We’re magnets to street food. Even if we’ve just eaten, we find ourselves drawn to the small stands selling various consumables for pocket change. Many days we took our snack to go, added an avocado, and called it lunch or dinner. On one lovely Saturday, we carried our camera along with us to document the deliciousness as we sampled some stands we’d never tried before.
Tacos, Gorditas, and Tlacoyos
These heartier dishes can be found readily throughout town, especially during lunch and dinner hours and consistently even in small neighborhoods. Our favorite stand was just up the hill from us and sold three tacos with beans, slaw, onions, salsa, and sour cream for 12 pesos (just less than $1 USD), though prices for a single item usually varied between 10-12 pesos in other parts of town. Typically, these stands are marked by the large skillet on which the items were cooked. Tlacoyos, a new favorite of ours, are made on site from masa when an order is placed with a base of beans or cheese on the inside. The person buying can then choose additional fillings, options of which often include potatoes, eggs, pork, and other meats. It was quite regular for us to receive something different than what we thought we had ordered, but we have yet to be disappointed.
Papas and Churritos
Our first encounter with papas was in Tequila, but they were plentiful in Guanajuato as well and we were sure to take advantage. Vendors displaying potato chips, churritos (the puffy, wheel shaped snack below), and Doritos top the snacks with a hot sauce mixture and lime juice. 15 pesos ($1.20 USD) seems to be the going rate for papas, and we paid 10 ($.80 USD) when we tried churritos at Valenciana. For a homemade version, which you no doubt are now dying to try, use a kettle cooked chip, top with Valentina, squeeze the juice of one lime, and then add a side of fresh avocado.
Fruit flavored, icier-than-ice-cream-but-still-creamy cold treats were available near tourist areas. At Valenciana, we tried Piñon, a sweet, rich, walnut like flavor, and it was fabulous. A sample of pineapple flavor near the Alhóndiga was quite good as well. A benefit that was pointed out to me by a friend is that the relatively small serving sizes allow you to get a sugar fix without being completely stuffed. This is quite different than the quart sized and exhausting desserts we are used to in the states. Our cup, shown below, cost 20 pesos ($1.60 USD).
Vendors selling colorful, fresh, pre-cut fruit are all over town, and until we purchased a cup of mango (Ian’s new obsession), we didn’t realize that they also top the cup with some spices and lime juice, which is actually a quite good combination. This cup of mango cost 20 pesos ($1.60 USD), and it was amazing.
We weren’t even sure what these were when we stopped to buy them as we headed back home after a day full of street food, but upon asking, we learned that they were garbanzos and that a bag of them costs 10 pesos ($.80 USD). The young boy working with his dad topped our bag of garbanzos with a hot sauce mixture similar to what was used on papas and the same spices and lime juice that the fruit vendor had used, and once again, they pleasantly complemented the snack. These green guys are eaten like sunflower seeds, shedding the shell for the treat inside.