This week: Tlacoyos served up by Huauchinango Mexican Grill.
¿Como se dice?: Masa is the solid foundation upon which most Mexican food is built, and there's a lot more to be done with it than just pressing it into flat disks for tortillas. At Huauchinango Mexican Grill, they wrap a thick homemade mound of masa around some mashed beans to make tlacoyos.
Thick, griddle fried cakes are common across Latin America. El Salvador has pupusas, Columbia and Venezuela have arepas, and in Mexico, they've got tlacoyos. Tasty little footballs filled with beans, cheese or other ingredients, and topped with all sorts of authentic Mexican goodness, like nopalitos (genuine cactus pads).
(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)
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La Comida: A platter of tlacoyos from Huauchinango Mexican Grill came stuffed with beans, and topped with all sorts of lovely garnish, including lechuga, tomatillo salsa y queso oaxaca. If you ask nicely, they'll even toss some nopalitos on top (processed prickly pear cactus pads). Two are plenty filling to make a meal of, and will run you about $5. Just make sure to have cash on hand, because presenting plastic at the end of the meal will get you laughed out of the joint.
El Sabor: Tlacoyos are some stick-to-your-ribs Mexican comfort food. The thick masa exterior was light and flavorful, with a bit of a crisp from its time on the grill. Our tlacoyos were filled with mashed beans, although just about anything can fill and top these masa torpedos. For five bucks we left stuffed.
Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: All you need to make tlacoyos from scratch is some masa, a tortilla press, and your filings of choice. We guarantee that even your local Food City will have a basic variation of all of those items, although Ranch Pro Markets still reign king in terms of selection.
Know of any Mexican gems in the valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.