Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ahhhh, Chorizo Enchiladas

I love going out for breakfast, and I love going out to eat Mexican food.

And the combination of breakfast and Mexican food starts a Mariachi band playing in my mouth. So when we made arrangements to meet Betty Miller (left) in Bakersfield, CA one Sunday for breakfast and when she asked what kind of food we’d like to eat, I immediately said Mexican. And so we arrived at Camino Real about 10:00 a.m. and we arrived hungry.

On Sunday, you can order breakfast from the regular menu or partake in the Sunday Brunch Buffet. The regular menu offered a number of interesting options. There is the Asada (thin sliced beef) Omelet served with melted jack cheese and sour cream. There is a Chile Verde omelet - slow cooked chunks of pork simmered in a tomatillo sauce with melted cheese. There are Huevos con Nopales - fresh Nopales (cactus) sautéed with onions then cooked with scrambled eggs.

Could I handle the Dagwood Torta with thin cut ham, scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, bacon and melted cheeses, all stacked high inside fresh baked bread? (Too much.) Would it be the Machaca Con Huevo - eggs scrambled with slow cooked shredded beef with veggies and topped with cheese and pico de gallo? Or the Green Chilaquiles & Eggs - tortilla chips lightly fried and smothered in a delicious tomatillo sauce and topped with melted jack cheese and sour cream.
From the menu, Betty chose the Avocado omelet which proved to be a very large omelet stuffed with cheese, cilantro, avocado slices and cream and topped with a green tomatillo sauce and more avocado slices. With this came rice and beans and handmade corn tortillas.

But before making our decision, both Chuck and I decide to check out the buffet. There were your standard breakfast buffet foods – pancakes, French toast, scramble eggs, sausage, bacon, pastry, etc. But it was the Mexican offerings that we wanted. Seeing an interesting array of Mexican foods, we both elected to go with the buffet.

Looking at this small plate of food, you might conclude that this was my breakfast. You would be wrong. This is Chuck’s. His choices, starting from the top of the plate were rice, refried beans, pico de gallo, a shredded beef torta (a disk of fried bread about one-third of an inch thick), and two chorizo enchiladas.

Did I mention that I arrived hungry? One look at my plate would confirm that (and yes, I ate it all). My breakfast included the pork in green chili sauce, the beef torta, pork in red chili sauce, the chorizo enchilada (partially hidden), beef with peppers in a chipotle sauce, and the cheese enchiladas. And as garnishes, I added the pico de gallo, chopped onions, and lots of cilantro. And we both ordered flour tortillas to accompany our meals.

I loved it all! The two pork dishes were medium spicy with extra tender meat and the also beef with peppers came with a savory and spicy sauce. The flour tortillas were perfect for scooping any last vestige of sauce on my plate. The beef tortas were also tasty, but were not my favorite. The cheese enchilada was a good version with a thin corn tortilla and a relatively mild and tasty red chili sauce.

But the star of the meal were the chorizo enchiladas. The same thin corn tortillas encased crumbled spicy chorizo sausage with more sausage and a deeper red sauce on top. I could have taken the entire pan off the buffet and back to my table and sat there all day in enchilada heaven.

A great breakfast with great company. A 4.5 Addie experience.

Chuck: After our meal, we took a short drive around Bakersfield. Now my (Chuck's) cousin Tom and his wife Betty are two of the busiest people we know. During our time in Visalia, Tom was in New York to see their daughter Emily and then back to the West Coast for a two-day conference, and then they both were off to their mountain retreat in Mammoth Lakes (CA). In the previous two months, Betty said that she was home in Ridgecrest for about 25 days. And then added to this schedule was another trip to New York for both of them to compete in the New York Marathon. Then top this off with a couple of business trips to the East Coast.

And we were eager to spend time at sea level instead of tackling more mountain driving. So, with all these factors in play, we were very happy to have time for breakfast with Betty and then a short drive around Bakersfield. Unexpectedly, we came upon another Fox Theater. But, since it was Sunday, we did not have the opportunity to take a tour of the theater.

But just viewing the exterior was a welcome experience.

This theater opened on Christmas Day, 1930, and was one of the last of its kind built in the gilded age of great theaters.

In 1977 the big screen went dark as the Fox's doors closed after 47 years in show business. Silent until June 28, 1994, the theater was saved from the wrecking ball by the non-profit Fox Theater Foundation.

We met Betty in Bakersfield, because it was relatively central for us all, and we spent the afternoon at Betty's mother's home exchanging travel stories and getting caught up on plans.

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