Damn that Aunt Beep for getting in her second installment of the Great Guac Hunt before I could! But I guess I can't be too bitter. She did start this, after all.
This week's guest judge is my friend Andy, an accomplished chef in her own right and one of the smartest people I have ever known. We both love the Ferry Building in spite of, or even perhaps because of, its self-important posturing, and of course because it's chock-full of good food. So we lunched at Mijita, Tracy des Jardin's Mexican outpost. With such a high-profile chef and location, expectations were high. Does Mijita's guac rock?
Andy: 4 -- Not wowed. Felt like tourist food at tourist prices in the overcrowded Ferry Building rather than a great guac for fair price in a cool place.
Sean: 6 -- The portion was on the small side of adequate, definitely smaller than Orale Orale's and at best a light appetizer to share. At $4.50, no bargain.
Andy: 7 -- Pleasant texture light with small chunks.
Sean: 7 -- I liked the combination of smoothness and chunkiness, rather than having the avo completely whipped into a paste. But it was missing contrast -- no onion or tomato to provide crunch or body.
Andy: 5 -- Crazy cattle-call crowded feel to the place. People were so anxious about getting a table they were hovering. The staff was pleasant but rushed. The lunch was tasty and fresh, both things that are essential to a good food experience for me. That said, the thick chips felt unexciting thrown into their basket. The guac was scooped into a dish without much delicacy as if it were a stepchild on an otherwise inventive menu. Quite simply, other dishes were presented twith greater care. The table was so hard to get that it was not clean when we sat down at it.
Sean: 7 -- It's the Ferry Building, so that's both good and bad. The restaurant is done up, unkitschily, in a pseudo-rustic Mexican motif. Despite the insane crowds -- and they are insane -- I felt they did a good job of managing the order taking, and the food arrived reasonably quickly. Didn't love the seats, those woven sling-type chairs that are impossible to get comfortable in, and make you feel like you're sitting in a bucket. And it's a tad loud.
Andy: 6 -- Guac had light citrus flavor and right amount of salt. Texture and bright green color helped to deliver a fresh flavor. Would have liked bit of onion and some heat from pepper.
Sean: 6 -- Pure, full avocado flavor ... and little else. The salt was just right and a citric note was present, but it needed onion, more cilantro and it utterly lacked heat.
Ouch. Sorry, Tracy!
Ferry Building Marketplace
Previously: Orale Orale