I wish more Mexican spots served great tamales, which are really are hard to find. Burritos are excellent fodder, but I find it inconvenient (either mildly or spicily) to apply hot sauce to each exposed bite in order to obtain well-rounded flavor. Plus, unless you’re really a seasoned Californian — and in my Angeleno days I was more than adept at turning left at a yellow light with one hand and eating a burrito with the other — it takes dexterity and dedication to keep the thing together. Tacos are another beloved Mexican lunch staple, but just try eating one over your computer while you’re still typing with your left hand and see what happens to your will to write a column.
The main event today is enchiladas. These queridos bring everything you love about tacos, burritos and tamales to an actual fork-friendly table — and sport toppings famous for drawing a crowd. Plenty of beloved foodstuffs involve smothering with sauce and cheese. Take poutine, for instance, everyone likes fries. Slap on some fromage and you can’t keep your hands off. Add some tasty sauce to that cheese and I think you can take it from there. Same for chicken parm. Universally-pleasing fried chicken cutlets meet the universally-pleasing combination of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It appears this formula applies to, well, the universe.
Other great things about enchiladas: All Mexican restaurants serve the classic version of corn tortillas wrapped around something delicious (sometimes oddly delicious) and topped with spicy tomato sauce and shredded cheese (some delve into suiza and mole territories), they’re gluten-free if that’s your thing, making them at home is an excellent way to use leftover meat and they’re usually accompanied by a side of rice and beans…which frequently have cheese melted on top. I’m feeling pretty unapologetic about this melted cheese phase I’m working my way through.