“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others” –Lewis Carroll
And Chef Brenda has no qualms about spreading her ‘secret’. Internationally known for building a replica of the legendary WWI Vickers Vimy biplane, as well as the Spirit of St. Louis 2, the Chef’s husband John LaNoue is currently in production on a Secret Kitchen food truck. With years of experience in set construction and special effects at Industrial Light and Magic, LaNoue is looking to create a food truck as appealing to the eyes as Chef Brenda’s menu is to the taste buds.
“Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets” – Paul Tournier
I wish I could tell you to definitely order one menu item over another, but I simply can’t. We found no “go to” item because everything was incredible. Even now, reviewing that list, I cannot narrow it down to just one or two favorites. I crave more of everything on that list…and crave it RIGHT NOW!!!
When it appears on the menu, I always go for the Bahn Mi because it is a great way to test a new restaurant’s mettle. Because just about anyone can make a good Bahn Mi, it is a great litmus test. If it is bad, the restaurant needs a new chef. If it is good, at least you know the chef can get the easy stuff right. But create a spectacular Bahn Mi, as Chef Brenda has done, and I am willing to try just about anything else the menu has to offer, no questions asked. …even vegetables. (Keep reading for Spring Rolls.) Chef Brenda’s Bahn Mi is the best I have had north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and is possibly the best I’ve ever had. Traditionally, a Bahn Mi comes on a baguette but Secret Kitchen serves theirs on a warm, crisp, flaky, sweet loaf from Full Circle Bakery (in Penngrove) which complements the punch of the pickled carrots, cilantro, mint, and basil perfectly. Although available in chicken or tofu too, I’m a carnivore so I opted for the slow roasted pork.