Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Las Cruces, High Desert Brewery, Tucson's Guadalajara Restaurant and the Three Amigos: Two-Week Boondoggle Comes to an End

The people I visit notwithstanding, my favorite thing about heading west is good Mexican food.

There are some decent Mexican joints in South Florida; and one or two passable ones in Greenville, but my favorite Mexican restaurants are in New Mexico and now Arizona.

I've waxed on and on in this blog space about Sadie's in Albuquerque. I was lucky enough to eat there twice on the trip I just wrapped up. I had the green chile enchiladas both times. Perfect! Sadie's salsa is always good too. And the Margaritas? Well, two of them usually have me speaking Chinese.

Last night I found my second favorite Mexican joint. It's in Tucson and called Guadalajara. Generally, the food was good. I had chicken fajitas and they were as good as any I've had. What really separates this joint from the also-rans, though, is that they prepare your salsa table side. Yep, a server pushes a cart up to your table with all the fixin's and makes the salsa to order. We tasted it two or three times and had her add more heat. Finally we were satisfied. It was outrageously good.

But I've gotten ahead of myself. Back to the day's beginning.

My buddies picked me up in Los Lunas, New Mexico on their way back from Denver. My sister and her oldest daughter whipped up some breakfast burritos for us and then we were on the road for Tucson.

Although I was curious to see Las Cruces again, we skipped it on the northern leg of our journey.

I slept on my sister's couch in Cruces for several months before moving to South Florida in the mid 80s. I always liked this college town and wanted to see what has changed in the last two decades. As soon as I did some research and found a microbrewery there, I knew my buddies would hop on board.

We added about an hour to our trip thanks to the High Desert Brewery detour. It was worth the effort. Between the three of us, we sampled two different IPAs, the stout, brown ale and the porter. All were above average.

Otherwise, the trip was uneventful. My buddy Jose did all the driving. Les, the third of the Three Amigos, and I served as less-than-attentive passengers -- we did most of the damage to the High Desert's brew supply. I dozed off and on for the final 3 hours of the drive.

We rolled into Jose's hacienda around 4 pm, had a toddy or two and headed to dinner at the aforementioned Guadalajara. This morning came much too early. I had a 7:25 am flight for Atlanta. After dropping me at the Tucson airport, Jose had to haul Les to Phoenix for his noon flight to Ft. Lauderdale.

As I write this, I am about 45 minutes from landing. I have a Cadillac Escalade ESV waiting for me in Atlanta for my 2.5-hour slog back to Greenville.

Although, after nearly two weeks away, I am more than ready to get home; it's back to the grind on Monday.

Ho hum….

No comments:

Post a Comment