I am a true lover of all things vegetables, but for some reason I only recently discovered my love of sweet potatoes. Up until a few months ago I thought I didn’t like sweet potatoes, but boy was I wrong. I decided to roast them one night, and the rest is history. Now I eat sweet potatoes at least a few times a week, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! That’s why I was so excited to hear about “Fiesta De Camotes,” a month long celebration of sweet potatoes! In particular “Fiesta de Camotes” highlights Hispanic restaurants and bakeries throughout North Carolina who are featuring special dishes containing sweet potatoes.
With 22 different restaurants and bakeries participating, I was excited to try the special sweet potato dish as Babalu in Chapel Hill. You may have seen in a previous post, that I was able to try Babalu a few weeks ago and was a huge fan. The service, food, and atmosphere of the restaurant are amazing, and my boyfriend won’t stop raving about our meal, which is a big indicator of how great it was! This time, I went back on a mission to try the Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchiladas. Of course we had to start our meal with Garlic Rosti Potatoes with Teriyaki Glaze ($4.75), which were a favorite from the last time we ate here. These potatoes are out-of-this-world good. My boyfriend even got more as a side to his meal in addition to the large order that we split.
I went with the Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchiladas to celebrate “Fiesta de Camotes.” The dish came with two enchiladas stuffed with chorizo and sweet potatoes, and topped with a red tomato sauce. The sweet potatoes added a subtle sweetness, which perfectly complimented the spiciness of the chorizo and red sauce. Although two enchiladas doesn’t sound like a ton of food, the filling was so satisfying that I was perfectly full by the end of my entrée. My boyfriend decided to go with the Baba Burger ($10.50), which was topped with tomato, cheddar cheese, grilled onion, avocado, bacon, and chipotle aioli. I tried a bite and it was delicious; honestly I felt like the soft, fresh sweet sourdough bun really made the burger.
Our server, AJ, also kindly sent us out his favorite dish, the Pan Roasted Redfish ($13.50). This was a dish I probably wouldn’t have thought about ordering, but I’m so glad I got to try it! The fish was incredibly light and the red chili sauce was so incredibly flavorful. Of course the fact that it was on a bed of Rosti potatoes elevated to the next level.
After a second amazing meal at Babalu, it has quickly become one of my favorite spots to go for some tapas or Hispanic Fusion food. I loved getting to try their special sweet potato dish, which incorporated the always-delicious sweet potatoes into a classic dish perfectly. If you’re a cocktail person, they also had a special sweet potato cocktail for “Fiesta de Camotes” as well! Tons of Hispanic restaurants across the Triangle will be celebrating “Fiesta de Camotes” throughout the month of September with special sweet potato dishes, so make sure to check some of them out!
You can also celebrate “Fiesta de Camotes” in your home by trying some new sweet potato recipes. There are a ton of tasty recipes to choose from here. You can view a list of all participating restaurants here.
“Fiesta de Camotes” is a promotion of the NC SweetPotato Commission and was funded through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Melissa Guido is currently a dietetic intern in the Triangle area. She studied nutrition at NC State and Meredith College. Her favorite part about nutrition is showing people that healthy food can be exciting and delicious. Melissa loves traveling and learning about how food fits into different cultures. In her free time she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, and obsessing over her dogs. Follow her on Instagram @made2order and at www.madeorder.wordpress.com.