America is Great
4715 Nolensville Rd
(located next to the new CVS on Nolensville Rd)
This blog post has been a long time coming for Las Americas. I tried Las Americas years ago after hearing about what Kay West wrote about this place in the Scene. Las Americas is known for being a papusaria. There are other foods too besides papusas, including tacos, soups, quesadillas, and burritos. There are sides of beans and rice and other sides normally associated with Mexican foods. To drink, they have coke products and other Mexican sodas. There is one dish that I really want to try, and it is a red posole style soup. The soup is supposed to be assundry parts of the pig and hominy in a red broth. The last few time I have been there, I have gone on the wrong day, and they did not have soup. I will have to go back, on other days to see if the pork and hominy soup is the soup of the day.
The reason way I haven't blogged about this place before is because I have been ordering all wrong, that is to say, ordering way too much food, and then feeling overwhelmed. The 1st time I was there, I ordered 2 papusas, beans and rice, all totaling less than $10. How could this been too much food, as it was less than $10. Well, my dining companion ordered the same, and our table was so full of food, enough for 4 - 6 people, that we were so overwhelmed, and barely ate any of it. We packed it up and took it home, and had meals for days. We waited long enough to forget about the volume of freshly made food, and each time we ordered way too much food, and got overwhelmed.
BUT, this time, we had just been to Las Americas recently, and knew that one dish per person, no matter how cheap ($2.50 per papusa) it is, is how we need to order. The papusas are huge, the size of a normal dinner plate. The papusas are corn masa on the outside filled with what meat, cheese or beans that you want, and then formed into a giant pancake and fried on the griddle until golden brown. A fresh cabbage slaw is served to put on top of the papusa. This day, we ordered one (1) bean pork and cheese papusa, two (2) tacos - stew beef and chorizo ($1.25 each), one (1) side plate of rice, and two (2) sodas. This is more food than the 2 of us could eat for lunch. The papusa was slightly crunch on the outside and densely filled with beans, pork and cheese. The tacos were of the style you can get at a taco cart. They are made with soft corn tortillas topped with the meat, onions and cilantro. A spritz of lime on the taco, and it is heaven. I prefer this sit-down restaurant for eating the tacos because I feel like I can take my time to dine on the tacos. I love taco truck food a lot, but somehow I rush through those meals standing outside. I must mention that all this food for 2, including 2 drinks, and tax, the total was only $9.75. Yes, less than $10 for 2 for a quite filling lunch, drinks and tax. Amazing!
A note hear about the sodas, and the ingredients in the sodas: We got a coke and a diet coke with lunch. The diet coke was the standard coke made with that blue sweetener. The coke, however, was made in Mexico, like the other sodas such as Jarritos brand soda. The Jarritos brand sodas are made with sugar, not with corn syrup. The sugar adds a crispness to the soda, a mid-tongue fizz that is almost lemony and bright. Sodas made with high fructose corn syrup is missing this fresh zip on the tongue and the fresh brightness you can only get from sugar. The coke at Las Americas was so crisp, fizzy, and bright, like coke was back in the 1970s before the USA plants switched to high fructose corn syrup. I was listening to a Talk of the Nation Science Friday show, and the food authority guest speaker was saying that high fructose corn syrup is not really a food because it can't ever occur in nature on its own. You can't just leave a corn cob out in the sun and get something sweet, like you can with cane juice, you can leave it out in the sun and get cane sugar. The science is inconclusive about the effects of corn syrup on the body. Corn syrup could be found to be one of the causes for obesity and obesity related diseases. It could be like how margerine was once thought to be healthy because it is made from veggie oil. Years later, margerine and oleo is found to be a leading cause of plaque causing heart attacks, and it is healthier to eat lard and butter! Yikes about margerine! Regardless of health issues around corn syrup, I do prefer sodas made with sugar because soda with sugar tastes so much better!
Labels: Nashville Eats