Two for Chihuahua, Chihuahua
We had a really great and inexpensive breakfast at Enrizo's at Calles Mirador and Berlin in the Mirador section of the city. There are two others one at Technologico and Altamirano and the other at near the Plaza San Angel. They're open from 8 am to 3 pm. Their website is www.enrizosrestaurante.com.
We had their house coffee, café de la olla (it has Mexican cinnamon, canela in it), and had four burritos between the two of us - two with asado de puerco - red chile sauced pork stew; one each of chile pasado, which I have been told is made from a dried chile chihuacle - this was made with tomatoes, and pork cut into a small dice; and another with chicharron de pella (chicharron with a little meat on it) made with tomatillos. They were served in a thick, and I think hand-made, pan-toasted wheat tortilla. They're not the SF Bay Area type of burritos that have beans, rice, the filling, sour cream, shredded lettuce and a little pico de gallo salsa. These are a purer expression of the guisados that filled them. Their cooking has integrity and honest cooking. The burritos were only $16 pesos each and a wonderful breakfast in a nice place with clean bathrooms was something like $114 pesos before tip.
They have a much larger breakfast menu and the menu changes over for lunch at 1 pm. The lunch menu, like the breakfast menu, has daily specials. We intend to go back during our trip.
A fancier place with a superb view of the Cathedral of Chihuahua from El Meson del Catedral's second-floor location, literally next to the Cathedral. Their website is mesondecatedral.uau.mx. They have both inside and outside dining areas. Its a kind of steel and bare wood sort of decor but its not overpriced. They have a full bar and wine list; I did not look at the wine list.
I had my long sought 'holy grail' dish of tacos de tuetano (beef marrow). They're cooked in a hot cast iron dish that they bring to you along with corn or wheat tortillas, we picked corn, and the usual sides, cilantro, lime quarters, and two sauces, a pico de gallo and one made with a mix of red chiles including mirasol (I wonder if this is like the Hunan facing heaven chile??), chile california, and chile chihuacle, if I am remembering this right. This dish is the Fergus Henderson goes to México. Very nice and probably a dish to make cardiologists everywhere shudder. That was $94 pesos.
I had a duck enchilada in mole poblano. It was well executed and pretty but the mole was just sweet and had no bite. My fiancé had a rib eye steak expertly grilled. It was about a half inch thick and came with a grilled chile, big grilled green onion, and grilled nopal.
I also had a Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Añejo (the Chihuahua distillate of their agave, known in English as the 'Desert Spoon'. It was very nice. I am awaiting two bottles from the mountains and I'll post once I taste them. I understand that while Sotol is the drink of the State of Chihuahua, its really not that well known in the City of Chihuahua and is just now getting some market and mind-share. There's a dish we did not try that uses scallops and Sotol at the Meson de Catedral but I am a sucker for duck so that will have to wait.
The whole dinner for two including a drink each came to about $50 US before tip.
I'm thinking the chile you mention as possibly included in a couple of the dishes you had--chile chilhuacle--is probably not what was used. The chilhuacle is a specialty chile from Oaxaca, specific to Oaxaca dishes.
Generally speaking when the chile in question is called 'pasado' it's the matured, dried chilaca chile--a totally different chile. The first photo is the green chilaca, which is close to black in color when it is allowed to stay on the chile bush to completely mature and is then dried for use in certain sauces. The taste is very similar to the taste of the chile poblano.
The mirasol chile is a smaller version of the guajillo. It does resemble the Chinese facing heaven chile; both are varieties of capiscum annum. The second photo is the dried mirasol--I was toasting them on a comal.