I’ve written a few articles for Mexxed now, and if you’ve read them then you know that I live in Mexico and have for a several years. So obviously when I go back to the U.S. to visit friends and family, I don’t go out for Mexican food. Aside from good old home cooked American food (which is quite an enigma to people from other countries who think that American food is pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers), I look for Indian, Greek or Thai food; cuisine not easily found in Mexico.
Like Indian, Greek or Thai food in the states, which often bears little resemblance to what is actually served and eaten in those countries, Mexican food in the U.S. isn’t quite the same, even though we are next door neighbors. But I think that is changing, although I suspect some of the best Mexican food, antojitos, which are super cheap down here, are served in expensive, gourmet Mexican restaurants in the U.S.
Antojitos translates (roughly) as little cravings. These are the small, often tortilla-based foods that you can order in huge quantities when super hungry. You can choose your meat or something vegetarian, and they are usually covered in shredded lettuce, green salsa and cream.
Most people have heard of tostadas, hard fried tortillas often topped with chicken. A variant on a tostada is a sope (not soup), which is the same but uses a delicious half-inch thick tortilla. Quesadillas also fall under the category of antojitos, as well as pambasos, highly addictive deep fried sandwiches.
Cheap restaurants in Mexico that serve antojitos (or set meals) are called fondas. Though I’ve never been to one, I’m absolutely sure fondas can be found in LA and Texas – maybe anywhere with a large Mexican population. And though you can probably find them in gourmet Mexican restaurants in New York or Chicago, I’m sure they don’t compare to what I eat for so cheap here in Mexico.
Or do they? If you’ve been to a fonda in the U.S., please let us know!