First question one might ask ... what's a nice Jewish boy writing about food on Christmas Eve? Easy to explain. Hannukah is over and I have nothing better to do. Unless of course I want to go have some Chinese food tonight. Nah, it's just Charlie and me and I don't feel like going out. Besides I am still full from a great lunch at Valentino's with some pretty impressive people.
One advantage of being a foodie is recommending places to eat. Let's face it ... there's not many great choices to eat out this way especially at lunch unless you're up for fast food and that gets tired quickly. So when I had the opportunity to suggest a place Valentino's must have been on my mind. It also helped that it was closer to the VIP's I was meeting.
It's not often you get to meet and eat with the County Attorney Lando Voyles, Sheriff Paul Babeu, and the President of the Arizona Public Safety Foundation Joe Trasser. I feel very fortunate to be in the midst of their presence for all they have done for Pinal County. However, this isn't a political message but rather a review of some good chow. Sufice to say that only good things for our community will be a result of our meeting.
So you might ask what do VIP's eat for lunch. No not Wheatie's, that's for armchair quarterbacks. The same thing you and I eat. Good food. Can you guess by looking at these four dishes who ate what?
OK give up? First dish on the upper left is a Chicken Vermont Panini ... Breaded chicken breast topped with apple-smoked bacon baked with Vermont cheddar cheese, marinated plum tomatoes, lettuce and a pesto mayonnaise. Made for a big guy like me.
Bottom left: Chicken Parmigiana ... Breaded, boneless breast of chicken topped with Valentino's Original tomato sauce, baked on a demi loaf with provolone cheese. So good the guy with the badge almost arrested the owner as his own chef.
Top right: Mediterranean Salad ... Fresh romaine lettuce, red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperoncini peppers, Kalamata olives and feta cheese served with Valentino’s Original Italian vinaigrette dressing and marinated charcoal-grilled chicken.The chef's going away for a very long time if he doesn't please this guy.
Bottom right: Antipasto Salad ...Fresh mixed greens with imported Italian meats, cheeses & olives tossed in Valentino’s Original Italian vinaigrette dressing. This guy heads up a company that offers Crime Scene and Biohazard Cleanup. Good thing the food was great ... no mess to clean up here. The plates are all clean.
Remember, food is a great equalizer. If only more people would put their passion into food the world would be a better place. Bon Appetit!
3385 North Hunt Highway, Florence, AZ 85132