Restaurants & Bars

Dave’s Rock Cod Tacos a Mateo Granados (Healdsburg)

Melanie Wong | Jul 21, 200705:49 PM     5

This morning I got a late start for my first visit this season to the Saturday Healdsburg farmers market. The one space in the lot to park my car was right next to the Yucatan Tamales booth run by Mateo Granados. Bigger this year, and no more camp stoves. The portable set-up now includes a full-size commercial range fueled by propane with six burners and a flat-top!

Image of Yucatan Tamales booth and day’s menu -

At 11AM, the many colorful booths at the market were calling to me and at first I thought I should shop first before they started to shut down. But the growl in my tummy said, “feed me” and I got into the line to order. Lucky thing, as shortly after I got my food, the announcement went out that only huevos and vegetale tamales were still available.

One thing about Mateo’s food is that each time I see the prices, I wince. I’ve been moving up the ladder from the initial $3 tamal to $5, then the $8 lamb torta, and now I was faced with $12 fish tacos. But after I take a bite, everything I’ve tried has been absolutely worth the shekels, so fish tacos today for me. With an agua fresca, $3, my brunch tab for eating off a paper plate with plastic utensils on asphalt came to $15. But what a bonnie brunch it was! And, once again, totally worth it.

I hadn’t seen an order before making my decision, and was relieved to see that the serving was two tacos per plate, plus a refreshingly delicious side salad of halved tiny tomatoes and cubes of cucumber. Mateo was making the fish taco orders himself with a helper tending to cranking out the hand-pressed tortillas as needed.

Image of plate of Dave’s rock cod tacos –

Each taco had three thick strips of deep-fried rock cod filets sourced from Dave, the fish guy at the market. These were lightly dusted and completely greaseless. Three was actually too much to be able to fold and eat the tacos out of hand, so I could try one strip from each with just the pumpkin seed sauce. Impeccably fresh, the fried fish was quite firm and while not overcooked, a little rarer would be my individual preference. The basil-flecked pumpkin seed sauce has to be one of the best things I’ve tasted this year. The tender sprigs of young and gloriously fragrant basil garnishing each taco were the chef’s unique inspiration on this creation. With a squeeze of lime, the crunch of the chopped greens, pungent bite of the red onions, and thin but very chewy and elastic tortillas combined with the fish, basil and delectable sauce made for a very memorable repast.

I picked up a flyer for Mateo’s next monthly dinner, information copied below. I’ve not been to one of these special events yet and asked for more details. I found out that the tables will be out on the patio to take in the view of the valley. Each round table seats 8 people and are shared. Reservations are needed but one can arrive at any time between 6pm and 9pm. The wine pairing, available at additional cost, will be a rose’ and a chardonnay. You’re welcome to bring a special bottle of wine to share, and I didn’t ask what the corkage fee might be. Cocktails are $8 and usually include some special margaritas.

If anyone attends, please be sure to report back!

The Missing Link Kitchen Returns
Chef Mateo Granados’
Modern Yucatan Cuisine
Thursday, July 26

“Papadzul” – Yucatan pumpkin seed dip served with corn tostada
Tiger prawn ceviche with Redwood Empire Armenian cucumber, pumpkin seed cracker
Grilled Black Sheep pork chop marinated in achiote adobo served over Soda Rock tomato salad, natural jus
Yucatan style dulce de pan with cinnamon+raisins served Dry Creek peach ice cream
Cocktail bar opens: 5:00pm, Dinner seating from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Tayman Park Golf Course
927 South Fitch Mountain Rd.
RSVP: 707-433-2338
Cash Only

Healdsburg Farmers Market website -

Mateo Granados Catering
Healdsburg Tuesday and Saturday farmers markets and Sebastopol Sunday farmers market

Previous posts on Mateo Granados -

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