Never heard of it before so why not, La Chaya Bistro at 46th and Nicollet in Minneapolis is a new favorite of mine! On my first visit I was greeted at the door by the owner/chef Juan Garcia, he immediately offered me a beer and then we spoke of his home land and how he had brought traditional Mexican cuisine to La Chaya. Juan was passionate in his commentary on the preparation and quality of every menu item. I asked if he had ever tried either a Michelada or a Chelada, my favorite Mexican beer cocktails and to my surprise and delight he said both were on his menu, Oh-La-La happy day to me!! I was joined shortly by my great friend Deb Ohlson a fellow foodie. Deb and I rejoiced when Juan allowed us to order from both the lunch and dinner menus, we were in store for SATISFACTION at its best! First, of course, was a Michelada, a salted rimmed glass filled with ice, several dashes of Tabasco-Worcestershire-lime juice, and then add beer; this is an amazing concoction of pure delight. Next, we descended upon our lunch selections which included appetizers of Deep Fried Calamari and Shrimp, Yucatan Shrimp Ceviche and Guacamole with Chips, sounds somewhat boring and normal… NOT! Each was as great as I have ever tasted! Next was entrees of Achiote Chicken Salad which was avocado, tomato and scallions tossed with mixed greens and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette, a Portobello Sandwich on housemade foccaccia with pesto, goat cheese, spinach and roasted bell peppers served with oven roasted potatoes and salad, and Steak Tacos with cilantro, onion and salsa borracha, each was wonderfully prepared, and I still dream about the Portobello Sandwich. Stopping here for a brief respite, we ordered a Chelada, a salted rimmed glass filled with ice, a couple of ounces of fresh squeezed lime juice and beer. The Chelada was super refreshing and set the stage perfectly for desserts of cinnamon ice cream and peach crisp. La Chaya was a great option for this feeding frenzy, check out their website and enjoy lunch, dinner or brunch with Juan!
Bill’s Beverage of the Month
This month’s beverage is a hoppy Imperial IPA from 21st Amendment in San Francisco. Here are a few notes from their website: A few years ago, when hop prices shot through the roof and the worldwide hop market went into a tailspin, at our pub in San Francisco we decided there was only one thing for us to do. We made the biggest, hoppiest IPA we could imagine and aged it on oak for good measure. This Imperial IPA breaks all the rules with more malt, more hops and more aroma.