Culture

13 Dishes El Pasoans Can’t Get Enough of

If you grew up in El Paso, there’s a pretty good chance that you were raised on bowls of menudo, some cheesy machaca or rolled tacos drowned in red sauce. And if you’ve moved away or you’re just away for the weekend, you more than likely end up craving one of these El Chuco spots. Here are 11 must-eat joints that shout, El Paso!

Taco Tote

Silva’s Market

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Photo Credit: Silva’s Supermarket

Must try: Chorizo. It’s OK to have soyrizo once in a while; we won’t judge. But you know huevos con chorizo doesn’t have the same gut-bomb glory if the chorizo isn’t from this market just seconds from the downtown bridge. Spicy, salty and oozing with just the right amount of grease is what you get with every bite.

chicotaco

Photo Credit: zachmorrisishot / Flickr

Must try: Double With Fries. To anyone other than an El Pasoan, rolled tacos with mystery meat, shredded cheese and watery red sauce is nothing to crave. But for those native to El Chuco, this is the place for first dates, late-night munchies and to meet friends the first night home.

READ: Why Neon Desert is Unlike Any Other Festival

King’s X and Lucy’s

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Photo Credit: Norby J. / Yelp

Must try: Margaritas & Machaca & Queso. Of course, you miss a place where every hour is happy hour so this double-your-pleasure Mesa mainstay stays on top of everyone’s sentimental list. The drill is always the same. Grab a seat at Lucy’s, order the freshest margarita this side of the border from X — the dive conveniently located next door — and chase it with the cheesy machaca plate and a side of chile con queso. Then order another margarita.

L&J Cafe

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Photo Credit: Wayne L. / Yelp

Must try: Green Enchiladas, Caldo and Gorditas. The green enchiladas are better than your mother’s. The caldo competes with your abuela’s and the gorditas rival your nana’s. Those are always three good reasons to exit Copia before heading home.

H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop

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Photo Credit: john s. / Yelp

Must try: Huevos Rancheros y Chile Rellenos. Getting back to El Paso by car means driving through desert-like conditions so getting a car wash should be a priority, but it’s really an excuse to get amazing huevos rancheros or chile rellenos as soon as you hit town. It’s authentic food that stretches back generations.

House of Pizza

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Photo Credit: House of Pizza / Facebook

Must try: Subs, Pizza and Spaghetti. You may be coming back to El Chuco after having fancy pizza in San Francisco or New York but nothing will ever satisfy you like a thick crust pie from the joint on Piedras. The massive subs and the “Old Man Italian” spaghetti ain’t Pizzeria Mozza-worthy but they’re home to you.

Pepe’s Tamales

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The Lunch Box

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Photo Credit: Dago M. / Yelp

Must try: Anything on The Menu. Only El Pasoans can appreciate without any fuss The Lunch Box’s sign with two sleeping beans wearing sombreros. But what they truly appreciate is the restaurant’s command of authentic Mexican food. There’s nothing on the menu that doesn’t say, “I’m home.”

El Jacalito

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Photo Credit: Dago M. / Yelp

Must try: Migas. It’s that hole in the wall on Myrtle that has killer migas. It reminds you of running around the neighborhood up to no good – and all your underage drinking.

Bowie Bakery

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Frisco Burger Inn

A photo posted by Aesto Cardiel (@aestocardiel) on

Anywhere in El Paso: Menudo

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 Photo Credit: Da B. / Yelp

Absolutely no one does menudo like El Paso joints. Anywhere else and folks feel the need to add something or take something else away. And that wrecks the beautiful balance of tripe, hominy and broth you grew up slurping con gusto. So it’s no wonder when you are in town, you head out with your mother’s olla to bring back Saturday breakfast.

Go ahead, check your miles to see when you can go home again. There’s plenty of good food waiting for you.

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Add This Día De Los Muertos Ice Cream Sandwich To Our Favorite Latino-Inspired Fall Foods At Disney

Culture

Add This Día De Los Muertos Ice Cream Sandwich To Our Favorite Latino-Inspired Fall Foods At Disney

Disneyland_Allfun / Instagram

Disney and Pixar gave the world Coco in 2017. The wonderful tribute to Mexican culture (seemingly crafted to make people of all ages cry), has ushered in a new era of Latinx and Mexican culture into Disney. Since the movie’s success, you can now cop tons of Latinx-inspired foods with a Disney twist at Disneyland. Just this month, the amusement park announced a concha ice cream sandwich — an invention so deadly delicious it’s only available in the afterlife (and at Disneyland too, lol). 

The film that brought Día de Los Muertos to life through beautiful, vibrant storytelling and animation featured a Mexican cast and composer. Coco was the first film with a nine-figure budget to feature an all Latinx principal cast and won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, “Remember Me.” 

Check out our favorite Latinx treats at Disneyland, but this is just a taste of the menu there’s a wide selection of options at the land where dreams come true. 

Pan Dulce Concha Ice Cream Sandwich

She’s gorgeous, she’s stunning, she’s Selena Quintanilla! OK, maybe not. But this Mexican ice cream sandwich is a sight for sore eyes. Made with a pink and blue concha, aka Mexican sweet bread, and stuffed with dulce de leche ice cream — you might die of a sugar coma. The sandwich is also filled with cajeta, a goat milk-based caramel sauce, and churro streusel. Then to commemorate Día de los Muertos, a white chocolate sugar skull is nestled in a dollop of whipped cream. 

“Following the Mexican tradition of using bright colors as a celebration of life, the shell-like concha breads are also covered in a crunchy rainbow sugar crust, which makes them look both delicious and totally Insta-worthy,” according to Pop Sugar’s Chanel Vargas

The Conchas are available starting this month and cost $8 at Disneys’s flagship Mexican restaurant, Frontierland’s Rancho del Zocalo. 

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Elotes

New elotes at the Cozy Cone Motel are another tribute to Mexican culture. The elotes comes in three different flavor queso cojito, Cheetos, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. These Elotes are limited edition and seasonal (this summer) so get them while you still can.

Orange Sugar Skull Pot de Creme

This “Orange Sugar Skull Pot de Creme” is made with thick layers of chocolate pudding, crumbled chocolate cake, and topped with a white chocolate orange sugar skull and colorful candies. 

The Maleficent Churro

According to Disneyland stans, the Maleficient Churro is a hot commodity because it is only available during Halloween. This month it has made its delicious return. Let’s be honest, the weird-looking churro is made with chocolate cookie crumbles, green sugar, and has a marshmallow dipping sauce. I don’t know what Maleficent has to do with Churros but I don’t care.

Frozen Abuelita Horchata

 Look, I am not saying I love capitalism, and certainly hope there are Latinx people profiting from these treats as well — but ¡diablo! — I want this right now. The Frozen Abuelita is layered with frozen hot chocolate and frozen horchata, then topped with spiced whipped cream.  

Coco Cake

Disney Food Blog referred to the Coco Cake as the “best cake ever.” With layers of vanilla-flavored pink and orange cake, what sets the Coco Cake apart from others is its cream cheese frosting on the outside, and two layers of cinnamon churro mouse on the inside. Disney took the glycemic index and blasted it off space mountain. The base of the cake is also decorated with gold-dusted chocolate curls. This is what Coco deserves. Remember me, indeed.

Chile Mango Whip

The chile mango whip is made with chamoy, mango, pineapple, cucumber, jicama, and chile-lime salt. 

The Sandianada and Mangonada

“The Sandianada is a watermelon smoothie with chamoy, watermelon chunks, topped with a chili candy. Mangonada is a mango smoothie with chamoy, mango pieces, topped with a chili candy,” wrote one Instagram user.

Secret Menu: Zocalo Burrito

Like every restaurant (apparently) Disneyland has a few secret menu items too. At Rancho del Zocalo you can request the Zocalo Burrito which is filled with every ingredient in the prep line for $12.99. 

Cinnamon-sugar Buñuelos Chips  

This seasonal holiday treat or as Disney calls it “dessert nachos” is something to look forward to this winter season. There is nothing more comforting (I’m guessing, I haven’t tried this yet) than cinnamon-sugar buñuelos chips with chocolate and caramel sauces, sprinkles, and a whipped cream topping.

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A Latina Broke Down The Ingredients Of Sazón And Apparently It Can Trigger Anxiety And Brain Damage

Culture

A Latina Broke Down The Ingredients Of Sazón And Apparently It Can Trigger Anxiety And Brain Damage

Most Latina moms are legendary for their food. They pride themselves on using traditional recipes with authentic spices, so why would we ever in a million years question their methods especially because it tastes so good? Doubting the cooking of any Latina mom will undoubtedly get you slapped and rightly so. However, after seeing this Facebook post, we most certainly will have a sit down with our mom and inform her about this travesty in Latino cooking.

MSG is a safe food to eat but for some people the food can trigger some mental health side effects. Much like GMO packaging, people need to know what is in their food when they buy it at the store.

Adina Monet, a foodie on Facebook, told the world some shocking news about Goya Foods, Sazon seasoning. She said it has an ingredient called MSG.

According to Google research, MSG (Monosodium glutamate) “is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids.” It’s also found “naturally in tomatoes, grapes, cheese, mushrooms, and other foods,” but it can also be harmful.

Monet writes, “Monosodium Glutamate is the main ingredient in Sazon spices. It interrupts the intricate system that our bodies have set to properly function. Monosodium glutamate or better known as MSG is a chemical synthesized in a lab by scientists who most likely synthesized the chemical makeup of your favorite perfume. This chemical makes it difficult for the brain to receive messages from the hormone leptin that signals the body when it has had enough energy from food. Therefore, consuming MSG will prevent feeling full and therefore cause excess storage of fat.”

MSG is also used to enhance the flavor of foods, especially Asian and Hispanic dishes. Many restaurants use this flavoring, though some do let patrons know that they include it.

According to the FDA, MSG is technically “safe” to consume.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that MSG is “generally recognized as safe. The watchdog group requires that foods containing added MSG list it on the ingredient panel as monosodium glutamate. If MSG is found naturally in some of the ingredients (hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate), the manufacturer does not have to list MSG on the label. That said, these foods can’t say ‘No MSG’ or ‘No added MSG’ on their packaging. MSG also cannot be listed as generic spices and flavoring.

The Sazon packaging doesn’t say anything about MSG on the front. People have to read the ingredients to see that it is clearly there. Here are some possible symptoms of MSG:

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  • Headache.
  • Flushing.
  • Sweating.
  • Facial pressure or tightness.
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas.
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations).
  • Chest pain.
  • Nausea.

True story: I have consumed MSG without knowing it, and without getting too graphic or gross, my symptoms included rapid heart rate and dashing for the nearest bathroom.

People on social media were aghast over the harmful ingredients to a household spice.

Seriously, so we just throw it in the trash? Guess so.

It’s basically the end of our life.

Will old school moms be okay with this?

So, can Adina please provide information on all Hispanic foods cause some of us are still struggling.

Looking at labels is too hard!

What about this theory?

Our abuelas still look good and eat Sazon. So what gives?

At the end of the day, we know we’ll be okay.

Remember, consume anything in moderation. That is the key!

READ: 20 Delicious Hidden NY Latino Food Gems You Need to Try

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