Cate’s Column #15

Almuerzo at Amapola Café

Keith won an Amapola Café gift certificate for me on a You-Call-It-Friday quiz on KLPZ. I spent the next few weeks drooling in anticipation and looking for an excuse to drive the 35 miles to Parker. I looked online for Amapola’s website hoping to find a menu, but alas! Nada.

The last time I went to a Mexican restaurant in La Paz County I had to beg — and cough up an additional $3 — for a tiny basket of dusty chips and miserable salsa. The only way to get me into a restaurant now is to tempt me with something completely delicious or decadent (hopefully both!) that I can’t or won’t make myself. I hoped Amapola Café would fill the bill with offerings of delicious decadence; maybe with my absolute favorite, a crispy fried flour tortilla.

One day the planets aligned, I grabbed my friend Doc, and we zoomed to Parker for a bit of shopping and what we hoped would be a delicious lunch, courtesy of KLPZ.

Amapola Café smelled subtly won-der-ful. We slid into a booth and a smiling waitress appeared bearing menus, chips and salsa.

“Wow!” I said. I couldn’t help it; I don’t get out much. “Real chips — water-crisped tortillas. Something I won’t make at home.” And chipotle salsa! Had I died and gone to sabrosa heaven? The waitress just smiled politely.

Doc and I scanned all the entrees, every offering delightfully tempting. My stomach roared in anticipation. Doc settled on a combination plate of taco, enchilada and chili verde burrito. I kept reading, looking for my elusive yummy sin. There! Sombrero: fried flour tortilla, beans, shredded beef, chile strips, cheese, lettuce and tomato.

I was so hungry my hand shook and I slopped salsa on my nice, white KLPZ shirt. Dagnabbit.

“Good one,” Doc laughed. “You’ve got a date with Mister Stain Remover later.”

Then came the food and I instantly wished I had my camera. “Wow!” I said again. This time the waitress smiled as if to say, wait until you taste it.

WOW, was my Sombrero delicioso. The tortilla was delicately crispy — nothing I could have made myself — and everything on top of it also perfect. The beef was barbacoa style and the beans were the perfect taste and texture. Cheese plentiful, salad fresh and crispy. Everything tasted as if it were carefully and slowly prepared.

I looked over at Doc’s dinner but decided against reaching for a bite. I might draw back a bloodied stump.

Next: Chimichanga. I can’t WAIT!

You know, I might leave this stain on my shirt, circle it, make it into a happy face and write ‘Amapola Café’ next to it. Yeah, that’s the ticket! I’ll sell ad space on my KLPZ T-shirt. Anyone else want to feed me something goopy and delicious … and colorful?

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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.

7 comments

  1. Well Cate, that mouth watering article definitely made me hungry.
    Great article.

  2. To resolve the loose end, who is Keith?

  3. THIS may help answer your question! 🙂

  4. It didn’t totally resolve the loose end, but no Irishman who loves fiction can afford to go without reading:
    Fjord of Killary
    by Kevin Barry
    The New Yorker
    February 1, 2010
    http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2010/02/01/100201fi_fiction_barry

  5. I’ve been wanting to eat here since I read this, but someone I asked said they heard the food was terrible. I am wondering if I should just stick with El Sarape. Even though my favorite salsa there seems to vary in taste. I’m still trying to get the recipe from them. I should tell them I have allergies and need to get a detailed list of what is in there…

  6. Amapola Cafe is awesome. It is comida autentica mexicana — muy sabrosa. The best I’ve had since leaving California. Try it, let us know what you think.

  7. I will someday try it. And when I do, you will be the first to know. I had El Sarape the other day. Delicioso.

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