#28. Quesadilla de Huitlacoche at Los Chilangos

#28. Quesadilla de Huitlacoche at Los Chilangos
Dave Lieberman
​We are getting closer to the top dishes we think you should try, Orange County. For the complete list, see below; at the end of this countdown, our Best Of Orange County 2010 issue will hit the newsstands.

The very worst food to have to translate, huitlacoche (say, approximately, "wheat-lah-KOH-chay") is a fungus--you know, mushrooms--that grow on certain ears of corn. It's considered a blight in the United States, and it's frankly a horror to look at with its inky blackness streaked with moldy-looking bluish white, but it's a delicacy in Mexico due to its earthy, almost truffle-like taste.


It's also one of my favorite fillings for quesadillas. Real quesadilla, the kind made with handmade tortillas, queso panela or queso Oaxaca (two fine Mexican melting cheeses, the latter of which looks like braided string cheese) and a heaping dollop of huitlacoche, which is then toasted on a flat-top grill. Add lettuce, queso cotija (a crumbly, salty cheese like dry feta) and a little drizzle of Mexican sour cream, and a spoonful of the hottest salsa you can stand. It's like an express train to pre-Columbian Mexico upside the head.

While most chilango (Mexico City-style) restaurants serve it, it's best at Los Chilangos, a tiny, spotless hole in the wall in west Anaheim, not far from the 5 freeway. You can get your quesadilla stuffed with anything from squash blossoms to pressed pork rinds, but this is the best filling in the place.

The price? $2.50 or so, for an absolutely enormous piece; two of these and a Jarritos and you'll be able to face the day.

Los Chilangos, 1830 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim; (714) 999-5515.

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Los Chilangos

1830 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

714-999-5515


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