Another Day in Poe's Kitchen at The Rattlesnake

Chef Brian Poe shows you the world in the back of the house.

Jeepers! Or, My Shiny New Flying Burrito

For about ten years I had an old red Jeep Wrangler, thoughtfully referred to by myself and friends as “The Burro.” She earned the nickname when a fishing trip turned into a 4×4 adventure on a motorcycle trail that wound around a steep and narrow cliff. Unlike me, The Burro wasn’t scared; she just kept kicking along like the donkey she was. I say “was,” because she was the victim of a hit-and-run last October and we had to put her to rest. Sniffle, sigh.

What does this have to do with food, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you, but first—a little background. All my life I’ve sworn that before I got married, I would have a Jeep, a boat and a dog named Salty. Salty is going to be a yellow Lab, and the boat is on the horizon for next spring. No comment yet on the future wife, except that we’ll own a retirement home with an ocean for a front yard and a farm for a backyard, so that Salty and the Jeep will have nice places to play (separately, of course).

48black_Shirt I also intend to own 365 Hawaiian shirts under $15 with the center buttons missing, so I can get in a good old-man belly scratch after every meal. (My collection is well on its way already; I even have a Hawaiian print housekey.)

Anyway, so far I’ve only had the Jeep. But that Burro and I took some serious food trips in our time. We had a tent, sleeping bags, a camp stove, fishing rods, and of course Hawaiian shirts within reach when we lived in Arizona, where we visited every farm imaginable. We toured Colorado and fished Pagosa Springs, picked wild strawberries in the redwoods of Northern California, and sipped wine all along the left coast. Warning shots were fired at us while we looked for a buffalo ranch on an Indian reservation in New Mexico. We dug deep around El Paso, where we ate like kings out of roadside trailers and stared in awe at the realities of border life. We scoured Nogales and pondered Chihuahua. We had our fun on the East Coast, too, touring Virginia wineries and the Pennsylvania Dutch country. We did all of New York state—The Burro and I loved our Hudson Valley. Connecticut brought us Mark Twain and some good grub. Vermont confused us but we fell in love. We really got to see this country, The Burro and I. Why, in Massachusetts, we were even given permission to drive through the cranberry bogs in Lakeville, the corporate headquarters of Ocean Spray, one Sunday; we then headed up to a great goat farm in Topsfield and milked the goats before slugging some Ipswich beer out of a jug and listening to the Sox game on the radio. We even almost got arrested on a trip toNewburyport for not knowing that a) Burros are not allowed on the beach and b) you have to have a license to dig for clams!

At points in my career I was told that I should have a grown-up car—that I should live up to the standards of my position (not to mention of a good boyfriend)—so I finally bought one of those fancy Grand Cherokees with GPS and lots of buttons. But The Burro and I outlived them all on our culinary journeys.

Yesterday, I woke up a little sad to feel the weather turning. With apple-picking season just around the corner and pumpkin patches about to burst, I really missed The Burro. So when I saw


the ’97 Wrangler in my driveway, I thought I must be dreaming. But then my girl—one of the few who never hounded me to get rid of The Burro—handed me the keys! She and I tossed names around—and we’re leaning toward a play on The Burro that also alludes to Poe’s Kitchen—The Burrito. With a name like that, she can only carry us in good directions.

Much like my signature Flying Burrito Bro’.

Poe's burrito

WIth grilled chicken, chorizo, black beans, asparagus & tobacco-chile sauce, it’s got all-wheel drive.



  Kimberly Owens Davis wrote @

What a wonderful story and a beautiful burrito!

  poeskitchen wrote @

Thank you, Kimberly! I hope you’ll come enjoy one soon.

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