General Discussion

Black Vs. Pinto Refried Beans

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Black Vs. Pinto Refried Beans

Dennis | Jul 26, 2002 07:21 AM

For years, I have loved Mexican food. Even the cheap stuff. I even have a hard time driving by a Taco Bell without thinking of stopping in for a taco or two. I am even fond of refried beans, no matter how tackily they are prepared.

My exposure to refried beans used to be confined to the usual preparation of those mushy or lumpy pinto beans. In most cases, my refried pinto beans would appear on the side of my plate, separate from the rest of my food.

One day, about fifteen years ago, I went to Washington D.C, where I ate at a Mexican restaurant in the Georgetown district, named Enriquetta's. Their refried beans were not the usual lumpy or mushy pinto beans, but a delicious creamy puddle of what looked like pureed black beans. They were delicious.

I never had my refried beans prepared this way since, until about a couple of years ago, when a restaurant named Luna Maya opened in Norfolk, Virginia. Many of their dishes come with these creamy black beans, and they are absolutely delicious. It's like these black beans virtually "swim" into the rest of your food, combining to create a wonderful taste sensation. This is especially true of my favorite entree at this restaurant, the Chipolte Chicken Enchiladas.

A few questions come to mind:

How come more Mexican restaurants don't do their refried beans in this way, going for the usual mushy or lumpy pinto beans instead of the creamy black bean style?

Is the creamy black bean style primarily a style more familiar with Bolivia and Argentina, rather than Mexico?

Would it be accurate to say that many of the "better" Mexican restaurants prepare their refried beans in the creamy black bean style? Put another way, would you say that this is a reliable sign that a Mexican restaurant that prepares their black beans in this fashion is usually a "cut above?"

Does anybody else here absolutely love those creamy black refried beans and how they merge into whatever else is on your plate to create a wonderful taste sensation?

Dennis

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