Tacos at Juanito offer a taste of Mexico City in the highlands | Arts and entertainment







Juanito’s Tacos is located at 7750 Palm Ave. , Highland, south of Cypress Street and north of Fifth Street.




It has been many years since I visited Juanito. It is a tribute to the dedicated consumer base that remains strong. While they serve a variety of open-faced corn tortillas with chopped onions, cilantro, and watery guacamole that can be eaten in a bite or two, there are a number of other items on the menu that suggest the family’s origins are in Mexico City.

Take Huarache, for example. It consists of lightly fried oblong shaped masa dough covered with mashed pinto beans and topped with green or red sauce, lettuce, diced tomatoes, fresco and meat. We chose very thin cuts of pork stomach with a mild taste, unlike most organ meats. Green salsa is fiery in the foreground, while red salsa has a slow building heat on the back of the tongue.







Tortas

Juanto serves a torta, which is a smooth roll filled with cream, guacamole, lettuce, green salsa, or rojo salsa.




Another popular Mexico City ingredient is the torta, which is a smooth roll filled with cream, guacamole, lettuce, salsa verde, or rojo sauce. We chose the Pastor as the meat – grilled spit pork first marinated in an adobada, earthy and chile sauce.

Due to the influences of Mexico City, I was disappointed not to find the Pampazzo on the menu. This is the perfect street food in which inexpensive bread rolls are stuffed with potatoes, chorizo, shredded lettuce, crema and queso fresco, then dipped in guajillo chile sauce. This messy and delicious combination of flavors is best eaten with a fork. Maybe they will add it as private in the future.

If you haven’t tried mulita, you are in a great place. It consists of flat top and bottom tortillas stuffed with a good portion of cheese (which holds the tortilla together) plus cilantro, chopped onions and the meat of your choice. We chose the carnitas. The moletta is grilled on both sides and looks somewhat like a quesadilla. Pick it up with both hands, sprinkle a little sauce on top and eat it as you would a sandwich.







taco guacamole

Tacos with guacamole can be ordered with slow-cooked shredded beef (periya), cabeza (cheek), and on Tuesdays, lingua (tongue).




Coming back to the taco fillings, chicken tinga is worth a look, although it’s not always available. It’s a mixture of shredded chicken in a chipotle sauce that lends a smoky medium heat to the palate. Slow-cooked shredded beef (birria), cabeza (cheek) and, on Tuesdays, lengua (tongue) are also recommended. All tacos include radish slices and lemon wedges.

For seafood lovers, they also serve shrimp and fish tacos, and on weekends only, Menudo and Pozzol. Vegetarians can opt for items like chile relleno burritos and nopales (aloe vera) huaraches.







David Cohen

David Cohen is the former co-host of PBS’ Table for Two.

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