From the street comes the best things: a great dresser (once you get rid of the mouse droppings and find some handles so that the drawers actually open), a pair of all-they-need-is-to-be-resoled boots and, of course, all sorts of yummy food. I’m not talking about urban foraging here. Unless you consider going from food stall to food stall in search of the perfect empanada urban foraging.
In Mexico, street food was so much more than just tacos (not that I am knocking the awesomeness that is a taco al pastor con piña). Quesadillas. Tostados. Cubanos. I especially loved the elote they served with lime, cojito cheese and mayonnaise. The problem is that sometimes the corn was field corn. As in: big kernels, not a lot of flavor, kinda tough. When made with sweet corn, however, it was elevated to something other-worldly. Corn-on-the-cob has always been a favorite of mine and then when you add chili, lime, salt and cheese . . . well, forget about it!
Since moving back to the States, I’m always on the look-out for really good, authentic Mexican food. Last week, I had dinner at Agave. Located in the charming town of Lewes, Delaware, Agave has 70 varieties of tequila and (lucky for me) an elote option for starters. I’m the first to admit that making street food upscale borders on pretentious and in a lot of cases ruins an already perfect dish by adding too many extras or changing key ingredients for something gastronomically trendy. But the elote at Agave was done just right: delicious sweet corn roasted and charred with the chili mixed into the mayonnaise and sprinkled with crumbly, salty cojito cheese.
Sweet corn season has long since passed, so I suppose I’ll just have to wait to next summer to enjoy this dish. Only 8 months to go . . .