Guacamole lovers, you have options. You can make this super-luxe snack yourself if you happen into a supermarket on the odd day of the year when you can actually purchase a half-dozen avocadoes that are somewhat softer than stone — presuming, also, you have spent enough time at the gym to produce the muscles necessary for all that peeling, slicing, dicing, mashing.
You can also purchase a prepared product whose list of ingredients includes 18-syllable words familiar to a nuclear scientist. You can go to a Southwestern café that makes its own and delivers it, along with a magnifying glass, in teaspoon-size portions. Or you can head to Bar Abilene.
Here, it’s not only made fresh, it’s made before your very eyes — talk about performance art — and in quantities sufficient to calm two hungry diners, or four more civil ones. The avocadoes are at the peak of ripeness, for if this weren’t so, OSHA would be writing up scores of servers’ broken wrists, because this dish is far and away the most popular on the menu, says Bar Abilene general manager John Pleschourt. And with good reason. Not only is it tasty, it’s fun to watch.
Here’s the drill. Your order is your server’s cue to load up the molcajete (the Mexican-inspired vessel that’s like a mixing bowl on a three-legged stool). The green-gold fruit comes sliced and ever-so-lightly dusted with kosher salt, along with a container of housemade pico de gallo, composed of onions and tomatoes roasted over an open fire. Also at the ready are cloves of garlic, even more slowly roasted until, soft and tan as caramel, they’re almost as sweet as that candy. A squirt of lime contributes a fresh, tart note to liven the mix, along with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco — “the green kind, to add flavor without mayhem to your palate,” instructs Pleschourt.
Now’s the moment to mash the mixture, but with a light hand to leave it with enough texture to entice your palate. Finally, the pico de gallo hits the mocajete, to be folded in lightly rather than blended into oblivion.
Get read to grab some of those housemade tortilla chips, every so deftly fried and far from super-salty. (The chips also come with salsa roja, composed of roasted peppers, onions and tomatoes, to further liven the party.)
What to drink? “We have the largest tequila selection — bar [rio] none — in the area,” Pleschourt proclaims. “In fact, we’re the number one seller of Sauza in the five-state area.” So, choose a shot, or three, from any of the six flights listed. But I can think of a no-brainer use for all that Sauza, can’t you? Right. “Our margarita is the most-awarded in the Twin Cities,” Pleshcourt can boast.
Prices are recession-friendly at any hour, but from 4–6 p.m. weekdays, they’re even more charitable. Everything — all food, all drink — is half-price. So, settle onto one of those “ponyskin” bar stools under the cattle skulls and cacti and order up. No wonder they don’t sell much popcorn afterward at the Lagoon.
1300 Lagoon Ave.