Saturday, April 19, 2008

Walking to Mexico

I know, I know. I've already waxed rhapsodic about Somerville Mexican restaurant Tu y Yo on many occasions. Oh, their frogs' legs! Oh, their annual Festival of Gastronomy! Blah blah blah.

Usually, our visits there begin and end with an entree; the servings aren't ridiculously huge, but for me they're generous enough that I often just eat the main dish (pork in a garlic-orange sauce; chicken in red mole; the always-fabulous pibil) and take the rice and beans home for breakfast. Which gives the added benefit of starting the day with this:

Last night, however, I walked from my office to the Central Square T stop—a good two-mile walk—and by the time I arrived in Davis, I was ravenous. I called The Boy, who was just getting home, and we organized a rendezvouz at what we refer to as "the Mexican place."

He ordered the nopales en salsa verde.

How much more green could it be? (The answer, of course, is none more green.) The sauce is bright, with a vinegary edge; the sesame seeds add a note of nutty sweetness.

I had tinga poblana, a dish of shredded chicken stewed with sweet onions, peppers and tomatoes:

(Hmm ... it looked much better than that. Apologies for my weak PhotoShop abilities.)

I ate the whole thing, reflecting only briefly that it meant we'd be having cereal for breakfast.

And then, still hungry, we ordered (gasp!) dessert.

The Boy had flan. Why? Because he always has flan if there's flan to be had. It was light and delicate and sat in a cinnamon cream sauce. He was happy.

I'd hoped to try the avocado napoleon, because I'd always cast envious glances when other diners ordered it: layers of mille-feuille stacked with vibrant green sauce. But when you're not up to date on the latest dessert news, you fall victim to the ancient adage regarding somnolence and associated loss.

(You snooze, you lose.)

Napoleon had been exiled from the menu. Instead, there was an avocado cheesecake and a cactus-nut bread. After much prolonged weighing of the pros and cons, I went with the former.

It was creamy but not too dense; the avocado gave it a light, fresh flavor. It was much like a desserty guacamole, which probably makes sense. The crushed pistachios on top added a nice crunch, and the drizzle of condensed-milk sauce added a boost of sweetness. The Boy said it reminded him of a Vietnamese avocado milkshake.

Next, time, I'll try the cactus bread. Just have to go for a good long walk first.

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