January 26, 2012

Navajo Fry Bread? Check out the Fat Cactus

Recently engaged Courtney Jones and Chis Howell opened the Fat Cactus food trailer about a year ago on February 17, 2011.  Their menu concept is unique in that it is based around traditional Navajo 'fry bread'.  Courtney growing up in Colorado, and Chris from Arizona and New Mexico both have memories of fry bread growing up.  But it was Chris' family who helped research the recipe by talking with tribal members.  Chris explains a little further, "Every tribe had their own version of fry bread.  When the tribes were removed from their land and taken to forts, they were given rations of food from the government.  That is how they learned how to make dough using the simple ingredients they had available to them.  The Navajo have the most popular form of fry bread, but even tribes in the Dakotas have a version."

Their menu is incredibly creative, with inspiration from cajun, southwestern, and interior Mexican cuisine.  There are two, maybe three main ways they utilize the fry bread: as the base of a pizza, the base of a taco, or the foundation of a dessert.  When I was there, I sampled:

1. their best selling taco: the Pecker: chile rubbed roasted chicken, pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese with your choice of red or green sauce.

2. best selling pizza: the Foghorn: cilantro, pumpkinseed pesto with chile rubbed roasted chicken, goat cheese, red onion,  and toasted pepitas

I also loved the green chile hummus and washed everything down with the cilantro lemonade.

Of all the wonderful flavors, I have to give a personal two thumbs up to their salsas.  Given the choice, I'll normally take a hatch green chile sauce over a red any day but this trailer had me changing my tone.  First, they import dried New Mexican red chiles (from New Mexico) and then soak them. The next step involves blending them with super secret seasonings.  I'm telling you, I think that is the best New Mexican red chile sauce I've ever had.  Honest.  Check it out for yourself - they are located on South Congress and Gibson in a yellow trailer; can't miss 'em.