Tableside Guac

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Veg Out Issue: November 2014
Group Mid-Level
Character count 2500

At most Latin and Mexican restaurants, the guacamole is whipped up in the kitchen behind closed doors. But when you order guac ($12) at The Mission, the server crafts the creamy concoction tableside and lets you weigh in on the heat index – mild, medium or hot.

With theatrical flair, the busser wheels out a cart laden with small dishes flush with colorful ingredients. He carefully scoops out the flesh of pristine Hass avocados, discarding any bruised or overripe bits. Then, a parade of palate-pleasing ingredients – jalapeño, red onion, fresh garlic, sea salt, lime, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, chipotle purée, cilantro, cotija cheese – are added one at a time, mixed in and topped off with roasted pepitas.

If someone wants extra heat, the kitchen will send out a small helping of “fantasma salsa,” made in-house with ghost chiles, reputedly the hottest chile pepper in the world. “They’ll put in a drop, maybe two. That’s how spicy this salsa is,” says CJ Kahley, the restaurant’s chef de cuisine.

The Mission serves guacamole tableside to emphasize the freshness of the dish. “We’re not pre-batching it and holding it in the kitchen. It’s made right in front of you,” Kahley says.

Dial up the heat or play it safe. Add a pile of salty house-made tortilla chips and a blood orange margarita and start dipping. It won’t last long.

DETAILS
The Mission
3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale
480-636-5005
themissionaz.com

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