And then once I'm there, I remember. You walk in, and there's a crowd of people, but where does the line end? There's an english menu with tacos and combo plates, and then there's a wall of photos with faded labels. What meats are available? What about nopales? I see barbacoa (a huge steamed cattle head). Everyone is speaking spanish, and I'm wondering if my awful tourist pidgin is up to this.
Still. Our cashier can pidgin English so we order. Huaraches are one of the reasons to make the trip: masa "sandals" the size of an NBA player's foot that are grilled, spread with refried beans and then topped with some sort of meat. I chose carne asada. I also got sopes, masa disks covered with refrieds, meat, fresh mexican cheese, crema, avocado, and lettuce, and a combination plate with more carne asada.
This and two jarritos cost $18. My sopes were most expensive at $5.50! The combination & the huaraches were both $5.
While we wait for the food, we explore the salsa bar. 5 salsas: a pico, two reds, and two greens, and the red and green we try are both blistering and addictive. Free chips await—help yourself. While we watch people around us get food, I make mental notes of things to try next time. The 7 Mares (7 seas) soup looks wonderful, as does a Cocktel de Camarones—good-sized shrimp, topped with good-sized chunks of avocado. I watch a man tuck into a torta, which seems about the size of his head. I watch someone from the kitchen come out and trim out some barbacoa for an order.
You'll notice there's no photos of the food: it's because we fell into it! The huaraches plate came with two giant huaraches, plus rice, beans & guacamole. The sopes: three to a plate, no sides. And the combo plate: rice & beans, and freshly made tortillas. Everything was delicious, both hot, and as leftovers (we brought lots home).
On the way out, I asked about to-go menus. The cashier said, yes she had them, and then I repeated the question in spanish: she gave me a scowl and said, no, of course, no! I wish I had a road map. But I think I'll be back there soon, saying, give me what he's eating.