… Guacamole

The guacamole at unpretentious El Mesón is the best in Austin—avocado scooped from the shell, lightly mashed, and mixed with chopped onion, tomato, and jalapeño and ample quantities of lime juice; it’s eat-by-the-spoonful good. At El Chile, a repurposed bungalow, the cooks do a nice job with a chunky mound of impeccably fresh avocado topped with the usual fixings (tomato, cilantro, onion), all well spritzed with lime juice. Light and brightly flavored, with visible pieces of creamy avocado, Fonda San Miguel’s guacamole (with tomato and onion) is as classy as its Spanish Colonial setting.

You get special treatment when you order a guacamole salad appetizer at ultra-Southwestern Blue Mesa. Watch while tableside servers prepare the best version in Big D, mashing avocado with chopped tomato and onion, minced cilantro, and a few squeezes of lime—chunky and divine. As lovely as the setting is cool, Taco Diner’s guacamole tastes better than most others because it is made with sweet, just-mashed Haas avocados, which are mixed with a scant bit of tomatillo sauce, a scattering of cilantro, and hints of lime and salt.

At L&J Café, whose walls are all but papered with celebrity photos and clippings from food magazines, the minimalist guac is chunky, absolutely fresh, and made with Haas avocados (just the way it’s supposed to be), plus tomatoes and a little salt and garlic.

Served in a petite molcajete, the guacamole at festive Benito’s spoils avocado lovers for all others. You are presented with mashed, cilan­tro-flecked avocado, which you then mix to your taste with doses of lime, salt, and ­crun­chy pico de gallo.

Tableside preparation of guaca­mole is catching on in Houston. The common thread: The avocado is real, freshly mashed, and flavored just the way you want it—but be prepared to pay more. Dark and clubby El Tiempo probably started the customizing trend, and it has the best version in town: with your choice of cilantro and finely diced jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, and—the kicker—raw garlic. Playful Cadillac Bar also scoops whole avocados tableside, but with chunkier add-ins, like cubes of the mandatory onion and tomato, plus roasted jalapeño. As for made-in-the-kitchen guacamole, you’ll find the best—a pure avocado version (no fillers) that

Tags: FOOD

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