For many Americans, the classic margarita is the elixir of life. And for others, the delicacy of choice is savory guacamole bursting with the creamy richness of avocados. Together, margaritas and guacamole are Nirvana to some food and drink enthusiasts.
Lawton Haygood, who owns the Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, knows first-hand that many guests think that a perfectly made margarita is the perfect companion for an order of guacamole and chips. At his restaurant, which specializes in Gulf of Mexico cuisine, margaritas are the most popular drink, and most are accompanied by guacamole and chips.
The avocado, of course, is guacamole’s star ingredient. Half of an average eight-ounce avocado supplies over 10 percent of one’s daily requirement of potassium, four percent of vitamins C and E, and over 12 percent of folate and dietary fiber in a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. Though avocados are high in calories, they are nutritious and good for the heart. The avocado also contains the highest source of lutein, which is known to protect against eye disease and prostate cancer.
At the Boathouse, Haygood prepares his guacamole in an innovative way. Instead of mashing the avocados, he slices them in chunks and combines them with tomatoes, onions, salt, black pepper, lemon pepper and cilantro. The dish looks more like a salad than an order of guacamole.
“There is more flavor by preparing it that way,” Haygood said. “Since the avocados are in chunks instead of mashed, you get something different in every bite. You taste the tomatoes and onions – and the avocados are more flavorful in chunks.”
Margaritas are the preferred drink with guacamole and chips, Haygood believes, because the tequila and lime juice are ideal partners to the avocado. The typical ingredients in a margarita are tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, an orange liqueur, a rim of Kosher salt on the glass, and a round of lime for garnish.
“Since the margarita is a Mexican and Southwestern drink, it fits perfectly with our Gulf of Mexico concept,” Haygood said. “Margaritas and guacamole and chips are one of our best selling combinations.”