2123 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
© 2017 Cueva Bar. All rights reserved.
© 2017 Cueva Bar. All rights reserved.
There are days when I've felt more energy than others. Some days I go from task to task without thinking about eating. That sounds crazy, I know. How does a chef go without eating? Well, it happens. So, the five meals we should be eating every possible day so we get the most out of our bodies and mind are breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. If you happen to have a long day like I do, some say there are late night healthy snack options that will satisfy your munchies. So we always have a choice, how much of that choice we practice is up to each one of us.
On a different, yet similar note, my parents were visiting from Mexico last week, and with their visit came some treats from back home where they reside now in Saltillo Coahuila, about a two hour drive from my birthplace of Monclova, Coahuila. In Mexico we have five meals that can also be followed, or not, depending on the family's or individual traditions. These meals are desayuno, almuerzo, comida, merienda, y cena. Desayuno is for those who wake up early in the morning. So you drink your water, some fruit, maybe a few nuts and possibly coffee, or you can make a smoothie with the fruit, nuts, water or milk if you choose, and again, coffee. If you don't like coffee then stop reading (JK, JK). Then you have your almuerzo, which is basically a fuller breakfast that depending on the day of the week, or your profession, you might be able to enjoy, or not. It is my hope that everyone gets to eat lunch.
Right after you get off work and as soon as you get home is the MERIENDA that awaits for families or friends to gather and enjoy a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate along with PAN DULCE. Regardless if pan dulce is devoured at any time of the day, it has its very special place in the merienda. A treat my parents bring from Mexico is pan dulce de pulque. The pan dulce de pulque from Saltillo Coahuila, is in my experience the best one of its kind. Its like a thick brioche with a very unique sweetness and a hair thin profile of sour. With a similar mix of ingredients, at different ratios, and forms, there are a few variables like empanadas rellenas de nuez (pecan and molasses empanadas), semitas (a foaccacia like bread with molasses chunks that act like giant chocolate chips and melt when the bread is baked) and the original, the brioche round bread. Remember I said pan dulce can be enjoyed at any time of the day and that sometimes I don't think about eating? The friday my parents arrived we were quite busy at Cueva Bar, busy enough that I didn't sit down to eat, that is until I arrived home and walked into the kitchen where there was, my all time favorite semitas the pan de pulque pictured above. One thing I feel happens when you are the one cooking, or in charge of making sure your guests are taken care off, is that you will be the last one to eat. When I got home that Friday after a successful dinner service eating the pan de pulque with a glass of chocolate milk not only did it take me back in time when I used to sit down and think about what life would be like in the future, but it also felt good to enjoy a tradition that I share with my family, feeling successful and happy, while my parents, my wife and kids were all asleep and I was the last one going to bed, checking the doors and everyone before I sat down to breath it all in.
Next time you are getting off from work during the week, or during the weekend when you want to connect with your friends, or spend a good time with your family come to Cueva Bar and have a merienda with the tapas, empanadas and other dishes we enjoy preparing, mindfully and with love for you. Remember our happy hour goes from Tuesday through Sunday, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM!
About the publisher/editor/author.
Chef Oz was born and raised in Mexico. After moving with his wife and son to San Diego in 2009 he pursued his dream of owning a business. Together with his wife, they share their abilities, and vision with the world through Cueva Bar, Oz's and Jo's first restaurant.