Food: Road trippin’ & relaxation |

Food: Road trippin’ & relaxation

Lee Mathis
Staff Photo |


Makes: 4 servings, Serving Size: 2 tacos per serving, yields: 8 tacos


1 lime, halved

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 shallot, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

16 corn tortillas, heated

1 recipe Cabbage Slaw


1. Juice one lime half (about 1 Tbsp.); cut remaining half in wedges. In bowl stir together chicken, cilantro, shallot, garlic, the 1 Tbsp. lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper, and chili sauce. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour. In large skillet cook chicken mixture in hot oil over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked, stirring occasionally.

2. To serve, layer two tortillas. Top with chicken and Cabbage Slaw. Serve with remaining slaw and lime wedges. Makes 4 (2-taco) servings.

Cabbage Slaw


2 cups shredded napa cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrot (1 medium)

1/2 cup sliced green onions (4)

1/3 cup sliced radishes

1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)

1/4 cup rice vinegar


1. In a medium bowl combine cabbage, carrot, green onions, radishes, cilantro, and, if desired, peanuts. Add vinegar; toss gently to coat.


I had not been back to northern California in a few years, and I really was looking forward to this road trip. I needed to relax before I start my Virginia commute

So, I took the back way to Salt Lake City up through Price, Utah, and was already looking forward to my first road food stop along Interstate 15 — In-n-Out! But as I am trying to watch my carbs, I had to deviate from my norm.

I ordered an “Animal-Style” — for you “novices,” that’s a burger of your choice with hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, a mustard-cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread with grilled onions, double-double but protein-style (wrapped in hand-leafed lettuce instead of a bun), no fries and a Diet Coke.

Feeling quite good as I drove off, I headed to I-80 West and the stay-over in Elko, where I found some of the best street tacos I have ever had (and you know how I love my tacos).

Right down the street from the Red Lion and across from the Stockman/Commercial Hotels/Casino is a parking lot, I found the Las Brisas Taco Truck — a chicken taco, a carnitas taco and soda for $5? And they were great! This is the blue truck; there is also a red truck, which is a taco truck by the same people. Stop by and you will not be disappointed.

Then I hit Santa Rosa the next day and went to Johnny Garlic’s for dinner; this was Guy Fieri’s first restaurant and as I had not been there in more than 10 years, I was really looking forward to it. I had the chipotle shrimp and hot links (tomatoes, scallions, penne pasta and chipotle cream sauce). As I am not the hugest seafood fan, they doubled up on my hot links, thank you very much! The food was outstanding, maybe a little too much sauce, but oh well!

Next I headed out to Bodega Bay for a few nights, and as the sun set over Bodega Head I sat outside and relaxed. I also found some great tacos at La Bodeguita. I had their ‘Tacos de la Calle’ (three tacos with carne asada, chicken and my third was a carnitas. It was $7.50 for all three; I was in taco heaven.

After a road run up Highway 1 to Fort Bragg, I did the wedding the next day and drove back, stopping for more Las Brisas’ Tacos.

Of course our website of the week is all about tacos from our friends at

And our recipe of the week is one I gotta try — thai chicken tacos!

If you would like to read more about this road trip and see some pictures, check out my blog at

GJ Free Press food columnist Lee Mathis is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached via email at, on the Web at, or by calling 970-256-4688. Also, find him on the Web by searching Facebook, Pinterest or by visiting Twitter (@decadenceGJ).

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