Saturday, September 24, 2011
Bienvenidos a Hamburguesas Montaner.
"Have you ever tried bandillos?", asked Ana.
Bandillos. Something that only proper bandits ate? Sounded interesting. But she wanted a definitive answer but I had no idea what bandillos were and she had taken me to try so many different things that maybe I had already tried them and didn't realize it. Afterall, I could be a proper Bandito...
In Colonia Escandon, at the southeast corner of Jose Marti and Patriotismo, is a small cluster of food stands. There you will find Hamburguesas Montaner and the famous bandillo.
Cheese and sausage bandillos.
I had been in the city for a couple of days and was starting to feel a certain withdrawal from french fries. As much as I may love tacos, tacos al pastor and the assortment of wonderful Mexican fare, I can't help but to think how much powerful that pastor experience would be with a side of salted papas fritas.
Knowing me all too well, she asked me if I wanted to have some fries and then we were off to Montaner.
Getting inside the sausage.
Most of the food stalls in Mexico City are small, mom and pop affairs. There's pop grilling the burgers, mom frying everything else and maybe their son taking money. And it all happens in what must be an eight foot long by four foot deep metal stand.
The best thing about Mexico City is that it's populated by places like Montaner, selling just about everything Mexican you could ever dream of eating. And they're everywhere, which means that there are plenty of places that are just so-so and some that are stellar. They key is driving around a seeing which stands have the longest lines.
Papas Fritas piled high with cheese, mayo, ketchup and Valentina. Darn good.
As received our order of fries and bandillos, I realized that I had never had these before in Mexico City and what was once unknown and mysterious, was suddenly familiar and comforting. Think "corn dogs" and you've pretty much got what a bandillo is all about. However, in this case, the batter isn't thick, it's thin and light, and makes for a nice treat when slathered with mayo, ketchup, mustard and a side of pureed jalapeno peppers.
Ana's favorite is the cheese version and I have to agree that I think it's better. Better mouthfeel and a nice chewiness that goes well with the batter.
Montaner's Hawaiian Hamburger.
But since this is "Hamburguesas Montaner", I had to try a sample of their hamburger. Ana ordered the Hawaiian which is their burger with a slice ring of pineapple, lightly griddled. I'm guessing it's canned pineapple since most people don't cut rings that perfect by hand!
The burger was pretty decent. Simple, basic fare. Piled high with toppings and condiments, it's a messy burger but quite satisfying.