Hello! We're happy to have you!

Showing posts with label Mexican food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexican food. Show all posts

Thursday, January 7, 2021

My Mindful Guacamole


Chips not included. 

A successfully done guacamole, in my opinion, begins in a molcajete. These are heavy-duty stone mortar-and-pestle situations that are responsible for the sauces (or salsas) of the Latinx/Indigenous peoples of the Central and Southern Americas. I do not have one, so I use my own trusty mortar and pestle, which is made of clay and wood. It's easily my favorite tool in the kitchen that allows me to create pastes, spice rubs, pestos, salsas, and - of course - guacamole. If I had to put it in a category, it definitely would go in the category of "Cannot live without."

Can you make this recipe in a bowl with a spoon or fork? I suppose. But why would you do such a thing when you can use a tool that will serve you for decades to come? The virtues of a good mortar and pestle are many. It's satisfying in a sensory way to hear and feel how spices grind against one another! Mostly, though, I love the mindfulness it allows me to achieve while grinding. You get to stand there, hang out, pound away at any frustrations, and transform an ingredient to your will. I love grinding garlic into coarse salt and pepper, to release the aromas, and to mesh together all the flavors of the ingredients, in a beautiful and sensuous concoction that goes in apart...and ends up together.

Maybe this is a metaphor for coming together during and after hardships to rise stronger than ever? I'd like to go more into mindfulness, but let's just get straight to the recipe for now. 

My Mindful Guacamole

  • 2 medium avocados
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 a small lime
  • 1/2 a jalapeno, chopped 
    • Trust me, it will give you a head start
  • A dollop of sour cream
    • I use the vegan kind, made by Tofutti! If you want to use the dairy-kind, that's just fine
  • As much cilantro as you like (I think I put 1/8 cup in, chopped, but I can't say for sure)
  • Two fat pinches of salt
  • About 10 grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
Add to your mortar and pestle first the salt, pepper, and spices. You're going to want to crush these together first, as it shouldn't take long at all, but it's very important that the salt take on the flavors of all of your dried spices. Next, take your garlic cloves, chopped jalapeno, and half of the cilantro you decided to use. Grind all of this together, slowly at first. You're going to want to grind this against each other for at least 60 seconds before you begin pounding. Don't pound hard unless you have a potholder or towel between the bottom of the tool and your counter, lest you damage it. I pound gently, just enough to get a solid sound, and grind after every other pound, in circular motions. Here's my rhythm:

Pound-pound grind. Pound-pound grind. Pound-pound grind.

I hope that made sense? 

You're going to do this until you get a gorgeous paste, and you'll not proceed until you get that paste. Trust me, it's worth it, as you'll get much more flavor out of that garlic and jalapeno than you imagined with a hand-tool like this! It'll turn a muddy green color when it's right. Don't rush this part, okay? This is your time of meditation, of calm, of honesty with yourself. It takes me 3-5 minutes, and I love it!

When your paste has been achieved, no matter how long it took, add the avocado. When you open the avocado and scoop out the goodies, you are certainly allowed to chop the flesh up a little. Grind this into your paste until things are just barely combined and you can still see some visible chunks, add your lime juice.

Grind the avocado into the sides of the bowl, quite slowly, using downward strokes. I love watching the flesh of the avocado get smashed on the sides...it's so satisfying! And the color stays that beautiful green with the addition of the lime juice and the acidity and heat of the garlic and jalapenos.  You're going to keep grinding and stirring gently until it creates thick and beautiful guacamole. All that's left now is to add in a dollop of sour cream and the rest of the cilantro, and stir in until wholly incorporated! If there's a time to correct the seasoning, it's now.

In defense of the sour cream: Yes, it's absolutely authentic. The Tias y Abuelas of the world will side with me in saying that there are some people in the Latinx community that use sour cream in their guacamole! Like Filipino food, many cocinas are individualistic and they say that only their way is right... Let me tell you, my friend: they're all right so long as they are made with love and intention. I like sour cream because it lightens the guacamole, helps it maintain the bright green color longer, and it makes it more spread-able for when you want to put it on a tortilla or a tamale or a sandwich. I use the Tofutti/vegan sour cream because I'm hella lactose-intolerant, and it's just as good as the dairy sour cream. I've also baked with this product, and it's excellent!

You can transfer your guacamole into a serving dish, but - if the truth is to be told - I often serve it in the bowl of my mortar and pestle. I don't think I need to tell you how to enjoy this, only that if you are to store it, make sure you have the lid of your container touching the surface of the guacamole, or a sheet of clingfilm touching it. You don't want to get a gray skin!

I love guacamole as an ingredient or as a mid-afternoon snack. It's creamy, it's cooling, and it's full of healthy fats. Furthermore, if you are an absolutely crazy-for-crafts DIY kind of person, you can boil avocado skins and pits to get a beautiful pink color for a natural dye. No, really! 

Check out more info here!

Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. I hope you're all staying safe, indulging in some mindfulness and some self-care, and remembering to breathe. Happy cooking and happy eating!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flour Tortillas

You can take the girl out of Tucson, but you can't take the Tucson out of the girl. Sometimes, you just get a hankering for the good food of your childhood, and though you may not be hispanic, the latinx food of your upbringing and formative environment sings the siren song to your stomach. Yeah, yeah, I know, they're just tortillas, but once you've had a good tortilla, you'll understand. Here's how!

Flour Tortillas

  • 8 oz bread flour(my own adaptation; I just prefer it)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 oz warm water
  • 1 Tbsp lard(yes, LARD. Don't use shortening or oil. Use lard.)

Dump the flour, baking soda, and lard onto a cool marble surface. Cut the lard in using two butter knives. You can also put this in the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment, but this is the way I learned how to do it, so I prefer it by hand.

Yeah, yeah, I've got a marble slab in my kitchen. "Check your privilege, Chef". Right...
If doing this on a cool surface, make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the water. Using a dough scraper(or your hands, if you like), pull the flour over the water, over and over again until everything is combined. Knead the dough until it's very smooth and elastic, about five minutes. You could save yourself the arm strain and do it in the standing mixer, but I like getting the workout in.

Once the dough is pulled together and feels quite tight, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it hang out on the counter for about 10 minutes to rest. This lets the glutens relax a bit so they're easier to work with and roll. After that time is up, divide the dough into eight equal portions and begin to roll.

 Cover the little dough balls with that same sheet of plastic wrap to keep them from drying out while you roll. I roll my dough out flat into discs using a rolling pin, then stretching them by hand just a little as they relax. I keep track of which discs I have rolled first, and then go back over the sequence once or twice, to get them super-thin.

At this point, I like to dust mine with just a little bit of flour, and then let them hang out for a few minutes while I get my griddle ready. You might also want to think about any meat or veggies you're prepping for the meal that's actually going with these puppies, as - in a perfect world - you'll want to eat your freshly-cooked tortillas with your freshly-cooked meal... My point is: timing. Timing is everything.

Get a thick-bottomed skillet or griddle nice and hot on the stove. I prefer a fairly high heat for my tortillas, to do them quickly, but if you'd like to do a medium heat, just until you're confident, then that's fine, as well. All that must be done is to cook them until they bubble up and get golden, then flip over.

If you have an actual tortilla warmer, then dear Gods, use it. If you don't, simply get a ceramic plate and clean tea towel to keep them nicely wrapped until it's time for dinner. The tortillas will keep for at least a week, but I promise you that they won't last that long.

I love fresh tortillas with carne asada. You can also have them around to make quesadillas, cheese crisps...whatever! If you have avocados, make some guacamole... Or just eat them as simple tacos with some grilled meat, peppers, and corn. Few things in life are as lovely as a warm tortilla, so I highly recommend you trying these. Also: please grill corn inside its shuck. Not only is it the easiest cleanup ever, but it steams and grills at the same time! If you really want a southwestern flavor profile, squeeze lime juice, cotija cheese, and mayo over your corn before eating. I know the mayo part sounds weird, but don't knock it til you try it.

Boys be texting you like
Happy cooking and happy eating!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Taco Republic - My New Neighborhood Joint

Among the most-stressful times in a person's life, moving from one home to another definitely resides in the Top 3. They say that moving, getting married, and public speaking are some of the most stressful events in life. Fortunately for me, I'm moving to a quiet neighborhood, adjacent to the things  love: food, parks, and the Volker/Rosedale/Westwood marriage. These powerhouse neighborhoods create a vibrant and wonderful incubator for Kansas City's most-trendy people, the yuppies, if you will, and the foodies that come along, too. I'm just happy that we bought the house before the neighborhood value skyrockets.

Right down the street from my gorgeous new house just happens to be Taco Republic, a food truck turned brick-and-mortar that seems to be my own, real life version of the "El Jefe" food truck from "Chef." Although Taco Republic does not serve Cuban sandwiches, it does serve a damn good taco.

Taco Republic on 47th & Mission, a converted gas station, serves with an open-air approach. One wonders what happens in winter, but one is grateful for such beautiful summer nights as these. Beer, margaritas, chips and salsa all welcome you with plentiful and colorful outdoor seating, as well as several flatscreen TVs for you to watch the news, the game, etc. There was a Royals game on tonight, and this little taco stand was abuzz with baseball and tequila. The vibrancy of the atmosphere is fueled by it's decor, which can be described as Austin-tacious. (I can't really explain how this is; just imagine a trendy cool place in Austin where all the college-age kids would go, and it's that.)

Oh, and service was great both times I've been here. (Once our server found out I was a food blogger, his manager made it a point to ask how the service was. I told him that I seldom comment on service, and mostly comment about decor and food.)

The food at Taco Republic could be described as Tex-Mex, but I think that it reminds me of the late night club tacos I would eat in LA after a long night at Das Bunker. My friends and I would clamor in our platforms and jelly bracelets for carne asada tacos with lime at 2 in the morning in some shady East LA shack, talking about how we should probably hit Denny's, too, to get some coffee before we scrape off enough of this eyeliner to be at least half-presentable at work tomorrow. Ah, to be young and in LA...but I digress.

These are authentic, Mexican-American-ish tacos. I like these tacos. Do you know why I like these tacos? Because they aren't pretending.

Take the Del Mar(tilapia) and Ortiz(chicken) tacos that B got. Look at the corn, the cotija cheese, the guacamole... The tacos make no assumptions, ask nothing, and aren't pretending to be the next big thing. It's a taco, and it's good. What else do you need to know? It's on a corn tortilla, which is good and authentically Mexican. Tortillas de maiz, as they are called, are considered to be a sign of authenticity in Mexican cuisine. Flour tortillas are more of an American thing, but the Mexican-American fusion of food that lies in the Southwest is so damn convoluted that I don't think anyone can honestly tell what's what and where's where anymore.

Now, onto the Tex-Mex...

These are the carne asada tostadas that I ordered the first time I ate at Taco Republic. They look appetizing, right? Upon first bite, though, one gets an overwhelming punch of pickled jalapenos, which I honestly found really overpowering and off-putting. I picked as many of them off as I could, but the pickle flavor had seeped into the sponge-like iceburg lettuce that was piled on in a sloppy chop, rather than a nice fine chiffonade like it should have been. I think it could have used a little more radish, and the meat could have been a little more. I think it was a bit light on the cheese, too, but perhaps I'm splitting hairs at this point.

I did not enjoy this dish. They pickle all of their onions and jalapenos in-house, which is great, but I guess I just don't enjoy pickled jalapenos. I like jalapenos raw, sauteed, deep-fried and stuffed with cheese, but not pickled, apparently. So, hey, maybe this dish just isn't for me.

Now, I come back tonight, on the most gorgeous evening you could imagine, and had a fantastic meal with a wonderful crowd and a wonderful man. He ordered his same Del Mar and Ortiz tacos, while I opted for the beef Old-Fashioned tacos.

These tacos are made from stewed ground beef, veggies, cheese...the works. And you know what? Not a pickled jalapeno in sight. Awesome. Oh, and it's made with corn tortillas? Even better!

The first bite of these tacos are a big splash of juicy, soft flavor. The sharp crunch of the onions and tomatoes, the lettuce, the creamy cheese, and the flavorful beef, all sort of collide. Upon second and third bites, you feel like you're eating something familiar. Upon tasting the beef on its own, I found it reminded me of the kind of taco meat your mom makes...you know that taco seasoning that you find in the grocery store, in the spice aisle, in packets? It reminds me of that...or, at least, the romantic idea of what a Midwestern Mom's "Taco Tuesday" night at home would be. These tacos taste familiar, like "Home", which is definitely not a bad thing. Big thumbs up. I did enjoy this dish.

**heavy breathing**
Of course, I must nod to dessert.

The cheesecake chimichanga is to die for. Let me say that again for the people in the back: the cheesecake chimichanga is to die for.

Click to add a blog post for Taco Republic on ZomatoPicture this: cheesecake filling, warm and gooey; crisp, crunchewy shell of an almost phyllo-like pastry...all smothered with a warm chocolate sauce. Are you sweating, yet? Because I am. Honestly, I could have twelve of these. Just...get in my mouth. All of them.

Growing up in America, you have this romantic notion that you're supposed to have "a place." You know all of the sitcoms where your main characters sit in their same booth, in their same diner, around the same time of day with the same people? That's the feeling of routine, of solidarity, of community that you're sort of raised to believe in, to expect. I don't know how realistic it is to have a place like that in modern American life, especially for a Millenial, but I definitely wouldn't mind making Taco Republic my regular place...for these reasons:

  1. It's close.
  2. It's cheap.
  3. It's good.
  4. It's seriously close...less than 5 minutes away.
  5. Great atmosphere and decor.
  6. Trendy without being pretentious. 
  7. Neat lawn chairs!
  8. Awesome people watching.
  9. Super-friendly staff with a lot of personality.
  10. Their house salsa is a close match to the kind of stuff you can get in Tucson, so bless.
  11. It's cheap. I mean, seriously, really cheap, really good for what it is. 
  12. Cheesecake chimichangas.
  13. Did I mention that it was close to my house?
I'm very glad that I came back to Taco Republic for a second go. Had I let that bitter taste of pickled jalapeno sour my entire impression of the place, I wouldn't have discovered the old-fashioned beef tacos or the cheesecake chimichangas or the churros(which are also really delicious). You can bet that I'll be back for more.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dia De Los Muertos Pumpkin

Last night, I attended a fantastic Samhain ritual via Mrs. Witchy Words. I was pretty excited to go because she always does the best parties/rituals, but even moreso because of my pumpkin. (I love pumpkins. Remember my blog on pumpkins and pumpkin soup? Of course you do.)

Every year, no matter where I am at, or who I am with, or if I have kids even remotely around me, I carve a pumpkin for Samhain/Halloween. I don't know why, but I always do it the morning of, and I always light it up. It brings me joy to do this little thing every year, and I don't see the harm in it...unless, of course, I'm clumsy and stick myself with a knife. Then there's harm.

The original Jack-o-Lanterns were carved out of turnips and such, and were pretty scary. I mean, odd little faces just hanging somewhere in the middle of some misty Celtic field? Freaky. I much prefer the pumpkins.
"Dafuq are these doing on my lounging table?"
This year, however, was different because my family did a wonderful thing! They announced a Pumpkin Carving Contest, via my mom and dad, saying "To the victor go the spoils!!!" And the "spoils" was $100 donated to the charity of your choice. I've donated and sponsored kids with Children International off and on, and I always liked them. Plus, I'm already doing a fundraiser for the CCVI this year(Children's Center for the Visually Impaired, right here in Kansas City) and volunteering with Young Women on the Move...so Children's International seemed like a good bet. 

When I was a teenager, I spent a fair portion of my allowance on a little boy in Guatemala, who was about 4 years old at the time...let's call him Miguel. 

I remember when Miguel would draw me pictures in his letters of his family or grassy fields or whatever. I don't know why, but the thought of a kid being so happy even when having so little, always made me tear up a bit inside. I think Miguel would be about 15 right now. But I digress.

As an Arizona girl, I am a huge fan of Dia de los Muertos. This is the Mexican festival of the "Day of the Dead", on the 2nd of November, where everybody goes nutshit crazy in the graveyards, the bars, the streets, the churches... The Mexican culture knows how to throw a party. I will say that. The long and short of it is that it's a celebration to honor your dead, get drunk, leave tamales and sugar skulls on the graves, and eat like you'll die tomorrow(probably because of all of the stuff you ate). I used to love coming to school in Tucson on Halloween to see all of the Mexican girls dressed up like Muertitas, with their glorious make-up jobs and flowers in their hair. I must say, I was envious. This was the inspiration for my pumpkin.

Out of the three pumpkins I had on my porch, I chose the One Too Many Squash, which was large and impressive, and also had a great combination of warty green and dusty orange. Plus, the seeds and pulp were tasty, and plentiful, so I could eat half and then throw the other half in my backyard for the birds and animals to have...and hopefully for me to have more of next year, if you know what I mean!
If T-Mobile wants to send me money for having an impromptu
ad in my blog, I wouldn't be mad...

I typically don't use those cut-out things anymore for pumpkin carving. You know, the paper templates you can buy at most grocery/super stores? I just found a picture of "sugar skull" on my computer and used that to draw inspiration from. I drew with a red sharpie on the (relatively) smoothest side of my pumpkin, and proceeded to evacuate all of the guts. I would have taken pictures of that, but my hands were all gross, and such.

The trick to making those professional-like glow that seems so luminescent is to scrape the bejeezus out of your pumpkin flesh. I mean, seriously. This guy had a 2" thick rind at least, and I spent a fair amount of time just getting the flesh around the parts I wanted thin enough. But, to save myself some time, I only scraped around the parts I knew I would need it. You'll see why.

See those scraped parts at the top of the skull? I needed them thin on the inside so the glow would come from within. The carved flowers on the upper corner also needed a thin wall behind, so it could really show. I did a few test runs in the dark of my bathroom with the candle lit on the inside so I could really see how it looked. I must have stopped and scraped and re-scraped it about four times before I was finally satisfied with the luminescent glow from within. 

Not bad for me crouching in my tiny bathroom with my camera phone...

I submitted photos of the finished pumpkin to my parents and they announced, this morning, that I won! So Children's International can get some help, all thanks to my awesome knife skills! I could have just donated myself, but this was fun. Plus, I got the opportunity to practice some stuff I learned in college, so that's good. And it got everybody in the spirit of carving pumpkins! I was so proud, I took it in to work and popped it on the host stand for everybody to see. Guests were greeted  by my Dia de los Muertos pumpkin and delighted by housemade pumpkin seed brittle in a nearby bowl. Then, when I got off work, I snatched the pumpkin from its pedestal and took it to the party/ritual with me. Pictures to come on that one via WitchyWords.Blogspot.com! 

Felices Dia De los Muertos! Happy eating!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Every once in awhile, I like to cover fun ingredients that - maybe - not a lot of people out there in the Mainstream know about. Remember when I covered matcha? Of course you do. Because you follow me like a puppy. Anyway, time for me to cover another one of my favorite green things: Tomatillos.

At work today, while I was woman-ing(like manning but totally better) the deep-fryer so we'd have enough tortilla chips for the night, I asked the morning Prep Chef what was in the big pot next to the pork. I asked her in Spanish, because I'm trying to improve mine, and she answered - in English - "green tomatoes."

"Que? Tienen tomates verdes aqui?" I asked, confused. (For those of you who took French in high school, that means "What? We have green tomatoes here?")

She laughed. "Como se dice tomatillo en ingles?"

Now I laughed. "It's just tomatillo! Like how 'chips' are just "'chips.'"

I'm guessing that, in Spanish, tomatillo just means something like "green tomato." It makes sense that it would have that name, you know, because it looks like a little green tomato in a tiny paper lantern. They're really beautiful little fruits - ones you've probably seen in the grocery store but never had any idea what the heck they were, so just went off to try something else.

Tomatillos are absolutely adorable. They have these cute little lantern-skins that keep them safe, and peeling them can be a bit of a pain...but fortunately you have me to help! Isn't that great? I thought so.

Simply take your tomatillos and put them in a large container, and fill it up with hot water from the tap. Pull off from the side and POP off the stems - those skins will come off quickly and easily, to reveal a beautiful little fruit. Rinse them thoroughly and then run cold water over them. Wash the tomatillos in cold water and rinse. Repeat this several times, since there's a weird and sticky kind of 'film' that will still reside on the tomatillos once they've been peeled, which is bitter and kinda funky. Three or four good rinses should do the trick for you. You'll know when they're clean because the water won't be 'foamy' anymore.

PROTIP: get small ones, as the larger ones tend to get bitter
To really give some fun ideas for what to do with these little gems, I found a bunch of great recipes that utilize tomatillos in different ways. Of course they're mostly Latin recipes in origin, as they're found in the Latin Americas.

The flavor profile of a tomatillo is both kind of bitter and spicy at once. The first thing I thought when I tasted them, I thought that it kind of has that umami flavor that tomatoes have. It honestly had a whole array of flavors that I didn't think a single ingredient could have, unless it was cheese or something.

Anyway, here are a few recipes that you can have fun with while using tomatillos:

Chicken tomatillo soup 
Chicken Tomatillo Soup is a great vessel for the complex flavor profile of tomatillo. Chicken is a wonderful, semi-neutral meat to accompany the bold and spicy-bitter taste, and it gives a beautiful green color along with the white.

One thing we do in the restaurant is Chile Verde, which just means "green chile", and we use pork. I'm not going to post our recipe from the restaurant(because I know my boss will kill me), but I will tell you how to make a decent salsa verde, which uses tomatillos. This isn't the recipe that we use at work, but this is a variation of a classic salsa verde that I love to use.

Shockingly, it's really easy, and kind of fun to do! Definitely wow your guests with this one - especially if you're white. (Sorry, had to put in some of my classic snide in there.)

Salsa Verde 

This isn't exactly what mine looks like, but you get the idea
  • 8 or 9 small tomatillos, peeled, washed, and re-washed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, de-nibbed
  • 1/2 a large onion
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbps lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced*
Using a large pan on high heat, dry-roast the tomatillos until they sort of 'burn' on the outside. The same thing can be accomplished if you own a gas stove and you simply roast them over an open flame, but not everybody has that. The key to this is just keeping an eye on it, turning it often. When all sides are blackened, remove the tomatillos and place in a bowl, then cover immediately with plastic wrap as tight as you can stretch it. Set aside either on your countertop or in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Once the tomatillos have rested, gather your remaining ingredients and your blender. (A food processor or immersion blender is fine, too.) Peel the roasted tomatillos as gently as you can, leaving some of the char on the fruit. Add everything into the blender/food processor and blend on low for 30 seconds, or longer if you like a smoother salsa. It is at this step where you add the jalapeno, if you like an extra bit of spice. I advise, however, that you taste the salsa before adding anything else to it, just to see what the spice level is for you.

Serve in a red bowl (for color) and garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pancho's Villa(dos)

I would have written "part deux," but we're a Mexican/Latino restaurant. It wouldn't have been right.

Anyway, things at work are going well. We're slowly expanding, but still not nearly enough people know about us. Today was Super Bowl Sunday and I knew we were going to be slower than usual - just like most of Parkville seemed to be - so not only did we clean-clean-clean...but I had some fun with our FOH manager taking fun pictures of our delicious food, and I even got to have some fun along the way with it. Here we go!

Enchalupa. Nomz,
This little item was my lunch today. For those of you following me on Tumblr have seen this before, I made it again - and it was DELICIOUS!

Sadly, this isn't on the menu(yet), as I've only recently invented it...but I hope to make it a lunch special sometime in the near future. It's something I call an "enchalupa." It's a flour tortilla deep-fried with the chalupa 'mold' so it forms a cruncy-fried bowl. Layer a touch of our queso dip, chicken, tomatoes, onion and enchilada sauce. Top with shredded cheese and pop it under the salamander til everything is melty and delicious. I like it with sour cream and cilantro on top. Serve this with beans and rice, and BAM! Instant lunch for the Chef.

Isa's pork taco lunch
This next item is the pork tacos. We have three types of meat at all times at the restaurant, which are chicken, pork and beef. They come in the form of chili colorado(red chili, beef), chile verde(green chile, pork) and our boiled chicken in broth.

The favorite of the FOH staff seems to be the pork, or chile verde. Our two FOH managers both absolutely love pork tacos, and usually put that in as their lunch orders. Isa was nice enough to let me take a picture or two of her pork tacos right after I made them for her lunch. She's very nice to me.

Sopapilla con hiel

This is a sopapilla. It's a beautiful dessert of deep-fried tortilla strips tossed in cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg, and served with ice cream. Being a Kansas City restaurant, of course we support Belfonte, which is a local company that makes premium dairy products for the public. I absolutely love their vanilla ice cream, which is both rich and light, while being super indulgent. Top it all off with honey, and you have our favorite dessert at Pancho's Villa. Also, here are a couple of pictures I took this morning of downtown Parkville. Enjoy!

100 S Main Street - that's us!

Sitting on a bench, looking out!

From the porch

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pancho's Villa of Parkville

Sorry I haven't been blogging as extensively. I got this awesome new job - and it's exactly what I wanted. It encompasses everything I love about the food industry, but enough about that. This is about Pancho's Villa of Parkville, MO.

It's so small because we keep all of the beautiful flavors inside
One would think that it is a conflict of interest if a Chef reviews her own restaurant. I honestly think that as well, so I'm just going by quotes of my friends in Culinary school that have been gracious enough to take time out of their busy schedules to come to the restaurant and tell me what they think. For the sake of their privacy, I will use Pseudonyms. And funny ones at that.

Pancho's Villa on UrbanspoonNot Fat but Not Skinny Chef - "Some of the best Mexican food I've had in a while."

Not Fat but Not Skinny Chef's blond Friend - "Oh my God! I wasn't ready for all that! I want like four of those mini chimis to take home."

I can't remember what my boyfriend and his parents said exactly so I don't want to quote them, but they enjoyed the quality of the meat and whatnot. And my boyfriend definitely loves it whenever I'm able to bring stuff home from the restaurant.

Also, I'm from Arizona, so I know good Mexican food. With portions and whatnot, it's also a very good value for what you order - and we also do have vegetarian/vegan options if you so need.

The Front of House staff is always a delight to work with, and I enjoy cooking the food every day. The only thing I can say without too much bias is that the food at Pancho's is made with a lot of heart. It's a recent re-open/revival of the same restaurant that was there prior to the Great Flood of '93, which veritably shut most of Parkville down for a time. Now the people that owned it before have it again, and it's coming back with a great deal of heart and soul.

Bottom line, not nearly enough people know about this little gem, and I'm not just saying that because I work there. I care very deeply about this restaurant and I know that everybody who works there does as well. It's a family affair and I know we all work hard to make sure everybody leaves happy and full.

So how about it? Come on in and vote for us! (PS We're also on Yelp.com!)