Like whiskey and the music of the Pogues from the Irish, tortillas from the Mexicans, prosciutto from the Italians and mother sauces and threesomes from the French, fry bread is the Native American people's proud contribution to our mutt and multicultural present, one of the most awe-inspiring culinary innovations of all time. As a base for an entire left-hand branch of cuisine, fry bread is as important as masa, as mirepoix, as mashed potatoes. In terms of versatility, fry bread has it over just about everyone else's best idea ever.
And you can get it almost precisely nowhere.
Or at least that was the case until the opening of Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery -- which I review this week and is now one of my favorite places on earth. How much do I love this place? I ate there three times in two days, and I haven't stopped stopped talking about it since -- annoying friends and fellow employees, my family and strangers on the street with breathless declarations of my love for Tocabe, for every piece of fry bread I've had, and for Ben Jacobs and his father, Tom, who opened the place just a few months back.
Right now, Tocabe may be the only place in the area where a fry bread addict like myself can find a dependable fix. And they top that fry bread with a variety of quality ingredients, like a Native American Chipotle, making a good idea even better.
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For you unfortunate souls uninterested in fry bread, this week's paper has some cool news about O's Steak and Seafood, where Ian Kleinman just received the review of a lifetime from egullet. And if neither American Indian food nor molecular gastronomy paddles your canoe, in this issue I also get after Chipotle for its newly redesigned menu, which seems to be sowing nothing but befuddlement, even among its own employees.