Chili Peppers Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon
I am a simple man. I farm my land. I fish my waters. I eat large burritos. (actually, the farming and fishing things aren't true, but I do eat large burritos.) And what great burritos they have at Chili Peppers. This is a consistently great little spot on E. 185th street. I have not had a bad item on their menu. The taco salads are huge and the chips are always fresh. In fact, they have some of the tastiest salsas I have had anywhere. So much of their food is made fresh and in house. It definitely shows, since they are packed at lunch time. Serious foodies need to check it out. It's one of the best Mexican restaurants in the Cleveland area. Cheap, fast and friendly.
 
 
Mexican street food? Hell Yeah!

I have a simple policy...if food stalls have plastic chairs, I'm down to try it.
Fried cheese empanadas with salsa verde....
Goat meat sammiches and cheese quesadillas....and 40oz. of Pacifico...
Mayo, cheese, hot sauce and corn? Elote is always the right choice...
Goat head tacos with grilled peppers....
Tripe tacos with pickled onions and grilled leeks/g. onions...
White menudo, pork tacos and fish/rajas tacos....
 
 
When i was in Mexico, we came across something that changed my bbq life. While out and about, we came across several food carts that sold corn. Although the corn they used looked coarse and overcooked, i decided to try one of these grilled corn on the cob with brightly ornate sprinkles of chili powder and cheese. They were, for lack of a better word, f@cking amazing.

You do not need to travel all the way to get Elote (Spanish for corn or to grilled corn). In fact, you can make a better version at home with sweet corn from your local farmer's market.

Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 4 ears sweet corn
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper of chile powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 2/3 cup crumbled cotija anejo cheese
  • lime wedges
  • extra cayenne pepper of chile powder, for sprinkling
  • fresh finely chopped cilantro for optional garnish
Preparation:
  1. Soak corn (in husks) in cold water for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Prepare a medium-hot grill. Peel back the corn husks leaving them attached at the end. Remove the silk. Pull the husks back up and tie with a spare piece of husk or a small piece of cooking twine. Place the ears on the grill. Cook 20-25 minutes, turning several times to ensure even roasting. The kernels should be soft when fully cooked.
  3. If you’d like the kernels more charred, then simply follow the above instructions, but cook in husks for 15 minutes only. Then cool ears slightly, pull back the husks (to use as handles) and place the ears directly on the grill (with husks overhanging the side) for 5-7 minutes, or until they reach desired level of charring.
  4. Place crumbled cheese on a plate large enough to fit an ear of corn. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, cayenne pepper or chile powder, and salt. When the corn is cooked, brush each ear with some mayo sauce then roll in the cheese. Serve with lime wedges, additional cayenne pepper or chile powder, and fresh finely chopped cilantro.

** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.

Note: If you are unable to grill outdoors, then you can oven roast the corn. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place corn in husks (no need to soak first) directly on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until corn is soft to the touch. Allow to cool slightly, then remove husks and silks, and add toppings.
_** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.

Note: If you are unable to grill outdoors, then you can oven roast the corn. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place corn in husks (no need to soak first) directly on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until corn is soft to the touch. Allow to cool slightly, then remove husks and silks, and add toppings.
 
 
Picture
Picture
Well, well, well...it looks like Akron is the place to be to get some authentic Mexican street food.

Hard to believe, but there is a small Mexican food truck on Elma Rd. in Akron OH. I found out while driving to my new dentist's office down the street. When I asked the receptionist there, they all mentioned they had never tried it, but heard good things. So...after my oral TSA exam, I checked it out.

Their menu was pretty traditional...tacos, burritos, and the like. I opted for the beef tongue tacos and the marinated pork tacos. ($1.50/each) Both served with green and red salsa (actual sauce, sans chunks) and a side of key limes, pickled onions and jalapenos, sliced cucumbers and radishes. Me likey! Amy got a vegetarian burrito ($2.50)...which perplexed the spanish speakers taking my order...but eventually, she got a "burrito con no carne". HA!

I liked mine...although a bit under seasoned...i thought it definitely had the authentic Mexican vibe down. Not since my last trip to Mexico have I had flavors like that. The marinated pork was better than i expected...but the beef tongue was not as fatty as I would have liked. All in all...I would give the experience a thumbs up for vibe and authenticity...but a eeeeh for flavor.

Amy thought her burrito was nothing to write home about, as it was simply a burrito without any meat in it..making it mo more than a shell with rice, avocado and beans. Given their propensity for under-seasoning, i can see why she didn't love it.

So, the next time you are in Akron (I dunno why you would be)...maybe you'll see the taco stand....and if you're yearning for some Mexican food...check it out.