Friday, October 23, 2009
Last summer I decided to drive up to Mountain View, just outside of San Jose, by myself to attend the Great American Food and Music Fest. Curated by Ed Levine, founder of Serious Eats, the festival was serving up food from famous restaurants that don't normally travel outside of their neighborhoods. We're talking Katz's Deli Pastrami Sandwiches, Anchor Bar Chicken Wings, Tony Luke's Roast Pork sandwiches, and Junior's Cheesecake.
I hate driving the 5, but hey, it was for Katz's. After miles of nothingness, I started to hear a terrible noise. I pulled into a gas station and they said they didn't have tires, but there was a place at the next exit. The next exit was five miles away! That was a scary 5 miles.
Luckily there was an open mechanic who was able to put on a new tire. He said that stretch of the 5 eats up tires so he keeps a lot in stock. Coincidentally, we were also right across the street from Harris Farms, my scheduled stop. I should have known by the smell of manure wafting over the 5.
Harris Farms has been in Fresno County since 1937. Since its founding in Fresno. It is one of the largest family owned farms in the nation. They are best known for their quality beef. The family also raises thoroughbred horses and opened The Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant in 1977.
There are different levels of dining rooms, which is fantastic. There is a cafe style area for big loud families, a quiet elegant steakhouse, and an informal but adults-only bar. I chose to eat in the bar. It was nice to eat on the road without screaming, cranky children. Not that I am a wicked child-hater. I am just cranky enough as it is. The filet I ordered came with soup or salad. I tried the clam chowder. It was full of butter and cream, not very clam-y.
This filet was as tender and delicious as it looks. It could not have been more rare if I had run outside, wrestled a cow to the ground and bitten a hunk out of its leg. The proximity of cattle did add a certain element of that SNL sketch "you stun em, we cook 'em" The rest of the meal was your standard middle-America restaurant fare.
The Harris Farms compound also has a meat market, a huge bakery, and lots of snacks for the road. This pie did not look like it would travel well.
So I got one of these instead.