Fourth of July was Tuesday, but you can carry patriotic feelings into the weekend with that most American of culinary creations, the Frito pie.
The Sail Inn bar and restaurant in West Sacramento offers highly tasty, $9 version of the corn-chip-chili-cheese treat that comes in a Frito’s bag. The chili holds plentiful smoked brisket and a smattering of black beans. Sour cream helps smooth out the chips’ saltiness. Chopped red onion and house-pickled jalapeños add spark.
It is the more sophisticated version of the “Frito boats” I used to order from a stand during high school football games. Yet is is not so sophisticated that is goes too far afield from those comforting teenage memories.
For all its Midwestern-church-cookbook innocence, Frito pie has not been free of controversy. Though its most common origin involves a five-and-dime store in New Mexico, some claim the first Frito pie was made in Texas.
Chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain visited that New Mexico five-and-dime in 2013 for his show “Parts Unknown” and seemed determined to dismiss it. Though he deemed the pie “delicious,” he said it felt like “warm crap in a bag” in his hand, and erroneously said the chili was canned.
But as we know from his recent disparaging tweet regarding the fun car-chase film “Baby Driver,” some Bourdain opinions should be taken with a big granule of Maldon salt.