Boyes Hot Springs, October 24, 2013—LUNCH TODAY in a Mexican take-out with one table inside and a couple of others out in a parking lot. Why? Two reasons: it was highly recommended in a recent newspaper article; it sources its supplied organically and sustainably. What a concept!
What you see here is the chile relleno with pork picadillo, using Niman Ranch pork, house-made tomato broth from Early Girl tomatoes, and house-made refried beans and tortillas. We've had these tortillas before, having found them at various local farm markets.
The chile had lots of flavor but did not overwhelm a delicate egg batter covering it, and the picadillo was interesting and resonant: tomato, onion, cinnamon, lard, pork, all thoroughly integrated through a slow braise.
I like this place a lot; I'm sorry it's an hour's drive away, in a corner of our county we rarely get to. The kitchen is open, behind a big glass window; the cooks are skilful and good-humored; the place is spotless; everything about it is cheery and pleasant. We'll be back.
"Petit Frère" (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre), Unti (Dry Creek Valley), 2011: very nice indeed, a perfect match with the food
• El Molino Central, 11 Central Avenue, Boyes Hot Springs, California; 707.939.1010