Every town has a Carver’s … that designated place you go to meet friends after class for a handcrafted brew … where you meet colleagues for a hearty breakfast or lunch with Southwest flair. It’s that place you have to go to the first night you’re back in town … for your favorite dish and to check the daily specials board. And it just keeps getting better.
They’re ‘The Southwest’s Original Brew Pub’ … so they know a thing or two about beer. Chef Dave began his career working with Julia Child, and he’s a Guys Grocery Games winner … safe to say he knows his way around a kitchen. Not far from downtown Durango is Carver’s Farm where they grow their own organic produce, so you know the food is fresher and healthier. And …
… the telltale pepper door handle = chiles on board, you’re in for a great meal.
Today I met with Chef Dave who took me through the steps that make his very versatile Vegetarian Enchiladas not only sublime, but flexible for ordering around food allergies … or the pickiest of eaters.
A masa tamale paste is spread on two corn tortillas (for flavor and moisture), then filled with corn, roasted diced poblanos, jalapenos, and black beans cooked with Hatch green chiles, cumin and seasoning. Topped with Sauce Rojo made from red chiles, stock, cumin, coriander, garlic and tomato paste. Load on the cheese and it all goes into a convection oven to cook, get gooey and …..
See how the cheese has melted over the sauce? Then topped with cool crisp lettuce, cilantro, chopped tomato and drizzle of sour cream blended with chipotles in adobo (smoked jalapenos in a tangy tomato vinegar sauce.) It’s all about layer upon layer of flavor … and if my count is right, five types of chiles.
Side of black beans and rice. And here’s the versatile part … you can have it veggie or add chicken, shrimp or pork. Its gluten free. There’s no cheese in the filling, so hold the cheese and sour cream, opt for pico de gallo and it’s dairy free. There’s even a vegan version. You can order extra cheese, spice it up with extra jalapeno … whatever you like. Buen provecho everyone!
The light caramel malt Jackrabbit Pale Ale was selected as the perfect pairing because spicy food is accentuated by the hoppiness of a pale ale. Nice balance.
A few other favorite Southwest menu items: Navajo Tacos, Tatanka Burger (buffalo), bbq Rodeo Burger, Huevos Rancheros, jalapeno corncake Southwest Benedict, and the Green Chile Artichoke Dip. That’s my list. Stop and ask most anyone in town and they’ll surely have their faves and suggestions.
FYI … If you’re in town on Friday February 26th, they’re serving up a fabulous El Nino Beer Dinner with a surprise menu of six courses all perfectly paired with an expertly crafted brew. (Call for reservations / 50. per person.)