Monday, August 25, 2008

Date Night

My husband took me out for Mexican food at Autentica last night. No sooner had we sat down than he leaned in to whisper, “You’re not my favorite person in here right now, the tortilla lady is.”

He’s a hopeless romantic.

But in all honesty, I couldn’t compete with the tortilla lady. Her corn tortillas are light and moist and earthy, in one word, perfect. I haven’t perfected my corn tortillas yet. Anyway, I didn’t really care about his thing for the tortilla lady, my enormous prickly pear margarita was so big, I didn’t have a care in the world.

Also, I was too distracted by the frenzy of activity in the kitchen. Autentica has an open kitchen, and we had the best seats in the house, right at the pass. The wait staff and line cooks were in constant motion.

Like whirling dervishes.

It was edge-of-your-seat dinner theater, and all of the beautiful dishes coming out of the kitchen passed right in front of me.

Oh the temptation, I could hardly resist stealing a taste from every plate.

Every dish looked so good that, as each whizzed by me, I couldn’t help but second-guess my order. The queso fundido looked amazing and so did the enchiladas. Or maybe I should’ve gotten the mole? But when my food arrived, I knew I had ordered wisely. I got one traditional taco al pastor as an appetizer.

For my main dish, I ordered the roast chicken special.

It was served on a pool of salsa and topped with sautéed onions and a tangle of cilantro. Black beans with chorizo came on the side. My husband ordered the pazole, which arrived with an entire platter of garnishes and snacks, including queso, avocado, Serrano chiles, cilantro, house-made tortilla chips, a taquito, and an absolutely delicious chile relleno. A trio of incendiary salsas as well as a generous stack of the tortilla lady’s handiwork accompanied the meal.

Autentica was fantastic. And who needs romance when there’s good food?


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