Omnivore - Eat your elote

If you've spent any time in Mexico, you've run into street vendors selling elote — roasted corn on the cob, usually served with your choice of sauce. I've been checking out Mexican restaurants this week and have run into the dish at the new Holy Taco in East Atlanta Village and at Sala in Virginia-Highland, which I haven't visited since it was sold and hired a new chef.

Holy Taco, located in the building that housed Iris and Haas, serves the deliciously messy version of elote with an aioli-like mayo with queso fresco (above), while Sala shaves the roasted corn off the cobb, blends it with some spicy mayo and serves it with chips (right). Messy or neat, both versions are tasty.

Our meal at Holy Taco was a mixed success. A chile relleno starter was decent, but tacos were bland and weirdly served with no salsa at all. Moreover, they were made with a single corn tortilla, instead of the usual two, so they fell apart easily. Grilled, Peruvian-style roasted chicken was spicy and juicy, but served with absolutely nothing else on the plate.

Our meal at Sala went mainly well. I especially liked the roasted pork with a tomatillo sauce combined with cascabel chiles. It was topped with radishes and melted cheese. We also ate more elote in the form of a corn cake.

A question. There are now three Mexican cafes in East Atlanta Village, none of them doing anything very unusual. Why in the world would three Mexican joints open within blocks of one another in a neighborhood that seems to pride itself on its diversity and eccentricity? This, among other questions, is pondered on the East Atlanta gossip site, eavbuzz.net. Check out three threads on the new restaurant here.

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