Friday, February 7, 2014

CHILI LIKE MY MOM MADE – THE ROCK N’ JENNY’S FOOD REVIEW



AN ANARCHIST TRAVELS ON HIS TASTE BUDS

Temecula, CA – For those readers still digesting the story ‘When You Become The Company You Keepand saying “Oh PT, you’re such an anarchist,” the truth is being a political correspondent doesn’t give you much of a home life. 

Just because I may roll around with the GMO crowd, some of whom travel with a juicer, doesn’t mean I pack an empty cup like at Burning Man. Every beat reporter will tell you, you eat on the run. As someone who covers both sides of Pleasantville with an occasional trip to La-La Land, I put my taste buds in charge of where I eat. Recently they came across Rock n’ Jenny’s, on a track different than the Subway.

I say recently because this happened before the Food Babe busted the McDonalds of sub sandwiches for using the same ingredient in their bread as yoga mats, new or used.

Standing next door to Temecula’s 5 Guys, a restaurant with numerous headlines aligning the long passage to the cashier, is the restaurant where the cooks at 5 Guys eat; Rock n’ Jenny’s. The place caught my eye as I was leaving 5 Guys with my friend, as 5 Guys then was his flavor of the month. He’s a beef guy and the burgers are good, fries are better. 

Once outside I walked over and looked at the front of the brand new deli restaurant. There was a certain warm charm I could sense. I walked in, it smelled good. Ding Ding. Then I looked down at the take-out menu. On the cover is a grandpa looking man happily dancing with a girl, but not a little girl. Having a group of young models represent your just published book seemed to me a kinship to the dancing couple. I became curious about the place. Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! I told AJ [long time readers will know his name], “I’m coming back to this place” Then I walked back into 5 Guys. A cook came over.

“What do you know about the new place next door?”

“I eat there for lunch every day.”

“What’s your favorite?”

“The turkey sub.”

I got in the car and told AJ, “I’m eating here next time.”

 He looked puzzled.

“Dude, the 5 Guys cooks eat there.”

So now you know the back story. Flash forward.

First, the grandpa guy is Rock, and the girl he is dancing with is his daughter Jenny. They have established an award-winning local landmark sub sandwich in Escondido over their twenty-seven years and now have opened a second deli style restaurant in Temecula [951-296-5775]. Jenny’s husband is Mark and possibly that is the reason for the second venture. My taste buds weren’t interested in reasons.

Since I have been there enough times to fill out the line (combining my card marks) to get a free sub, I can offer you more than just a great sub review, even though that is their flagship sandwich. I will say that the cook next door is right. The grinder [sub] is delicious and comes on a dressed toasted Italian roll. 

The potato salad is not too mushy and also is delish, reminiscent of the Findl Family office crowd lunch restaurant when Temecula City Hall was off Diaz back in the day.

One thing the Findls never offered and the reason for this review is the chili they list on the menu served atop spaghetti, with onions and cheese as options. I have had it both ways and while it is a close call, I think I prefer it with options. And though you might find chili someplace else, I don’t run across it made in the style my mother did often, with spaghetti instead of beans. One thing is sure, for these chilly So Cali nights, this is the chili you want. 



Eat a grinder there is no sub for. The atmosphere is homey, the staff friendly and helpful, plus on a good day you just might see Jenny or Mark. Or you can chew a yoga mat for 5 bucks. I know what my taste buds call for in between protests. 

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