Fonda La Catrina – Seattle, WA
Queso Fundido with chorizo? Yes please! What are enfrijoladas? Three grilled tortillas dipped in creamy pinto bean sauce, topped with lettuce, onions, cilantro and prawns if I want? Oh my god I’ve died and gone to heaven! Yes please, yes please, yes please…take me back!!! Everything about this Georgetown institution is perfect. If you’re like me and could eat Mexican 7 days a week…this place is definitely for you!
In my most recent issue of Bon Appétit I came across the taco recipes and couldn’t wait to try them out…so I put my magazine in my purse and headed straight to the grocery store! I decided to try out the homemade chorizo for my first batch along with the homemade corn tortillas (so excited to finally use the tortilla press I registered for:)) and the pickled red onions.
I’m just going to post the chorizo recipe however if you’re interested in the tortillas and/or pickled onions just go HERE and HERE. I know you’re probably not going to believe me but this recipe is SUPER easy and so delicious! My husband had to talk himself out of eating everything I made because he knew he wouldn’t feel good. The good news is the chorizo saves well and is great with some scrambled eggs, avocado and tortillas. Yum!
- 6 dried New Mexico chiles
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds ground pork
Heat a large dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles; toast, turning often, until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from pan and let cool.
Using kitchen scissors and working over a medium bowl, cut chiles into 1″ rings, reserving seeds and discarding stems. Cover with 1/2 cup hot water; let soak, stirring occasionally, until chiles are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.
Transfer chiles with seeds and soaking liquid to a blender. Add garlic, paprika, 1 Tbsp. salt, and pepper; pulse until a paste forms.
Combine pork and chile paste in a large bowl. Gently mix until just blended (do not overwork the meat).
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook chorizo until cooked through, 7–8 minutes. (Be sure to let meat brown before turning and breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula.) Season with salt. DO AHEAD: Chorizo can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
MoVida – Melbourne, Australia
Everywhere I searched and everyone I talked to recommended MoVida in Melbourne as a spot not to miss. I had a night to myself and because it was too late in the game to get reservations I decided to just cozy up to the bar. The wait was 45 minutes but it was well worth it. Located in a funky alley right off of Flinders Street and across from Federation Square, the door and signage is discreet but it’s not that hard to find.
Because I was ordering for one I decided to stick mostly to the tapas side of the menu where you can order by the piece but I also decided to order a couple of the specials since they sounded so good. The first were the Padron Peppers. OMG I love those! Whenever they’re on a menu I have to order them. If you haven’t had them before they saying is “some are hot, some are not”. The majority (I would say 9 out of 10) are sweet and mild, however there’s always one in the batch that is hot and spicy. The order was large and the people next to me had befriended me so I offered to share. Unfortunately the guy next to me got the hot one:)
Next I had the Gamba – prawn and romesco pincho. The presentation wasn’t what I was expecting (beautiful, clean and simple) but the flavors were definitely there and I honestly could have eaten a lot of those.
The Cordero al Chilindron was also calling my name – Pyrenees wet roast lamb breast with fino and paprika sauce. Delicious! So tender and juicy, the meat pulled apart so easily. This dish was great and the portion size was perfect for just one.
To finish I went with the special fish of the day. I can’t remember what it was now but the fish distributor happened to be the guy I was sitting next to and I ordered it because I saw the dish come to him. It was fantastic! Pan fried perfectly, the fish sat in a lovely broth with chorizo and clams…my kind of dish! I ate the entire thing and was very happy about it:)
Overall I have to say this place really reminds me of The Harvest Vine in Seattle. Not so much the atmosphere but the food most definitely. MoVida is a little more progressive but it’s nice to know I won’t have to go so far to get the same type of meal. If you’re in Melbourne go! It’s the spot everyone is talking about but be sure you go to the original MoVida…their new sister restaurant is next door but this is the one people keep going back to.
Keedy’s – Palm Desert, CA
Like it says on the menu…this place truly is “A Blast From The Past”. Established in 1957 I don’t think too much has changed since then and it’s a good thing. That’s where this old-fashioned diner gets it’s charm. There are NO frills here but if you’re looking for the best breakfast in town (remember, no frills), this is your spot. I go every time I’m in town and usually order the exact same thing. Chorizo and eggs with well done hash browns and flour tortillas. My mom and husband are devoted fans of their popular thin pancakes. I’m just not a pancake girl but if I were, this would be the place to get them. Next time you’re in the desert, this is your spot.
The Hilltop at The Carneros Inn – Napa, CA
Over Memorial Day weekend this year I had the pleasure of spending the long weekend with some good college friends at the lovely Carneros Inn where we passed the time eating, drinking and sitting poolside. It was the perfect weekend! Especially since my fiancé was celebrating his bachelor party in Vegas:)
One of my all time favorite breakfast items to get at the Hilltop, located by check-in and the adult only pool, is their Crispy Tortilla and Farm Eggs. I’m a sucker for any sort of breakfast dish with chorizo so it’s no wonder this one always calls my name. As heavy as it might seem, it’s really not especially because the portion size isn’t crazy and your friends/family will always want a bite. If you like chorizo and eggs, this one’s for you!
*Just a heads up – The Hilltop is only open on the weekends. I’ve been there a few times during the week and have been insanely disappointed to figure that out. Otherwise the Boon Fly Café is open every day of the week and is great as well.
Crispy Tortilla and Farm Eggs – Ranchero sauce, chorizo, black beans, queso fresco and salsa verde