Friday, August 6, 2010

Things I could eat forever, pt. 1

When I go to a Mexican restaurant and I'm getting a dish that I can tell would like some sour cream on it, I traditionally tell them to put on "too much sour cream." Or I used to. Sour cream is less important in authentic Mexican dishes, or at least the regional style of authentic Mexican dishes made in Las Cruces, and the waiters here don't think I'm charming, even though I'm the sort of person who can't help sort of flirting with waiters (male and female alike) and cashiers and other people whose job it is to bring me things or sell me things, which is probably also because I'm the sort of person who needs desperately to be liked (because I'm the sort of person who doesn't really believe anyone likes him, including, sometimes, his beautiful wife), and because I feel embarrassed that someone is serving me. But anyway, I love sour cream. I will eat it with any food I can put it on. I see potatoes as an excuse to eat sour cream. I love it because it has this nice, cool feeling. I love it because it's tangy and sweet and pleasant. I love it because it's a way of making food more moist, which is generally how I want my food. It has this great texture, and this great consistency. I'm a little obsessed with it.

Miller High Life is sort of the same way, though not nearly as tasty. It's the beer you can always drink. If you're not quite as drunk as you'd like to be, but you're really close, drink some High Life. No harm done. Certain Mexican beers (Sol, Corona, for instance) have the same qualities. These are also good ways of maintaining the right level of drunkenness. Get where you want to be fast, and then down one of these every half hour for as long as you're at the party. You'll find everyone there slightly more interesting, attractive, and huggable. (Note: Don't die.)

The smother at Andele in Las Cruces is another thing I can eat forever. It's this spicy melted cheese sauce with green chiles in it. You get it on your burrito. There's another smother, the red, but you don't want the red -- you always want the green. The red doesn't even have cheese. It's just this smoky red chile marinara crap. I hate it. I read on a website somewhere that the locals are hip to this thing where when they ask you if you want red or green you say "Christmas" and they give you a mix of both. A) I think mixing these things might be vile. B) Where did they try this? I've never seen this happen. C) Am I not a local yet because I still don't actually believe this is done? D) I'll never know if it's a real thing either, because the expression I imagine on the waiter's face after he asks me "red or green," a perfectly reasonable binary question, and I answer with "Christmas," the name of a holiday, is rather forbidding.

Relatedly, cheese fries. They have these incredible cheese fries at the Andele Hot Dog Stand, which is now moving across the street to become the Andele Grill, which will also serve as a takeout window for the restaurant itself. (The logistics of this are mind-boggling.) The cheese has green chiles in it too, of course, and these excellent shoestring fries that get a little soggy as time passes. It's like a juicy cheesy spicy carbohydrate sludge. I started, though, with Steak 'n' Shake cheese fries, which take the purest, gentlest expression of nacho cheese in existence and then drizzle it over these excellent little fries in a heap on a plate. It used to be they would pour the cheese for you. Now you've got to do it yourself from this little plastic cup, and on top of that there's less. Wrong! All wrong. Andele still knows what's up -- they pour the cheese on for you. Then you get to work blocking some blood vessels off. They reheat just about perfect, too.

I used to be the guy in the cafeteria who dipped his french fries in mashed potatoes. I accept this about myself. Maybe I need to put a picture in this post though to prove I'm not grotesquely fat. I'm not! I'm sexy.


  1. dude. you are MISSING OUT by not getting christmas, or at least trying it. i generally prefer things smothered in red here in NM, but christmas is amazing. it's like a dueling/melding of flavors; i have been getting it consistently for the past 8 months or so (when i don't order tacos, which is admittedly rare). the next time we go to dinner together, i'm going to HIGHLY suggest you get christmas, especially if you get enchiladas; it's not as good on burritos, but its the best on enchiladas.

  2. plus its not really a "mix" per se, its like you get red chile on half of your meal and green chile on half...they're not like all smushed and twirled together, thankfully. still awesome and worth a try.

  3. I don't believe in NM-style enchiladas. They're kind of gross, actually.

  4. I agree on 1 and 2. I made huevos rancheros recently and the s.cream was the star of the dish. I don't even think you're supposed to include it but...

    BUT: my favorite dish involving sour cream involves rice, tomatoes, black beans, tzatziki, etc. MAN. If that sounds good, you can see the full recipe under "iron veggie" at

  5. By NM-style do you mean stacked?

    I don't know about this Xmas thing but in El Paso you commonly find the Mexican flag style enchiladas: one green, one red, one sour cream. I give these two thumbs up.