"This is so far removed from Flour City Diner cooking," says chef Jerry Manley, who recently put his popular comfort-food repertoire on the back burner in order to try his mano at Mexican cuisine, which involves a bevy of ingredients that Manley hadn't worked with professionally... until now. Lucky for us, the results of this intriguing career shift are now being served up at Wylie Chayote's Fine Mexican Food & Cantina, Manley's new venture with former Chilango's co-owner Donna Heiller.
So while you'll find a number of familiar dishes, like queso fundido, tortilla soup, tacos, and nachos, you'll also encounter Manley's twists on what might wind up being new favorites. Beef brisket, for example, becomes Wylie Chayote's barbacoa after being braised in rioja with ancho chile, while flank steak bathes in lime, ancho, and Dos Equis on the way to its destiny as carne asada. The fish tacos, available deep-fried, grilled, or blackened, are market price based on whatever's fresh, and the caesar salad gets returned to its Tijuana roots. The chorizo is made in house, as is the cotija cheese, which gilds a south-of-the-border spin on Chicken French. This is Rochester, after all.
Wylie Chayote's will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, June 15, with a mariachi band and bar specials. Meanwhile, lunch service is in the works, along with plans to amass a huge assortment of top-shelf tequilas. Currently there are nearly two dozen, one of which could make its way into Wylie Chayote's delicious signature margarita, brazenly spiked with jalapeño. Chilango's fans will be happy to know that Heiller is still making the desserts, such as flan and tres leches cake, and there's more good news: Flour City Diner devotees can still get their fix on the weekends. That's when Manley breaks out the whole FCD breakfast menu, augmenting it here and there with fresh Mexican flavors.
"It's exciting to use new products." says Manley. "And of course I like tequila."
Wylie Chayote's Fine Mexican Food & Cantina is located at 42 Nichols St., Spencerport. Dinner is served Sunday-Thursday 5-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.; brunch is served Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Food prices range from $5 to $24. For more information, call 349-3033 or visit wyliechayotes.com.
Hey, did you know there's a new Wegmans? It's true. But if you're someone who prefers to avoid parking hassles by walking or biking or bussing to the store, then you probably try to keep your purchases to a manageable minimum. That's where Roc Pedal Power comes in. This brand-new service aims to help both humans and the environment by getting your groceries home on a bicycle while you use your own earth-friendly transportation.
And though Roc Pedal Power will in fact be stationed at the East Avenue Wegmans on Saturdays and Sundays, this local start-up also offers delivery from various restaurants, farmers' markets, pharmacies, and even fresh beverages from Just Juice, slated to soon open a retail space of its own on Park Avenue. Get all the details about Roc Pedal Power, including pricing structure and how to book a bike, at rocpedalpower.com.
A beer-thday bash
Roc Brewing Co., 56 S. Union St., celebrates what it is calling its second "birthaversary" with a party that kicks off at noon on Saturday, June 8. Three limited-release IPAs will debut in honor of the occasion, which continues throughout the day with music from the Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers and Teressa Wilcox, plus a chance to sample the culinary stylings of three local chefs — 2Vine's Jerry Vorrasi, Natural Oasis's Nick Bovenzi, and Derrick DePorter from the imminent Lowcountry eatery The Revelry — as they serve up special event-only dishes both made and paired with Roc Brewing Co. beers. Tickets for the festivities are $20; call 794-9798 or visit rocbrewingco.com for the lowdown.
Flight Wine Bar, 262 Exchange Blvd., intends to opens a second and larger location in the College Town area later next year, and now Flight is serving lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at its flagship digs in Corn Hill Landing. The menu features a few hot, pressed sandwiches and a couple of salads, with vegetarian options for both. Plus, there's wine! Call 360-4180 or visit winebarflight.com for the particulars.
Hop to it
It's time once again for Rochester Real Beer Week, happening this year June 14-23. Oodles of local businesses will salute the art and science of craft brewing over those 10 days, with tastings, pairings, socials, games, and product showcases from acclaimed microbreweries. The anchor event, Rochester Real Beer Expo, takes place Saturday, June 15, 6-10 p.m. on (and in the middle of) Gregory Street, with food, music, and, of course, suds. Tickets for the Expo start at $45; further details are available at rochesterrealbeer.com.
Rumi's has opened at 2735 Monroe Ave., in the building that formerly housed Pizza Hut. It serves all three meals, with the menu skewing Mediterranean, specifically Turkish in places, with traditional specialties like a red lentil soup called mercimek and doner kebabs, Turkey's answer to shawarma and the gyro. For more info call 242-7864 or visit rumisgrillcafe.com.
Now occupying some prime riverfront real estate at 280 Exchange Blvd. in Corn Hill Landing is Ticas with a Twist, which bills itself as "Mediterranean healthy cuisine with a hint of Latin flavor." Think starters like baba and tourlou, as well as salads, soups, pita rolls, and Greek faves like souvlaki and pastistio. Call 319-3217 or visit Ticas' Facebook page.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.