Brad Briske has expanded his territory once again. Beyond Home, his signature restaurant in Soquel, and beyond the many farmers’ market outlets now carrying his sauces, salumi, and other tasty condiments, now Briske’s team is filling the kitchen of Discretion Brewing with high-wattage flavors to go with the many house craft beers. It’s called HomeFry: a name you’ll want to remember.
On our first lunch at HomeFry, we filled our eyes and taste buds with some of the house signature dishes. Black lager pork salumi with whole grain mustard relish ($12) was classic, striking a balance between meat, lager, and spices, and knocked it out of the park with the Martian Sky Red IPA ($6 can to go). The ale, truly a beautiful crimson color, was delicious, bracing, citrusy and woodsy, yet rounded with caramel tones (abv 6.9%). Outrageous.
Next we sampled an order of two cod tacos, hot and crunchy with batter, and layered with sriracha aioli, avocado whip, cabbage slaw and pickled onions ($15). Tacos have to be the most fun thing to eat on the entire planet. Layered with mysterious ingredients, each bite offers a cascading array of flavors and textures, and these were worth trekking for across an eight-lane freeway.
Another lunch item was something austerely called “Chicken on a stick”— but what it really was was two gigantic slabs of hot Fogline Farm chicken, deep-fried in a hot and sour batter, dusted with more hot stuff and arriving in a big box with anchovy aioli ($11). I could barely finish off one of these crisp slabs of chicken—seriously each one was the size of a glove—but I tried, oh I tried. As good as fried chicken gets! Every item we ordered was big (BIG), easily enough to feed a two-person CalTrans crew.
And every item was big with flavor too. The cold ale set off every bite of hot, spicy fish and chicken. I drove from the Westside to pick up our lunch from HomeFry, and I will do it again. Bold food, major flavors. Exactly what you want now. This food shimmers with expert cooking and 100% comforting seasonings. Isn’t that what we really crave when the world is, uh, less than rational? You bet it is.
HomeFry is a smartly run new addition to the Mid-County menu. Easy access and a menu to love. Don’t miss it. Do. Not. Miss. It.
HomeFry at Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Suite A, Soquel. 831-316-0662, discretionbrewing.com/menu.
Heads up, it’s Santa Cruz Burger Week starting this Wednesday, Feb. 24, and lasting through Tuesday, March 2. That means it’s time to tune your taste buds to the key of classic mouthwatering beef served on a bun with fries. (Or, perhaps an Impossible burger on a bun.) Your favorite burger place is doubtless among the dozens of local restaurants that are knocking themselves out making the burger of your dreams.
We love lamb burgers and grass-fed beef burgers, and you’ll find a gazillion varieties of burgers, with and without meat, on the menus of participating restaurants. Pick up a burger for takeout or consume your special burger at an outdoor table in many locations. This is a good time to check out the newly reopened Gilda’s for a fish burger, grab something with cheese on it at Betty Burgers, check out the possibilities at Heavenly Roadside Cafe in Scotts Valley or Michael’s on Main in Soquel. All over the county, it’s a mega Burger Fest—the chance to sample many a great burger all week. For a complete list of participants, go to santacruzburgerweek.com.