Nothing tastes quite as bittersweet as gentrification. With hipster food fads sweeping social media like a glittery rainbow hurricane, I was not surprised when these corny corns popped up on my feed.
Meet the latest Frankensteined flavor of the week: Bougie elote, the Mexican grilled street corn that never asked for this.
From deviled eggs to doughnuts and now Mexican street corn, it seems like no cheap-eat is safe from unnecessarily over-the-top recreation. True elote is ingeniously simple: corn, mayo and butter, cotija/Parmesan cheese and chile powder, served on the cob or in a cup. Hot sauce and lime are the traditional accoutrements. Notice that food coloring and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos didn’t make the ingredients list. Thankfully, bedazzled rainbow corn has not yet found Houston—however lavish versions of this otherwise minimalist street food have been spotted locally.
The epitome of eccentric elote can be found at Bacon Bros. Public House, where they turn an effortless treat into a DIY project. Their Mexican Street Corn is listed on the menu under "Snacks," and comes smothered in roasted cream sauce that tastes suspiciously similar to crema and mayonnaise. Since eating corn from the cob as nature intended is apparently barbaric, the server presents the diner with a steak knife; imagine the scene in Titanic where Cal gives Rose the “Heart of the Ocean.” Now that you’ve chosen your weapon, you may proceed to cut the kernels off of the corn yourself! Bacon Bros. Public House is known for its expert cocktails, so make sure to bestow this risky task unto the least inebriated person in your group.
Presidio Restaurant & Bar is running with this food fad by running up the tab. For just $12 you can try this Mexican classic with a squirt of Green Goddess dressing! But seriously, the exorbitant price tag on this appetizer is cringeworthy. Authentic versions can be found for less than $5 at various food trucks across Houston, like Jose’s Roasted Corn, at 8320 West F.M. 1960.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I believe in the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Some things are better left unmodified, unbothered and un-bedazzled. There’s a certain perfection in simplicity. And let’s face it: Some of these modern “takes” on these food staples are just downright offensive. Have your way with perverting the doughnut, but leave my elote alone.