Green Chile always brings back memories of a road trip, I and my husband had taken in New Mexico. We drove through New Mexico, and also ate our way through. From the fancy fine dining spots in Santa Fe to the iconic Church Street Cafe in old town Albuquerque, and so much more. And Green Chile featured high on our list of favorites. So when Chuy's sent me an invite to check out their Green Chile Festival, I was all set to make some new food memories. 

You have heard of Farm to Table and its a different take on Farm to Table. All the Green Chile used across Chuy's locations, come from the very same farm. How's that for taste consistency and authenticity. It is the 30th Annual Green Chile Festival, which is currently on at al Chuy's locations across the country, till September 2nd. Needless to say, they take their passion for Green Chile very seriously, if they are running a food festival for this long. in 1989, the co-founders of Chuy's were in search of the perfect pepper to compliment their Tex-Mex cuisine. Their travels took them to the Hatch Valley, in New Mexico. Green Chile is an annual crop, which reaches its peak in August, hence the timing of the festival. Chuy's gets in 1.75 million pounds of Green Chile every year for the Green Chile Festival.This festival runs for three weeks every year. The Menu features four new items prepared with Hatch Green Chile. With a healthy appetite, we headed to our local  Chuy's to savor the goodness.

For our drinks of the evening, we had a huge choice, but as it was a Chile Festival we were celebrating, we thought of going the spicy route. It was the beloved New Mexican Margarita, made with green chile-infused el Jimador Tequila. I was initially skeptical as to how spice would pair with spice, and whether or not I should have opted for the sweeter option with the Watermelon Margarita. But one sip, and I knew I had made the right choice. It was not overly spicy as I had expected it to be. It was refreshing with a slight kick to it. And it was a very generous serving.
We started off with Chips and Salsa and went on to our main course. As you wait for your food, you cannot help but admire the quirky decor. Each Cuy's looks different and each room at each Chuy's looks different. From the decor in the ceilings to the Elvis Shrine, from the colorful tiles to stained glass lamp fixtures, you do get into a very colorful mood.

As Chuy's comes up with 4 new items featuring Green Chile, every year I and Hubby wanted to try out two different things, so that we could share and compare notes. A family which eats together stays together. Our daughter cannot handle spice, as she is a toddler, and was super happy that she could order her Chicken Nuggets and Fries. 

I opted for the King Carne Burrito, which is stuffed with ground sirloin, bacon, green chiles and french fried potatoes, topped with Jack cheese, green chile, and more bacon. Its served with Hatch tomatillo sauce, Queso wings, and charro beans.

My husband opted for the Cosmic Combo. A Chile Relleno stuffed with ground sirloin(he subbed the chicken), topped with Green Chile sauce, pico de gallo, and a drizzle of sour cream. And a Shrimp Velvet Enchilada(he subbed the chicken, again), served with Green Chile rice and refried beans.

The portion sizes were amazing. Chuy's believes in freshness and once you take your first bite, you realize what that means. All the tortillas are all made fresh every single day, as are the sauces and lime juices and the works. As a couple, e and my husband can handle a fair amount of spice. And sometimes, even when restaurants and menus scream spice, they are not hot enough. Another problem is also that, sometimes the flavor profile gets lost if the food becomes too hot. Chuy's had a right mix of heat and flavor.

We had a great time, over some good food and cocktails. Thank you Chuy's for having us over. Go ahead and try out the Green Chile Festival this long weekend, with your friend and fam.



What do you think of, when I mention Kansas City to you? My mind thinks of Barbecue. Why not, as KC is clearly the barbecue capital of the world. What if I told you that you can try out some ice cream which crosses the line between the desert and barbecue. Yes, you heard that right. Burnt Ends Ice Cream from Betty Rae's, Kansas City is a must-have for every foodie.

Betty Rae's has made a place in the hearts of KC foodies ever since they opened their first location in the Waldo area. So when they decided to expand to a second location, my foodie soul was happy to be a part of the soft opening. Betty Rae's officially opens later this month, at their River Market location of Kansas City. Located on Delaware street, Betty Rae's is housed in a great corner lot. The lines for the ice cream counter stretched on to the street in front if its any proof of how successful the soft opening was.
The decor was beautiful. From the touch of faux tropical plants, to the photo wall of ice creams, from the cute tables to the photo booth, from the pen bar to the DJ spinning your favorite tunes, from the high ceilings to the amazing murals, I was busy soaking it all in, when I remembered I had to order some ice cream. My 5-year-old in tow was busy trying to explain to me, that we need to get into the ice cream line quick. When you mention to a 5-year-old, that you shall be taking her to a new ice cream shop, she starts the countdown a week before, if its the opening day. So I decided it was time to get into the line and order us some sweet treats.

My daughter chose Cookies and Cream as her flavor for the night, while I went on a tasting spree. Note to self, offer ice cream in a cup to your kiddo, if you want an easier cleanup.
Coming back to the flavor I was most interested to try out - Burnt ends Ice cream. It was worth every hype I had heard of. Ice cream with chunks of burnt ends was the perfect dessert toying the line between savory and sweet. I am guilty of eating a few too many. Whenever you are at Betty Rae's next, make sure you start your tasting session with this gem of a dessert.
The second flavor I loved was the London Fog. It was complex but balanced and more along the traditional sweet ice cream route.

Strawberry Cheesecake, Lavender Honey, and Butter Scotch were a few other flavors that we tried out and loved. I mean, what is not to love about good ice cream, right. And Betty Rae's clearly know what they are doing.

If you thought the evening was only about ice cream, in a cone or a cup, then you are mistaken. Whizz up your favorite ice cream, with your favorite alcohol, and you had your custom Boozy Milk Shakes to choose from. I still can't forget the potent White Russian which I sipped on. I can tell you that I was happy to be not driving that night.

So if you are headed to the River Market area of Kansas City, later this months, make sure you head to Betty Rae's for a one of a kind ice cream experience. I know we shall surely be back for more.



 My India trip is almost coming to an end. I wait and plan for two years, to come to India. To spend quality time with my family members, who are still here. Eating out at our favorite restaurants, chatting up till late at night with my brother, enjoying a hot cuppa with my parents and a mandatory trip to the Beaches along the Bay of Bengal. This time around, the trip started on a great note, but midway through it, my father had a major cardiac arrest. He battled life and death, and every moment counted. My father is currently home, to regain his strength before he gets readmitted to another hospital, for the next round of treatments and medical procedures.

I had many many posts planned to write during my India trip, but all of those have been put on hold. Thank you to all of you who supported us during these dark hours. While I will write about the rest of the planned posts later, I thought of ending the stay in India, with a post about Paan. 
Why Paan, if you might ask? A celebratory Indian meal is often accompanied by a Paan, to end the meal. So a post about the Paan to end the India vacation. 

What is Paan? It is a breath freshener, to say the least. Often also seen as a sign of hospitality. A digestive aid. A heady concoction, which often can act as a stimulant for some, as well. Betel Leaves, are wrapped in a triangular shape, with chopped areca nuts, a dash of edible lime, desiccated rose petals, cloves, fennel seeds to name a few. 
Betel Leaves themselves can be of a few kinds- the Meetha(the sweet) or the Plain. Personally, I prefer the Meetha Paan, which is made with the sweeter variety of Betel leaves, with a host of sweet and savory fillings. Paan shops could be found earlier at street corners, and now with globalization, they have become fancier. Paan is wrapped and often chilled on top of blocks of ice, to keep them cook, in the hot sultry Summers of India. 

My recent encounters with the Paan were filled with memories. From the time of holding on to an extra Paan, after a meal at a wedding ceremony or a family, to the fancier paan, which I can't even fit in my mouth in one bite. The trick with paan is you take it all in one bite and keep on chewing. It melts in your mouth. 

Kansas City does not have an Indian restaurant yer, which has Paan on its menu. Correct me, if I am wrong. You do get the plain variety of Betel leaves from some of the Indian grocery stores, but they are the spicier leaves, which I can't handle. You could always buy those, and also pick up the other basic ingredients and make your paan at home. Of if you ever travel to India, do try out a Meetha Paan(the sweet paan) and you will love the experience.