Andrew watched the show The Wire years ago and it never caught my interest. He has said for years that I needed to give it a try, so this weekend he basically made me watch it. Six episodes in and I'm still not a fan. I'll probably tough out the rest of the season so I can quit it once and for all. I'll let you know if I change my mind. We didn't see my dad for Father's Day, but I did go see my mom and step-dad since my nieces finally got to Houston late Sunday afternoon. The six year old can spell and the almost fourteen year old is into screaming music and rolled her eyes at me, so it was a great visit. I always take them out for their birthdays when they come for the summer and asked the little one what we should do - she said she has never been to Chuck E, Cheese and that I should take her. That kid knows a sucker from a mile away being that I hate to tell her no. So guess where I will likely end up in the next two weeks?
The star of this weekend, though, was our anniversary dinner. We ended up going to Hugo's Mexican Restaurant, which was recently nominated for a James Beard Award (and lost to my beloved Underbelly). We've been for brunch many times, which is always fantastic, and had two dinner experiences there: one great, and one subpar. Luckily, this time was completely amazing.
Andrew had margaritas and I had blackberry mojitos - summery and not too sweet. We started with the goat cheese and corn stuffed squash blossoms and the beef cheek mole (pronounced "mole-ay." It's a popular sauce in traditional Mexican cooking). The beef cheek was tender and the mole was rich and tasted great on blue corn tortillas with onion, cilantro, and tomato. For my main course, I got short ribs with mole, greens, and mole cornbread. Everything was fantastic but the sweet cornbread with the dark, more bitter mole stood out the most. Andrew got cochinita pibil - pork cooked in a banana leaf that came with habanero sauce, black rice, refried black beans, guacamole, and pickled onion. He made me half a taco with everything on it and it was so well-done - sweetness, acidity, crunch, tenderness, heat, and cool - everything you could want in a bite of food. Andrew radiates this certain happiness when he's enjoying a particularly good meal, and I hadn't seen this level of excitement in him in a while. It was great. We had a side of smashed crispy potatoes that were also tasty but unnecessary due to everything else we had. Never ones not to go all out, we ordered the cafe de olla (coffee brewed with sugar and cinnamon) and each got a dessert. Mine, a flourless chocolate cake with a hint of pepper and coffee ice cream, was so good I wish it never ended. Andrew's capirotada, a Mexican bread pudding, had a texture I didn't love, but he was okay with it. It was a great meal, good and mostly casual atmosphere, and great drinks. This is the best anniversary dinner we've had yet!
Needless to say, this week will be spent trying to understand more of The Wire and thinking of something to take a six-year-old to do that's even better than Chuck E. Cheese. Suggestions welcome.