By Adam Johnson
The saying goes, "Keep Santa Cruz Weird", so it's no surprise to see deep-fried alligator at the Santa Cruz County Fair. Southern Comfort Kitchen is cooking up Southern comfort food, and what they're serving up is nothing short of exquisitely excellent.
Adorning a bright green chef's jacket and calling out to the masses to try the best food the fair has to offer, Jason Brill, 34, along with his brothers own and operate New Orleans Catering out of Castro Valley and have a passion for exceptional, quality southern comfort food, "My parents were restaurateurs," Brill stated, "We've been operating for twenty-six years and we wanted to bring New Orleans to the west coast."
Trained at the San Francisco Culinary Academy, Brill's passion is for good food, "It's all about the quality," he said. The menu reads as a delectable delight featuring items such as the aforementioned Fried Gator Bites On a Stick, Seafood Gumbo, and their signature dish, Crawfish Etouffee, "We're building layers of love," Brill says. With items that range from $5.00 to $14.00, there is something for everyone to try. The gator bites are fried perfectly with a light and crisp breading topped with a traditional remoulade sauce that personifies fair food without feeling gluttonous after consuming it.
They didn't know what to expect since it's their first year at the fair, "Business has been doing very well, you never know what to expect really," says Brill. "We believe in amazing comfort food and we have the best food here."
The Santa Cruz County Fair runs today through Sunday night.