In preparation for the side effects of Mexican Independence Day, Short Order went out in search for the perfect Mexican hangover cure. The answer? Chilaquiles. Chilaquiles (chee-lah-KEE-less) are a traditional Mexican dish typically made from crispy corn tortillas slathered in either red or green salsa, dolloped refried beans, eggs (scrambled or fried), queso fresco and crema. Mexicans believe that spicy foods remedy the side effects of a long night out, so we put the adage to the test and went out to find the best local examples. Line up the margaritas, let the horses loose and and know that the cure can be found at a couple of places on Calle Ocho. Taqueria El Mexicano and Mi Rinconcito Mexicano both dish up some pretty stellar chilaquiles. The differences are subtle but worth examining. They boil down to personal taste.
Absolutely breath taking upon arrival, the dish is colorful and festive
with multiple shades of red, white and green. Crispy tortilla are served
over a bed homemade refried beans and covered in salsa verde, queso
fresco and chopped onion and cilantro. Anticipation builds just looking
at the perfectly cooked fried egg sitting on top of the tortillas
waiting to be cracked. Flavor wise, this hits home on every aspect. The
salsa verde is spicy, tart, and earthy and texturally, this just works.
Some of the tortillas are crispy and some of them are soft having been
sitting in the salsa-bean-eggy-combo; it is the perfect texture
contrast. Freshly chopped onion and cilantro bring the dish alive with
their bright and sharp flavors.
Cons: Although the salsa had a touch of heat, heat buffs need to ask
for chiles on the side to give it an added boost on the heat index.
Awesome, awesome salsa verde - probably some the best. It's potent!
They've boiled tomatillos, loads of chiles and cilantro and then blended
it to a silky, smooth consistency. So the star on this plate is
obviously the salsa. The co-stars are good, but it's all about the sauce
Cons: The preparation differs from El Mexicano in the texture
category. They cook the tortillas with the salsa rendering them soft as
opposed to serving them crunchy. If you like baby food, this is your
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pick, and if not, there is only so much one can eat.
Verdict: Run with Taqueria El Mexicano; it's crispy and crunchy,
eggy, tart, and the beans are bomb-tastic.