Chef Santos Majano talks beer-friendly food at Discretion Brewery
Bar food is changing. Cold nachos, soggy fries and greasy burgers are no longer the only options for people getting their drink on—assuming they go to a place like Discretion Brewery. Since their opening last year, Discretion Brewery has always had an impressive beer selection—and now they have an impressive food selection to go along with it. Their new kitchen is called The Kitchen. It’s actually a separate business, owned and operated by Chef Santos Majano. The two businesses operate under the same roof, with people able to order from both establishments. We interviewed Majano about his new business to find out what’s on The Menu.
How do you design food to complement beer?
SANTOS MAJANO: We try to make beer-friendly foods. We taste our beer, and we decide which beer is going to compliment the food. One of our signature dishes is the pork belly sliders. We decided to pair that with Uncle Dave’s IPA. That is a rye IPA. It complements the pork really well, the little bitterness from the IPA. Also, right now we have baby back ribs. We have a beer here that is called Song in Your Heart. It has a little bitterness and sweetness and it has a lot of spice, so it goes really well with the barbecue baby back ribs and the barbecue sauce, which has coffee, apple, vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
You’re kind of cooking an upscale home-style Southern cuisine?
We call it fresh, farm-to-table, modern cooking. We do tend towards the South. We have chicken and waffles. When everyone thinks of chicken and waffles, they’re thinking fried chicken, but we’re doing chicken wings and waffles and we do them with spices, maple syrup and toasted pecans. We also have cornbread as well, which is pretty southern. We bake them to order. They kind of look like little breadsticks.
What do you recommend for the particularly hungry drinker?
I would say, chicken and waffles. You can search around town, but most likely you’re not going to find chicken and waffles. If you want something a little lighter, we have our classic Caesar salad. It’s a basic Caesar salad, but we prepare it very carefully. We make our croutons to order. They’re still crunchy on the outside, but a little chewy, and a little warm. It’s one of the best things.
Tell me about that chocolate chip cashew butter ice cream sandwich of yours.
We bake our chocolate chip cookies in-house. Our cashews are roasted and we make the cashew butter. We do our base for the ice cream then we pour it in there. It’s very simple, but it’s a very good little bite. It’s rich, smooth, nutty, and we roast it to give it a little more flavor. It’s kind of like our take on peanut butter. Nothing else is added, just fresh roasted cashews.
2703 41st Ave., Soquel. 316-0662. PHOTO: Santos Majano is the owner of the Kitchen at Discretion Brewery, as well as its chef. CHIP SCHEUER