Amy Foster / Reporter
Every Wednesday the culinary program at Del Mar College’s West Campus opens its door to offer members of the community an inexpensive lunch with restaurant-quality food.
The menu on Oct. 1 included baby back ribs, smoked roasted sirloin, quail, macaroni and cheese, a full salad bar, breads and dessert for about $6.
I heard so many great reviews and it sounded too good to be true, so I had to try it for myself. As I approached to the Restaurant Management Building I smelled the wonderful aroma of food. When I walked in I noticed a line of customers in a casual, cafeteria-like setting.
I chose the smoked roasted sirloin as my entrée, green chili smoked gouda macaroni and cheese as my side, jalapeño corn bread and coconut cream pie for dessert. I saw many customers taking their plates to go and I thought I might do the same because I didn’t want to eat alone. But then I saw an elderly lady sitting by herself and I decided to join her. Glenda, 80, said she has been taking advantage of the meals for years and is such a fan of the food she drives in from Annaville each week. Glenda said the meal is usually the highlight of her week.
When I viewed my plate I was hesitant because my sirloin was really red and I don’t like the image of red meat. When I told Glenda I thought my meat was undercooked, she said smoked roasted sirloin is supposed to be medium-rare. I overlooked the redness and took a bite and was amazed. The meat was so tender and juicy it melted in my mouth. The mac and cheese was a little too hot for me because it had pieces of jalapeño in it. The cornbread was the best I’ve ever had; it was not spicy at all and had just the right amount of sugar. Coconut cream pie is usually too sweet for me, but this one was perfect. Words can’t do it justice — you just need to try for yourself.
All in all my lunch was wonderful, and the staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. The staff picked up my plate and offered a to-go box for my leftovers. DMC instructor Chef Randy Foote even came out and interacted with the customers. I introduced myself to the chef and was offered a tour of the kitchen, where I got to see the future chefs in action.
The weekly lunches are served from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Wednesdays at the Restaurant Management Building on West Campus, 4101 Old Brownsville Road. Bring a big appetite.