Culinary thrill-seeking: Don’t eat Swiss cheese vine; do eat Mexican all month

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I’m willing to dine on Mexican – and Tex-Mex – all May. I got a head start by accompanying my husband to San Antonio, where we docked for chips and salsa as soon as we got into town.
I had chile relleno every chance I got, including Paloma Blanca in Alamo Heights. If, in your haste to experience Mexican food, you needed a reminder as to what the restaurant’s name means in Spanish, you’d be reminded by beautiful white dove décor all around.
My husband attended a retreat at Mexican American Catholic College and we enjoyed dining hall fare which included what I thought was going to be menudo for breakfast. I stirred the pot and didn’t note the trademark ingredient, tripe, so I asked. Oh, it must be pazole, I was told, then informed that it’s basically the same stew with hominy, lime, onions and cilantro, but pazole tends to feature chicken instead of the lining of a cow’s stomach.
I may have flinched at menudo when I first married a Castillo, but I was actually looking forward to the tripe. No worries, I had menudo in prison later that week.
My husband invited me on our annual date of an appreciation dinner at the federal prison camp, where he volunteers. We never expected a full-on Cinco de Mayo theme. Inmates were attentive and gracious as always as they shared testimony and gospel music.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden was another highlight of my trip. On the culinary side, I viewed citrus trees and herbs. I’ve verified you should not eat a thing I found called Swiss Cheese Vine, but it sure was funny enough to photograph. The leaves have little holes.
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