Tacos may very well be the perfect food, but let's face it, the standard Meximerican fare can get a bit stale after a while. Taco the Town is here to highlight some of the more unusual Mexican finds in the Valley.
¿Como se dice?: We've given a nod to The Mission for their amazing guacamole in the past. And now that holiday cheer is on the menu and we have out-of-towners to impress, we're taking them to The Mission to demonstrate that Mexican food is more than monster burritos and cheese-drenched enchiladas.
One Mission starter that is guaranteed to impresses? Guacamole made tableside. Not only is it packed with authentic ingredients, it's sprinkled with toasted pepitas (very seasonal pumpkin seeds) and a light dusting of cotija cheese that's about as close to sprinkles of snow as you're likely to get here in the Valley. Best of all, not a dollop of sour cream or cottage cheese in sight (crazy Midwesterners and their "guacamole").
(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)
La Comida y El Sabor: Fresh avocados are hand-hacked and mashed in a molcajete, leaving big chunks of creamy avocado interspersed in the guacamole. Then your server adds whatever your little guac-lovin' heart desires, including the requisite garlic, red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. The Mission also has some fancier add-ins like fresh chopped jalapenos, roasted green chiles, salsa roja, and mouth-puckering diced tomatillos. Don't skimp on the toasted pumpkin seeds or cotija cheese sprinkle!
The tableside guacamole isn't the cheapest thing on the menu, but the depth of flavor makes it worth the holiday splurge. Plus, the personalized guac preparation is made exactly to your specifications. So if you're with relatives that think a sprinkle of paprika counts as being spicy, you can ask for a side of roasted red chiles and fresh-diced jalapenos to make it as picante as your Southwest palate desires.
Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: After watching the pros at The Mission whip up killer guacamole, you should be well prepared to make it yourself. Not only will you know all the ingredients, but you also know the ratios. Just remember that the fresher your guac ingredients, the tastier the final product. Ripe avocados are an absolute must, and don't skimp on the lime juice and salt!
Know of any Mexican gems in the Valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.