No. 93, Pig in a Blanket Waffle with Gringo Bandito at Cafe Calacas

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Recently, the esteemed Café Calacas introduced a breakfast menu to join their list of Chicano-fied sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. The breakfast burritos are delicious; the breakfast sandwiches, fine. But it's with the humble waffle where husband-wife owners Rudy and Jackie Cordova are beginning to stretch their gourmet muscles--and considering neither of them had prior culinary experience save for prepping meals for their three adorable boys, they're the restaurateur version of Charles Atlas.

Peanut butter on waffles? Yum. A Banana Fosters version? Wonderful. Yet the one I find eating again and again is the Pig in a Blanket version, which finds strips of bacon baked into the waffle

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles long ago popularized the holy pairing that is a fried meat and waffles, but Cafe Calacas created a different beast. Since the bacon is within the waffle, you never know when you're about to bite in a salty, stretchy length. Its grease seeps into the waffle; the waffle syrup accentuates the results.

And the Gringo Bandito? The Cordovas don't do it, and scoffed when I tried it, but trust me: add a couple of drops--don't pour it on by any means--to open your palate just a bit, to add the slightest touch of heat. Mexis love their sweet and spicy, and this modified Pigs in a Blanket is like a crystal ball into the future of Mexicans in this country: brown on the outside, American on the inside, sweet all around and with a quiet spice that'll smack ya if you're not careful--but since you are, we'll be nothing but simpático.

The list so far:

94. "Pork Hash" at Huong Giang
95. Sweet Chili Chicken Quesadilla At Kogi
96. Licuados at Mil Jugos
97. Hawaiian Ahi Poke at California Fish Grill
98. Takoyaki at Takoyaki Tanota
99. Fiesta Noodles at Jollibee
100. Chilaquiles Verdes Con Huevos Estrellados at La Tablita California

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Click here to view our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2011!

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Location Info

Calacas, Inc.

324 W. Fourth St., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Restaurant

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