This past Tuesday night I found myself briefly transported to heaven. One minute I was sitting at a table in Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine at 235 E. High Street in downtown Pottstown, the next I was experiencing a form of transcendence. I had finished my chicken fajitas, chef Ron Garza’s mouth-watering combination of seared chicken and smoky, slightly spicy grilled onions and peppers. I’ve been to Juan Carlos many times, but for some reason, this was the first time I’d had the fajitas and they were outstanding.
I was, however, really looking forward to one of the dessert specials – the Triple Chocolate Souffle. I hadn’t indulged in a decadent dessert in quite some time, but when Casey, my friendly and attentive server, described it, I couldn’t resist. Chef Garza needs about twenty minutes’ notice to make this dessert, and I placed my order for it when I ordered my food.
When the souffle arrived it looked like this: chocolate ice cream on the left, a dollop of whipped cream in the middle, and a small, round chocolate cake on the right. All of it was drizzled with chocolate sauce. After my first small bite of the cake, I thought, “Okay….” and let the flavors blossom. It is best to take one’s time – to live in the present – when one is on the verge of the miraculous.
Then the second bite… when the dark chocolate center started oozing out, I had what I can only describe as a dessert flashback to a very similar-looking chocolate souffle I once had in a hotel restaurant in Montreal more than a decade earlier. That second bite consisted of the chocolate lava and the cake, and my heart leapt with hope. Could it be? Yes, it was! It was even more wondrous than that distant memory. Time lost all meaning then as I greedily prepared one spoonful after another of different combinations of the lava, the cake, the whipped cream, and the ice cream. It saddens me deeply to report that I left a few bites on my plate; I was so completely stuffed that it would have been unwise to finish. And yet… and yet I am still filled with regret two days later.
If you have any affection for chocolate, I urge you to call ahead to Juan Carlos Fine Mexican at 484-624-4931, find out if the Triple Chocolate Souffle is available, and then hustle over there, settle in and get set for your own trip to heaven, before it’s too late.