Spotted in a recent "Trend Watch" column in Food & Wine magazine: House-made tortillas are all the rage - turning up at "new Mexican restaurants like Empellón al Pastor in New York City; Minero in Charleston, South Carolina; and Cantina Leña in Seattle." Well, OK, but excuse us ... Dallas' modern Mexican restaurants were way ahead of the curve on this one.
An eon ago -- back in 2011, to be exact -- fresh tortillas made in-house graced the plates at not just one modern Mexican restaurant that opened that year, but five. Leading the pack were Komali (chef Abraham Salum's place) and Alma, one of the rare restaurants that actually made its own nixtamal - corn kernels soaked and slowly cooked in lime to soften them; the nixtamal is then ground into masa. Alma has closed, but Komali, named after the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word for comal, the griddle used to cook tortillas, is still going strong. Mesa Veracruz Coastal Cuisine, Meso Maya and Mi Día From Scratch followed closely on their heels, serving excellent handmade tortillas all. Four years later, all those places still make their own, joined by San Salvaje, Stampede 66 - and, of course, countless taquerias.
So there. Dallas used to follow trends. Now we start them.
Read more from our new Palate magazine, publishing with The Dallas Morning News print editions on March 8.