A view from my side.
Wow, what a week. Two trips, back to back. One for an Accreditation Visit, the other for a Tech Open House at Abilene Christian University in Texas. On both trips I met some amazing people doing some amazing things. When I got back, late due to flight cancellations, I walked right into class, and an hour later our JV team had to leave for a match that afternoon. No time to sit and rest. What a week it’s been!
Both trips will necessitate several posts, but I did have the opportunity to eat some Tex-Mex food. I learned a long time ago, that regional foods are best eaten in the regions that developed them. North Carolina BBQ, for example, just isn’t done right unless it’s done in NC. Or, perhaps by an NC native somewhere else. But even then something is “off”…the wood used to smoke the meat isn’t from the field behind the shed, that sort of thing. So, being in Texas recently let me savor some flavors I haven’t had in years. And while BBQ was one of them, today’s post is about a Tex-Mex dish called Chicken Itza.
At Desperados in Dallas, Tx they serve up the type of food you just can’t get out of state. I know there are Mexican restaurants in most states and I know they are often run by Mexican families. But Tex-Mex is uniquely Texan. Having lived in Texas for 20 years and other states and places the rest of my life, I can attest to this. Places like The Blue Goose, Desperados, and Mia’s are just don’t really exist outside the state.
At Desperados, packed tightly into its urban setting on Greenville Avenue, the food is amazingly good. Everything on the menu is worth eating. Their Stuffed Jalapenos are incredible. Their margaritas are strong. And their Chicken Itza is the best thing on the menu. We all know that menus change and develop over time, but their Chicken Itza is still there, a long-standing dish that survives the cut year after year.
From the menu: Marinated in an ancient sauce with rosemary and thyme, grilled and served with guacamole, rice and Mexican zucchini. While that may describe what it is, it does not describe the experience of eating it. Especially for someone like me, who loves Tex-Mex food and has been “without” for over 15 years. The flavors were unique. The chicken moist and subtle. A table mate stole the guacamole from me, but the rice was tender and the zucchini/corn was succulent.
I am jealous of the friends I have in Texas and was thankful for the opportunity to sample the flavors I’ve missed for so many years. But, it truly is good to be home again, really.