Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ode on Tex-Mex

Ok, so this isn't truly an "ode" because I'm not actually going to put in the effort to write a lyrical poem on the beauty of my favorite kind of food (excluding desserts...and is there a "type" that includes anything containing cheese? Obviously I have a hard time calling anything my one and only favorite). However, in anticipation of my upcoming move to a part of the country where I may not be able to find the comfort of a decent chile relleno, I've gone on a bit of a "let's eat Tex-Mex for every meal!!" food binge. Please, just give me a few moments to extol the many virtues of this cuisine, and if you happen to be one of my friends currently subjected to this calorie-intensive culinary adventure, thank you for allowing me to stuff my face.

Queso. Not cheese dip as it is referred to in other parts of the country (thanks to my sister currently residing in North Carolina and discovering odd facts such as these, I have begun to develop an even deeper appreciation for these foods), but queso. What better way to start a meal than by taking a crisp, lightly salted chip and dunking it into a melted pool of cheesy deliciousness? While I am not opposed to add-ins (please see Bob Armstrong dip as perfect example), I believe queso is often best enjoyed in its purest form. I readily admit to eating this as a meal, not just an appetizer. Oh, the art of tortillas - also delicious when dipped in queso. While these circular carbs often play a supporting role in Tex-Mex (cut and fried into chips, structural support for enchiladas, etc.), a homemade tortilla just can't be beat. Flour vs. corn, you might ask? Both delicious in their own right. Mesquite-grilled anything stuffed inside anything else is usually pretty tasty - allow me to present the chicken fajita taco as evidence. Oh yum. I think I could go on forever, so I'm going to try to rein this in.

Sour cream chicken enchiladas! Brisket tacos! Chilaquiles! Mesquite-grilled fajitas! I'm overwhelmed with deliciousness. Fellow Texans, I will soon find myself on a quest for these flavors outside of my native land, and I assure you I will give it my all. No crispy taco left uncrunched, no queso left undipped, no enchilada left behind. I'm going to make use of my current representation in Washington and write to Senators Hutchison and Cornyn and Representative Johnson to get their take on the food situation. Seriously, I am - I'm curious to see what comes back.

Chips and salsa can also serve as a good judge of character.

Chuy's deluxe tomatillo sauce. Put it on anything.

Some might benchmark restaurant performance in terms of dollars, but I use cheese enchiladas.

It may not be pretty, but you know it's good.


Belinda said...

Gosh, this is good writing! Glad I was able to feed your Tex-Mex adventure by insisting on Chuy's when I was in town last weekend ;)

Erin said...

Thanks, Bel! Oh, I also totally had Chuy's for lunch today - I can't get enough of this stuff. See you on Tuesday!!