Sunday, January 31

Antojitos Mexicanos: Pambasos y Huaraches

I have been taking South 1st to work every day for the last two years, and about six months ago I noticed a new taco truck establishment on the northbound side of the street. It’s hard to miss, painted bright yellow, sitting in the parking lot of Creditland Cars, advertising “pambasos” as their feature menu item. Pambasos! Hit the brakes! Now I’ve seen some interesting taco truck items, such as discada or capechano tacos, or non-taco items such as sincronizadas or grilled corn niblets in a cup doused in mayonnaise. But pambasos! They haunted me for six months until finally one night we decided to try them once and for all.

Although I was there on an undercover mission for Taco Journalism, I couldn’t help trying the non-taco items, if only because I’ve never seen them anywhere else in Austin. That’s because Antojitos Mexicanos serves up Mexico City style fare – and that’s a rarity in Austin, which is overrun by Jalisco style Mexican cuisine. The taco selection isn’t very expansive at Antojitos and includes easily recognizable items such pastor, picadillo, tripa, and chicharron, but it also offers a few more unique tacos such as tinga and rajas con chorizo. I’ll have to try them next time. But for now, I introduce to you the pambaso and the huarache.

The pambaso begins with a large bread roll lightly fried in chile colorado sauce. There are a variety of fillings, but I wanted my first pambaso in the most traditional way possible, so the staff suggested a filling of picadillo (ground beef with small cubed potatoes). Before the filling goes in the sandwich, they add a thin layer of refried beans as the glue. It is then topped with shredded lettuce, sour cream, queso fresco, and salsa verde. It was not quite as savory as I’d imagined, but it was super filling for the price and unlike any other sandwich I’ve had in Austin. Originality goes a long way with Undercover Mexican Girl.

We also tried the huarache, the preparation of which we witnessed starting from the ball of dough used to make the flour tortilla. After the ball is formed, it is punched in on one side, and refried beans are mashed into the center. Then the tortilla is flattened out using a traditional wooden press. After the tortilla is flattened into an oblong shape – into the shape of huarache (sandal) – it is cooked on the skillet and then lightly fried. Then it is topped with salsa verde, onions, and queso fresco. So, basically, it’s an open-faced quesadilla, with a thin layer of beans cooked inside the tortilla itself. And if all shoes tasted like this huarache, then give me a cowboy boot.

It was cold that night, and when they offered hot chocolate, I first had to know – was it real hot chocolate? Because I will drink the powdered stuff if forced to, but cocoa processed with alkali is not a UMG-approved hot beverage. Not only did they have real hot chocolate – it was Abuelita hot chocolate. I will eat that chocolate right out of the box, going to all lengths to saw off a perfect triangle wedge off the disc. To top it off, it was made with honest to goodness milk.

All in all, our bill rang up to about $10 (one pambaso, one huarache, and two hot chocolates).
When you’re getting a late-night antojito – a craving – head south of Ben White to Antojitos Mexicanos. And I admit, it’s fun to say it. Pambaso!

Antojitos Mexicanos - 5 Stars - Undercover Mexican Girl
4221 South 1st
(parking lot of Creditland Cars)
(512) 803-5099

Monday - Thursday: 7 AM - 10 PM
Friday: 7 AM - 3 AM
Saturday: 9 AM - 3 AM
Sunday: 12 PM - 9:30 PM


Anonymous said...

Do they serve everything at breakfast as well, or is it only late night?

Hair Thingies said...

They do serve breakfast! They have a few different types of breakfast tacos, although I didn't try them.

Their posted hours are:
Monday - Thursday: 7 AM - 10 PM
Friday: 7 AM - 3 AM
Saturday: 9 AM - 3 AM
Sunday: 12 PM - 9:30 PM

Deacon said...

DAMMIT when he was making that pambaso he left a little piece of potato on the grill. I wanted him to go back and grab it so bad I was about to grab my monitor and shake it. Im so making these next week at home.
Love this sight btw and whenever I goto Austin I hit at least one of the places you have visited.

Mike Tree said...

I stopped by and had a pambazo. It was really good, but no beans or quesco fresco on mine.

Unknown said...

I don't see no frijoles being put on that huarache...

Courtney said...

any idea what happened to them? i went once, and have tried to go back since and they're not there anymore :( i'm distraught. i loved their!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea... I also went down there last weekend, and nothing! I am soooooooooooooo disapointed... I loved their food... I called the car dealer where the trailer used to park and the guy said he had no idea where the food trailer had gone to... He said the trailer has been gone for at least 8 or so...