Dave’s Rave: Street Food
Now, I deeply enjoy dining in the fine establishments here in Xela, mainly so that I can brag to my friends about eating in fancy restaurants. But since I have neither the disposable income to do so frequently nor the skill/intelligence necessary to “cook,” I spend a lot of time scavenging, quite happily, on the street food offered around town.
I know what you’re thinking. And now I’ll tell you, in case you don’t. You’re thinking, “I also want to spend my days gorging myself upon curbside delicacies, but don’t know what’s good. Or how to say ‘corn,’ more importantly.” I’ve got your back, little buddies, with this comprehensive rundown of…
Papusas: If you haven’t ever had a papusa, take a moment to reevaluate your life. Then head to La Demo, Parque Calvario, or the southeast corner of Parque Central, and enjoy one of these corn tortillas filled with cheese, bean and/or pork skin. You have a better chance of finding them later in the day.
Enchiladas: Also found in Parque Central and sometimes on 6a Calle east of the park, these tostadas, covered with mixed vegetables, soy product or beets, are a great, cheap snack.
Elote: Ask the woman behind the corn cart for “maiz,” and you’ll get a confused look, maybe even a backhand slap. It’s elote, people. This corn on the cob, to be found in Parque Central or La Demo, comes in a variety of sizes and colors and should never be covered with a polluting layer of mayonnaise. Be firm about this.
Rellenos de platano: Talk about rich. These platanos are sliced, filled with beans, and coated in cream, and are a good idea if you’re looking to get pleasantly bloated and take a nap. They can be found in Parque Central, while a slight variation is offered on the corner by Teatro Municipal.
Bebidas: All this munching is going to make you thirsty, and street food vendors won’t disappoint. Fresh-squeezed orange juice is available all over the place, and arroz con leche – rice milk, found in every market – is a sweet offering that’s almost a meal in and of itself. Step into the indoor markets at Parque Central or La Demo and check out the licuados or atol de elote, a sweet, thick corn-based beverage.