When you think of cold-weather food, it’s unlikely that Mexican is the first cuisine that comes to mind. But, if you take a step back and examine a Venn diagram of Tex-Mex food and your favorite wintry dishes, you’ll find they have plenty in common: large portions, a good mixture of carbs and protein, lots of sauce and cheese. Plus, Mexican food often has the advantage of spiciness, warming you from the inside out.
A perfect example of a Mexican dish to try on a cold, blustery day is the Chile Colorado at Agavero Cantina, which has locations in both Lilburn and west Midtown. Chile Colorado is almost like a Mexican version of goulash or paprikash; it involves simmering chunks or slices of steak in a deep red chile sauce until they’re fork-tender. The meat is served with plenty of extra sauce, which mixes beautifully with the rice and refried beans left over when you inevitably run out of tortillas.
Agavero Cantina’s version of Chile Colorado achieves the exact level of tenderness and depth of flavor that you’d hope for in a great goulash, and the undercurrent of spiciness will quiet your chattering teeth in a heartbeat. Served with warm flour tortillas, possibly with a margarita on the side, the dish is as comforting and homey as any devised in Central Europe.
Agavero Cantina. 4140 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn. 678-924-1970; 1133 Huff Road, Atlanta. 404-464-5250. luchadorgroup.com.