Dinner & A Movie
By Teri Bayus
I wish lunch would last forever. My favorite meal of the day has now gotten better because one of my favorite restaurants is now serving a fast, casual lunch, using the same stellar ingredients that they’ve become known for during the last two years at dinner time.
The Spoon Trade in Grover Beach is now open for lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays-Mondays. Brooke and Jacob Town started their food careers together at the opening of the Cracked Crab in Pismo Beach. He cooked and she poured out the first bucket on the opening night.
They moved to San Francisco to hone their hospitality experience and are now back to their Central Coast roots where the produce comes fresh every day. Jacob is hands down my favorite chef of all time and that says volumes, as it is my job to eat and report. If I have a free night or (now) a free afternoon, you will find me at The Spoon Trade.
This open kitchen constructs everything from scratch, from the bread down to the sauces. I was excited to try Chef Jacob’s take on the fast casual experience. We walked in and were welcomed by the always-smiling Brooke.
She and Jacob are partners in life as well as feeding the masses. While the pacing is different from their very intimate dinner vibe, the kitchen creating the magic is exactly the same. You order from the menu, pay and find your seat.
Brooke told me, “Our fast casual lunch menu is a hybrid of brunch and dinner with an American Tapas feel, while offering sandwiches and sides to satisfy more traditional cravings. The menus will fluctuate with the season, allowing the guests to experience something new with every visit.”
I started with the Castelventrano olives, a beefy and flavorful olive treated with an orange zest and garlic confit. I could eat a bucket of these.
Then we moved to the Peach Gazpacho, a cold soup with a touch of sweet, tangy and utter deliciousness, with lemon oil and a sprinkling of parsley. They offered huge fresh-from-the-oven cookies, which Gary started with, in both a peanut butter chocolate chip and sugar. He took home six to make it through the rest of the day. Then he tried and LOVED the French omelet.
Chef Jacob explained that while very simple, this is the test of all chefs. Eggs are beaten and folded into the pan over and over with a touch of crème fraiche in the middle. The top is scattered with simple herbs of chervil and chives, and there is a genius in its simplicity. Gary now asks me to make this every morning; I have not risen to the task. On our next lunch at The Spoon Trade, he ordered and consumed two.
I had the stunning Bologna a la Plancha — otherwise known as a “fried bologna sandwich” — done so right your heart skips a beat. This blast from our childhood is brilliantly recreated with house made bread, American cheese (which the chef builds in the traditional method), dijonnaise, pickles that are also created in the open kitchen and blends this American tradition into perfection.
Served with crispy chips cut thin and dusted with spices, I almost wept how wholesome this was and did not share at all.
The next visit I started with the Grover Beach Sourdough and butter. At the heart of The Spoon Trade kitchen is a bread program, producing Grover Beach Sourdough and sesame burger buns. Baking in this manner requires a specific environment, persistence, and consistency and it is pure brilliance in a warm hillock.
I moved on to the shaved veggies, which consists of the items purchased from the farmers market and tossed with walnuts, honey vinegar, and bleu cheese. The crispy chicken patty slayed my taste buds with a honey fried piece of chicken served with house slaw and pickled onions on a sesame bun.
My guests had the tri tip tartare (a smaller version of the night time delicacy) served on thin grilled bread with delectable Tonnato sauce on top. She moved on to the stuffed tuna melt in which local poached albacore is stuffed into thick sliced sourdough bread and decorated with cheddar cheese. While it might sound like the lunches of our youth — these were not my mama’s lunches. This was a gourmet twist on a well-known classic, something Chef Jacob has built his reputation on.
On Monday (I can be found there almost every Monday, as it is the only way to start the week) we shared the tri tip dip sandwich with octopus aioli, and a jus sauce that I could swim in. The corned beef on rye with spicy mustard and salty pickles turned our Monday blues into a day to look forward to eating out.
The hit that day was the open-faced, eggs Benedict on the Grover Beach Sourdough with braised bacon, perfectly cooked soft egg, and a Béarnaise sauce.
The Spoon Trade is a gathering place in the heart of the Five Cities in Grover Beach. You can trust the food and drink to be sourced and prepared with care and creativity. Jacob and Brooke celebrate the diverse bounty of California and continue to rotate offerings with the seasons. Alongside the food, there is an eclectic drink list, featuring craft beers and small production wines.
The dining room opens Thursdays-Mondays at 4 p.m. and is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They serve Sunday brunch from 10:30-2, as well as a fast casual lunch on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays from 10:30-2.
The Spoon Trade offers several seating options for a variety of diners. The bar and gathering area allow guests to stand for a quick beer at the window, or meet new neighbors at the community table. If you prefer to stay a while, there is a heated patio and a fun casual dining room. People can learn about food and wine from the knowledgeable staff or just trust their instincts.
They are located at 295 West Grand Ave., at Third Street in Grover Beach. Look for the big red spoon on the north side of Grand at the entrance to The Beach Front Plaza. Call them at (805) 904-6773 or look online for the latest menu.
‘Atomic Blonde’ An Electrifyingly Manic Roller Coaster Ride
Atomic Blonde is a shoot ‘em up roller coaster ride led by one badass woman. In a role traditionally done by a man, Charlize Theron tears up the screen with her knock ‘em dead punches and wild bravery.
This ultra violent action fest is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s style over substance approach and brave visual design could turn off some viewers, for others, it’s exactly what will make this one of the most memorable films of 2017.
Set largely in 1989 Berlin during the week leading up to the Berlin Wall coming down, there’s a simmering tension permeating throughout that creates a ticking time bomb atmosphere where anything is possible and backed by a cracking ‘80s tune.
The spy vs. spy plot (based on graphic novel series The Coldest City) catapults our eponymous heroine (Theron) through a chain of brutal, bruising and bone-snapping melees as she seeks to uncover the identity of a double agent.
Director, David Leitch, comes from an action background having pursued his business in the stunts department for over 20 years. His expertise is on full display in the plethora of set pieces unleashed in this movie.
Every action sequence provides its own memorable moments — a frenetic car-set fight is an adrenaline rush, and a hyper real mega brawl complete with bungee jump is electrifyingly manic.
While the plot can be hard to follow and complicated a la “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” it all cleans up nicely and by the third act, you can sit back and enjoy the riveting non-stop action.
Scintillating performances from lofty talents like John Goodman, James McAvoy and Toby Keith make this a rounded film.
The wonderfully stylized visuals, sleek nostalgic soundtrack, and brilliant acting make Atomic Blonde one of the finest summer films and continues the trend for mid-budget, dark action flicks.
Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on KSBY Ch. 6 at 3:30 p.m. Sundays and The C-W Ch. 7 at 11 a.m. Sundays, and are available online at: www.tastebuds.tv, and Taste Buds Channel on YouTube. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.