Fair Trade Blue Corn Highlights Johnny Brenda’s Mexican Independence Day Celebration

Johnny Brenda's
Johnny Brenda’s Photo: Johnny Brenda’s

Ordinarily Johnny Brenda’s focuses on serving a primarily American chalkboard menu that showcases locally sourced ingredient. But on Thursday, the Fishtown restaurant and bar is serving up traditional Mexican dishes as part of its The El Grito de la Independencia (Cry of Independence) celebration, honoring Mexican Independence Day and longtime employee, Maximino Sandoval. Sandoval was born and raised in San Mateo in the Mexican state of Puebla, where General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín led the Mexican Army to victory over the French. One of the special dishes, Guarache Azteca, uses a blue cornmeal that is made from a heritage blue corn that is unique to San Mateo. It’s cultivated and brought to the U.S. via Blue Corn Alianza, a fair trade food initiative developed by former residents of San Mateo who live in Philadelphia to create a direct link between the economies of their homeland and their current, adopted homes. Sandoval is president of the alliance. “A great deal of people from that region have migrated here to Philadelphia in recent years,” Johnny Brenda’s chef and co-owner Paul Kimport told Grub Street. “And the idea of the alliance is to drive more sustainable farming there and improve business relationships between the two regions.”

The El Grito de la Independencia (Cry of Independence) menu will feature:

Molcajete - A platter featuring fresh salsa verde and salsa rojo made in-house in a molcajete. Served with chicken and beef, queso fresco, avocado, tomato, beans, fresh tortillas.

Posole - Soup with pork, chicken, hominy, lettuce, radishes, and tortilla chips.

Guarache Aztecha - Blue Corn Tortillas with beans, Flank steak, lettuce, queso fresco, and salsa.

Chile en Nogada - Poblano Chile stuffed with carne molida (chile seasoned ground beef), apple, pear, and peach in a walnut cream. This dish is white, red, and green like the Mexican flag.

Margaritas will be on the menu too.

Fair Trade Blue Corn Highlights Johnny Brenda’s Mexican Independence Day