In early April, the day's special at T&A Cafe, Swiss sausage sandwich, tipped me to the new butcher in town. https://www.chowhound.com/post/cafe-s...
That day I stopped by on my way back from Spreckels to check it out. I bought some Swiss sausage and other types to cook at home and have been enjoying the different varieties. The business model includes fresh meats, housemade sausage, and game processing. And on the third Thursday of the month, Zio Brand hosts a lunch time barbecue from noon to 2pm.
A couple months later I figured my schedule would let me take part in the monthly barbecue. June featured tri-tip cooked over red oak on a Santa Maria grill the way God intended. I pulled up, inhaled that scent of Central Coast barbecue and said to the pitmaster, “Now I know I’m home.” Knowing I’d be late, I called in to reserve a sandwich for 2:30pm pick up. The Pitmaster said they’d been busy so he just put these two more on for latecomers.
The tri-tip was juicy and tender even though cooked to medium-well. Very garlicky rub, smoky, salty crust, no salsa needed (nor provided). This roll seemed like a Salinas Tres Hermanos bolillo. The tri-tip andwich was huge. The Rice salad side was terrible, made with hard undercooked rice and bitter celery. The sides change out, so I hope this has been taken off the rotation. Kind of pricey at $14, but enjoyable nonetheless, and I'd get it again.
Zio Brand Meats & Sausages
92A Monterey Salinas Hwy
Salinas, CA 93908
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