I can't put my finger on it exactly. There is something about the look, the colour, all the things you can do with it, the variety? Maybe it's partly because there are some mystical, magical, undefinable things about chillies.
They can make your world - that flaming sensation in your mouth, it starts off as a burn, but then develops into something words can't describe. If you want to read more about chillies look here.
Chillies seem to go better with hot weather?
Japanese warriors ate really hot chillies to test the character, and had them before they went into battle. A greater test of their courage would have been to chop one up to put in a curry and accidentally rub their eyes afterwards like I did - then we'll see where the courage is.
There was an American guy who thought we needed a scale to give us an idea of the different heat that can be generated by the different varieties of chilli. Probably a good idea, if you've ever sampled a really hot one with out realising it. See the Scoville scale here, although I can't make head nor tail of it, he should have done one to ten or twenty, who can fathom this million business? Not me.
Scoville chart with the whole selection of chillies.
Being a Mexican food aficionado, I'm always on the look out for a good Mexican restaurant. Melbourne seems to be in short supply. The ones we've got seem to be clones of Taco Bills, which I do like, but they lack a bit of pizazz.
We used to like Coyote Café, their margaritas were sensational, and the food was pretty good too, unfortunately they've gone.
I've heard mixed reviews about a place called Mamasita, which we want to try.
There's also one called Newmarket which calls it's menu 'Latin street food" with the Mexican flavours. We have tried that and I'm going to review that too.
Then there is a place that can meld that chilli taste in amongst a host of other flavours to perfection, Bluecorn is such a place.
We purchased one of those navigation gizmos a few years back. My partner was friggin' around with it and found these other features on it, where the nearest petrol station is, where the nearest restaurants are. (I may have given you a bit of a clue about your own navigation unit that you didn't know about?).
So I said, hey, try Mexican restaurants, and lo and behold, we stumbled across Bluecorn. We were on our way out for tea and here was a new Mexican restaurant we hadn't tried (I say new, I've since found out that they've been in business for 11 years, which is a good recommendation in itself, especially in St Kilda).
More room out the back, Sir.
We parked up around the back. I know my way around better than the navigation device, "Recalculating" "Shut up". We walked around to Bluecorn. We hadn't booked but it was early, and they squeezed us in (they're always busy it seems). The pictures I took were before they opened if you were wondering.
Barman, get me a pint of your strongest water!
Obviously we started with a couple of margaritas. Blue margaritas I think they were called with Herradura Silver Tequila shaken with Blue Curacao and fresh lime juice - they had a real kick and got our taste buds humming. (Look, to tell you the truth, the first time we went was a long time ago and I'm not 100% certain what the drinks were. The only thing I can tell you for sure, they were margaritas, as you can see they have an array of them).
Never mind the specials, get me the 'Too big to wrap steak burrito'.
The waitress was very helpful in advising what was what on the menu. For an entrée, my partner fancied the blue corn bread and a salsa dip, so we both had that. She ordered the spicy steak fajitas with red pepper, onions, flour tortillas, guacamole and sour cream for the main and I had the 'too big to wrap steak burrito' (which I've had every time since).
The entrée came out promptly. The corn bread, without a doubt, was the best I've had. I believe I make pretty mean Mexican food myself. I've since tried to copy this corn bread and just can't get within a bulls' roar of it.
My partner was in rapture, "Oh this is beautiful" she's telling me. I'm just dipping and eating. Then we are both just dipping and eating. Finally she says "This is to die for". The thought crossed my mind, shall I jump the table and realise her wish. I looked down to see she only had one piece left, that coupled with the fact it was her shout. I decided to wait for the mains.
I looked up and what looked like our mains were heading towards us, sure enough they were ours. The flavours, gave my taste buds a workout. There was corn cut into a little strips of kernels. I don't know if they were marinated in butter but they should have been promoted to Generals. Sorry sir! Colonels?
Marinated mushrooms - a bit smoky and a bit of something else, flavour that burst in my mouth. I let my partner try one, she ate another two before I could wrestle her to the ground with the third. Black beans. I love black beans. Some people think only kidney beans are the go. They're wrong. Tender steak pieces marinated in a chilli sauce, all wrapped up together with rice, cheese and red peppers along for the ride.
It was fantastic. I saw some other comments online about how all the food looks the same (as does all Mexican food, doesn't it?), but the flavours are all magnificently different. Not a truer thing could be said. I don't say this lightly, this meal was the best Mexican I've had. If I was to be executed and had a dying wish, I would eat at Bluecorn, maybe a couple of other places as well, if Bluecorn were closed for some reason.
There are a lot of people that say what is and what isn't Mexican food. What are they basing their expertise on? I don't know? If Taco Bill's is their yard stick, then their opinions probably don't count for much.
I saw a doco on Mexican food, and to be honest, Taco Bills is the furthest from it. But then you've got Tex/Mex which is a hybrid to consider as well. To me, whether something is influenced or authentic doesn't matter as long as they use the essential elements and most importantly, it tastes good.
So 10/10 for mine. There are things they could do better, but, no matter where you go, it could always be better. This is a contradiction you might be thinking, but if they said happy hour and all your food is free, well that would be better. Price? Well, our goal has always been to get between the $50 and a $100 mark, including drinks (tight arses, you might say, but why pay more when you can get the best for less). We came in under the $100.
Comer de amigos! (eat up friends), I was going to use Gringo, but that's a foreigner. Here is a great song by Maria Muldaur called Gringo in Mexico while we're on the Mexican theme.