14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 1998
Many of us collect cookbooks for their unique and/or useful recipes. Rarely does a recipe-book come along that is one you want to curl up with on the couch and read and enjoy for its own sake.
Carlotta Flores' El Charro Cafe is one. It is a joyful tribute to past and future by the author and is full of the color of Mexican flavor in the Southwest U.S. Fisher Books did an outstanding job on the full-color photography on nearly every page, not only of platters of food but of kichey artifacts and symbols of the rich culture as it is lived on both sides of our long border and especially at El Charro.
Throughout the pages are amusing and touching family anecdotes from the time Carlotta's great-aunt Monica began serving cowboys and their familias frijoles and tamales in the dusty, wild Tucson of 1922,to the third and fourth generation's tasteful updates that have made El Charro an international destination-restaurant.
I can think of dozens of friends and relatives who would love to find this prize under the Christmas tree. It would not need wrapping!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 1998
I first encountered this cookbook at my in-laws' house in Florida. They had dined at El Charro on a recent trip to Tucson, and were so enamored with the restaurant and the food, they bought the book. Unfortunately for them, they can't get many of the authentic spices and foodstuffs in Florida. Fortunately for me in Colorado, I can (excepting the preparation of the carne seca, which is one of the few drawbacks of this book). Gracias, El Charro e Senora Flores.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2010
This has become one of my favorite regional cookbooks. So far, I've made about a dozen of the recipes, and they are DELICIOUS. Recipes and notes are very well-written and clear. Carlotta Flores' book seems to be OOP now, but if you can, definitely get this one instead of the copycat El Charro Cafe book by Stern & Stern, published 4 years later, I believe. It looks like the same great recipes are in that book, but without all of Carlotta Flores' helpful notes, tips, and interesting information. I don't understand why Flores' book wasn't reprinted instead of bringing out the derivative Stern book so soon afterward.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 1998
BEING FROM THE WEST COAST, I THOUGHT I KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT MEXICAN FOOD, AND BEING FROM TUCSON AND KNOWING THE EL CHARRO QUALITY MADE ME THINK I KNEW IT ALL. I WAS WRONG!!! THIS BOOK IS GREAT, IT TELLS A GREAT STORY OF THE TRADITION AND HISTORY OF THE CULTURE BEHIND THE FOOD. THE RECIPES WERE CLEAR AND CONCISE AND FUN TO MAKE. MY FAMILY WAS AMAZED HOW GOOD A COOK THIS BOOK MADE ME. I WAS MORE INTRIGUED WITH MAKING FOOD FROM A BOOK THAT I FELT A CONNECTION TO THE CULTURE THAT MADE THE RECIPES POSSIBLE. I HAVE NOT BEEN TO THE RESTAURANTS FOR SOME TIME NOW AND I FEAR IT MAY BE LONGER AS I AM ENJOYING COOKING AT HOME SO MUCH! BUY THIS BOOK!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2011
We used to live in Tucson, Arizona- where the original El Charro is and we always loved their food. Now in Texas, everything is Tex-Mex-y and not at all authentic Sonoran style Mexican food. I hate Tex Mex! This cookbook is awesome. The recipes are mostly easy to follow and the food comes out exactly like the restaurant. Plus, most recipes are fairly healthy or can be easily modified to make more healthy versions. We love the tortilla soup!