Veracruz is a port town in Mexico. It's historically important, having dealt with incoming conquerors and trades for centuries and it just feels different than the rest of Mexico. It's not unlike going to Genova in Italy. It's a little harder and edgier than the rest of the country and I think they're both a lot of fun.
When Yunuen (of Xoxoc) suggested that we go to Veracruz for some relaxation after an insanely busy year (with no sand or shrimp, I might add), I was all for it. My only insistence was that we go back to Antojitos Samborcito. I was having dreams from a previous trip about this place and their wonderful food. I don't think going was an issue!
What a great way to start the day! Even the baby seems to understand some great food is coming her way. Please note the fresh orange juice, which is virtually the only kind you find in Mexico. The idea of frozen, reconsituted juice is not one that Mexicans can understand easily.
This is a picada. After the masa (with a touch of lard!) is flattened, its edges are pushed up and it makes a kind of mini-pizza, Mexican style. This one holds a simple salsa and some cheese but almost anything goes.
This is a gorda. Tortilla masa is mixed with refried black beans and added again to a "touch" of lard. It's then fried somehow and the tortilla puffs up and is hollow inside but it makes a lovely thing. This version is topped with mole and soft cheese. It was as delicious as it looks.
We had lots of what they call empandas on the trip and the chefs in Veracruz have a real way with them. Personally I think of empanadas as being made of flour (or breaded, hence the pan) and normally I'd call these more a quesadilla, but there's no cheese so they get to call them whatever they like. This once is stuffed with picadillo (a sort of ground beef hash, dotted with olives and raisins. It rocks) but they also had fish versions.
Next time, down to Tlacotalpan.