Everyone who regularly wakes up feeling a little fragile has their own unique approach to handling the morning after. Depending on where you’ve over indulged, you may well find yourself gulping scalding hot, jet-black coffee, or mopping up a greasy mixture of beans, egg and bacon in a slightly suspect looking caff. No one treatment is ever the same. However, while we all have our personal preferences, there may be one place that can legitimately claim to have the greatest hangover cure on the planet.
In a comparatively quiet corner of the frenetic sprawl that is Mexico City, there sits a street food stand that specialises in getting the community’s stricken residents back on their feet. For almost eight decades, one family has earned their living making and selling what must be one of the most indulgent and gratifying alcohol absolvers on the face of the planet. The current occupant is 36-year-old Perla Cristina Flores Millan. Her success lies in her exceptional and unparalleled chilaquiles.
An ordinary chilaquiles is already a stricken party goer’s wet dream. Traditionally, shallow-fried tortillas form an oily, crunchy bed for refried beans, mole, pulled chicken pieces and tangy Mexican cheese, which all quickly descends into a gooey, glorious beige mess. It may not be dignified, but it is undeniably delicious. Incredibly, Millan’s version takes this up a notch.
Millan’s genius comes from shoving the spectacularly messy chilaquiles inside a pillowy-soft split white bread roll, known locally as a bolillo. This then forms the basis for breakfast sandwiches that are to Mexican hangovers what Leo Messi is to football - a joy to behold and almost unbearable if you haven’t got one.
After they have been stuffed inside the rolls, the chilaquiles are drowned in various combinations of beans, fried chicken, barbecued pork, pickled onions and fiery habaneros, depending upon your particular tastes. The end result is enough to have queues of late night revellers refusing to go to bed at 630 in the morning until they’ve got their hands on what they need. Judging by the photos, it’s hard to blame them. The fact that each sandwich will set you back a little less than $2 is all the more reason to drop everything and make an impromptu trip to Latin America.
Given the sandwich’s success, it’s hardly surprising that Millan has seen other imitators try to muscle in on her patch. However, even after 10 years have past since the chilaquiles sandwich revolution first started, it’s obvious by the queues that continue to form around her stall that the original is still the best. If Millan’s success proves anything it’s that any hangover can be made that much more enjoyable if you strike the right balance between bread, cheese and protein.