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Michoacan: A can’t-miss place

Citizen Staff Writer
Cheap eats



What: Michoacan Taquería/Raspados

Address and phone: 3235 N. Flowing Wells Road, 888-0421

Hours: 9 a.m.9 p.m. daily

What was ordered: Huarache con Carne Asada ($4.99), Cheese Enchiladas ($4.99), Elote Cocido ($2.50), Tamarindo ($1.50) and Limonada ($1.50) for a total of $16.73 including tax, well within our Cheap Eats goal of a meal for two for less than $20.

Comments: This new taquería is better known for the raspados (fruit ices) and paletas (popsicles) it sells from its original location in Tucson Mall.

The kitchen takes a bigger role here than the freezer, as Michoacan offers a wide range of hot food, including breakfast. What’s great about this new North Side eatery is that it’s really a humongous, stationary version of the mobile snack stands common in the states of Michoacan and Jalisco, Mexico. Vendors in plazas, parks and along streets sell raspados, paletas and other great refrescos made from varied and vibrantly fresh fruit, and also cook made-to-order hot food. For the most part, it’s a-la-carte fare made to be enjoyed while strolling, standing or just relaxing on a park bench, without the need for plates or utensils.

The Huarache con Carne Asada y Frijoles ($4.99) was a perfect example. Named after a sandal, a culinary huarache is a larger version of what many people probably know as a gordita, a thick, skillet-fried corn tortilla. It was prepared tostada-style, with the shredded beef placed on the flat huarache and then topped with lettuce and cotija, a crumbly, fetalike Mexican cheese, that separates more authentic Mexican eateries from less authentic ones. We found the huarache itself to be a little on the chewy side, but the beef and beans were excellent.

The Queso Enchiladas ($4.99) were another great example of taquería fare, as the enchilada sauce was baked onto the cheese-filled and rolled corn tortillas so that the enchiladas could be grabbed with the fingers and eaten like flautas or taquitos. They were obviously drier than the traditional, sauce-laden tortillas and are served at a cooler temperature, so that the cheese filling doesn’t run out when you try to eat it. They may take some getting used to for fans of traditional, sauce-laden enchiladas, and should probably be called something altogether different, but they have a nicely clean and delicate enchilada flavor.

We couldn’t resist ordering the Elote Cocido ($2.50), a huge snack favorite in Mexico. A roasted ear of corn is smothered in sour cream, caked with cotija, squirted with lime juice, and then dusted with red pepper and other spices. It’s a notably pungent selection, probably way too pungent for those with an aversion to strong cheese and the like, but it’s a decadently rich spin on the old cob of corn, one that can make a silk purse out of even large-kerneled hog’s corn, as it did in this case.

As we expected, our Limonada ($1.50) and Tamarindo ($1.50) were made fresh and of excellent quality.

This is not the place to go with people who are expecting to order the No. 4 Chicken Chimichanga plate with beans, rice, flour tortilla and get complimentary salsa and chips while they wait. But if you want a distinct and enjoyable experience, one that’s pretty darn similar to one you would have at a plaza in Michoacan’s capital city of Morelia – often hailed as Mexico’s most beautiful city – then you’ll want to seek out this funky, pink, North Side taquería.

Service: Order at the counter and a server will bring the food to your table.

Bar: no

Children’s menu: no

Web site: no

Most recent health inspection: Passed opening inspection in February. Has yet to undergo its first unannounced inspection.

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