Guacamole enthusiasts are perfectly happy dredging a salt-flecked, crunchy tortilla chip through a bowl of the buttery avocado dip. But Elle Murtagh, co-owner of The Coronado, devised a way to take guac to the next level by giving it the “state fair” treatment ($8). The kitchen makes a traditional guacamole – studded with fresh garlic, a dose of cumin and a splash of house-made pico de gallo – and then thickens it with panko bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper and plenty of paprika. The resulting mixture is then rolled and deep-fried. “[The key is to make] it as cold as possible so it doesn’t melt in the fryer and lower it gently into the oil, or it will lose its shape,” Murtagh says.
After the guac steeps in the scalding canola oil for a few minutes, it emerges as a golden brown ball of avocado bliss – crunchy on the outside and still cool on the inside. Murtagh places the fried guacamole on a nest of crisp, freshly fried corn tortilla chips and tops the whole affair with swaths of house-made cilantro-lime dressing and a fiery red chile sauce, heavy on the garlic.
The deep-fried dish has proved to be a hit with The Coronado’s customers. “I think it’s just the idea of doing something off the wall and fun,” Murtagh says. “I’m always down with ‘state fair’-ing food.”
2201 N. Seventh St., Phoenix