GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

March 6, 2014

Las Vegas Weekly

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22 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM MARCH 612, 2014 BIRRIA DE CHIVO BY SAM MORRIS; TORTA DE PUERCO BY CHRISTOPHER DEVARGAS THE CALL OF TEXMEX I was embarrassed to ask, but nostalgia was calling, and its name was Chili's chicken fajitas. I was living in Guadalajara, Mexico, after college, and my Mexican girlfriend and I had gone to the movies and emerged ready for dinner. There was a Chili's on the ground loor of the multiplex, and although I embraced real Mexican food—tongue tacos from a local puesto, the city's signature torta ahogada—the guilty pleasure of franchise fajitas beckoned. One of the irst Chili's in my hometown of Baltimore opened mere blocks from my childhood home, and my brother and I loved the endless free soda reills and the chicken fajitas. In my teens, friends and I would hit Chili's be- fore heading to the movies. So, I mustered the courage and meekly asked my girlfriend if we could go to Chili's for dinner. "Of course," she responded, indicating not a shred of o ense at my desire to eat this Americanized version of her country's cuisine. "It's not Mexican food, it's Tex-Mex," she declared. "They're entirely di er- ent." –Tovin Lapan THE PERFECT BREAKFAST All breakfast burritos are equal, but some breakfast burritos are more equal than others. George Orwell never ate at Fausto's, but I've been to the Henderson taco shop enough to cover his share and then some. I mostly swing by on lazy Sundays, for the can't-get- it-anywhere-else (that I know of) omelet burrito—diced ham, melted cheddar and tangy pico de gallo wrapped within a layer of egg cocooned inside a lour tortilla. Far from the jumble of your average breakfast wrap, this thing's consistent bite- to-bite. Pro tip: Splurge for an 85-cent side of sour cream, and dab it as you go. –Spencer Patterson GOING LOCO Taco Bell's Doritos Locos taco is the dish that has cre- ated 15,000 jobs since its inception … at least according to Taco Bell, and I am proud to be a job creator, even if it is for a soulless corporate entity. If you're going to sell your soul, go down the Cool Ranch path. And if you're concerned with the fact that this taco meat might be only 88 percent beef, don't for- get that it's 100 percent delicious! –Jim Begley Meaty dishes are the specialty at the long-popular, family-friendly Lindo, satisfying stuff like sticky-sweet carnitas a la Coca-Cola and carne a la Tampiqueña, steak covered with green chilies. Switch it up and go for the goat. Birria de chivo is a big bowl of rich red broth, slightly sour and utterly herbaceous, loaded with chunks of juicy goat meat cooked forever in beer, chilies and spices. If you like, construct tacos with warm corn tor- tillas, cilantro, onion and lime, or just attack spoon-style. This is comfort food at its best, with a rightly funky edge. $18.95. 2655 E. Desert Inn Road, 735-6828. –BR Desnudo Tacos might be operated by a pair of affable gringos, but they're gringos who assemble an outstanding take on a traditional Mexican sand- wich. The torta de puerco is a symphony of swine, layering pork belly carni- tas and lime-braised pork shoulder on a crispy roll with quesadilla cheese, house-made pickled vegetables and lettuce slaw. Putting pig on a pedestal: just the way it should be. $7. 3240 S. Arville St., 982-6435. –Jim Begley Defending our guilty pleasures —the guilty pleasure Chili's in my hometown my brother and I loved the endless free soda reills and Far from the jumble of your average breakfast wrap, this thing's consistent bite- to-bite. Pro tip: Splurge for an 85-cent side of sour cream, and dab it as you go. –Spencer Patterson GOING LOCO > THE FAJITA DILEMMA So gringo, yet so good. OUTLINED_18-25_Feature_Mexican_Food_20140306_ML.indd 22 3/5/14 4:23 PM

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