Monday, March 16, 2009
Eating your way through Denison, Iowa
DENISON, Iowa —Antonio Oropeza, a Mexican immigrant living in the west-central Iowa city of Denison, doesn’t have his grandmother Angelina anymore. She has passed. But the Orepeza family treasures heirlooms she left: her salsa and this abuela’s (grandmother’s) culinary influence on their delightful little restaurant, El Charro (Big Hat) just south of U.S. 30 in the middle of the main strip in the Crawford County seat.
It’s a humble place with a giant taste. El Charro has a steady stream of customers, a mix of Anglos and Hispanics, who pop in not only at lunch and dinner time but throughout the day for an assortment of homemade dishes — from generous nacho plates to the hand-rolled tortillas that make the foundation for the guaracha, a sandal-shaped specialty topped with beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado and your choice of meat. (A special note: the chorizo, or Mexican sausage, is a must-try).
The rest of this story is available at the Center For Rural Strategies' Daily Yonder.com.