First Bites: Epazote Kitchen & Cocktails, Tucson
by Adam Lehrman, Tucson Foodie
Epazote Kitchen & Cocktails at the Hilton El Conquistador
ARW Special: $30/person + Tax and Gratuity (includes one glass of house wine)
BeginningsBBQ Sort Rib Quesadilla: Chihuahua cheese, Willcox pico, radishPoblano Caesar Salad: Cured tomato, toasted pepitas, manchego, spiced croutonsSpecialtiesGrilled Eggplant Enchiladas: Queso fresco, roasted tomato, mashed boniatoArizona Pecan Crusted Mountain Trout: Nopalitos, corn salad, avocado cremaChili Rubbed Bistro Steak: Herb tomato, organic arugula, queso anejo sauceDessertEpazote Poached Peach: Goat cheese, toasted pecanChipotle Chocolate Mousse: fresh raspberry compote, sopapilla
Highlights Of The MealHotel restaurants can be hit or miss. While I can't say I was especially fond of Epazote's ambience - or their margaritas - the food was a hit.The BBQ Short Rib Quesadilla was a perfect balance of local beef short ribs and cheese. The Poblano Caesar, however, is the most unique and satisfying twist on a Caesar salad I've ever tasted. My thoughts on altering the classic ingredients of a Caesar salad are the same as my thoughts on a Beatles cover band: don't do it. In this case, Epazote nailed it. It's a subtle altering, which is why it worked: add a little bite to the dressing, and a unique four inch long focaccia crouton that's soft enough to be cut without crumbling. It has gained crave-worthy status with this diner.