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Fixin' Supper

Talkin' 'bout what to fix for supper. Tonight, tomorrow night....

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Las Manitas

Went for a run this morning up to the State Capitol. It's beautiful. All the natives here are quick to point out that it's the tallest state capitol building in the country. Now you know. When I got back, I wanted something decent for breakfast and a bagel wasn't it. I got ready and went over to SXSW, but there was just a bland-looking snack stand open. I asked the ladies at the information booth where they recommended eating. One looked at me almost out of the corner of her eye and said, "Well if it were me, on a Sunday morning I'd go to Las Manitas down on Congress Avenue."

So I headed out. About four blocks over and two down, I found the best Mexican restaurant I've eaten in in years at Las Manitas. I had a dish called Chilaquiles Rojos after some extended conversation with the waitress over whether she liked the rojos or verdes sauce better. I really like tomatillos a LOT, but I let her talk me into the rojos. It was delicious. Completely homemade, down to the tortillas -- where do you FIND that -- but I do feel like I should go back and have the Chilaquiles Verdes before I leave town to see if she was right. Maybe I should be more trusting.

Update, 3.14.2005: Rex and I went back to Las Manitas for lunch. I had to try this verdes sauce. We had the coolest experience. The waitress waved us on in to what looked like a completely full room -- then took us right through the kitchen to the patio out back. Both going in and leaving, I was amazed at the ballet happening in the kitchen and among the jam-packed tables throughout the restaurant. The staff is scrambling constantly, but they're totally aware of everyone around them. They don't bump into you, even when you walk right through their office in the kitchen. I felt very compelled to make sure I was just as graceful, which I am sometimes not. The people at my office can attest that I've been seen tripping over my own feet.

The chilaquiles verdes was a breakfast item, so we both got chicken enchiladas verdes. A favorite of mine anyway. I did read the menu but was still surprised when the dish arrived without cheese. I quickly decided it's because every Mexican restaurant I've been to before likes to smother everything in cheese. This was great food, no smothering required.

Now, as for whether I would have liked the chilaquiles better with verdes? Hard to say. Might require another trip to town.


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