Copper Top BBQ Big Pine, CA‏

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On our way home from our winter trip to Mammoth Lakes, CA we decided to stop at Copper Top BBQ in Big Pine for lunch. My dad had been there before when he goes to Mammoth to fish with the guys for Opening Day. I feel so grateful for my family to have these amazing traditions that we continue to share together and with my nieces. We have been going to Mammoth in the summer my whole life, but going in the winter is a relatively new endeavor. My nieces love to play in the snow and experience the fun of winter and it’s always so gorgeous and just like home when we return to the mountains. I am so glad I got a few days to enjoy the snowy winter wonderland that Mammoth Mountain has to offer. Our trip went by quickly, but we are not used to the snow, so it was a sweet trip. We went sledding and played in the snow and I got some yoga in as well. The snowfall was tremendous and it was really beautiful to see such a blizzard, make a fire, enjoy great company, food and family, look at the icicles and wander around in the snow a little for a change of scenery.

We packed up and were on our way home with our usual stops in Bishop at Schat’s Bakery and Mahogany Smoked Meats, both of which, I would recommend you stop at if you like amazing bread or really delicious beef jerky. On Sunday it is pretty much a zoo at both places, so just a forewarning, but I still think it’s worth it.

 

Copper Top BBQ is a small shack of a BBQ place that’s about two hours away from Mammoth. The little shack has all outdoor seating with a small tent for a covered space, which we were able to snag a seat in. The menu is straightforward and the BBQ and smokers are outside in front right next to where you eat. You are pretty much watching all the food being cooked as you eat, which is pretty cool. There were a lot of travelers passing through eating here and the food did not disappoint. We ordered a Santa Maria Tri-Tip Sandwich, Adam’s Favorite Pulled Pork Sandwich (with coleslaw), a Half Rack of Saint Louis Style Pork Ribs along with potato salad, Fire Roasted Green Chili with beans, coleslaw and chips. It was definitely a feast. The tri-tip was delicious and tender on a pretzel bun and the pulled pork was juicy and flavorful with the added creaminess of coleslaw accompanied by the tangy bbq. The ribs were tender and very sweet with a spicy bbq sauce to balance it out. I really liked the roasted green chili with beans because it had a lot of flavor, garlic, and the beans were perfectly cooked. All the food was really well made, flavorful and seemed as if there was a lot of love and care put into this family-style place. It’s not easy having a restaurant and the Coppertop is doing it right, so stop by the next time you are in the area.

 

Delicious food and beautiful scenery looking over the snow capped mountains! I’m sure we’ll go back again. Thanks for the food and the amazing trip. I can’t wait to go back during the summer for our Fujitaki fishing extravaganza. Both seasons have their own majestic, magical and mystical moments in Mammoth — my home away from home.

 

www.coppertopbbq.com

 

Cheers,

 

UnrivaledkitchIMG_9231 IMG_9230 IMG_9229 IMG_9228 IMG_9225 IMG_9224

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Eastern Sierra Eats: Bar B-Q Bill’s

When it’s time to head home, we have our rituals as well: we pack up the condo, have a breakfast of whatever is left in the fridge that can’t travel back with us, and make our way into Bishop for a couple of shopping bits and pieces. We always stop at Schat’s Bakkery to get delicious bread and pastries, which I’ve written about here, as well as Mahogany Smoked Meats for some of the best beef jerky I’ve ever had, also written about here. But a place we don’t always get to stop at is Bar-B-Q Bill’s. Bill’s is a wonderfully strange place, with crazy decor and barbecue sandwiches that are mouth-watering. We don’t normally get eat here because Bill’s is closed on Sundays and when we take a trip to Mammoth, that’s normally the day we leave, before everyone has to get back to work on Monday. But since this time we took a mid week trip, we were able to stop in and have lunch, after our busy morning of sledding in the snow.

Bill’s is set up in a cafeteria style setting. You start at one end, where you look up at the menu to see what you’d like. I decided on a barbecue beef sandwich on a french roll, with meat that is shaved to order and placed on your sandwich bun as you make your way down the line. Then it’s topped with house-made barbecue sauce and you are able to choose a couple of sides as you make your way towards the end of the line. My brother always has the prime rib sandwich with au jus for his choice tasty treat. The meat is served about medium to medium rare and juice is pouring on to the bun by the time the sandwich is devoured. We had side salads and I ordered delightful slow-cooked baked beans. As we talked about our trip and made new plans for the next time we’d be able to come up to the mountains, lunch seemed to go by too quickly. Soon after, we were back home in Los Angeles looking at smog smudged skies and I immediately went to a yoga class to stretch my body after the long drive.

I’m so grateful for these amazing adventures with family and friends. The snow was breathtaking and a wonderful new experience for me. To take in the glory of the mountains, sledding in the fresh powder, cooking for everyone and just relaxing five hours away from home, in a place that’s like my second home, was and is always a wonderful way to make me realize just how lucky I am.
haha I love this picture… Love you little bro!
Awesome group shot courtesy of my sister in law Viet Linh :)
Cheers
-Unrivaledkitch

Mammoth Eats: Roberto’s

Hidden amongst eateries of all sorts, though not known for its culinary successes, Mammoth plays host to a few gems along the way; one of these fine places is Roberto’s Cafe. I’ve written about this Mexican food before, but I figured a couple more pictures for good measure wouldn’t hurt. Roberto’s is a staple that we tend to indulge in every trip to Mammoth. There’s nothing like a nice burrito or taco after a long day on the lake, but the margaritas make it even better.
On this trip we decided to get out of the snow and make our away from a very disappointing experience to something we knew was going to be good. My brother, Kyle, and sister-in-law, Viet-Linh, were most inclined to find a good meal and something to quench our thirst. We decided on a pitcher of margaritas, which was called La Bamba, while watching the football game in the cantina. The margaritas were wonderfully potent with just the right mixing to make you feel warm and toasty inside, despite the blizzard outside. A delightful scent and flavor of Grand Marnier finished the pleasantness of the overall drink.
After we indulged in chips and salsa and our margaritas, we found ourselves looking over the menu. Kyle and Viet-Linh shared the El Jefe burrito, consisting of shredded chicken, potatoes, cheese and beans, all rolled in a flour tortilla and topped with more of the burrito stuffing. The burrito was huge, delicious and very juicy from all the tender chicken. I ordered a combination plate consisting of a pork tamale and beef taco. The tamale was perfectly moist and topped with a delicious red colorado sauce and some cheese. The beans and rice were tasty and the taco was fried well. Overall, a very delicious and hearty meal for the long winter afternoon.
There’s nothing like tequila and tortillas to brighten up any blizzard.
-cheers
Unrivaledkitch

Spinach and Cabbage Minestrone

What is Minestrone?  It’s said to be a soup comprised of the things you have on hand; maybe vegetables, meat, broth, beans or pasta. In Italian, minestrone, roughly translated, means the big soup. The kind of minestrone I like, is simmered for long periods of time, made with love and flavor that’s suited to my own pallet, which tends to include what I’ve recently bought at the market. I like perfectly plump white beans that have been simmered with onions, carrots, bay leaves and a slight heat from some red chili flake with tons of vegetables, cooked for different lengths of time to very textures.

I also love tomatoes in my minestrone. They bring richness, sweetness and acid, to a sometimes watery sea of vegetables. I used to make about five 22 quart containers of minestrone every week for the restaurant I used to work in, but this is not that minestrone. This is a combination of the flavors I had on hand, spices I love and flavors I adore, with an inspiration and a memory of the essence of what we used to create.
Very seldom do I keep to my old recipes, but I often try to escape new light into old favorites and this is just that. I won’t be able to tell you just how to make it, because there is no certain way to tell this particular tale in perfect soups, but know years of minestrone down the road, you’ll find the exact recipe you’re looking for and it probably won’t be written down. As you know, most of my recipes are ideas and schemes I’ve put together on the fly. I hope during these fall festivities you find yourself with a delicious bowl of hearty soup.

Ingredients I used:

Cabbage
Spinach
Carrots
Brown onion
Garlic, mashed
Oregano
Basil
Chives
Diced tomatoes
Broccoli
Zucchini
Slow cooked Fresh white northern beans
Bay leaf
Red pepper flake
Black pepper
Salt
Garlic powder
Coriander
Olive oil
Finishing  with best olive oil you can get your hands on
Water
Tips and Tricks
Always cook root vegetables first, because they need the longest times to break down and develop flavor.
Soft vegetables and herbs can be placed in last minute, to maximize flavor and texture retention.
If using canned tomatoes, develop flavor by cooking them for a longer period of time with root vegetables.
Beans are never cooked with salt, because they have the tendency to lose their shape and won’t absorb water well. Cook beans aside soup base and add seasoned beans to vegetables at ¾ the way through and simmer together to increase flavor in soup.
Taste your soup throughout the process.
And don’t forget, it will taste better tomorrow.

Cheers
-Unrivaledkitch