The Houston Press' Robb Walsh recently visited local taquería Mexico's Deli, where all the sandwiches have jailhouse-themed names like the "fugitiva," the "convicta" and the "tortura":
In the 1970s, [owner] Alex [Garcia] explained, he opened his first taquería in Mexico City. Spoofing the hit musical La Cage aux Folles (The Bird Cage), he called the restaurant La Jaula de Tacos (the taco cage). In keeping with the "cage" theme, the tortas were named after prisons. The incarceration tortas were a big hit, and Alex went on to open four more restaurants in Mexico City. But his mini-chain collapsed with the devaluation of the peso during the Carlos Salinas de Gortari regime. So Alex came to Houston to start over.
On my third visit, I tried a Mexico City specialty called a pambazo, which is a torta made on bread that's been dipped in a chile sauce. Mexico City's pambazo is stuffed with potatoes, chorizo, sour cream and cheese. I ate the incredibly messy sandwich with a knife and fork. Alex told me that in Mexico City, people eat pambazos with their hands, but only outdoors, usually at the bullfights. It's sort of the equivalent of a Texas chili dog, but with the chili on the outside of the bun.
I'm not much for bullfights but I would really like a pambazo for an afternoon snack, right about now.
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