Free Christmas Tamales and Other Seasonal Treats
December 15, 2011
Holiday love takes many forms. For Armando Vinegas of Mando’s Mexican Restaurant (656-9235) in Pacific Grove, it's shaped like south-of-the-border comfort food.
Vinegas wants to thank locals for their support this year with a free Christmas meal 4-6pm Thursday, Dec. 22, dishing out two homemade tamales, a traditional celebratory intake in Mexico, along with rice and beans and hot apple cider.
Partly inspired by that bit of cornhusk-carried generosity, here are some other festive, diverse December opportunities and observations to sink your teeth into:
• The first “Sips and Sweets” is here: At its gorgeous tasting room, Caraccioli Cellars (622-7722) pours 2006 Brut Cuvee, 2006 Brut Rose, 2007 Pinot Noir and 2008 Pinot Noir individually paired with Moonstruck Chocolates, plus Roger Hernandez plucks guitar at the Carmel tasting 6-10pm Friday, Dec. 16, $15 (RSVP requested).
• Bet your cowboy boots the Central Coast Young Farmers and Ranchers know how to how to have a good time—and they always seem to incorporate a good cause. Come 6:30-8:30pm Thursday, Dec. 22, at Casa Sorrento (757-2720) it’s a holiday party-food drive with drink specials, live music and a change to chip in canned food donations.
• Every weekend, a craft beer and a burger are but $10 at one of my favorite oceanview lunch spots, Trailside Cafe (649-8600) in Monterey, and that includes new seasonal draft beers like Affligem Noel, Newcastle Winter IPA, Anchor Christmas and Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale, plus fries or salad. Also nice: Veggers can tab a black bean burger instead of beef.
• The matchup of 10-3 division leaders was a tasty one before Cy Yontz decided to roll out First Ever Monday Night Football "tailgate party" at Rio Grill (625-5436). While the Niners and Steelers trade paint Dec. 19, $25 earns all-you-can-eat barbecue ribs, heirloom bean chili, tri-tip sandwiches, chili-cheese fries, fingering potato salad, smoked mango-habanero hot wings, bone-in venison short ribs and epic chip dips.
• "Un-corked" keeps popping every Sunday at Edgar’s in Quail Lodge (620-8910/624-2888): No corkage fee on bottles you bring to pair with the fireplaces (indoors and out) and Chef Julio Ramirez’s new seasonal menu of things like cider-glazed roasted pork, chicken Béarnaise, Guinness pappardelle and Bloody Mary sea scallops.