Delish is Still Delish But Not the Same as Delish

Susan says…

I have just returned from the non-profit Delish.  As usual, I sacrificed myself for the sake of this blog by eating as much as I possibly could.  Never mind that I won’t be fitting into my swimsuit this year.

The first thing you need to know is how the lunch is served. 

1) There is no menu.  They have what they have.  I wanted to ask if the lineup would change daily or weekly but the place was just too busy by the time I thought to ask some questions.  (I was excited about getting that food in my belly.) 

2) You are served by folks behind the counter so there is some portion control.  However, Mr. Sadorra himself served me and he was very generous with the scooping.  You simply tell them which items you want on your plate.  I thought about introducing myself.  You know, I could have said something like “Hi!  I write for Fork You…that semi-famous local blog about restaurants…I’m the one that sent you the love letter about your satay….can you pile on another half dozen of those sticks?”  But I decided it would be best for the others in my party if I remained anonymous.   

3) They have nifty little signs taped to the glass in front of each dish so you know what it is.  The geek in me loves labels.

4) They are set up for to-go orders, too.  You get a fancy paper plate if you are dining in (think Chinet…you know, the good stuff) or a largish styrofoam container if you are taking it out.

5) The price is $8 plus tax, which includes a drink.  (The soda machine was experiencing technical difficulties today so we had water…but they were appropriately apologetic.)

The interior looks just like it did when it was Cilantro’s except there is new fabric on the cushions and different artwork. 

Here is a breakdown of the menu and my thoughts on each of the items I tasted:

Chicken meatballs stuffed with cream cheese served with a pepper coulis – These are made of chicken breast and are a little bigger than a golf ball.  The cream cheese inside is a lovely surprise.  The coulis is a mildly flavored creamy sauce.  I like the meatball.

Chicken and vegetable medley in a blush onion cream sauce served with cous cous – The chicken breast is tender and served with a variety of vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces.  The sauce is a bit underseasoned which left the entire dish somewhat bland – not what you would expect from Mr. Sadorra.  The cous cous is liberally dotted with bright green peas – very good. 

Sweet chili asian infused country style ribs – I am not a rib fan so I passed on this one.

Spicy garlic satays – one of the stars of the plate.  The sauce is divine.

Peanut thai satays – another superstar.  I could have eaten a pile of these.  The peanut sauce is even diviner (purposeful poor grammar used for emphasis) than the garlic sauce.  If you missed the original Delish, these satays will make you happy.

Orange BBQ glazed salmon – the salmon is tender and perfectly cooked.  There is a nice smoky background with the sweet orange glaze.  Delicious.

Marinated portabella caps topped with roasted peppers and feta – even though I normally say I don’t like mushrooms, I enjoyed this dish.  The portabellas are meaty and the tartness of the marinade is a delicious counterpart to the sweeter sauces on the plate.

Spring mix salad tossed with vegetables,feta and grapes served with a garlic vinaigrette – salad?  I just couldn’t spare any room on my plate for salad.

Chicken Waldorf salad wrap – Misty tried this one.  It is a fruit-laden chicken salad.  She repeatedly held up bites of fruit so we could agree they were indeed large and plentiful.   

Tri colored rotini pasta with spinach, onions, zucchini, peppers, and cheese tossed with an Italian dressing – Misty tried this also. The best thing about this pasta salad is the freshness of the ingredients.  Oh, and the parmesan cheese.  That’s umami, you know.

Yam (not listed on Facebook) – I would like the yam a bit more done than it was but yams are so tasty I didn’t mind.

Brownie (not listed on Facebook) – Misty sampled the dessert offering.  It is a fudgy brownie that may have contained chili powder.  Most of the way through the piece, Misty detected something spicy.

Suggestions for improvement:

1) I really, really needed a knife.  The plastic fork was bending too easily to cut through the yam, the chicken meatball and the portabella. 

2) An explanatory sign about how you “order” would be helpful for first-timers.  And this week, everyone will be a first-timer.  We were a little confused about how it would work even though we had read the Facebook page and Daily Mail articles.   There is a sign outside the front door, but Sarah Lieu from Channel 13 was standing in front of it interviewing Mr. Sadorra when we arrived.  Perhaps that sign would have clued me in.

I enjoyed my lunch.  The food is reminiscent of the original Delish that I miss so much.  The price was very reasonable for what you received in return.  So much so, that I am wondering how there will be any profits.  I paid my bill with a $10 and did not ask for change.

I still don’t really understand the concept, but I have requested to put Delish on our weekly rotation, ESPECIALLY if the line up changes periodically.  I will rate it with actual forks next time since it seems a little unfair to do so on opening day.  Oh, and next time I am going to ask them to squirt that peanut sauce all over my plate!

Practically Delish on Urbanspoon

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15 responses to “Delish is Still Delish But Not the Same as Delish

  1. “… a charity will be designated for profits after overhead.”

    Not to be cynical, but this line cause me to view the “charity” concept as more marketing ploy than anything else.

    If you organize a not-for-profit corporation, you can pay yorself a salary and that is an expense, or part of the overhead. If after paying your salary and all the other expenses the corporation is barely breaking even, you might have a decent income but the amount of money going to charity would be miniscule or non-existent.

    That the owner (not Sadorra) is not saying a percentage of the revenue will be donated to charity, makes it hard to see this as a charitable endeavor unless she is paying herself considerably less than the amount she would make if it was a sole propietorship and her income was the profit (or a corporation or an LLC and she received an amount equal to the profit).

    In short, this might just be a clever way of marketing the place when there is no particular generosity to charity beyond what lots of people donate to their favorite charities without making a big deal about it.

  2. Hippie Killer

    Agreed. With obvious caveats about not being cynical, etc. A lot of hospitals are non-profits too, and God knows they don’t skimp on the salaries.

  3. Interesting points Phil…

    Sadorra is a “consultant” – so there is probably a salary there, too.

    I thought the lunch (including a drink) was worth the $8 price tag so I will go back. I just don’t see where there will be much “profit” when you subtract from that $8 the food cost, rent, utilities, labor, etc.

    If they are using the non-profit angle as a marketing tool, I don’t feel ripped off as a customer because I leave there thinking I got a good deal. Now if they were charging $15….

  4. Hippie Killer

    Nevertheless, it will be a good day indeed when we can take home a bottle of the spicy garlic sauce.

    Also, Susan, I’m impressed that you took it upon yourself to go on the first day. That’s usually a pain (there’s a crowd, the staff doesn’t know what they’re doing, blah blah). When I read about this in the paper, I thought to myself “It’ll be nice when the fork you people get down there and tell us what’s up.” But I wasn’t expecting it so soon. Well done.

  5. I liked the original Delish (though not enough to inspire rapturous fan mail) and that looks like a nice plate for $8 these days. In the end, I eat at places I like and short of being Neo-Nazi or something despicable the ownership, etc., doesn’t much matter to me. I just thought the charity concept seems much ado about nothing as I’m sure other restauranters give to charity.

    It might be better that Sadoora is just a “consultant” as maybe the owner actually is interested in actually doing the boring and demanding things it takes to run a business for the long haul. I don’t know Sadorra but he seems a bit of dilletante who gets bored after the buzz wears off.

    Danny Jones without the big bucks?

  6. The sign that the reporter was in front of was the description. Also, there were two ladies at front of store to guide new comers to the line. Mrs. Sadorra and the sister of Janessa Spence.

    Despite this new concept being very new to the Valley and, as usual, deemed suspect; that will subside as time goes by and people see the reality of the concept in action.

  7. Count me among those who are highly-skeptical of the charity/non-profit angle. It sounds like a tax shelter and a marketing ploy. But I’m glad the satay is (sort of) back.

  8. Phil I. Stein

    It has nothing to do with it being a “new” concept. It has to do with the fact that organizing a restaurant as an NFPC in and of itself means nothing.

    An NFPC could give a greater, lesser, or the same percentage of its revenues to charity than a privately organized business or its owner gives.

    Also, nothing about being an NFPC prevents the organizer from paying herself an amount equal to or greater than the amount she could make from a for profit enterprise.

    If I draw a $50,000 salary from an NFPC, I make $50 K the same as if I draw that same salary from a for profit enterprise. If I want to donate the “profit” to charity the end result to both me and charity is exactly the same so long as I pay myself the same.

    A corp or LLC that pays me 50K and donates 10K to charity enriches me and charity the same amount an NFPC that does exactly the same thing. Nor is it different than a sole proprietorship that earns a $60K profit and whose owner then donates $10K to charity.

    That’s not to say this woman might not be exceptionally generous and actually doing something out of the ordinary. But way more questions need to be answered to reach that conclusion. Just a few are:

    Did she make a personal loan to the NFPC that she will pay herself back from the NFPC or did she gift the NFPC its startup and operating capital?

    Is she paying herself a typical “market rate” for her services to the NFPC or is she drawing a salary substantially less than people performing similar duties for private enterprises receive locally?

    Is she using the NFPC status to solicit donations from others?

    As reported, there is nothing to suggest she will receive any less from her investment of money and time than a person doing the exact same thing as a for-profit business would receive and nothing to suggest this venture will provide charity with any extraordinary largesse relative the size of the business.

  9. The place on the east end was Delish Express. This is just Delish. I just at there for lunch today. There was about 20 different things you could choose from and you only get a paper plate. There is no menu. Just wait in line and tell them want you want. Everything I had was good. They had chicken on a stick, cream cheese stuffed meatballs, wings, cus cus, two other chicken dishes, pork, veggie lasagna and more. I would definitely eat there again. Get there early the table fill up fast.

  10. I realize I’m probably out of the loop and behind on my info., but who opened and owns this?

  11. Leigh Anne-

    Virgil Sadorra is a consultant, but not an owner. The Daily Mail mentioned a local teacher owns the place but I can’t recall the name and the article (which we linked to in a previous post) is now in the archives and I cannot access it.

  12. Phil,

    Unless I’m missing something, the Sadorra we are talking about is Virgil Sadorra, who happens to be a dude. Otherwise, I completely share your feelings.

  13. Chris – Sadorra is a “consultant”, not the owner. The owner is indeed female.

    But I think I already said that one comment before yours. 😉

  14. Phil I. Stein

    It seems this venture was indeed not for profit for all concerned, including suppliers who sold on credit. Does anyone know of any charities that actually received money during its brief existence?

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