Mexico

Chilaquiles

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Chilaquiles and tasajo from Oaxaca's Casa de la Abuela.

What: Chilaquiles—strips or pieces of corn tortillas fried and topped with (tomatillo-based) green or (tomato-based) red salsa, cheese, cream, and sliced raw onion—are found all over Mexico as a sort of gourmet nacho dish that’s common at breakfast. “Gourmet” is a funny word, of course, since the dish’s humble origins are as a creative morning-after use for stale tortillas. Deliciously crispy, tangy, spicy, and creamy, they’re often served with meat, but can be vegetarian as well.

Where: Our chilaquiles, pictured with tasajo, or thinly sliced beef, are from Oaxaca’s Casa de la Abuela (951-516-3544; Hidalgo 616, map).

Alternatively: Look for chilaquiles at market fondas around the country. Some other specific favorite places of ours are Oaxaca’s Mercado 20 de Noviembre (map) and Mercado Merced (map), and Restaurante El Cardenal (three locations, including Palma 23, map) in Mexico City.