Café Sevilla, old-town Riverside, CA

A quick trip to some godforsaken area called Yucaipa, CA . . . seemed like we traveled f o r e v e r  on back roads north of I10, finally released us to explore a bit of Riverside, CA before the breakfast. “Breakfast” will be explained later. However for now our trip will take us into “old town” Riverside to a restaurant we’ve know of for years here in San Diego. Café Sevilla has been a culinary mainstay locally, and the wife and I had just spoke of revisiting again until we happened upon it while amused and immersed in the quantities of activity in Riverside’s old town region. Sevilla, as it is now known as, didn’t let us

We were to meet my sister for some pre-wedding reception libations in the old town region at another of the multitude of restaurant establishments, but had changed our plans when we saw Sevilla. We found ourselves also very hungry for something else than breakfast. Our breakfast was to be served as dinner for a wedding reception in another hour or two in the Riverside Art Museum just a block away. More on the breakfast later.

At Sevilla we ordered waaaay to much food that included the traditional Paella Velenciana. While the flavors of the traditional dish were there, it lacked the qualities of texture that are synonymous with a finely prepared Paella, like the crunchy layer of slightly charred rice on the bottom and each type of fish being properly cooked to its correct doneness. A very complicated dish to prefect.

Sevilla did have “The Best Restaurant Chimichurri” my wife and I have ever tasted. Perhaps it is as close to my secret recipe, that I am beginning to market, as we have found. I’m thinking it’s because of the olive oil used. Most restaurants that make a Chimi find a comfortable balance between saving a few bucks on buying olive oil blends and their taste. Sevilla didn’t skimp on quality of any menu items, as we had nearly devoured everything brought our way, including the Saphire Martini from the bar for my sister . . . she was staying at a hotel just walking distance away. Both the Beef and Wild Mushroom Empanadas were delicious and that’s how we ran into the Chimi. We ordered a few Tapas including the Champiñones al Ajillo which were a nice start with garlic, mushrooms, chile arbol & white wine and the Rioja Short Ribs, not overly rich, but delicate on the fork.

Stuffed now and walking slowly to the wedding reception, which we found out was being paid for by the kids (19 yrs old) themselves. The bride had graduated from cosmetology school and worked very hard to show her immigrant family that she could do it (life) on her own by starting her married life off with breakfast. And it was a regular breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and wonderful pumpkin pancakes. The pancakes were special because of the pecans and butter toffee sauce. They were good.

The reception had the other usual stuff going on but they also had hot cinnamon buns to take with you, and a small jar of the butter toffee sauce was left on everyone’s plate. A nice reception for 120 guests. Wow, she showed she could do it . . . on a shoestring. It was a nice affair.

I still give Sevilla the best marks. The combination of a nice lunch culminated by a brilliantly sculpted wedding reception had us back on the road again South.

Already starting to enjoy the holidays.



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