Last weekend a little Mexican joint opened up in the old Cricket store on Southwest Boulevard and Pennsylvania with an exciting name: El Huarache. The huarache is a somewhat lesser-known staple of Mexican cuisine, one not as widely available in local restaurants as the ubiquitous burrito, taco or torta. Simply put, the huarache is an oval of soft masa dough—thicker than a tortilla—that is griddled and topped with any combination beans, cheese, meat, tomato, cilantro and onion. It’s like a super taco.
Reminding me vaguely of the Salvadoran pupusa, the huarache offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures using staples of the cuisine. The name “huarache” comes from its shape, which is reminiscent of a traditional Mexican sandal of the same designation.
I visited El Huarache on its second day of operation and they certainly had some kinks to work out. No less than four employees visited my table for various purposes, but everyone was open and friendly, if not overly knowledgeable about the menu (which is easily forgiven this early in the game). I had no complaints about the food however, which was speedily prepared and pretty delicious.
The real revelation of my meal was the red salsa which is thin, spicy as hell and riddled with good chile and tomato flavor. They also offer a very nice salsa verde and a chipotle salsa intended for the huarache that I found a little overbearing. I’ll be back for those huaraches though. Anyone know of other good ones in town?