ChefView – Food Fiesta

Chef View By Dana Johnson

Food Fiesta!!

Cinco de Mayo, yes, May 5th is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican Heritage and pride. It commemorates the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War celebrating a military victory over the French. Cinco de Mayo is no exception to the rules of celebration as it revolves around indulging in an abundance of authentic Mexican foods!

It’s was my challenge to choose one Mexican restaurant in all of Modesto to feature this month. Many Modesto View fans shared their pic faves with me, thank you! Modesto is well covered when it come to choices for great Mexican food and drink! One of my faves is Damian’s! It has a bit of everything; an authentic Mexican menu, a full bar with several tequilas to choose from, a lively atmosphere, and family friendly service!

Jose Martinez, owner and executive chef has been in the restaurant business for 21 years and has had Damian’s for the past 9 years. Chef Jose is fit at 52, happily married to wife Rebecca since 1982, has children Rebecca Hope, manager and Jose Damian working in the family restaurant. Hope’s boyfriend, Daniel Balison, also works in the restaurant and is the artist for the menus. ChefJose starts his workday at 4am making carnitas, while he still finds time to go to the gym and plays soccer twice a week! Chef Jose told me he has to stay active as he likes to eat a lot, just like me! Unlike me, he’s a Raider fan, but admits he’s embarrassed to say so!

At Damian’s you will be pleased to find a large variety of selections on the menu including, breakfast all day, separate lunch, kids, and dessert menus, too.Chicken milanesa, posole, tacos, taquitos, and the ever popular burritos arejust a plate away. I was thrilled to find a Mexican restaurant that has cabbage and flour chips upon request. But the most Dana~licious would have to be the green sauce! Nothing quite like a grilled chicken or cheese enchilada smothered in this sassy-smooth green sauce! I actually got a container to go, too! Thanks Chef Jose! I owe you a Corona!

So I directly looked at Chef Jose and asked him to think about music, Beatles orStones? He wisely said both! He did lean towards the Beatles as he prefers older music. Then Chef Jose revealed his love of music is found in romanticMexican classics, aaah! He is as soft as the flan on his dessert menu!

Chicken Milanesa

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts Flour Eggs Dry Bread Crumbs Vegetable Oil Salt Pepper

Butterfly chicken breasts across, but do not cut all the way through. Open each piece and cover with parchment; pound thin. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper. Coat cutlets in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Heat vegetable oil over medium to medium-high heat, for shallow frying. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with fresh limes, rice, and beans.

2075 W. Orangeburg Ave. Modesto, CA 95350 (209) 526-3800 Hrs. M-Thurs. 10am to 9pm Fri./Sat. 10am to 10pm Sun. 10am to 9pm Happy hour: Everyday 3-8pm Margaritas & tall drafts $2.95

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