May 3, 2006


Man on a mission to enlighten Seattleites about real tacos (HSIAO-CHING CHOU, Seattle Post -Iintelligencer)

At the Greek cafe where Alvaro Candela works as a server, the kitchen sometimes sets aside its baklava heritage to experiment with its hidden taco talent.

Candela is from Mexico City. Even though he works nights at Vios Cafe & Marketplace, where he serves family-style Greek dinners, he can't help injecting some salsa spirit into life at the Capitol Hill restaurant.

He grew up in a family of self-professed "taco freaks" who think nothing of driving more than an hour to let their taste buds confirm the latest rumor of a great taco.

"The taco," Candela says, "is not junk food." [...]


* 8 large white potatoes, peeled
* 3 white onions
* 4 poblano chiles
* 2/3 cup corn or canola oil
* 1/2 quart heavy cream
* Tortillas for serving

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/4-inch-thick half-moon slices. Cut onions in half and slice.

Skin the poblanos by charring them directly over a flame or in the broiler. Put chiles in a plastic bag and seal. Let sit for a few minutes, then remove and the skin should come right off. Cut poblanos in half. Remove the seeds and ribs. Cut into julienne strips.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add potatoes and fry until they're light brown. Add the onions to the potatoes and cook until onions are soft. Raise heat to high. Add the poblanos and stir to mix.

Add the cream. Let the mixture sizzle a bit. Turn heat to low and let cook for about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve with warmed tortillas.

Recipe by Alvaro Candela

The Chinese journalist profiling the Mexican with a dream who works at the Greek joint....

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2006 8:29 AM

I love this country.

Posted by: mc at May 3, 2006 9:00 AM

Hsiao-ching Chou is about as Chinese as a grilled cheese sandwich.

Posted by: Fu-Man Chupa-Chup at May 3, 2006 10:13 AM

Of course, it's not as if Mr. Candela were Mexican--that's the point.

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2006 10:22 AM

This receipe proves that man will eat just about anything, no matter how horrible. Leaving the tortilla aside, I wouldn't serve this crap to my worst enemy. The tortilla just makes it worse.

If this is typical of Mexican food, then no wonder they emigrate. Yuck.

Posted by: Bob at May 3, 2006 1:11 PM

Anything with poblanos and cream has to be good.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 3, 2006 1:35 PM

Jim: You like soccer.

Posted by: Bob at May 3, 2006 2:41 PM

mc -- me too.

Posted by: erp at May 3, 2006 4:59 PM

Ah Bob, but you don't like soccer. And it shows.

Shame about Rooney being out of the World Cup, he would've been one of the stars.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 3, 2006 6:17 PM

Mickey? Isn't he old even for such an easy game?

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2006 6:20 PM

Andy, OJ. Mickey has too much sense.

Posted by: Bob at May 3, 2006 10:59 PM

Nah, Andy went to Colgate--he can't be so fey as to play soccer.

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2006 11:06 PM

No one else here has had potato tacos before? I just assumed they were a regional dish from somewhere in Mexico. Pablo didn't put cream in them, though... I've had "real" tacos in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, at at the market in Juarez (which took some courage)--but my memory of that humble meal (in a small trailer in Mississippi) is of spicy flavors (onion, garlic, cuminos, jalepinos and potatoes) and a full tummy afterward.

Posted by: Barb in Georgia at May 3, 2006 11:19 PM