Mexican Munchies Ranked
Because the first bite of a street taco is the happiest bite on earth. And other reflections on a few of my favorite 🇲🇽 cravings. Full disclosure: this post is biased.
- 1.The Street TacoTen times out of ten the best street meat is at the sketchiest looking vendor stand or hole in the wall establishment. If you aren't risking a night of deep sweats and sleeping on the bathroom floor, you are not about to eat the best taco of your life. Crispy, salty, smoky al pastor piled on two charred corn tortillas with bursts of fresh, sweet piña, cilantro and fragrant onion served with a juicy slice of lime. Ain't nothing better.
- 2.FAQ (or BCR for the Gringos)When I've had a long day, or I'm craving comfort food, or I simply want to eat my feelings there is nothing more pleasing than a burrito de frijoles, arroz y queso. Creamy beans, fluffy rice and gooey, oozing queso swaddled in a chewy, crusty, toasted flour tortilla. Shut the front door and lock me inside.
- 3.Chile RellenosA Chile Relleno is like your favorite song that you just fell in love with and you force yourself not to listen to it over and over again because you're afraid you will grow tired of it. It's decadent indeed, especially if you're like me and always include a side of rice and beans. Biting into the lightly battered, airy blanket of salty goodness and the crunchy, then gooey and cheesy stuffed poblano is last meal on earth worthy. Did I mention the entire chile is smothered in salsa ranchera?
- 4.Mama's EnchiladasOnce in a while my mom will ask one of her five grown children what meal they'd like to eat for family supper, a birthday dinner, or a random night we decide to eat all together. Two of the five of us always ask for her enchiladas. Even when she doesn't feel up to the task and makes them a la white people (layering the tortillas into a casserole) this dish is still a 10. The trick is adding a little yellow onion to the chicken and frying up those CORN tortillas before building the enchilada.
- 5.Nachos LibreNachos are like the LBD of Mexican munchies. Reliable, completely customizable and goes with everything. Carne Asada? Yup. Carnitas? Yup. Al pastor? Yup. Pile on as much cheese, salsa, and meat as you can hold? Sure. Keeping it classy with just cheese, beans and salsa? Still GOOD.
- 6.ElotesThis one is a no brainer. Instead of going all in on mayo-overload, opt for a light touch of butter and a sprinkling of cotija cheese, lime and chile. A bitchin summer snack.
- 7.Open Faced QuesadillasThe only way to eat a quesadilla. If you have never had an open faced quesadilla stop reading this. Not only do you pass on that second tortilla that you don't even want, but you get to see all that bubbling cheese up close and personal. Add what you like, my favorite is a nice thick layer of Queso Oaxaca and a spoonful of chorizo.
- 8.SopesUsually served as a pair or trio, sopes are that underrated pair of jeans that somehow you always forget about until you're so indecisive you stumble upon them hopelessly, but then ever so graciously. The best part about sopes are when the beans melt into the thick corn masa disc and you eat the entire thing level by level. Crunchy lettuce, fresh pico, braised carnitas, and then the savory carb union that is refried beans married into masa as one. Don't know what I'm talking about? Just try one.
- 9.GorditaNo, not that Gordita. I mean the kind that are made on the streets of DF, in a bubbling pool of hot oil. Pork, masa and cheese all bathe in this ocean of flavor and chile and it's wrapped up to devour like you would an arepa. Spicy and rich & intensely satisfying.
- 10.TortaThe only really delicious Mexican food I ever found living in Brooklyn was at a little bodega in Park Slope called Reyes. My order was always the same, a Torta de carnitas with beans, queso, jalapeño and avocado. Their bolillos always light and airy, crunchy then chewy. Salsa roja on the side.