I’ve been trying to vary my diet as best I can, but really am struggling to have a day when tacos don’t appear on my plate. I know they are the cornerstone of Mexican cuisine and are used in a dozen slightly different ways but I am tiring of them.
In the interest of enjoying the remaining culinary journey I still have left in Mexico I need to seriously start avoiding tacos. I am not used to eating the same thing every day, let alone having the same items two or three times per day, I know this is a huge privilege when the vast majority of the world people are happy just to have something to eat.
I was stuck with the dilemma of what to eat, I didn’t want Italian, fried chicken, or steak. But I was in a capital city with millions of inhabitants, I deduced there must be hipster quality burgers in an international city of this size.
I didn’t want international chain burgers, I could be underwhelmed with those anywhere, I wanted a burger that some guy with too many tattoos, a beard and perhaps a topknot would describe as craft. And I found them!
The smoky char on the meat, the milk bun, suitably glazed and the other ingredients held within fine quality, yeah, I found them.
Over the next few days I ate a couple of burgers, burgers with blue cheese and onion rings, burgers with jalapeños and soft cheese.
But my favourites had to be the burguesa del tio Sam (burger of uncle sam) this simple still pink burger delivered the best smoke flavour and contrast to tangy cheese and hit of salt with crisp streaky bacon, the lettuce and tomato there for show more than anything else.
And the burguesa fuerte (burger strong), mostly because you don’t see a lamb burger all that often, and this one was excellent, served slightly pink, it was juicy, and aired with flavours that didn’t overpower the subtle lamb flavour, creamed spinach, camembert cheese and toothpick sized potato chips.
In spite of this mega amount of burgers in what is really a short space of time I couldn’t exclusively eat burgers alone, I also can’t afford to eat high end dining all the time either so I aimed at some cheap eats as well, knowing full well that in Mexico that means tacos, more tacos.
The tacos de milenesa were some of the worst, essentially just a warmed corn taco topped with sliced fried crumbed schnitzel, served with a little guacamole and the salsas of the house.
Whereas the pastor especial, served in the same place were some of the best, again with the warm tortillas this was served as a pile of kebab cooked marinated pork, layered with quacamole, onions cooked in rendered pork fat from the kebab rotisserie and drizzled with a yellow hot sauce. A little tricky to eat but way more satisfying than the crappy beef schnitzel taco.
I viewed the tostades de pollo as not a taco, even though a tostades is little more than a crispy cooked taco. But more like a chicken salad served on a crisp base, it was served chilled, the salad was crisp and refreshing, the tostades base remaining crisp for ages tostadas despite having been slathered with frijoles puree and topped with lettuce, torn chicken, sour cream and cheese, there was the usual red and green salsas on the side to add some spice as required.
The street stall tacos tasted pretty much like I expected them to, simply of meat, sour chilli sauce and corn. Considering these mixed topping tacos of pork and beef simply served with green salsa and fried potatoes, there really was little else to expect.