Chef Nick Peters is the new head chef at Batch & Brine in Lafayette, California and with his arrival comes a brand new Taco Tuesdays menu—just in time for Cinco de Mayo! Former CIA alumnae Chef Peters previously worked as the Executive Chef at San Francisco’s Valencia street hotspots Tacolicious, Mosto and most recently Curio Restaurant & Bar.

Family-owned Batch & Brine prides itself on cuisine inspired by generations of closely-held family recipes. The menu features a range of delicious plates from juicy burgers and sandwiches to fresh salads and sharable plates, and of course, milkshakes.

Popular inventive items include the Merguez with Spiced Lamb Patty, Harissa Aioli, Roasted Red Pepper, Pickled Red Onion, Arugula, Marinated Red Cabbage on a Pretzel Roll; the Blue with Angus Chuck, Whipped Roquefort, Arugula, Fig Jam, Candied Bacon on a Pretzel Roll; Au Poivre with Peppercorn Crusted Angus Chuck, Buttered Onions, Seared Mushrooms, Swiss, Green Peppercorn Sauce; and the Duck Banh Mi with Garlic Aioli, Pickled Carrot & Daikon, Cilantro, Mint, Jalapeno, Cucumber, Banh Mi Sauce on a Torpedo Roll.

Batch & Brine also offer an indulgent weekend brunch that features innovative dishes such as the Southern Fried Chicken Benedict with Bacon, Hollandaise, Biscuit, Potatoes; Pastrami Hash with House Made Pastrami Hash, Fried Eggs, Rye Toast; and the Banana Pecan French Toast with Challah Bread, Pure Maple Syrup, Caramel, and Powdered Sugar.

They also offer a selection of craft cocktails, beer and wine, as well as a selection of cocktails to-go and happy hour specials. Libations include the Lulu Melon with Rutte Gin, Cucumber Honeydew Shrub, Lime, Chipotle; Honey I’m Home with Barr Hill Gin, Lillet Blanc, Pineapple Citrus, Honey; and the Something With Vodka with Bergamot, Lychee, Cava, Citrus Smoke, Spice & Everything Nice-Mezcal, Mandarin, Lemon, Tradewinds Spiced Brandy.

The newest addition is the Taco Tuesdays menu which includes chips and dips; $6 tacos (or 3/ $15 tacos); along with guajillo-braised short ribs that comes with onion and cilantro, tomatillo-avocado salsa and escabeche vegetables. The taco selection includes pollo borracho with ancho chile and tomato, braised in cerveza and tequila; and the carnitas tradicional with orange and oregano marinated manteca braised meat.

I sat down with Chef Nick Peters to chat about his new role, menu inspiration, things in the works and more. Here’s what he had to say!

You’ve recently begun working as the head chef at Batch! Congrats! How has the move been going and what changes, if any are you making to the food program?

So far the move has been great. There has been a lot of warm welcomes from other restaurants in the Lafayette community as well as the Chamber of Commerce. Really great neighborly feel all around. The East Bay in general has always been one of my favorite places. The family and I have been living in the Concord and Walnut Creek area since 2010 so it is great to be close to friends and family.

We have some killer things in the works for a new Summer menu that is going to be focused on elevated comfort classics and chef inspired burgers. Probably most excited about some new “shareable” snacks and bites to highlight our craft cocktail program. Still a couple of final touches to put on the menu as we get some seasonal ingredients on board. Stay tuned!

Cinco de Mayo is around the corner! What do you have going on for it?

We just launched a whole new Taco Tuesday program that went live this week. After being in San Francisco for so long I definitely fell in love with guisado style tacos and wanted to see more of them in the East Bay.

These tacos are braised slowly in flavorful liquids that have various dried chiles, tomato, spices, and other herbs. In addition we have house made tortilla chips that we are serving with an assortment of dips. Fresh guacamole is a must, but we are also doing a summer tomato salsa that has hints of mint and a chile con queso that is liquid gold.

Tell us about the taco specials? What’s good to pair with them?

So the tacos themselves come in three different ways.  

Our first is a traditional carnitas that takes three days to make. The first day we trim the pork butts and render out all the extra fat to make a flavorful manteca or pork lard. We then marinate the pork overnight in sugar, salt, dried Mexican oregano, and orange juice. We cook it in its own fat the next day and let it cool for one more night in that same manteca. The final day is when we heat it up and finish it in small batches on the flat top. 

Secondly we have our Pollo Borracho. Chicken thighs are braised with tomato, Ancho Chile, oregano, light beer and tequila. Hence the drunken chicken.

Last but not least; Guajillo Braised Short Ribs. We are braising Short Ribs with Guajillo Chile, Chipotle, Tomatillo, and Amber Beer.  

All of the tacos are coming with house made escabeche vegetables and a tomatillo-avocado salsa.

The best thing to pair our new tacos with are definitely going to be our Micheladas and agave based spirit cocktails. My two favorites are new cocktails put together by our bar manager Casey Carr. They are the “Serrano mi Hermano” and “You can’t Hibisc’ With Us”. The “Serrano mi Hermano” is tequila-based with serrano syrup, pineapple, lemon, basil, and black lava salt garnish. The “You can’t Hibisc’ with Us” is mezcal-based with a with a 36- hour house-made cucumber-jamaica cordial, chareau aloe liquer, and lime.

The Micheladas are really great as well. We are going to be using Dust Bowl Brewing Company’s Taco Truck Lager and serving them traditionally red, or a slightly different green. The Micheladas Verdes are made with Serrano, Jalapeno, Pineapple, Cucumber, and cumin. Both get garnished with a chili lime salt that we are making.

Will you guys be starting new specials?

I have a few ideas in the works for weekly events. We started out with the new Taco Tuesday and we are getting ready to start pushing some industry nights. Working out some of the details but we are going to make it super fun. Could be something where we circulate a password around the industry for secret items that change every week.

I think it is really important to do something for the people who have been in our industry going through this pandemic. It’s been really hard for any of us to be able to make it out and do something besides quarantine and work. Besides that we are looking at the rest of our menu and new changes coming up, so really, everything is going to be special for a while.

What’s the menu inspiration at the moment?

The menu is definitely focused with our chef inspired burgers. Batch & Brine was put together with a love and appreciation for craft cocktails which are often batched or barrel aged and brining our own pickles and meats. We are definitely going to keep that as the center of what we do but also look at the beautiful fresh California produce and products to create a place where you want to go several times a week.  

What else are you loving on the menu right now?

I grew up in New York and one of the most impressive things Batch & Brine has going on right now is their house made pastrami. There are no steps skipped on this beauty. From start to finish it takes a minimum of 15 days for it to be ready. All of the briskets are brined for 13 days, coated with spices, smoked, steam roasted, and then finally sliced up. We serve it on a sandwich dubbed the Lower East Side or L.E.S. as well as loaded up on hand cut fries with gruyere cheese sauce. Look forward to some other things with Pastrami soon.



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