Milanesa de Res: Thin-cut, Crispy Beef from La Salsita

Tacos may very well be the perfect food, but let's face it, the standard Meximerican fare can get a bit stale after a while. Taco the Town is here to highlight some of the more unusual Mexican finds in the valley.

This week: Milanesa de Res served up by La Salsita.

¿Como se dice?: Most folks are familiar with the carne asada or carnitas at their favorite Mexican joint, but fewer are familiar with milanesa, a crispier way to prepare a slice of carne. It may not be a common taco or burrito filling, but if you've ever had schnitzel or chicken fried steak, then milanesa de res should be next up on your torta rotation.

(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)

La Comida: One platter of crisp, breaded milanesa de res surrounded by a pile of Mexican rice and cheesy refried beans. Thick and fluffy homemade corn tortillas or hot flour tortillas made in house are served on the side for impromptu mini burrito making.

Make sure to hit up La Salsita's excellent salsa bar to accent your meal with spicy red, tart tomatillo, or smooth avocado sauce. Grab some veggies, like fresh cucumbers, crisp radishes, and roasted jalapenos, onions, and zanhorias (carrots). An odd pico de gallo-style slaw packed with lettuce rounded out the selections.

El Sabor: Milanesa is a Mexican-style chicken fried steak, sans the thick and hearty gravy, or a German schnitzel sans side of spaetzel. This thin cut, crispy meat dish is served all through South American and up into Central America. In Mexico, it refers more to a cooking style than a certain cut of meat. This style of cooking uses an ultra-thin cut of meat, generally beef or chicken, but occasionally veal or even a fish filet in some countries. Each meaty slice is tenderized, seasoned, dipped in eggs, dredged in flour, and then quickly pan-fried on each side until super crisp.

A spritz of lime or lemon is the simplest way to finish off the milanesa, which is then ready to serve a la carte or as a meaty filling. Milanesa is a common torta addition, and at La Salsita it's served with a side of homemade tortillas for tiny taco folding and burrito rolling.

Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: Milanesa is a fairly easy way to prepare a thin cut of meat. It's a good way to make a tougher cut of meat tender or stretch a meager piece of meat through a couple meals. Heat up a pan, grab some beef or chicken, and fry up some milanesa for tortas, burritos, and good old fashioned pan-fried steak with a twist.

Know of any Mexican gems in the Valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.

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