Sunday, February 21, 2010

the mesquite room

Hello, my sweets, me again! I don't know what I would do without the comforting reliability of the blogosphere, and all the wonderful people in it, and, of course, my best friends in the real world :) I just wish someone had an antidote to numbness. Now where was I? 
Ah yes, Arizona. To conclude our first day of fam re-bonding underneath the clear Arizona sky, we decided to lie low and eat out at the hotel's restaurant, Ahnala. I had never truly had any Native North American dishes and had no idea what Mesquite cooking was, so I was pretty excited about it. Plus, "many house specialties showcase citrus, pecans and herbs grown locally at the Fort McDowell Yavapai Farm."
Although the wine list was impressive, dehydrated and exhausted as I was, I stuck with water and this incredibly spiced (not sure how else to describe it) bread that took me through the entire meal.
Appetizers: Goat Cheese Mousse | Goat cheese whipped with cream cheese and formed in to a mold. Goat cheese is covered with caramel that has been made with ancho chilies. Dish is garnished with pumpkin seeds and served with tortas (Spanish style cracker that can be sweet or savory). Calamari | Almonds, Arugula, Tomatoes, Preserved Lemon, Chimichurri.
My first course: Cauliflower Soup | Bacon Caviar, Preserved Lemon.
Entrées around the table: Wild Salmon | Mole Sausage, Anasazi Beans, Chimichurri, Chili Corn Broth. Beef Tenderloin | House Pancetta, Singh Farms Vegetables, Cabalas-Date Tart.
My second course: Crispy Salad | Chicken livers are soaked in buttermilk for twenty four hours. They are dredged in a flour mixture and deep fried. Mixed greens, arugula, pistachio, grape and preserved lemon are tossed with green grape vinaigrette. (+ a most perfectly-ripe avocado).
Each plate got mixed reviews, aside from my two simple choices. I may have been the only one that left the table happy but so are the risks when you try new things, I suppose. On a nostalgic note, I am so thankful to my parents for including me in on the family trip. I was almost not going to go because it was such a long flight for such a quick visit, and I had a million other studious things that would have happily kept me company all weekend, but the ever present reality of my growing up quickly reminded me of how few things all five of us will easily be able to do together from now on. And following our first night, the fun continued... ¡Hasta mañana chicas lindas!


  1. Glad you took advantage to get some family time--i think visits, no matter how short, are always worthwhile :)

    Happy Monday!

  2. Oh that bread! YUM! I'm glad you decided to go be with your family - family time is priceless :)

    Hope you're having a great start to your week, my dear!

  3. jenngirl: Thank you, I agree!

    K from ksgoodeats: So true, thanks :)

  4. I'm glad to hear you had such a satisfying trip. At the National Museum of the American Indian in DC they have awesome cafeteria fare from Indian tribes categorized by region. Your post made me want to go back to the museum if only for the food!

  5. That cauliflower soup looks so perfectly creamy and delicious!
    Hope you're having a fab Monday.

  6. Maya: Thank you, that sounds amazing!

    BroccoliHut: Oh and it was, same to you!


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