gilroy’s downtown group should greedily steal this idea because beer is the new wine. Cliché I know, guilty as charged, but it’s true. Microbreweries are popping up like wineries were 15 years ago. The experimental brews are flowing from taps and the industry is happy to come out and peddle their liquid wares. The Morgan Hill Downtown Association is right in step to capitalize on the trend and I’m excited about the Second Annual Brew Crawl coming up on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 1 to 5 p.m. downtown. Great idea. Have my tickets, which are $25 in advance at www.morganhilldowntown.org. For that, you get a glass and all tastes from the 22 breweries scheduled to show up. That includes 21st Amendment, a San Francisco brewer that  sells the very popular “Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer.” It’s strange, but good. And there’s  Goose Island Brewing Company based in Chicago which makes my middle daughter Cayla’s favorite brew – “312 Urban Wheat Ale” – which is delicious. She’s become something of a beer connoisseur  in the last year with all the new brew pubs popping up in Nashville. Our lone South County brew, El Toro, will be on tap as will Kona, Redhook and Speakeasy brews. If it’s not too late, organizers should reach out to English Ales in Marina, a local brewery that makes a spot-on beer called “1866.”
It’s great to read a story in that starts like this: “A band with a lead singer from Hollister, a drummer from Gilroy and a bass player from Morgan Hill has broken into the Top 40 radio charts with a single entitled “After the Laughter.”  Took a listen on iTunes and it’s pretty darn good – not too pop fluffy, really nice harmonies and a driven beat. It’s Gary Cornick, Steve Short and Joe Cloutier and the single is “After the Laughter” available on iTunes. You can catch them on stage locally at 9Lives downtown on Aug. 23 and check out the tour schedule at bigwoodband.com.
Fun option to help out Community Solutions and St. Joseph’s Family Center TONIGHT. It’s an acoustic benefit at the 9Lives Club in Gilroy featuring sets by Janet Thompson (with Mike Thompson and Eric Behlmer), Michael Gaither, and Tony Ortiz. Dancing to the rock band PRW follows. Since 9Lives has donated the venue and the musicians have donated their time and talents, it’s all profits to the non-profits which provide very needed social services to South County residents. Doors open at 8; music starts at 8:30. It’s $15 at the door, so show up, have fun, dance the night away and feel good about giving back to your community.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]

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