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The Big Nut

Serving Salsa

I’ve been spending time in the Home of the World’s Largest Pecan: Seguin,Texas. I had meetings with faculty at Texas Lutheran University, where I will take a short sabbatical in the spring. I went to school there, more years ago than I care to mention in public, and the school has changed. So has the community. But much hasn’t changed, including the food.

Seguin has great Tex-Mex places.

I visited one such hole-in-the-wall place, Las Palmas. It’s really a dive, with big windows; it’s a family restaurant (as many are in this small, Hispanic majority town) inside an old Dairy Queen. I guess it hasn’t been a DQ for 35 years, but I may be wrong on that. Anyway, it’s got simple furnishings, a basic menu, and food smells that had my stomache growling “Feed Me!” before I even got in the door.

I chose a sampler plate, of course. They brought out the indispensable chips; these were warm and obviously home-made. But they forgot to bring the sauce! Or rather, they brought an empty little bowl. After a minute, though, I noticed jumbo squeeze bottles standing on several tables. I snagged one, inverted it over the bowl, and squeezed. A beautiful, orange-red sauce poured out. Home-made salsa as well! This one was smooth rather than chunky, but the bits of chile seeds in view promised some heat. I scooped a hearty sample onto a warm chip and tasted. Not as hot as I expected, but still a bit of a kick. Very tasty! Plenty of garlic, and a bit of smoke in the background. Seems that arbol chiles were included, and not a lot of farm-fresh chiles; I’m not sure what else they included, but given the orange color, I doubt it was pasilla or ancho chiles. While smooth, the sauce wasn’t runny.

I enjoyed the sauce very much, and used it liberally on the plate of Tex-Mex they brought me. Cheese enchiladas, a nice, crunchy taco, and the standard rice and beans. The sauce on the enchiladas (chile gravy) was excellent, as were the hand-made flour tortillas.

I’ll be back regularly, since Las Palmas is so close to campus…

Enjoy the (Nutty) Heat!


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