Guac. Green goodness. The peanut butter of Mexican food.
Guacamole, with its feisty split personality of creamy smoothness and chunky flavor, reigns alongside salsa as royal condiments in San Diego. The name guacamole derives from the Aztec word āhuacamolli, which means “avocado sauce,” and sounds infinitely cooler than the gruff hard g-guacamole Americans say now.
The noble avocado was first cultivated from southern Mexico to Peru, and was often referred to as the “alligator pear.” With guacamole a ubiquitous dip in the United States, California is now the leading producer of avocados at a whopping 83% of national production, which accounts for $328 million of the $351 million in production, according to Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
Power packed with fiber, B-vitamins, vitamins E and K, and potassium, avocados, and subsequently guacamole, promise a range of health benefits to go along with that cerveza and tortilla chips.
Traditionally, guacamole is made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, lemon or lime juice, and sea salt. But San Diego chefs have been experimenting and raising the bar on the standard dish, providing locals with an exciting array of flavor bombs. Here are some must-try guacamoles with a twist around town.
Nogada Guacamole: Available at both the La Jolla and Headquarters locations, this hip eatery takes the classic guac and adds pomegranate arils, mango, chile de arbol and candied walnuts for a tropical twist.
La Jolla: 1026 Wall St., 858.454.1260; Downtown: 789 W Harbor Dr., 619.233.8880. eatpuesto.com
The Blind Burro
Guacamole Especial: This chunky version features an array of flavors including avocado, roasted sweet potato, corn, rajas (roasted poblano chile strips) and house made plantain chips.
639 J St., downtown, 619.795.7880, theblindburro.com
BST Guacamole: Inspired by the BLT, this Pacific Beach spot combines applewood smoked bacon, scallion, tomatillo, poblano and queso enchilada for a meat-lover’s twist on the dip.
1165 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.999.0158, cervezajacks.com
Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina
The “housemade guacamole” is unlike anything else in the city, with crispy beluga lentils, black bean hummus, cherry tomatoes, and Za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice). Adventurous diners can take it to the next level with a side of Chapulines, lightly spiced dehydrated grasshoppers. Yes, grasshoppers. Bon Appétit.
1490 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.756.7864, romescomexmed.com/san-diego-downtown/
Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
Aztec Guacamole: For those willing to venture over the border, try this decades-old twist on the famous dip. For more than 40 years, Rancho has been whipping up a guacamole, with 50% peas in the mix alongside avocado, lemon juice, tomato, sweet onion, jalapeño, fresh cilantro, garlic, sea salt and pepper.
Carretera Tecate-Tijuana K.M 136.5, Rancho la Puerta, 21520 Tecate, B.C., Mexico, 800.443.7565, rancholapuerta.com