Say it loud, and with purpose. ¡El Presidente! It’s a dignified name for a worthy sandwich. If you’re a fan of Mexican food, you’re likely already familiar with this popular style of taco made with thinly shaved pork that has been well seasoned and slow roasted over an open flame on a rotisserie. The dish is actually an evolution of a technique brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants, who introduced the style of cooking used for shawarma.
At Mendo we’re big fans of drawing culinary inspiration from across different cultures, so Al Pastor really spoke to us. In the spirit of Mexican cuisine interpreting Lebanese cuisine through Al Pastor, we’ve put our own spin on the dish with our current Chef’s Pick — El Presidente.
Instead of pork, we season free range chicken using garlic, shallots, habanero chilies, annatto seeds, citrus juice, allspice, and clove, and roast it. We then sear it on the hot plancha in a spicy habanero sauce alongside some diced grilled pineapple (in traditional Al Pastor, the rotisserie is topped with a chunk of pineapple that gets bits shaved off and added to each taco). To round out the flavor trifecta we layer the meat onto a panini pressed Torta bun with some pickled red onions to add brightness and diced avocado, herb aioli, and Oaxacan cheese to add creaminess.
If you’re a fan of our Peruvian Steak Sandwich or the Street Corn Torta we had on our seasonal menu in the summer, we recommend you give this Chef’s Pick a try. Let us know what you think!