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: Tacos Vampiros served up by La Frontera Comida Mexicana.
¿Como se dice?: Standard street tacos, tostadas, and burritos can be found on just about any Mexican menu, but vampiros are a bit harder to find in the valley. You can probably guess where these tacos get their name, but we promise they're less macabre (and more delicious) than the name Vampire Taco may suggest. Conflicting stories of how these Sonoran creations became known as vampiros litter the internet, but we're convinced that it has to do with the fact that the tortilla has been sucked dry to the point where it's little more than a stiff.
(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)
La Comida: We ordered two vampiros that arrived as crispy corn tortillas straight off the griddle. The dried out tortillas were layered with a thick coating of melted white cheese and piled high with succulent chopped carne asada, onions, and diced cabbage. We added a twist of fresh lime juice and a heavy dose of their extra hot salsa roja to appreciate the full intensity of the vampiro's burn.
El Sabor: These taco may sound a bit like tostadas, but the tortilla preparation is what sets them apart. Since the tortillas are freshly dried out on the grill before topping, they don't crunch apart into several messy pieces at first bite. Vampiros also shrivel up along the edges so they're slightly concave, which means that you can pile the toppings high. The tacos vampiros will hold their shape and hold your precious carne close from beginning to end.
La Frontera's food truck at 16th Street and Van Buren, and America's Taco Shop are the two biggest places where we've seen vampiros on the menu. But if we had to choose, we'd offer our dark allegiance to the succulent carne at La Frontera any day of the week.
Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: Vampiros aren't that hard to make at home, and just require a bit of extra grill time compared to the usual flash fry or quick heat. You can even hit up a carniceria if the thought of creating your own marinade and grilling the carne has you shaking in your boots. After you have the main ingredients, top your tacos vampiros with anything your little heart desires.
Know of any Mexican gems in the valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.