September 16 is National Guacamole Day! But who needs an excuse to indulge in the creamy, tangy goodness of guacamole? Not only is it delicious, it’s good for you. Avocados are nutrient-dense and packed with healthy fats that help lower cholesterol.
Since the amazing avocado is a staple in American Mexican cuisine, we thought we’d share some Global Discovery Vacations restaurant recommendations located in a couple of our notable destinations in Arizona, New Mexico and California.
There’s no shortage of great restaurants in Arizona, but the excellent Mexican food is often what visitors seek out.
The avocado holds court at Rosa’s Mexican Grill in Mesa. For simple, authentic, delicious Mexican food, Rosa’s is a great choice at a moderate price. Try the fish tacos or shrimp tacos with pineapple or mango salsa and guacamole.
If you want to really treat yourself, The Mission in Scottsdale has been named the Best Upscale Mexican Restaurant in Phoenix by the Phoenix New Times. This sophisticated, intimate spot is home to eclectic Chef Matt Carter who mixes French cooking technique with influences from Spain, Mexico, Central and South America. On the lighter side, try the Pozole salad with red chile, smoked pork, hominy, avocado, lime and corn tortilla. Feeling more daring? Have the Pork Belly Pibil made with pork belly, roast garlic, black bean puree, pickled red onion, orange, oregano, achiote (annatto), avocado creme and banana habanero aioli.
Recognized by the James Beard Foundation as the “Best Chef of the Southwest”, Chef Mark Kiffen at Compound restaurant on Santa Fe’s famed Canyon Road is a longtime local foodie favorite. Compound features a seasonal menu (including lunch and dinner) that draws on the flavors of both the Southwest and the Mediterranean. Try the Carpaccio or stacked salads, which feature either avocado blue cheese or avocado ranch dressing, or the Compound Burger, with Lone Mountain Ranch Waygu beef, avocado, roasted poblano peppers and cheddar cheese.
Fine dining is plentiful in Palm Springs, and a great choice for Mexican is Guillermo’s Restaurante which earned the 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. Try the shrimp and cod ceviche, sautéed octopus or the fajitas al tequila, your choice of meat marinated in tequila and sauteed with onions and bell peppers, served with…you guessed it, guacamole!
Ready for a bubbling hot serving of amazing? Mi Guadalajara in Escondido is a spacious and architecturally unusual cantina in which to settle in for the El Molcahete, served with your choice of chicken or steak, grilled onion, pico de gallo, rice, beans and guacamole.
Fun Fact: A molcajete (mol-cah-hay’-tay) is a stone tool, the traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle, used for grinding various food like spices, salsa and guacamole. The molcajete was used by pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures, including the Aztec and Maya, stretching back several thousand years. Like in Le Tequila’s dish above, molcajetes are also used to serve food. Because it stays so hot, the molcajete bowl is perfect for serving the inside ingredients for items like fajitas or tacos, which stay bubbling hot at your table for a long time.
What’s your favorite Mexican dish or dining experience from your Global Discovery Vacations travels? Tell us about it!