3. Chilaquiles at Anepalco
Duck carnitas chilaquiles at Anepalco... ¡válgame Dios!
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The chilaquiles at Anepalco have been legend since it first opened in a tiny, impossible-to-park-in space on Main Street in Orange. A crown of tortilla chips bathed in an amazing, spicy, smoky, rich salsa, topped with cotija cheese and a perfectly cooked egg; the best breakfast, bar none, your drippy greasy breakfast burrito notwithstanding, in Orange County.
But that's only the start. At Anepalco, the full restaurant in the Alo Hotel on the corner of Chapman and The City Drive in Orange, there are multiple preparations of chilaquiles.
The chilaquiles that most people will order is the arrachera, a huge hanger steak with adobo seasoning on it, grilled until it is the absolutely perfect state of rareness in the center, parked next to a large pile of chilaquiles rojos, with an egg so carefully cooked it bursts at the first touch of a fork, sending yolk through the crevices of the chilaquiles.
This, were it the only chilaquiles on the menu, would be enough. But there is an even better version: duck. Duck carnitas, to be exact, whole cuts of duck that have been rubbed with salt poached slowly in its own fat before being shredded and crisped on the griddle. Rather than sit alongside the chilaquiles, the duck is tossed with the tortilla chips and the best mole verde in the county, a mole guerrerense spiked with verduras that's assertive without actually being spicy. The whole dish is then goosed with red onion and whisper-thin slices of chile serrano, before being topped with a sunny side-up egg.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner: whenever you have your first Anepalco chilaquiles, they'll haunt you until you return.
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