Tag Archives: sustainable seafood

Haute Enchilada Cafe, Gallery & Social Club

Haute Enchilada exteriorFrom palate to palette, one of my favorite restaurants is The Haute Enchilada in Moss Landing, not only because it serves the finest menu of authentic Mexican food on the Central Coast, it also boasts an exquisite collection of local art, luscious gardens and uniquely original indoor and al fresco atmosphere. It is indeed a feast for all of your senses.

Haute Enchilda interiorI first discovered this hidden treasure when a girlfriend of mine suggested we meet there for lunch. I said, “You mean the Whole Enchilada?” Tucked away on a side street off Highway One behind the Whole Enchilada, I had never heard of the place. Now I can’t stop talking about it and it has become the halfway meeting point for me and my friends who live in Monterey and Carmel.

A few Saturdays ago, my husband Bill and I took a leisurely drive down the coast and stopped in for yet another fabulous meal. We started our meal with a trio of house made soups because why not? If you can’t decide, have all three!  The selection included chicken tortilla, roasted chile poblano bisque and the soup of the day, which happened to be grilled artichoke. The flavors were balanced and enticing and whet our appetites for more. Since tamalall good things come in threes, we followed our soup sampling with a petite tamal trio of chicken with mole, pork with salsa verde and artichoke & cheese with fire roasted red salsa. All served on a bed of roasted white corn, black bean, cactus salad, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro. These are just a few choices from a broad menu  showcasing sustainable and organic local ingredients.

We took a break between courses (wine in hand) to visit the art gallery behind the restaurant to soak in the visual delights of local artists that includes a diverse array of  Mayan weavings, hand-blown glass, carved walking sticks and the majestic mixed media “Pre-Columbian” style of art of featured resident artist Luis Solano. (Psst… My SeaweedArt cards are also on sale.)

jericillaWe topped off our meal with a shared dessert of jericalla, which is a cross between crème brûlée and flan topped with amerena cherries and whipped cream. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. Light, fluffy and a sweet contrasting finish to a very satisfying savory meal.

Sated, we were ready for the ride home. As we got up to leave, we noticed the restaurant proprietress Kim Solano and her husband, Luis, seated at a table nearby. Kim always remembers me by name and asks for my girls. When my daughters were both still at home, I would often take them there for lunch and Kim would stop by our table to say hello. That special touch is just as warm as her Mexican hot chocolate.

If you have never visited the Haute Enchilada I highly recommend it. Take your time and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes. You won’t be disappointed. Also, if you are looking forHaute Enchilada social club a unique venue to host an event, you might want to consider their social club. Check their Facebook page for upcoming musical performances and be sure to stop in for Open Studios tour October 1 & 2, 11-5. 7902 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 831-633-5843.

If you have a favorite local hot spot on the Central Coast or Bay Area and would like me to review it, please contact me.

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Kid Safe and Sustainable Seafood

 

Most moms know that fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet, because they contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to heart health and children’s proper growth and development. The American Heart Association recommends two to three servings (2-3 ounces) of fish a week for children as an early prevention of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, pregnant women and young children should include fish or shellfish in their diets, due to the many nutritional benefits.

However, one must exercise discretion and caution when choosing seafood that is safe to eat. Some seafood species can contain trace amounts of a variety of different chemicals. Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are two commonly studied seafood contaminants that are believed to be particularly harmful for pregnant or nursing women and children. Studies indicate that early exposure to these harmful toxins can lead to serious adverse health effects.

To read more about SeaWeb’s KidSafe Seafood program that offers guidelines on safe and sustainable seafood click here.

 

Whole Foods Sustainable Seafood Pledge Misleading

"image of fish jumping out of the water"Whole Foods Market announced last week that they will stop selling fish caught from depleted waters or through ecologically damaging methods, a move that comes as supermarkets nationwide try to make their seafood selections more sustainable.

Starting Earth Day, April 22, the natural and organic supermarket chain will no longer carry wild-caught seafood that is “red-rated,” a color code that indicates it is either overfished or caught in a way that harms other species. The ratings are determined by the Blue Ocean Institute, an advocacy group, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

Sounds like great news to us ocean lovers, doesn’t it? Well, apparently the initial media reports were inaccurate. I have since come to learn the following facts:

  • Whole Foods are discontinuing the sale of wild caught, red-ranked seafood.
  • This does not make them 100% sustainable, as their farmed seafood (despite having their own ‘aquaculture standard‘ and ecolabel) can still be red-ranked, like net-pen farmed salmon. See this link for info on the issues associated with salmon farming.
  • New Leaf, a local Bay Area grocery store, stopped selling all red-ranked seafood (wild and farmed) years ago.
  • The media coverage is misleading, as everyone now thinks everything they sell is sustainable, which is certainly not the case.

Overall, it’s a great step in the right direction, but it is disappointing that Whole Foods has spun the story to make them look like the best in the industry. They still have a long way to go to achieve that medal (it will be interesting to see where they fall out on the Greenpeace Retailer Scorecard that will be updated next month!) So the lesson here is “consumer beware.” Educate yourself on what is safe to eat. Learn the best questions to ask when shopping for seafood and dining out. Download your very own pocket sized sustainable seafood guide click here.