El Centro Hosts Guacamole Festival
El Centro D.F. is holding its second annual guacamole festival now though June 30 with five special varieties on the menu only for two months.
Richard Sandoval’s taqueria and tequileria located at 1819 14th St. NW is featuring guacs from five different regions of Mexico, including one made with grasshoppers. Guacamole dates back to as early as the 16th Century when the Aztecs ground up avocado, onion, chili peppers, fresh tomato and salt. Over time, regions of the country began mixing in local ingredients, creating thousands of variations.
In addition to El Centro’s traditional guac made with avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro and chile serrano, the Sur, with flavors from the south, includes grasshoppers, tomatillos, cotija cheese, onion, chile cascabel, cilantro, lime and sea salt. It is the most daring of the guacamoles on the special menu. For the most part, it tastes like regular guac. The grasshoppers are a bit tough and chewy, though add no real discernible flavor.
The Baja with flavors from Baja California includes kiwi, jicama, strawberry, mango, mint, chile arbol, lime and sea salt. This was my favorite, with the strawberries and mango adding sweetness to the sour kiwi and fatty avocado. The Norteno features flavors from the north incorporating chicharron, picked onion, salsa fresco, serrano, queso fresco, roasted corn, lime and sea salt. Also on the limited-time menu, the Pacifico features flavors from the Pacific coast including grilled beet, roasted walnut, queso fresco, diced orange, citrus chipotle salt and lime juice. And the Yucatan includes flavors from the Yucatan Peninsula including shrimp ceviche, spicy salsa habanero, salsa fresca, orange, lime and sea salt.
The featured guacamoles are made at your table and range in price from $10.95 to $13.95. El Centro is also offering a guacamole toastada sampler, a tasting of the Norteno, Pacifico and Sur guacamoles with mini toastadas, habanero salsa and tomatillo salsa for $11.95.
El Centro’s special menu also features three special varieties of nachos and horochos, flatbreads with various toppings, basically a Mexican pizza. There are also two drink specials during the festival. The watermelon aqua fresco is spiked with tequila blanco (this is very tasty and I recommend it) and the kiwi margarita is made with tequila blanco, fresh kiwi, citrus and a chile piquin rim. Both cocktails cost $10.95 each. The watermelon aqua fresca is $3.95 without alcohol.