3.03.2007

Southern Comfort...

We had a great lunch at a small, Mexican place called La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard. Very awesome. It is located in the midst of small art galleries, antique shops, bars and eateries and somewhat hard to find with no signage to speak of and kind of hidden. The front of the house is ran by a handful of amigos sporting tats to the likes of San Quentin who are very fast, hospitable and courteous. The cooks are a bunch of amigas who have obviously seen a lot of hard work in their day, most likely in similar busy houses as well their own homes cooking, cleaning and the like for their families. Work is just something they do, and do well. They are accustomed to it and take it on like nobody's business. If only we(gringos) could work half as good and as hard. We sat at the counter overlooking the grill where one of the females(they are all women with exception of one lone outlaw doing dishes) was pressing fresh corn tortillas and grilling them to order. We started with fresh Guacamole with chunks of avocado and spice and some very freshly cooked(to order) corn tortillas. This was all adorned with a variety of freshly concocted salsas that hover above the grill at the "Pass"- Fresca, Tomatillo, Mild Chili, Ancho and Poblano and Roasted Chipotle. Awesome. Next, we were served a small Tostada of Shrimp and Lime, with Cilantro, Red Onions, Jalapenos, shredded crisp Cabbage and Tomatoes. I graciously poured some of the Chili Salsa over top. Good call! To follow, we had a specialty of Slow Cooked Pork Tacos, wrapped in fresh Masa with Onions, Garlic, Cilantro and an "Adobo" type essence. Again, some Tomatillo Salsa was simply meant to be added to it. I ordered some Molotes, one of my favorites(after sampling some of the best at Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill in Chicago) plump full with Potato Puree, Chili Paste, Ground Beef and all wrapped up "torpedo" fashion with a Potato-Masa Dough and fried. It was served with a drizzle of Avocado, Chili and Sour Cream. I asked for the spiciest they could muster. Next, we had some Braised Chicken Empanadas, or one large one actually, filled with a yellow curry-chili essence, caramelized onions, garlic and folded into a corn dough wrapper. It was accompanied by a small ramekin of very tasty Black Beans. We were there by noon and by half past, the place was packed! The locals definitely know a good thing when they find it and they must have told all their compadres. Within no-time, it was standing room only unless of course you are connected with the cartels. For dinner, I have witnessed 45-60 minute wait times on any given Sunday, and so long as you don't mind waiting until your kids go to college to eat(unless of course your last name is Escobar), I suggest you make the trek to come taste some of the best Mexican and South American influences short of Jalisco or Guadalajara, at least here in Seattle. Viva la Mexico!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ana said...

Still with the adrenaline rush of enjoying a great dinner. I came to check what you posted about your vacation. But before getting there I found this one. I am so glad you enjoyed La Carta, Julio has been saying we should invite you and your family there since we first chatted about it. But now we might need to do some mexican food at the house instead.

12:19:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

HI Ana, so glad you both made it! It was great to see you both. I am also very glad you enjoyed the meal. La Cartya was great. I would be honored to dine with you both. Best, Bill

1:28:00 PM  

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