Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tlaquepaque Lunch ~ An Explosive Taste Experience

While meandering the rich sites visually in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico (southern part of Guadalajara), we, of course, had to feed ourselves. What we've been trying to do is eat a substantial lunch then, skip dinner for a light snack. So we perused menus, I'm not a red meat eater and Roland eats it rarely. It took us awhile to find a restaurant that fit both our palettes (not the pigments this time) and I'm sorry to say I don't recall the name. But logistically, it was just south a block or so from the Bustamante Gallery ~ because I can not recommend any restaurant as highly as this one. Go eat there!

We sat outside so Cody could join us and relished the sculptures. Yes, we were right near the horses butt, but I just was amazed at the accuracy and strength expressed with each ripple I could experience. My visit to the bathroom whistered to me that we were in for a treat. I mean, look at the elegant, tasteful stone and tile. Sort of Art Deco Contemporary.

I ordered a bean soup with (I believe) rice, carrots and feta cheese, topped with fresh avocado. The presentation was beautiful, unusual ~ on a plate. And quite good!

Now, Roland ventured into the exotic . . . "Chiles en Nagada". He was most intrigued with the sauce "creamy walnut sauce with pomegranate seeds". When his lunch arrived it was magnificent . . . the white sauce decorated with festive holiday red sprinkles on one half, walnuts, the other. Inside was a large pablano pepper stuffed with raisins, pineapple, beef and pork (as we can best remember) and Roland, who loves multi-layered flavors in gourmet foods, was just in heaven. Honestly (and almost embarassingly), moaning with each bite!!!! All the various flavors popping up at different times, then blending together. Later, thru research and word-of-mouth we learned this dish is a season speciality ~ ONLY available around Christmas time when the pomegranates are ripe! It also carries some Christian meaning, appropriate to the season "The fruit, broken or bursting open, is a symbol of the fullness of Jesus' suffering and resurrection" (from Wikipedia, "A Pomegranate for All Religions" by Nancy Haught, Religious News Service). Roland had lucked upon a Mexican delightful tradition!

Of course, with Roland being an amazing chef in his own right (he won't admit it of course) ~ his mind went to how he could make this. He's been collecting recipes (thank you Erna!) and is concocting his version. Because all of us in the family don't eat red meat nor pork, he'll have to develop the stuffing with alternatives, maybe chicken, etc. But, if I can pry it from his imagination once we try it (he's one of those, you know, who never writes anything down ~ very frustrating to us "measurers") I'll type out his recipe.

Anyway, can you tell our time in Tlaquepaque filled our every sense with pleasurable encounter . . . and we'll be going back! Another place we have our eye on . . . just down the "street" so to speak, is Tonola, know for it's exquisite tradition in ceramics. And discovery continues . . . thanks for traveling along with me!

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