Last week I stumbled upon an article about the lengthy leisurely lunches typical of Mexico called la comida, starting around 3pm and lasting, sometimes, until 7pm. I totally get that….confirms my suspicions that I was Mexican in a past life!
I’ve always felt a special affinity towards Mexico….the food, the people, the place. Making guacamole, quesadillas, and flautas is second nature to me, no recipes required (although you may need one here is my kickass quac recipe!). And everything tastes better with cilantro on it!
Those lazy lunches remind me of the old BH days when a few of us would gather at El Azteca, sit around and drink margaritas and smoke cigarettes. More friends would show up. Some would leave, some would stay. There could be as many as a dozen at a time, a revolving door of salsa and tequila, laughter and friendship….the very definition of la comida.
The first warm day of Spring you’ll find me on a patio somewhere. Friday me and ST made another visit to Pure Taqueria in Inman Park, this time for our very own la comida. I intended to make myself at home and just chill. My traditional shot of Herradura Silver, shaken, with salt and lime was a great start, followed by a Negra Modelo for him and a house margarita for me….a comparative steal at just $5.95.
Guacamole, “Gringo” cheese dip, chips and salsa were soon to follow. Their guac is good and chunky, although I wish it had more jalapeno and cilantro….always more cilantro please! Love the cheese dip with pureed jalapenos on top. But the chips….aye carumba! Too thick.
Thomas, the owner, was there. I like that. And the manager, Cliff, was very hospitable. They both recommended the jaiba, or crab fritters. Four fried balls resting in a sweet and sour chili sauce, drizzled on top with a habanero-avocado mayo. I thought they were a little fishy, didn’t love ’em.
Then a crazy blast from the past….Pam from The Tombstones days comes out to check on us. Funny how people’s lives are intertwined.
On our first visit to Pure we didn’t try the tacos. I still search (so far in vain) for the corn tortillas of Playa del Carmen. The kind that taste like corn. Filled with tender beef, a few shreds of white queso, and that chunky guacamole with plenty of jalapenos and cilantro….the best tacos ever! I was anxious to try Pure’s tacos made with corn tortillas. Would they have that authentic Mexican corn flavor?
We ordered four tacos a la carte; camarones (shrimp) with poblano slaw, puerco (pork), beef short rib with smoky pickled red onions, and carne asada….skirt steak like in Playa del Carmen. That would be the true test. Our favorite turned out to be the shrimp, even though they were breaded and fried, they had great flavor and texture. Naturally, the tortillas were just OK, like everywhere else. The short rib taco didn’t thrill me or ST, but the others were quite good, although I must admit I think the tacos at El Taco have a slight edge.
ST ordered the grilled hanger steak and jalapeno mac ‘n’ cheese for his entree and I had the chicken enchiladas with mole sauce. Mole is an acquired taste. I don’t know why I continue to try to like it, it’s a taste I haven’t acquired. Not bad, just not my thing. ST’s steak, cooked perfectly medium was tender and delicious, although I believe mac ‘n’ cheese should always be baked. Pure’s version, with penne, could have been made with Velveeta.
No room for dessert this time…..thankfully we had dessert before we came.
I do like Pure. There are more creative dishes on the menu that I plan to try like the quesadillas made with corn masa turnovers and the Hamburguesa Sedgwick, a grilled angus burger with avocado, bacon, jalapenos, braised onions and pepperjack cheese….hell yeah!
300 N. Highland Avenue 404-522-7873