Music Maestro Please: Flautas Las Salseadas
CLOSED AS OF APRIL 2017
Flautas. I had never paid them much heed until I read an article asking famous Mexicans to name their favorite foods. That of alternative dramaturge Jesusa Rodriquez was flautas. I had to find out more about them. Elongated rolled tortillas (hence the name which means “flute”) are filled with potatoes, chicken, cheese or meat: either barbacoa (roast mutton) or stewed beef. They’re deep- fried to a golden crunch, then topped with salsa verde, crema and sprinkled with grated queso fresco and either shredded lettuce or cabbage. For reasons unbeknownst to anybody, flautas are usually served with caldo de gallina, chicken soup better than any Jewish grandmother can make. My favorites came from a nameless stand in the Condesa on the west side of Calle Chilpancingo near the metro entrance. But the powers that be have seen fit to eliminate this superb stretch of plein air gastronomy: gone is Birria Los Tres Reyes, the breakfast tacos, hearty pozole, tlacoyos…and my flautas stand. It has all been replaced with formal flower beds which give the street a fittingly funereal air – I mourn for my favorite outdoor lunch spot.I had not found a satisfactory replacement in the Condesa/Roma area, other than at the exquisite barbacoa flautas purveyed at Condesa’s tianguis- but that’s only on Tuesday. Until now.
Las Salseadas has installed itself in a small locale attached to the popular car wash at the end of Zacatecas, insuring a steady stream of patrons who formerly had nothing to nosh on while waiting for their vehicles to be polished. The same team who does the neighborhood’s best and cheapest pizza at Ummo (inside Mercado Roma around the corner) is responsible for these textbook perfect snacks. This is no hipster spot, however. It strives towards nothing more than classic popular street food at its best. The elements are better than average – the ovate tortillas are specially prepared by a tortillería that uses fine local corn and properly nixtamalizes it. Salsa verde has a prefect kick and is all the more aromatic for the herbs that perfume it. Cream is not commercial and has rich flavor. A little side of simple chicken broth is provided. A Salseada creation, the tórtola, is offered as an alternative to the standard bowl of three flautas. This is a flauta sandwich related to the Chilango favorite the guajalota - a tamal in a roll. To this writer, both these starch-on-starch torta bombs are lilies gilded. They’re stratospherically caloric but do indeed taste good.
Las Salseadas’ prices are competitive - $60 includes 3 flautas and a caldito. Aguas frescas and beers are available.
Calle Zacatecas near Medellín, Colonia Roma