The Kentucky Derby fell on Cinco de Mayo this year….an unfortunate coincidence. LC and I were the only two of our group going to the track for The Derby, however, we wanted to enjoy breakfast with the gang before donning our hats and throwing our (I mean his) cash away.
Our Derby trip hostess TH, a college friend of LC’s, often visits Wild Eggs for breakfast, and suggested we go there. The decor was bright and modern, with a partition cleverly made of plastic eggs encased in glass. We weren’t necessarily in a hurry, but the 45 minute wait for a table was a bit lengthy. The girls enjoyed mimosas and the gentlemen bloody Marys while we waited.
As a regular, TH knew our server well. Once seated, he delivered an enormous complimentary cinnamon roll for us to share, however we had to wait an additional 30 minutes for our coffee. Not a good start.
Folks love to recommend their favorite dishes to me when they discover I’m a food writer. Usually I go with my instinct, but on rare occassions, I take their advice….and then regret it. Unfortunately, my breakfast would prove to be a perfect example of the latter.
Several menu specialties have a Tex-Mex flavor including Kalamity Katie’s Border Benedict which TH said was the best thing she ever ate. I was in the mood for a benedict smothered with rich hollandaise so why not try it with a Mexican twist?
The menu described the dish as “green chili cheddar corn cakes, topped with chorizo, two poached eggs, queso fundido, pico de gallo, sour cream, green onions, and avocado”. Visions of crispy corn cakes, juicy slices of spicy sausage, poached eggs with creamy yolks, and chunks of avocado whirled in my head. I wasn’t sure about the queso sauce, described as “sauce like you put on nachos” by our server so I requested it on the side along with a side of hollandaise.
When the plate arrived, 80% was covered with potatoes. I have no use for potatoes and didn’t realize they accompanied the benedict or I would have made a substitution. Sadly, the corn cakes were thick and dry, there was a tablespoon of very salty crumbled sausage scattered on top, and my poached eggs were overcooked. The bits of avocado could have fit in a thimble and the queso was disgusting but, of course, there was no hollandaise. I had to wait another ten minutes for that. It was impossible to hide my dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, another damn cinnamon roll came out.
Like the horses racing by us at Churchill Downs, much of the food we ate was also a blur. We enjoyed decent boxed lunches from Lotsa Pasta on Oaks Day. During The Derby itself, LC and I got a lobster roll at one of the snack bars near the betting windows. Among all the ladies with hats were a couple of dudes with sombreros, reminding me that it was Cinco de Mayo.
In a futile attempt to have a decent bite of Mexican food, LC and I decided to stop at Senor Iguana’s on the way home. All we wanted was a table outside, a decent margarita and a few tacos. Too much to ask? You bet. There were no tables available on the patio so we sat at a hightop in the bar. LC ordered skinny margaritas, but the bartender had clearly never made one before, filling the tall plastic cup with soda after a shot of tequila and a squirt of lime juice. Horrific.
We fared better with the starters. Chips were quite good dipped in freshly made guacamole and queso (much better than the queso at breakfast) and there was a lovely dish of jalapenos to spice it up. Tacos were not offered individually so we got one order with fish and another with carne asada, all on corn tortillas. I requested cheese on the beef.
Our server brought out pork instead of beef but quickly remedied the error, although the advertised diced onions and cilantro were absent. Each taco was made with two somewhat soggy tortillas. I peeled off the unnecessary tortillas and added guacamole. An unexpected bowl of tasty red chili sauce was served with the carne asada which did a decent job of covering up the chewy, flavorless meat. Shoulda gone to Chuy’s.
Uncharacteristicly, LC didn’t win at the track. And Wild Eggs and Senor Iguana’s didn’t place.