El Huequito – Mexico City – Tacos al Pastor




Tacos al Pastor is one of the most celebrated dishes in Mexico City. In all of Mexico, actually, but especially in Mexico City. El Huequito is my secret favorite place – not such a secret, though, as it was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show. It’s a nice restaurant downtown, with a wide menu, but the pastor grill is outside, where you can grab a couple of quick tacos on the run.

The basic tacos are pretty, uh, basic. Slivers of caramelized marinated pork sliced onto warm tacos, splashed with a spectacular sauce of guacamole, thinned with orange and chile flavors. I like to go a little crazy, though, and order the Especial. It’s sort a make-your-own-taco affair, in which enough meat for several tacos is served in a towering pile, laced with delicious sauce, accompanied by a stack of tortillas on the side. My one and only complaint is that they don’t serve orange Fanta, my favorite drink with spicy tacos.


Vampiros – Mazatlán



How could I possibly resist a dish called Vampiros?

It was a busy taco stand – actually a large restaurant in a row of those metal-roof, garage-like spaces – and I chose it because it was the busiest place along the strip of road leading to the beach. I got to chatting with a cab driver, who told me I had chosen the best place, because it’s where the drivers go… I suppose they have special culinary sensibilities.

With great expectations, I waited for my Vampiros, but was a bit disappointed when they turned out to be Tacos al Pastor. I’m not sure what distinguishes Vampiros from tacos, but they were absolutely delicious. My favorite tacos are in Tijuana and Mexico City, but these ran a close third. Richly spiced marinated pork, cut directly from the vertical grill, served with a wider-than-usual selection of accompaniments, I was thrilled.

Maybe taxi drivers know what they’re eating after all.