Friday, June 7, 2013

Dove right in...

Hey guys!  Sorry for the delay, as I had an EPIC meal to show you from Wednesday afternoon.  One of the best I've had in a WHILE, and I think that's saying a lot!  El Tule had been in the back of our minds since we were unable to score a reservation during restaurant week back in March, so it swiftly got moved to the front of the line when we were picking somewhere new to try on Wednesday...
I can bet this place was a family restaurant, as you could feel the warmth & love as soon as you walked in the door.  Our hostess/waitress was a doll and was so helpful coming up with recommendations.  The food is freshly prepared, so it was one of those nice, slow meals where you didn't feel rushed out and you got to sit and enjoy for a minute between courses (LOVE THAT!).

Not to mention it was, again, an absolutely gorgeous day so we snagged one of the tables outside near all of the violets & vines.  It was so peaceful, I felt like we were on vacationJ

The menu at El Tule is both Mexican and Peruvian, so we just dove right into trying some new things even with our drink orders.  Scott got the Horchata (rice, milk & cinnamon), while I got the purple corn & vanilla soda.  
Both were so refreshing and my drinkl was sweet & almost floral-y.  So good.

After placing our orders, the complimentary chips & a salsa sampler hit the table.  I only was able to try the pico de gallo on the bottom, the other 2 were wayyyyyyyyyyyy too hot for me!J

And while Katie got her coloring on... 

...the MOST GORGEOUS "appetizer sampler" platter I've ever seen hit our table.  EVERY SINGLE appetizer on the Peruvian menu sounded soooo good, so I was super glad they offered this mix as a special.  Isn't it a beaut??? 

First up was a potato cake stuffed with a chicken salad... 
Sooo good, even if a few bites of the potato part were surprisingly spicy.  Katie bite down and SQUUEEEEAAALLLEEEDD at one point and we're guessing she got a surprise spice biteJ

Next were the Yucca frita with a spicy huancaina sauce and pappas rellenas with an even SPICER salsa (I dipped my fork in there and my mouth was on FI-YA!)

Pappas rellenas are fried mashed potato cakes stuffed with meat.  Almost like a Peruvian rice ballJ

And the absolute BEST on a dish of fabulousness (and I will TOTALLY be copying this soon for dinner!) was a chicken salad stuffed avocado... 
Talk about something so simple that was made so phenomenal by combining the 2 (made even better by adding the pretty pink pickled onions).  What I loved about EVERYTHING on the dish was that none of it was OVER done, but just had such a clean, nice taste that really let you taste all the ingredients. (much like Cubanu)  Just delish!

 And the appetizers was just a preview of the phenomonal-ness to come, as my entree was one of the best dishes I've had EVER.
A traditional Peruvian brunch dish, the Limeno consisted of a shredded chicken in a yellow Peruvian sauce and a sauteed meat stew with onions & tomatoes, all served with bread to sop up all of the FANTASTIC sauces on both sides of the plate.  I can't even TELL you how great this is.  Again, not overly done but just PERFECT flavors all the way through.  If you're in the area, GO to El Tule and GET THIS DISH.  Like, yesterday!  It was sooooooooooo good!

Scott's dish was also delicious with fried pork (CHICHARRON!), sweet potatoes & more yucca fries... 
Ever single part of this brunch was done to absolute perfection.  SOOOOOOOOOOOO loved this meal.

And yes, our ice cream consumption is OUT OF CONTROL this week, admittedly...butttt that didn't stop us from visiting Uncle Dave's ice cream on the way homeJ  It IS one of the finer things in summer, amIright?? 
Uncle Dave's has always been one of the best in our area, but Scott & I REALLY got on board last summer when we both went a little cake batter ice cream crazy for awhile thereJ  And UD has some of the best around.

Anyway...back to Wednesday, so I've never been much of a 'cone' girl myself, but I'm all over em this week!  And after 2 of them being toasted coconut, I finally branched out and went with Reese's Peanut Butter cup with chocolate jimmies... 
Yes, I have a full blown ice cream cone while STILL wearing my gym clothes from the morning class..oh yeah, and an awesome sunburn from the beach.  Don't judgeJ

And speaking of gym clothes, I DID manage to get in both a Power Yoga AND Body Jam (Track 61) class since they now moved it to Wednesday nights.  And since a breakfast waffle was the only other thing consumed that day, I'm hoping that & the exercise helps balance everything outJ

Alrighty, well that's all I got for today.  Hope you guys have a fun weekend ahead.  Mine is going to be family-PACKED, with one day being a yearly family tradition.  I'll share on MondayJ


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