Wednesday, September 05, 2007

road food

Time's been too tight since returning to write about the trip -- the *real* trip -- and remains too tight this morning, so (for another 24 hours at least) I'll have to settle my blogging bones by writing up a quick snapshot of all the good eating that we did while on the road. Not every meal is here -- just the ones my tummy's still rumbling for.

With some embarrassment I have to kick this off with the messiest pile of velveta infused, jalapeno topped, ground beef smothered nachos from Invesco Field food services that wrapped up an otherwise unremarkable gastronomic experience.

Breakfast the next morning was ideal: The KM Special -- or the MK Special -- depending on whether niece K or M was promoting it. Homemade pancakes topped with strawberries, whip cream and chocolate chips. I stuck with strawberries alone, but reports were favorable regarding the whip cream and chocolate chips. (That's M, up above, taking our orders.)

Then there were the green chile smothered tamales from Casa de Mas in Monte Vista, CO which, while they weren't as good as the tamales that b1-66er ferreted out in Watsonville just a few short days before (yes. truly. the best.) it was my first dose of green sauce on the road, so it scored high happiness points. Plus the name alone: Casa de Mas? Yes. More please.

My brother A turned us on to some really good eatin' in Albuquerque: I can't recall the name of the joint where we had the Enchiladas Espinaca in blue corn tortillas, but the breakfast burritos are burned indelibly in my mind. Winnings for the first (and the coffee, tasty); The Grove for the second (sweet lord the roasted chiles in this one! and the coffee! gotta love a place that asks you: did you want three or four shots of espresso in that?)

And there was sweet M's pepper pasta with zucchini (pardon: I don't speak Italian, or I'd give the real name a try) and fresh green salad after a long day of hiking Bandelier: perfection. But if you wanna grab some of your own while you're passing through Albq you'll have to email me for their address -- and I'll call first to get you an invite.

And wine. Did I mention the wine?

There was more wine when we arrived in Grand Junction, where my dad was pouring the local Reeder Mesa wine. Tasty good. Solid body with a nice round finish and a fine flavor, not the first thing you expect when you're drinking local wine from a place you're surprised to hear grows wine grapes -- like the Western Slope. We had ours label-free -- dad's pals with the folks at the Mesa, and was pulling from a case that they provided him without labels. But somehow he could call out a Cab from a Merlot before the bottle had even been uncorked.

There we had the best meal of the trip: Ribeye steaks as big as your head, (topped mine with a sprinkle of cheese -- a funky blue cheese/cheddar mix. so good) fresh to bursting tomatoes sliced, salted and peppered; sweet corn; more of that good wine, conversation, starlight, laughter and tears. Dinner with family outdoors on a summer night when the bugs aren't biting. Nothing better.

Except maybe the pie: a Cherry Rhubarb scored with my dad in mine at Mad Mama's Pies that morning in Silverton, CO. Indecorously wrapped in tinfoil and plastic wrap and looking so good as they boxed it up that I said out loud, if under my breath, "I am a good daughter."

And oh sweet lord: how could I have missed that miracle of BBQ, Serious Texas BBQ in Durango, Colorado, stumbled on in a hot and dusty delirium after hiking all morning through Chaco Canyon. I had the smoked turkey with chipotle mayo and a side of lemon buttermilk pie. DC had the pork loin. And yes: It's worth going to Durango for, because it doesn't appear that they sell much of a selection online. Just go. Into the hills and the blue sky and the arms of dearly loved, dearly missed family, and you too, will be sorry you ever have to leave.


anniemcq said...

By the end of this post, I had to shut my mouth with my hands and mop up the drool with a towel. Lemon Buttermilk Pie?! Dear Sweet Jehosephat, that sounds like something I have GOT to try. And those pics of your nieces - priceless. They look so much like you! Glad to hear you had such a dose of TLC, friend.

litwit said...

Oh my God I haven't any good Mexican food since I got here and it's killing me. I'm glad you made the most of it -- road food is the best part of traveling. And it sounds like you had a lovely time.

mrtn said...

Great. Now I'm hungry.

enyasi said...

oh Lord!!!!! I am starving!!!! and I need pie!

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