The Roaming Foodie

Posts Tagged ‘Mexican

I’m writing this post immediately after eating at Agave, and I am completely in a food coma. You know, when all you can do is lay down and think about the fact that you just stuffed yourself as possible with delicious food? (it most commonly occurs at Thanksgiving and Christmas)

I went with Andrew, his sister and her boyfriend, and his other sister to celebrate his sister’s boyfriend’s birthday. Agave is down Boulevard, kind of near the MLK Jr. swimming pool (it was the only landmark I noticed, sorry). the atmosphere is pretty cool. It’s a little dark, the walls look like pueblos, and it’s decorated with Mexican/Native American stuff (this is where my being more familiar with Mexico and South America and the Southwest US would come in handy). The food at Agave is basically southwestern, with a few Spanish dishes thrown on there. I really should leave the southwestern/Mexican food analysis to people who know their stuff, but this food was so good that I have to write about it anyway.

Anyway, there are complimentary chips and salsa. Good, but I’ve had better salsa (La Fonda, for example). They more than make up for it in their actual food, though.

Andrew ordered the ceviche as an appetizer (he pronounced “ke-vich-ay”. I corrected him, so that when he ordered it he’d be right. He ordered “ke-vich-ay”. Ah well, I tried). It came served in a little glass with greens and some more corn chips. It was shrimp, tuna, and tomatoes tossed with a slightly spicy and citrusy dressing. For those who don’t know what ceviche is, it’s seafood that’s tossed in citrus juice raw, and the acid from the citrus cooks it. Generally, it’s done with just shrimp. The shrimp was cooked through by the citrus, but the tuna was still pretty raw. But, the seafood was clearly good quality, so the raw tuna wasn’t a problem (and I eat so much sushi that I don’t think twice about it anymore). It was the first time I’d had ceviche, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For my dinner, I was between ordering Vegetarian Enchiladas and Red Pepper Salmon. I went with the Red Pepper Salmon, and holy lord was a I glad I did. The salmon came pan seared to perfection, crisped and well seasoned on the outside, juicy on the inside. It was served on a bed of julienned zucchini, squash, and carrot saute with three huge grilled stalks of asparagus. The real star of the dish was the red pepper sauce. The sauce was smoky, sweet, and made the dish more than just your standard fish and vegetables. Maybe it’s just because I’m obsessed with red peppers, but I loved loved loved my entree. Loved. It. I’m going to figure out how to make that sauce. It’s my new goal.

Andrew ordered Beer Braised Pork shank. They quite literally brought him the whole shank, which he later said that although the meat and sauce was good, it was too much pork to be placed in front of him (I don’t believe him…he still devoured the whole shank). I took a bite, but can’t tell you much about it other than that it was tender, fell off the bone, and was pretty good for pork.

We then all shared the dessert platter. This is what sent my poor stomach over the line from being happily full to cursing my name from being stuffed. It was supposedly small amounts of each dessert. But it turned out to be what I hope was full portions of everything. It included (for $25)  a glass of Belgian chocolate mousse with cinnamon whipped cream, key lime pie, Banana Plantain Dark Chocolate cheesecake, flan, Peanut Butter Mousse Pie, a flourless Dark Chocolate torte, and a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream in the middle. It was…decadent. I loved every bite. But I have to say my favorite was the Peanut Butter pie…the crust had cayenne in it, so there was a little kick in the back of your throat after taking a bite. I love cayenne in desserts for that reason. It gives it that extra little something.

That’s about all I can say now…it’s time for me to go lie down until bed time, and not even think about eating again until tomorrow morning. But I think Agave might be where I go for my birthday dinner…maybe. It’s definitely near the top of the list. Regardless, I’ll have to go back sometime.

Agave on Urbanspoon

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At least…it did when I woke up this morning, really jonesing for some tacos. I decided to venture to a Taco Truck that one of my friends here in Birmingham had mentioned several times. On a study break, of course.

The weather is incredibly warm today, and very sunny and bright, so it was kind of nice to head outside to get lunch from a truck. It’s located on W. Valley Avenue in a gas station parking lot, right down the street from my beloved Red Pearl Restaurant. There were quite a few Hispanics outside (always a good sign that the food is going to be authentic), women in scrubs, and men in business suits that reminded me of my brother. I guess because of the suits. But I digress.

All you have to do is decide what kind of meat you want in your taco (there’s a sign, in Spanish, on the side of the truck. If you don’t know Spanish, some of the names have English in parentheses, which was good for me). I had already had the “al pastor” (barbecue pork) recommended to me. I decided to be less adventurous and get “pollo” (chicken), even though I was kind of considering getting “tripa” (tripe) or “lengua” (tongue).  They have Mexican bottles of soda and such available too, but I didn’t get any, since I needed to get my tacos to go instead of sitting in the parking lot to eat. Although, it’d be a lot of fun to sit outside on a warm day by a taco truck with a friend (or the boyfriend) and eat tacos.

The chicken was so incredibly tender. It was shredded, not chopped, and just perfectly spiced and still juicy. The al pastor was chopped up, and had been barbecued in a smoky, slightly sweet marinade. I’m going to go ahead and guess it was chipotle based, but I’m not exactly an aficionado when it comes to Mexican food. All tacos come in two very soft, very fresh corn tortillas. Believe me, two shells on each taco are needed, especially after you add the salsas to the tacos. They have a red salsa, which is pretty spicy, and a green salsa, which I didn’t try because I was told it was really spicy. All the tacos come with cilantro, onions, and a lime wedge to squeeze on top. The al pastor had cheese, but I don’t believe the chicken taco did (it’s hard to judge…I kind of inhaled them). I definitely recommend this taco truck (officially called Taqueria Guzman, but I’ll always call it Taco Truck, haha) if you’re in Birmingham and looking for cheap (each taco is only $1.75) and authentic tacos. They also have burritos (the guy in front of me got one and it was HUGE), quesadillas, and tostadas. I don’t what it is, and maybe it’s just me, but food always seems better when it’s served from a truck or a street cart. And this taco truck is legit. Trust me, and go eat a taco (or three…) from Taqueria Guzman.

Back to studying. My exam is in an hour and a half. Then I’ll officially be a senior.