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Southwestern Food

In response to a specific request to be more specific about my eating habits in the American Southwest this past week, I offer this mouthwatering menu of recent gastronomical experiences.

Around Albuquerque, I was pleased to return to old haunts including The Frontier on Central Avenue where I ate a breakfast burrito smoothered in red chile stew, a small bowl of green chile stew, a hard shell chicken taco, and a Dr. Pepper. This was a frequent lunch for me while taking classes at UNM. Sarah and I went to El Patio, in the Albuquerque student ghetto (on Harvard). This restaurant was an old favorite when we lived in Albuquerque and I highly recommend it for its terrific meals and reasonable prices. I had my all-time favorite New Mexico dish, green chile chicken enchilladas. Albuquerque is all about the chile for me … even seeing the bucket of Bueno green chile on David and Suzanne’s table for mixing with sour cream on the baked potatoes made me realize how bland Vancouver food can be!

On Thursday evening, the board of the Maxwell Museum who sponsored my talk took David and I out for dinner at the Artichoke Cafe on Central near downtown. The food there was fantastic … I had halibut on a farfalle pasta with a mushroom sauce … and wish I could have tried all the dishes.

Jill took me to a mutton stand in Window Rock, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. I eventually chose the steamed corn and mutton stew over the roast mutton wrapped in fry bread. It was absolutely fabulous — soft meat and tasty corn in a watery broth served with an enormous piece of fry bread! To be slightly more anthropological about this, the preparation of the mutton for the stew reminded me of the preparation of some cuts of meat in northern British Columbia. The mutton was barely spiced, and probably boiled before stewing in the thin broth that accompanied the dish. It is flavoured afterwards with salt.

(I don’t think I have the training to be an anthropologist of food, but such specialties exist. I am, however, a willing student … ! For those who are actually wondering, this post is a critical contribution to my family’s undying interest in food, new recipes, old recipes, and general eating opportunities.)

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