In Louisiana, summertime means fresh, super sweet ears of homegrown corn. Add New Orleans’ love for Latin flavors and there’s serious eating to be done. Gratefully, other states’ growing seasons mean year ‘round availability so we never have to miss a bite. Check out these three New Orleans spots for some kernels of truth.
Mais Arepas – Beloved for skewers of plump corn cobs, cooked and finished on the grill and accompanied by two sauces: one that tastes like spices, mayo and a bit of ketchup; the other a deeper red-colored, slightly tart and buttery. A heavy shower of cotija gives richness. All plates are scraped clean of every morsel and drop. Don’t ask the chef his secret, he won’t tell. Trust me, I’ve tried many, many times.
Del Fuego Taqueria – Chef-Owner Dave “Fine Dining” Wright pulls deep from his love of Mexican street food for his sweet, whole cob Eloté striped with chipotle mayo, spices, chopped cilantro and fine crumbles of cotija. Squeezes of fresh lime give tart balance to the spicy, creamy works.
Catalino’s – The word is that in Guatemala, street corn is done with speed. Zip, zip, zip. Fresh cooked ears are covered in yellow mustard, ketchup, mayo, and cotija cheese. Catalino’s, New Orleans’ first Guatemalan restaurant, serves the exact thing, though slightly fancier with skewered cobs prettily plated. That yellow mustard is extremely interesting for its tangy complement to the sweetness of the corn, and it has me wondering… Mais Arepas’ secret ingredient? Hmmm.