Saturday, December 31, 2022

Texas Roadtrip


After spending some time in Marfa we headed to San Antonio.  Travelling throughout southwest Texas you have an option to stay off the interstate and explore some really interesting small towns and farming communities.  We had a chance to go through Kerrville where my wife went to camp as a child.  All the towns we drove through were part of western culture and history, many of them are still thriving as farming and ranching communities.  
We planned to visit San Antonio for 2 days, stay on the river walk and explore the city.  We are western fans so we had a good time visiting the Alamo and the Western Museum.  The tours at the Alamo are mostly free and there are quite a few docents who are full of interesting facts about all aspects of the Alamo and several times a day they have reenactments.

I had done a bit of research and had found that James Beard recognized a few restaurants in San Antonio.  Fun fact San Antonio has over 2,000,000 residents so they have no shortage of fine restaurants.  Several months back I made a reservation at Mixtli . Mixtli was a 2022 James Beard Semi-Finalist, both Executive Chefs and Owners, Diego Galicia and Rico Torres were nominated as outstanding restaurant.  Mixtli changes its menu every 3 months  with a new theme.  Each them highlights a region, city or time in Mexico.  Our theme is the capital city Puebla de los Angeles and their women  This city is on a trade route between Veracruz and Mexico City situated at the base of Mexico's highest Volcano Popocatepetl.  This menu embraced the tastes of the fall season.

Mixtli is an open concept restaurant, the reservations are staggered so there is individual care for each guest.  Your reservation is for the table for the night once you arrive.  The kitchen sits in the middle of the restaurant and besides the Hostess and the Sommelier all the dishes are served by the chefs.  The night we went both executive chefs were at an event so their Sous Chef's were in charge.  There are 10 servings, each serving there is a story, each story has it's own presentation, each presentation is done by one of the sous chefs who prepared the meal. I am highlighting some of our favorites.  This is the first time our of all the restaurants I have been to that the meal was presented in such an elegant way.  The meal can be paired with wine or with Mezcal cocktails.  We had the cocktails.

You know it is going to be an interesting meal when they bring out a Brioche and an Avocado with the seed still in it.  But is it an Avocado or is it Avocado butter and totally edible. I love food trickery and this was definitely a wonderful presentation and taste.

I love Black Bean soup or Crema de Frijol.  The black bean puree was served in a beautiful ceramic cup with Black Garlic powder and a Panela Cheese foam.  It was delightful the earthy tastes of black beans and the salty creaminess of the cheese. With a little Black Garlic powder it provided the perfect sip, more like a Black bean Cappuccino.

Salad typically comes in a bowl and you eat it.  Not at Mixtli, the greens are
served on the rim of the bowl fused with a creamy cheese. The middle of the bowl there is Vanilla Vinaigrette.  You drag the leaves with the cheese into the bowl and mix them with the Vinaigrette to make a wonderful salad. The Salad was made of greens you would find at the local farmers market in the city of Atlixco. I have never had Vanilla Vinaigrette and combined with the cheese it was a perfect taste with the bitter greens.

Mole de Novia is typically used at weddings as a gift of purity to the Bride. It is made of almonds, grapes, habanero and white chocolate.  The mole was then poured over a white bean and potato tamal.  Moles don't really need a lot of description when you are provide the ingredients.  It is very easy to imagine the
sweet heat of this mole.

Lamb Belly with Huaxmole, this was the richest dish of the night.  Huaxmole is made of Guaje Seeds and the heat is from Serrano Peppers.  This recipe is not a sweet mole it is more tangy because of the tomato's and it pairs with the lamb belly perfectly.  

For dessert Guayaba Souffle with Pear and Vanilla Cream or Guava Souffle. Brought to the table and covered in Vanilla Cream.  After 9 courses something as light as the soufflé was a definite plus.  For the road we were given some fresh made caramel and toffee candies.