Roberto Guerrero is a Chicano from Houston, Texas. He is known to his friends as the go to guy for the best (fill in the blank) in town. I decided to grill him on some of his likes and dislikes of Mexican food.
- Who was or still is the best cook in your extended family?
The best cook would be my tia Pilar. She also is the best drunk. During Christmas her’s was the menudo in demand. Also, everyone loved her enchiladas suizas. Everything she maid turns out full of drunken goodness. My theory is that her body acts like a filter of alcohol happiness that she transmits directly to whatever food she’s preparing. Maybe she sweats in the pot. Yes, that is some delicious sweat.
- What was your favorite meal growing up?
My mother would slave away twice a week making stacks of flour tortillas. I was pretty happy sticking some butter or cheese on them as she cooked them. This is also the origin of the Chicano dog. It consisted of a fresh flour tortilla, weenie and a piece of cheese all rolled up like a taquito.
- When was the first time you had food outside of your culture?
Well my dad is Chicano so there was always an element of white people food. So that’s not really outside my culture. So it was probably a pita with hummus. I just thought of it as a tortilla. The hummus I did like and kept scooping up more. It was cold and tangy. Weird.
- What is your current favorite restaurant? Where is it located? What is your favorite dish there?
Soo Woon Galbi. Koreatown. Pork belly. I was trying to think of other cheaper places but if I had the money right now I would mow down that bacony goodness. It’s also close to my house. Comes with drinks and the ban chan is excellent. I’ve grown to love Korean food.
- Why do you think Mexican food is so popular?
Because it’s good. I’m thinking it’s because real Mexican food is so varied and can have complex flavors. Even a simple salsa you throw on top of it can make something as simple as potatoes something else.
- What is your favorite Mexican dish?
Probably a spicy chile relleno, with a good sauce on it of course. It’s harder and harder to find a spicy one. What’s happening to our chiles? Can someone save them? A side of beans and rice of course. It’s simple. Hardy. I can eat beans everyday with every meal.
7. What Mexican dish do you like least?
Tinga. Something about it rubs me the wrong way. It’s the weird salsa/chicken mix. It’s sad. The chipotle should be ashamed of itself.
- Do you prefer corn or flour tortillas?
Flour all the way. But they got to be fresh. This is some sort of northern Mexico Texas thing I’ve learned. So in southernCaliforniaI’m SOL.
- How do you like your tacos?
I like a fresh hand made corn tortilla. Good al pastor, cilantro, onion and a red very spicy salsa. And lime, you can’t forget the lime.
10. Where can you find the best tacos in your area?
I like the flaming taco onVermont. They meet all the criteria. I think the fresh corn tortilla put it over the top.
Gracias, for listening to my rant about food.