The Best! Taco! Ever! (Austin, Texas)

The Best Taco Ever- Barbacoa at Taco Rico in Austin

Subtitle: Five Reasons I Don’t Want to Tell you About the Best Taco Ever 1) FoodLibsTM: The Easy Form to Create Every Mediocre Yelp Posting Ever: I ate the best taco (foodstuff). I have eaten a gajillion (really big number) tacos (same foodstuffs), including in Mexico (exotic country) in my life and this was definitely the best one. It was so amazing (adjective) that I was mind-blown (adjective). 2) Finding the best of any kind of food is like a pyramid. Nobody sits back after a really great barbacoa taco and says “Yup. That’s it. The greatest meat shoved in tortilla on earth. I can … [Read more...]

High-End Mexican Food: Izote, Azul, and Others

DuckMoleBunuelos

Part 3 of my food blogger's guide to Mexico: Fine Dining in Mexico City Did you miss part 1 or 2 of my food blogger’s guide to Mexico: Eating well in Mexico City (aka D. F.) and Mexico City: A dive into street food? In a year when I was fortunate enough to enjoy meals at the likes of the French Laundry and Alinea, my favorite high-end meal was in Mexico City, at a place called Izote. The cost, for two of us, was less than a quarter of what I paid for one person at French Laundry, and the service, ambience, and food were not a step behind. Sure, I'm a big fan of street food, but what made … [Read more...]

Where to Eat in White Center

PuffPastry

I've repeatedly explained to people that some of the best eating in Seattle is in White Center. Which technically, isn't Seattle, so perhaps that's why people are so scared to venture down there? Formerly a piece of unincorporated King County, recently annexed by the city of Burien, White Center picks up where West Seattle leaves off, at the south end of the city. Culinarily, White Center holds much of what Seattle lacks: authentic, cheap foods from all parts of the world. Having worked in West Seattle for over two years, I've spent a lot of lunches dining on the cheap tamales, the lovely … [Read more...]

Mexico City: A dive into street food

Barbacoa tacos and sauce

Part 2 of my food blogger's guide to Mexico: Street food and Casual restaurants in Mexico City Did you miss part 1 of my food blogger’s guide to Mexico: Eating well in Mexico City (aka D. F.)? Street food is nearly synonymous with Mexico City's food scene, and for good reason. Everywhere you turn, there's another stand making something else delicious! I know many of us Gringos are scared of street food and hygiene and what not, but honestly, I carry a little cipro with me, choose carefully, and dive in. What you'll find below here are 5 days worth of wandering around, eating wherever … [Read more...]

My Love Affair with Mexico City

BarbacoaSauces

Part 1 of my food blogger's guide to Mexico: Eating well in Mexico City (aka D. F.) Mexico City just might be the ultimate food vacation destination. Oh, I’m enamored with Beijing myself, I enjoyed a little Hanoi, no lie, and I wouldn’t turn down a return trip to Thailand either. Yet, if you asked me where you should go first, I’d direct you to Mexico City for incredible high-end cuisine at ridiculous bargain prices, for the well-known killer street food culture, and for a drinking scene that offers century-old traditional pulque next door to a modern microbrewery. “Is it safe?” I had … [Read more...]

Cinco de Mango: Mango Ice Cream

MangoIceCreamWM

A tweet from former Seattleite and pro pastry chef Dana Cree intrigued me: "if you buy coconut cream as well as milk you can make ice cream w/o any thickeners. 20% cream, 55% milk. 25% sugar + salt tt" That was in September. It was cold. I didn't make any ice cream. I filed the tweet away for a sunny day. On Saturday, that day arrived. I bought the three beautiful champagne mangoes to flavor the ice cream. Or rather, the frozen dessert: without milk, cream, or eggs, it's barely ice cream. Of course, not being able to leave well enough alone, I reduced the sugar a little, since the mango … [Read more...]

Beyond the Torta: Exploring Mexico’s Sandwiches

20120211-191894-mexican-sandwiches-torta

Thinking the Mexican sandwich is limited to the widely known torta is like medieval belief the earth is flat. Not only is it dead wrong, there are whole other worlds to explore. Proving that once again, someone got there before us, Mexican sandwiches have expanded to fillings and techniques that leave our proud American sandwiches trailing in the evolutionary chain. The Torta At an enclosed street cart called “Tortas al Fuego,” on a corner in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, a father and his daughter griddle up a typical version of Mexico’s best-known sandwich. The torta is simple and … [Read more...]

My Year in Food, 2011

Swimming Fire Fish

Normal is not what I do best. Thus my end-of-year top-ten list will be anything but. For starters, it's not ten items. Instead, this is a peek inside my brain, where cooking and reading and small creatures in the night all crawl about, mingling and mixing into a delightful stew of tasty tidbits. It's December, and while I'm more likely to look forward to the next year than backwards on the last, here's a few things that stuck in my maw, reminding me why the life of good eating is so wonderful. Best non-cookbook: Grant Achatz's Life, on the Line This is not the best written book ever, … [Read more...]

Pambazo Lessons from an Abuela

Pambazo and Grandma

Among the oddities of my childhood were an avocado green washer and dryer in the kitchen of our house, a mild prodigy brother, and a constant parade of exchange students from as far away as New Caledonia. 25 years later and I still have no idea where New Caledonia is. I do know where San Juan del Rio, Mexico is. It's a small town two hours north of Mexico City, from where hailed many of our exchange students. One of them has become a life long family friend, and on our recent trip to Mexico, his mother taught us how to make a Mexican sandwich called a Pambazo. This is the third time … [Read more...]

Where to Eat Mexican Food in the I-5 Corridor: Bellingham, WA to Salem, OR

Torta

From the Canadian border straight south to Salem, Oregon, there is Mexican food to be found right off the highway. Food, which, even if not dead-on authentic, beats the ever-loving grandma jeans, diner cleanliness and canned mushroom soup off any other road food you'll encounter. As might be expected, the food gets better the further south you go, which of course makes me want to commit to continuing this series with an episode 2: Salem to Sacramento. If only I had occasion to ever be in Sacramento. Do things happen in Sacramento? Regardless of the eventfulness of California's capitol, there … [Read more...]