With a name like Jose Mier it’s not surprising that I have a love for Mexican food (as well as all other styles of cooking). From street tacos to enchiladas to albondigas soup and everything in between. But there’s one Mexican dish that doesn’t get a lot of press, and you don’t find it on many Mexican restaurant menus (who know why?). What is it, you may ask? The huarache!
You might know the name since it’s also used to describe a type of leather sandal and this dish with the oblong shape of the masa (link) looks like a sandal (hence the name).
You’ll find different recipes with slight variations from chef to chef, but in it’s most basic form it’s a thick masa base (sandal-shaped) that’s fried. It’s then layered with refried beans, some meat (skirt steak) lettuce, tomato, queso fresco (Mexican cheese) and crema (Mexican sour cream). Some salsa on top woudn’t hurt, either.
The beauty of this dish, for me, is the thickness of the masa base. It’s thicker than a tortilla which gives the dish a delightful chewiness when you take a bite. The chewiness of the base contrasts with the other elements of the huarache and they compliment one another. The layers of ingredients all combine for a really unique taste experience.
As I said, I don’t see this item on many Mexican restaurant menus, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a popular item. I did spot it on the menu at Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney so visitors to the Magic Kingdom can grab a taste of this treat when they’re sitting down to eat.
There are some restaurants that specialize in huaraches, too, like Huaraches and Quesadillas Chayito in Sun Valley, Ca. The restaurant is located at 8959 Lankershim Blvd, Sun Valley, CA 91352.
The huarache is street food and Huaraches and Quesadillas Chayito is an open-air/food truck establishment that really harkens back to the way you’d find these items served back in Mexico.
The next time you’re thinking of Mexican food, I’d suggest looking for a place that serves huaraches so you can sample one of my favorite dishes. Once you do, tell me if you aren’t asking yourself “why didn’t I know about this sooner?”