We just booked a flight to New Mexico, and we have only two months to get our taste buds into shape. We like spice, but we are not used to having it all the time. We had better get used to it, because in the Southwest, you’re supposed to know what your server means when they ask, “red or green?” It’s important to be familiar with your chiles - what goes with what, how to extinguish spicy flames from your tongue, etc. We’ve been there, and we’d like to share with you our training regimen.
•So far, Boca Granda Tacqueria (in three very convenient locations!) has the closest we’ve come to real New Mexican red chile sauce. We’ve brought packets of powder back to the east coast and tried to make huevos rancheros on our own, but with absolutely no success. And with enchiladas - our favorite - for only $3.95, we can come here a lot.
•For a fancier night out, the Cottonwood Cafe provides heaping platters of food for not much money. Again, we would highly recommend the enchiladas (rojos or verdes), but we’re pretty sure you can’t go wrong with any of their signature entrees, including the aptly-named Chicken Diablo.
•So your friends are tired of always going out for Southwestern cuisine. Compromise: go to the Border Cafe and look at the Mexican menu (maybe try the Corn and Black Bean Empanada). They can check out the Cajun menu for a different kind of spice (try the Eggplant Royale).
And remember! When you can’t handle the spiciness you just bit into, bread and/or milk is always a better friend to you than water. Doesn’t sound right, but it’s true. Buena suerte!