^
Keep New Times Free
4

Tosti Elotes Are a Modern Mexican Update on the Classic Frito Pie

The Guilty Pleasure: Tosti Elotes
Where to Get It: La Carreta de Lily
Price: $7.58 (large)
What it Really Costs: A slight dip in your self-esteem because eating salty, gloppy food out of plastic bag is pretty much the opposite of sexy.

Tosti Elotes probably won't be the most elegant snack food you'll ever eat, but it might be the most memorable. The snack is essentially a Mexican street food version of the classic Frito pie, the humble comfort food dish popular throughout the South and Midwest. And if you thought Frito pies were indulgent, wait until you get your hands on a bag of Tosti Elotes (the name is a portmanteau of the snack's two star ingredients: Tostito corn chips and elote, a.k.a. fresh corn). It's the kind of snack food that seems hell-bent on pushing your sodium and cholesterol levels into the danger zone. 

You'll find it at La Carreta de Lily, the local Mexican snack chain known for fresh eloteescamochas (milky fruit cocktails), chamoyadas (chamoy-spiked shaved ice desserts), ice cream, and various other sweet and salty treats with slightly goofy-sounding names. 

The snack is made using Mexican-brand Tostitos (salsa verde-flavored, for an extra layer of salty spice), mayonnaise, melted butter, chili powder, lime, granulated queso cotija,  fresh-off-the-cob elote, and, to top it off, a hit of Mexican hot sauce.

Making Tosti Elotes is dead simple; calling it "cooking" would be a considerable stretch. The process involves slicing open a bag of Tostitos, dumping a bunch ingredients over the chips, and finally, planting a plastic spoon into the stiff muddle of chips and creamy goop. In some circles, this type of single-serving, eat-it straight-out-of-the-bag preparation is known as the "walking taco." Lazy, yes, but utterly convenient. And kind of fun, too. 

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

So, what does it taste like? As it turns out, savoring a bag of Tosti Elotes is all about proportion. The only way to fully appreciate the appeal of Tosti Elotes is by biting into a corn chip with just the right balance of mayonnaise, chili powder, cheese, butter, lime, and corn. When you find those perfect chips, you'll be treated to a bold mosaic of flavors: salty, rich, tangy, spicy, creamy, with a tickle of vinegar from the hot sauce. There's even a hint of sweetness in there from the fresh nubs of corn. It's unsophisticated, sure, but satisfying in the way that only salty, fat-laden junk food can satisfy. 

But if the many ingredients have not been properly layered, or you let the bag sit for even just a few minutes, your Tosti Elotes will quickly devolve into a bag of drippy, soft chips and indistinguishable goop. Our bag of Tosti Elotes was, sadly, a victim of death by mayonnaise. Most of the chip were drowned out by swirls of melted butter and too many globs of heavy mayonnaise, making it hard to appreciate the bold medley of flavors. 

You can judge for yourself with a bag of Tosti Elotes from La Carreta de Lily, which has 12 locations around the Valley, including food stalls at Desert Sky Mall and Fiesta Mall. Just make sure you have a tall glass of water on hand to wash down the huge amounts of sodium. And, it should go without saying, if you don't like mayonnaise, this guilty pleasure is not for you. 

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.