Wednesday, January 4, 2017

San Antonio 100: Boudro's Legendary Tableside Guacamole

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF BOUDRO'S
  • Courtesy of Boudro's

We're compiling a list of our favorite 100 dishes in the city with the San Antonio 100. Check back weekly for a new dish we love that either screams SA or you need to enjoy ASAP.

Boudro’s managing partner, Richard Higbie, says they serve 50,000 orders of their tableside guacamole per year (I’m assuming that includes Zinc, where it’s also on the menu). He also recalls, and I think he’s right, that the popular preparation first appeared about 1990 when the restaurant made a swing away from Southwestern cuisine to Texas with a touch of Cajun. So, let’s say, it’s been 25 years times 50,000 … even assuming it didn’t hit its popularity peak right away, that’s over a million servings. Holy guacamole!

And here’s the sad part (plus full disclosure): a friend and I developed that recipe for Boudro’s, thus starting a tableside guac locomotive in motion. Our particular take relied on charring the tomatoes and chiles and putting a splash of orange juice in addition to the traditional lime. Yes, we got paid something for our efforts. But we both have long since thought that the smarter thing to have done would have been to insist on a royalty. I don’t remember what it first cost, but it’s now $11. Even at as little as ten cents a serving, that comes to over $100,000. Who knew?

The sauce, for that’s what guacamole really is, has long been with us, of course. Really long. Think Aztec, where the name ahuaca-mulli dates at least as far back as the 15th century. One website from the University of Florida claims “The Aztecs believed it to be a natural aphrodisiac and with more natural monosaturated fat and protein than other fruits available, it was vital to their diet. Avocados have almost 20 vitamins and minerals and have been found to help manage heart problems and cholesterol for some people.”

The site also suggests that guac’s ingredients have changed little from the bowls of Moctezuma’s court, but that “Some of the first guacamole recipes were published in the 1940s” in this country. That gave the dip about 25 years to gain traction before the first Super Bowl game in 1967. We don’t know who first put “natural aphrodisiac” and testosterone together, but we do know that Super Bowl Sunday will see more guacamole used in inventive ways than at any other time of the year — and that, we’re pretty sure, even includes Cinco de Mayo.

So here are a couple of simple rules: please char your tomatoes and chiles; add orange juice or not; but whatever you do, don’t blend everything together in your Waring. Chop the ingredients just enough to marry them together, no more. And don’t be afraid of salt. Just this once.

421 E. Commerce St., (210) 224-8484.

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