Judging the Judges- Aaron Sanchez’ Centrico Impresses
A trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without checking out at least a couple restaurants from the Food Networks platoon of celebrity chefs, would it?
I decided on Chopped judge Aaron Sanchez‘ Centrico, in Tribeca.
The whole menu sounded delicious, so choosing a few dishes was difficult. We started with guacamole with fresh tortilla chips and a trio of spicy salsas, because all Mexican restaurants should be judged firstly on their ability to make a fine guac.
Although I usually prefer a more rustic, chunky guacamole, this smooth and creamy version was truly a fantastic start to dinner. It was so well balanced, and none of the flavours were overly assertive. (I’m looking at you, onion and cilantro) Nice crispy chips, and the trio of salsas really set the tone.
We followed that up with the Queso Fundido, which essentially is a cheese casserole baked with potato and chorizo.
Seeing that I was dining with 2 ladies, you can guess who ate most of this, not that I’m complaining. Big pot of melted cheese and sausage? Bring it on!
The fat from the chorizo infuses the cheese, which makes for a delicious treat, but for health reasons you should probably make sure you have others to share this with.
The Pork Belly Tacos was the next dish to hit the table. This was the only letdown of the evening. There is an ideal ratio of fat:meat with pork belly, and this was just way too much fat and not near enough meat. It was so much fat that we actually had to, gasp, cut some of it off. The pork that was left behind was delicious, but the dish fell a bit flat for all 3 of us at the table.
Scouring the online reviews before we left home, there was an overwhelming menu favourite… the Braised Short Ribs in Ancho Chili Broth. Of course, we had to have it.
Regardless of the full table we had going at this point.
I hate to say it, but this short rib was even better than mine. It was huge, and fall-apart tender. The ancho broth was so rich and savoury, yet still allowed you to get all that delicious beefy flavour from the rib. It was a total crowd pleaser at our table, and would be worthy of a return visit all on it’s own.
Unfortunately, Aaron wasn’t at the restaurant this night so we didn’t get to meet him, but lucky for him the food speaks for itself. It would have been nice to extend an invitation to come check out my boys back home in Edmonton at Tres Carnales.