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Best Vegetarian Dish That Isn't Asian or Indian (2012)
Stuffed Pablano Pepper
101 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel
There is no compromise for meat-lovers in succumbing to this deeply satisfying entree. And there are no tricks: no gobs of melted cheese or refined carbs to lull you into a comfort food stupor that later has you wishing you hadn’t. Southwestern cuisine master Cy Yontz has done it with textures and flavors—a large roasted pepper is suspended in a thick sea of spicy ancho chili purée—and the sauce alone is worth the $18 price. The filling is roasted corn, roasted golden beets, pea shoots, a sprinkle of cotija cheese and tri-colored quinoa tossed in killer extra virgin lemon olive oil, and topped with lime crema. You can add grilled skirt steak, chicken or shrimp on top, but a first go in its original form of animal-free purity. Challenge your assumptions in a tasty way.