Photo by Mai Pham Goat Birria, a type of Mexican stew. One of the recent daily specials offered by Jonathan Jones at El Big Bad.
It's Friday evening, just past 6 p.m., and chef Jonathan Jones is moving with ease behind the bar at El Big Bad downtown. He seems comfortable, happy. His mood is decidedly jovial, and he's telling us about the some of the daily specials he's running now that he's taken over as executive chef of the downtown gastro-cantina. They all sound mouthwatering.
"We have St. Louis Berkshire pork ribs glazed with a chile morita sauce," he says, as he describes how he's cooked them so that they're fall off the bone tender. I'm groaning, a sort of half-pain-half-pleasure sort of sound, and tell him: "That sounds so good."
In response, he gives me this confident grin, the one that tells me he knows it's not just good, but damn good, and says somewhat modestly, "It is. It's really good."