Pickled Onions, Cornichons, Pork Rillettes
Spicy Pork Sausage, Potatoes, Onions
Baguette, Challah Rolls
Opening the year with no Andre’s at Monte Carlo and Alize shuttered atop The Palms one has to wonder if Chris Bulen saw the writing on the wall when he left the group after transferring from one to the other, but regardless the answer Las Vegas epicures should be excited about what he and Chef Kevin Lopez have planned for 2018, first a catering company and soon the Gastromix Food Truck to which many donated during a GoFundMe event last year.
Described simply as an “Innovative Food Truck,” though the background of two Rochat alums suggests French technique as opposed to Tacos, Burgers or Fair Food, it was on Friday that Chef Lopez graciously offered to cater lunch at work during a particularly laborious period, his arrival in a shiny black Pickup just prior to noon greeted at the door where boxes were unloaded, the scent of Onions immediately permeating the nares and his description of the contents creating an air of anticipation that made one grateful the elevator was already on the ground-floor, thus avoiding any wait to get upstairs.
Certainly not a typical “work lunch,” the bowl of Broccoli and baked Chicken consumed at least a dozen times weekly usually standing in for BJ’s or whatever junk the Pharmaceutical Reps decide is acceptable for the rest of the staff, it was upon opening several Styrofoam clamshells that freshly baked Bread, Sausage and Potatoes as well as Rillettes plus condiments were discovered, the first two still warm and the later room temperature just as it should be.
Familiar with most of the concepts and the Chefs involved, their time spent learning from a local icon no doubt paying dividends and never failing to impress prior, it should come as no surprise to those with similar knowledge that what followed was every bit as delicious while sitting in the office as it was with linen and candles, the finely ground Pork inside a snappy Casing teaming with Herbs and spice while buttery Fingerling Potatoes were almost the same texture whole as they might have been mashed beneath lightly browned Onions.
Enjoying Kevin’s housemade Bread between bites, a future for one of the Sausages on a warm Bun with Onions certainly advisable for the Food Truck, it was with plans of saving some of the entrée for later abandoned that attention shifted over to containers of Pork Rillettes, Pickles and Onions, a provided wooden knife used first to mix and then to spread, the light hint of Mustard doing well to help balance the flavor of creamy fat and finely shredded Meat that was every bit as good as what was served during Chef Bulen’s tenure at Andre’s.