Elotes Cart Converts My Skepticism Into Full-Blown Corn Enthusiasm

Categories: Eat This

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I wasn't excited. It was early afternoon, the temperature was already 100, I was hungover and I was hungry. My invitation arrived by text: "Want to get elotes with us in 30 mins? There's a place up on Maple."

I'd seen a version of this snack back in DC. Street vendors skewered whole ears of corn on a stick before slathering them in mayo and cheese. A trendy taco joint offered a similar version, also served on a cob. I'd watched people with mayo-covered faces apparently enjoy the dish, but I still had doubts.

The local version, as described to me, had me even more concerned. I was told they shave the corn from the cob before mixing it in a cup with mayo, sour cream and cheese. I envisioned a warm cup of mayonnaise and cream studded sparsely with corn kernels. I imagined the hot summer sun baking these ingredients from above. I visualized all the things I drank the night before. I became very afraid.

Turns out the elotes we got from a small stand outside a Mexican grocery in Oak Lawn were nothing like the dish of my nightmares. I watched the cart-worker as she shaved corn from the cob, topped it with a little mayo, sour cream and grated cheese. She handed it over for 3 bucks and let me garnish the cup myself, with hot sauce and a freshly squeezed lime. It turned out to be a pretty decent hangover cure, paired with the cucumber-infused agua fresca I purchased inside.

Having put down this classic version, it's hard not to imagine tricked-out renditions of the dish, like the one served at Alma in fancy baskets made from corn husks. The variations are endless and the dish seems ripe for upscale riffing. What about fresh vinegary chili sauces, some real butter instead of squeeze-bottle Parkay and large-kernel heirloom corn, blackened on a grill?


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17 comments
amy
amy

Agreeeed - the roasted corn elotes at DFM are simply amazing. And who doesn't fucking like Parkay butter? #scottreitzisbourgie

guest
guest

The best I've eaten was in the Webb Chapel area, or anywhere in Grand Prairie.

Diego
Diego

Scott -- it is agua fresca en espanol.  Not aqua fresca ;)

Lee
Lee

Scott, I am really liking you so far. Cups of  elote are a $2.50 treasure. But, please keep your creme fraiche, aged gouda and roasted tomatillo salsas away from this simple goodness.

Heperd
Heperd

Immediately thinking of ways to ways to white it up.................

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

As a kid we would get these from a stand close to my grandma's house. When I was in college, all my roommates were introduced to these. Now, I take friends whenever I get a chance.

Great to see the humble elote have it's day.

Rob
Rob

Best elotes is across the street from Bolsa at El Si Hay. $2.50 per cup and the line is typically 10 deep. Totally worth the wait.

No
No

rick's chophouse inside the grand hotel in mckinney serves a pricey, upscale elote

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

I promise to only do it in my own home. Seriously though riffing on street food is a common thing in nicer restaurants. Lots of big name chefs like to spin pedestrian foods, and I think while the originals are always appealing (and easier on the wallet) the innovative versions are usually interesting, and fun.

cp
cp

You mean, "gringo it up"

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Yeah, I was surprised I liked this as much as I do.

jamal
jamal

Had something on Friday at Wild Salsa that made me think of this post.  Along with traditional eloted, they have a deconstructed version that they serve as a soup.  It's pureed and creamed, then topped with the traditional swirl of hot sauce and a good amount of cotija cheese.  It was awesome.

Margie Hubbard
Margie Hubbard

We make ours at home by grilling the corn.  Slicing the kernels into a skillet with butter for a quick saute.  Then layering scoops of corn with Mexican Crema, crumbled Cotija cheese and Tapatio hot sauce.  Delicious!

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Corn soup with cheese. What's not to like?

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