Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday Splurge: Chorizo (Asheville, North Carolina)

I'm a sucker for a good story. If it involves an underdog struggling to overcome adversity, I'm done for. Finished. Maybe that's why I enjoy eating at Chorizo whenever I'm in Asheville, North Carolina. Chorizo blossomed from adversity and is a testament to Chef Hector Diaz's resilient spirit.

Diaz, a native of Puerto Rico, moved to the United States when he was just eleven years old. He began working his way up the ranks in well known kitchens in New York City and Miami. Eventually Hector moved to Asheville, a city that reminded him of his mountainous home in Puerto Rico. He began working in a restaurant there but unexpectedly lost his job. He was wandering despondently through the city one day soon thereafter, wondering how he was going to feed his family without a job, when he met a man who gave him the opportunity to open his own place and be his own boss.

Hector opened Salsa's that same year (also in downtown Asheville). Salsa's was warmly welcomed into the community, and now 16 years later, Chorizo is only ONE of the many restaurants he owns. Talk about A for effort!

My hat's off to Hector...not only for his entrepreneurial spirit, but for his delicious Latin fare. This past weekend was only my second time at Chorizo, but I am quickly learning that it will be a regular stop on my future trips.

I started off with a fresh mojito, which didn't disappoint. Not too strong, not to weak and definitely full of flavor. 

For my entree, I ordered the chili relleno with a combination of manchego and goat cheese. Chorizo does this dish's lightly fried, the peppers are extremely fresh and the surprising mixture of cheese is delectable. Even my grandmother, who is a chili relleno snob (sorry, grandma!), had great things to say about this dish (she liked it so much that I had to keep giving her bites). The relleno came with an array of colorful sides... rice, beans, guacamole, pico and a salad. I rarely finish a plate that big, but I'm happy to report that I showed that relleno who's boss.

Not only is the food fabulous, but the restaurant itself is open to the outside and very airy. Even if you sit inside, you feel as if you're on the porch. Now that's what I call a win-win situation! The waiters also have that Southern charm that you learn to expect in Asheville.

If you find yourself in North Carolina, definitely give Chorizo a try. It's pretty fantastic. You have my word... cross my heart and hope to die.

One Page Avenue, Ste. 139
Asheville, NC 28801

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