What do popular Metroplex Mexican restaurants Villa Grande, Luna de Noche, La Hacienda Ranch, and countless others have in common? All have embraced a new trend in Mexican dining, offering table-side guacamole as a signature item on their menus.
Sure, Mexican food restaurants have long held guacamole as a standard side for their steamy fajitas, a healthy dollup atop a mound of crunchy nachos, or a creamy spread for cheesey chicken quesadillas, but the delectable green delight has always been on the periphery of Mexican cuisine.
Now guacamole has taken center-stage. It even has its own day, September 16th is National Guacamole day, and given the fact that fresh guacamole is just about the healthiest dip in which to slip your chip, it's no wonder why the tableside version is catching steam.
Think of it: a waiter wheels a cart to your table containing all of the perfectly fresh ingredients necessary to create the delicious appetizer, each in their own separate bowls. You've got the Hass avocados, straight from California and split down the middle, diced white onion, chopped jalapenos for kick, tomatoes, garlic salt, lime or lemon juice and that most distinguished of Mexican herbs: cilantro. If you're lucky, the waiter might just combine these ingredients into the traditional device used for its preparation, the molcajete, a sort of stone mortar and pestle. However, a large bowl and two forks work just fine for mashing it all together into a succulent chunky green cream.
What's not to like? Avocados might just be a secret juggernaut of medical beneficence. The fruit is chock full of carotenoid lutein which is great for the eyes. One avocado has far more potassium than that other fruit who almost exclusively claims the mineral, the banana, and although most people know avocados to be high in fat (albeit the healthy mono-unsaturated kind) they also boast beta-sitosterol which is great for keeping your cholesterol within healthy ranges.
So jump in, the only thing to fear with tableside guacamole is the sometimes hefty price-tag of eight to ten dollars. Just remember, you're paying for fresh and you're paying for a little dinner-theater. Think of it as admission to a cooking class. Tableside guacamole prep is not rocket science. Observed just once, and you'll be able to recreate just about the same thing at home, thus saving enormous amounts of money. Guacamole is hearty. A two dollar bag of tortilla chips and a bowl full of the rich, fresh, green goodness can make for an awfully economical meal. Add a couple bottles of Corona and you've got yourselves a fiesta to place alongside Superbowl barbecue and pizza night.