It was Ms. Debbie Michaud's birthday on Tuesday, and so of course I had to take my friend, editor and boss out and ply her with tequila. We ended up on the patio of Holy Taco in EAV, where I often go for such tequila-related activities. Generally I find it hard to resist the sluttily delicious pork belly torta here, but I was drawn this time to some items on the menu that break out of the Mexican theme so boldly they seem quite out of place. In a good way.
The dish of the week goes to the lardo toast appetizer: super thin slices of lardo (cured pig fat), draped amongst a jumble of confit French horn mushrooms and whole confit garlic cloves. Roasty garlic, silky porky pork fat, bursting juicy mushrooms, crusty country bread. That's a lot of umami. It's also what I will be served in heaven every morning for breakfast (you taking notes, God?).
As a fresh foil, we had the watermelon and tomato salad, which was a gorgeous study in summer, the juicy watermelon and tomato paired with creamy avocado and a smattering of radish greens.
I ordered the tuna salad as well, which was kind of like a deconstructed nicoise but not as lame. A pile of high-quality, super-salty cured tuna was topped with the freshest local salad greens and surrounded by various treats: fingerling potatoes, pole beans, a boiled farm egg, dehydrated tomatoes, olives and caperberries.
It was a thoroughly un-Mexican meal. And one of the best meals I've had in months.
(Photo courtesy Holy Taco)
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