Sopes from Los Favoritos Taco Shop

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: Sopes from Los Favoritos Taco Shop

¿Como se dice?: Sopes are small round disks of masa pinched around the sides to create a little boat that holds all sorts of toppings like beans, cheese, chiles, meat, and roasted veggies. Almost like a savory masa-based tart, with a corn tortilla-like base sturdy enough to pick up and eat with your hands. Next time you find yourself at the corner of Dorsey and Broadway, whether you're hitting up the Clubhouse, or betting on off track racing at The Horse of Hound, or giving plasma (we don't judge), swing by Los Favoritos for their tasty take on sopes.

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

La Comida: Order the sopes meal from Los Favoritos (#16) and be rewarded with two sturdy masa cakes smeared with refried beans and topped with machaca, grilled onions and peppers, lettuce, cheese and a dollop of sour cream. You'll need a fork and knife to conquer these sopes, but it's worth making a bit of mess.

El Sabor: The base of the sopes tastes just like a corn tortilla, which should come as no surprise since the dough is made in just about the same fashion. Then it's rolled into a ball, pressed down to ½ inch width and quickly heated on a grill. To hollow it out a bit and make room for the toppings, the edges of the masa disk are pinched up around the sides, like those crappy pinch pots you used to make in arts and crafts.

The dense base tastes just like a mega thick corn tortilla, so the real flavor comes from what you add atop the sopes. We like roasted green chile strips, frijoles borrachos, chorizo, cotija, and salsas galore. Don't hesitate to ask your favorite Mexican joint, like Los Favoritos, to skip the carnitas and substitute another meat or topping of choice.

Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: Sopes are easy to make, and even easier to buy premade by the bag at Ranch Market. Homemade sopes should look homemade, so don't fret. They can also be prepared well ahead of time, so create a dozen sopes the next time you're having friends over and make a DIY assembly line for custom sopes.

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

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Erica O'Neil