Monday, October 22, 2012

My sister

Who made this?
Lily has an amazing set of projects related to food going on in Mexico City. I had a chance to go down there this past weekend and see some of what she's been up to... I've grouped our outings by food in no particular order.

She has a few different collaborations with restaurants in the burgeoning Mexico City food scene. We visited one such place with a bee theme - Bresca. Very welcoming atmosphere, subdued but elegant decor and of course Lily knew half the staff which didn't hurt. The roof is outlined like a honeycomb, the menu pattern is an artist's rendering of a bee's honey dance (pretty cool in real life if you've ever see it), and there are a few other tips of the chef's hat to the producer of honey. The food did not disappoint even though they've only been open a couple of months and are staffed by a young group from the CIA.

Lily's influence was throughout the menu which made her brother oh so proud. I started with an arugula and tomato salad - grown from the garden Lily designed and maintains in part in the restaurant space and in part in the back. Tomatoes done three ways - gelatin, candied and fresh. She had a pair of solid ravioli with a sage sauce (also from the garden), and the kitchen sent out a lovely braised fish dish with three different carmelized veggies. My main was interesting though not mind-blowing - pork belly, but the dessert made up for it and the Pinotage from South Africa was a great selection as well. All in all, it was a lovely meal with a brilliant gardener (she has some other great projects too).

Made of seeds of some kind!
Mexico City surprised in other ways too - beautiful city scape downtown especially now that it's all prettied up for the day of the dead (see pics).

Otherwise, I had some of the better tacos of the last year on this trip... both in the city and when we went outside for a day trip on Saturday to Tepoztlan. I'm not sure why the tacos were so good but they are amazing! Had some solid nopale, zucchini flower and roast chicken tacos but I think a big piece of it is the fresh tortillas and the amazing salsa more than the filling. Something to aspire too. Missed the boy and Erin but a good trip with excellent food was had for sure! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Floore Country Store

Erin gave me a wonderful birthday present last night... slightly belated.

We went out to Floore's Country Store for a Willie Nelson show and had BBQ before. Best time I've had in Texas so far! In part because had some quality time with Erin which seems rare these days but also just very Texas.

First, to Rudy's BBQ, marketed as Texas' worst BBQ while at the same time being ranked by various diner polls and votes to be in the top 5 pretty consistently. We were behind a German tourist family in line and the dad was so excited, the mom seemed just weirded out by the whole thing and the adolescent children were feigning indifference as they do so well. Anyway, between Erin and I, we split 3/4lb of brisket, three sides and a sausage link. Plus of course the requisite white bread, pickle and jalapeno.
It's a dangerous thing for me to order by weight. Much better when it's such a sandwich because I inevitably will order more than is good for me. Or Erin should order. Two people should not eat 3/4lb of meat and then sides... oh but we did. I had the leftover brisket on the car ride home and it was even better then - more smoky and flavorful somehow (perhaps the beer helped). The creamed corn was delicious, the potato salad neither here nor there and the coleslaw pretty good. Darn good food in a perfect Texas atmosphere - view of the freeway and a beautifully huge Texas sky.

Then off to Floore Country Store in Helotes. This place used to host Willie Nelson every Saturday night when he was up and coming. It's a country dancing hall with an outside venue for bigger stars. But the place is still pretty darn tiny. Inside it's got tables that get moved out of the way for dancing and the outside area has trees and maybe space for 1000 people or so. Pretty intimate setting. He opened with Whisky River (as Erin predicted) and just kept going for a couple hours with his own stuff, some blues and everything from BB King to Dylan to his recent stuff (which I'm much less familiar with). We danced and enjoyed the hell out of ourselves...