The "Guacamole Bobe" is one of my favorite dishes at Rustika Cafe & Bakery. The rich combination of Mexican avocado and Old World egg salad is a perfect illustration of the Mexican-Jewish culinary fusion that I first encountered there. (Bobe means grandma in Yiddish.) The plate comes with tortilla chips and hot sauce, but I like to spread my egg salad guac on challah toast and sprinkle it with a little of the house green salsa.
Looking over the menu I was disappointed to discover that Rustika's famous jalapeño gefilte fish isn't available for lunch anymore. "Nobody ordered it at the cafe, but we still have it on our catering menu and I'm happy to take special orders," owner Leo Reznick told me.
Reznick grew up Jewish in Mexico City. He sees nothing unusual about Yiddish-Mexican fusion dishes like jalapeño gefilte fish. But for those of us who have been eating lumpy, bland Maneschevitz gefilte fish out of the bottle every year at Passover, the first taste of Leo's spicy fish balls is a revelation. Jalapeño, horseradish, cilantro, wow!
Who knew ground pickled fish could taste like this? But don't believe me—call Leo and get a sample plate to taste test. Then place your order for Passover. "I get a lot of Seder invitations," Leo chuckles.
Rustika Cafe & Bakery, 3237 Southwest Fwy., 713-665-6226, rustikacafe.com