I like to ask people what their last meal would be because I think it tells a lot about a person. For example, if they say I don't know or I have never thought about it, I will sit and silently judge them from across the table and decide to never talk to them again. How could you possibly not know what your last meal would be? Clearly, this is something I have given careful, careful consideration to and have come up with this meal, from Border Cafe in Cambridge, Mass. Chorizo Flambado and the Chicken Burro. This is smack yo mama, yo husband, or the closest person next to ya, good.
We usually fly in late when we are traveling for the holidays and I can't convince my husband to back track an hour through Boston traffic and search for parking (for another hour) for this meal. I think last time I even whipped out the tears. I'm shameless, I tell you. This time, however, we got in early for Thanksgiving and after begging and pleading the last twenty times we've flown into town, he finally gave in. Oh happy day. I even documented this joyful trip so I could share it with you. Not only is this hands down the best Tex Mex joint in the United States, but this culinary memory holds an emotional significance that I will never find elsewhere.
I've been coming to this restaurant, ordering this exact meal, for 21 years. My Dad would take me with his foodie friend Charlie Bottichelli and we would just go to town. Luckily, in my adult years, I've learned how to share. When I was younger, however, my Dad would order a Chorizo Flambado just for me because he knew the fight wasn't worth it. I would somehow manage to eat an entire Chorizo Flambado and an entire Chicken Burro all by myself and then cry hysterically because I was so full. Why my parents didn't leave me on the side of the street somewhere is beyond me.
This is the Chorizo Flambado is all it's cheesy glory. I have tried to recreate this dish a thousand times in Chicago and it never comes out right. I'm not sure what they put in it (a dash of crack? a sprinkle of meth?) but it is hands down the most delicious bite of food I have ever eaten in my life. They make the chorizo in house and add green chilies, super fresh and firm tomatoes and truck loads of monterey jack cheese. Then they serve it with pillowy soft flour tortillas. Easy to replicate at home, right? WRONG. It's so maddening I don't even like to talk about it. This has been my culinary Achilles heel and I don't like it one bit. I'll just stare at this photo for the next 5 months and ask WHY GOD, WHY?
Here is a better pic of the homemade chorizo. OMG. I miss you.
Now that a puddle of drool has straight up fallen on my key board, I will move on to the main entree, the Chicken Burro. So, you have to really love food to appreciate what I'm about to tell you. If you currently have even a shred of faith that I'm a normal individual, just run away. Run, far far away. Because all of that is about to change. Ok. So. This is what happens.
They make this delicious burro, filled with soft pulled chicken, and then they pour this flavorful homemade enchilada sauce over the top then pile on the cheese. I mean really pile on the cheese. Then they put it in the oven or under a broiler of some sort to melt the cheese. THEN, they add this amazing rice and beans to the side. Because the melted cheese and enchilada sauce spills onto the plate and they add the sides on top, there is all of this ooey gooey cheese and sauce UNDER the rice and beans. I can't explain to you how amazing this combination of flavors is. I spend at least 20 minutes scrapping every little cheesy saucy bit out from under the rice and beans. I don't know. Maybe you need to be eating this for 21 years to notice something like this, but I don't care. I have found heaven on earth and I'm not ashamed to shout it from the roof tops.
Here is a better picture of the rice. You can sort of see the cheese/sauce/rice mixture to the far left below the burro. Mmmmmmm utopia.
This is my husbands beef enchilada with jambalaya. Yawn. Doesn't hold a candle to mine. What would your last meal be? Let us know and stay hungry!