A Long-Delayed Delight

Greetings from beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I am vacationing with my family this week.  I was last here (the first time I came) at Christmas in 2005.  It’s a great place, a real slice of Old Mexico: the town was founded in 1541, and because it is a UNESCO world heritage site, the town has very strict rules about color and what you can build in your home–everything has to look roughly like it did during the Colonial period. It’s really cool to walk down streets that are still cobblestone–slightly less cool to walk UP the streets (this is a city of hills), but oh well.

Anyway, when I was last here, we had a family dinner the last night in a local restaurant owned by my wife’s aunt and uncle, El Pegaso  (If you’re ever in SMA, I highly recommend this place).

During that dinner, my eye was held by a dish on the menu, but in the end I went with something “safe” and known.  And it was good, but I always regretted not trying that dish. Well, we’re here again, and a couple of nights ago we had dinner at El Pegaso.  And I tried that dish, Chiles en Nogada.


That was one of the best things I have ever eaten.  Had Tia Robin been there, I’d have kissed her.  She’s safely out of my reach right now, though, as she’s out of the country.

Here’s roughly what it is: Two Poblano chiles, stuffed with ground beef, cheese, raisins, and some other stuff I’ve forgotten, all topped with a completely freaking wonderful walnut sauce and then sprinkled with pomegranate seeds (as the menu says, “All the colors of Mexico on one plate”).

It sounds good, but it tastes so much better than it sounds.  I felt bad for my vegetarian family that they can’t taste that amazing dish.  And I kind of want to eat dinner there one more time so I can have it again before we leave.  I mean, I looked it up, and I’ve found recipes for it (and you’d better believe I’ll be attempting this dish), but I doubt I will ever be able to make it as well as the chef at El Pegaso did.

No lie, this is one of my favorite dishes now.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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