With Love From Veracruz

By on May 24, 2018

One more installment happens this month in Streetfood’s ‘Around the World’ Mexican dinners

Fried zucchini flowers from Streetfood’s ‘Around the World’ Veracruz, Mexico, dinner. (Helen Goelet)

JACKSON HOLE, WY – “Funny how the best food in Jackson is in a bar,” exclaimed my neighboring diner. 

No one disagreed.

Despite my overwhelming fullness, I was depressed our 50 dollar four-course meal had come to an end.  

Streetfood at the Stagecoach has been a local favorite since opening its counter in summer 2015. With backgrounds steeped in culinary institutions like the Four Seasons, chef-owners Marcos Hernandez and Amelia Hatchard wanted to bring their love of authentic global cuisine to Jackson in an affordable, fuss-free manner. 

Positioned in the corner of the valley’s most fuss-free watering hole, the Stagecoach Bar, Streetfood found an apt home to do just that.

When Hernandez and Hatchard began their “Around the World” dinners in 2016, they filled a void, offering both a dining experience and flavors that can’t be found anywhere else in town. 

Seared red snapper with potatoes, olives and capers.

On any given day, when you walk into the dark, wood-lined bar, a mélange of families, happy hour drinkers, and Teton Pass skiers or bikers fill the place with local charm. During an Around the World dinner, the bar is still filled with this same crowd, but the dining room is transformed with nice linens and thoughtful place settings. 

Since Streetfood launched these dinners, diners have traveled to locales like Spain, Korea and Italy, and now to a place very familiar to co-owner Hernandez.

Hailing from Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, Hernandez decided to serve up a month-long ode to his homeland, covering three regions of Mexico, starting with his home town, then moving to Veracruz and finishing with Oaxaca. Today we were in Veracruz. 

Hatchard educated diners before the meal: “Stretching the shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a lot of seafood in Veracruz cuisine. Which is why we’ll be serving you crab in the first course and snapper in the second.”  

The region’s food is also heavily influenced by Spanish and Afro-Cuban flavors, Hernandez explained. “Your main course: seared red snapper with potatoes, olives and capers, will remind you more of Spanish food than what you may traditionally think of as Mexican.” 

With these influences came vanilla and coffee as well, Hatchard said, “which you’ll see in your desert.” 

As I dug into the salsa macha we shared with other patrons, I was surprised by its unexpected flavors: chipotle, olive oil and garlic (thanks to Spanish conquistadors), and peanuts. Ground into a wonderfully nutty paste, this salsa reminded me of a coarser spicy Thai peanut sauce with a twist. We asked for seconds.

A desert tamale drizzled with vanilla and dulce de leche.

The second course, fried zucchini flowers stuffed with garlic rice and crabs and served over a smooth salsa pippin, had a light batter, giving crunch to its softer filling while allowing the flavors inside to be the focus. The salsa, creamy and smooth, clung to the shell lending just a touch of heat to each bite.  

When the third course arrived, I was taken by the presentation including the vessel. Served in beautiful clay bowls, the seared red snapper sat atop potatoes, tomatoes, olives and capers. It was almost too pretty too eat. Almost. I wasted little time devouring it in a frenzy of fresh, flavorful bites.  

Now I was ready to roll my full belly home to bask in a post-gluttonous haze. Not so fast. It was time for desert. To be clear—desert tamales, coffee-flavored and drizzled with vanilla sauce and dulce de leche. I left nothing but husk—torn apart, wilted and empty. 

Now, I await the next dinner 7 p.m. on May 30, when Streetfood delivers its diners to Oaxaca, the region that is home to seven different mole sauces. Each course will feature a different mole.

To reserve a spot at the final Mexican dinner, call 307-200-6633.

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