Believe it or not, chips and salsa is a Tex-Mex tradition.
Though salsa has its roots in ancient mesoamerica, its current incarnation as a dip took years of agricultural and cultural evolution. With that being said, do not expect to be served chips and salsa at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito.
For those new to taquerias, it may come as a shock to not be served chips and salsa. But, not to worry! At Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito, they'll bring out a complimentary bowl of frijoles charros.
This garlicky and sometimes spicy bowl of slow-cooked beans takes its name from the Mexican charros (cowboys) who cooked them over campfires. The origin of frijoles charros is uncertain as many a Mexican state, especially los norteños, lay claim to the original recipe.
Growing up, a bowl of beans was a meal in my house, often accompanied by arroz and handmade flour tortillas (thanks grandma!). And pots of beans are often offered FREE by the bowl at Mexican restaurants, steam-tables, and taco trucks, or arrive as part of a meal such as a parrillada de costillas de res.
As my grandma always says, "If you got beans, then you got a meal."
And one could have certainly made the bowl of frijoles pioneros a meal. The word "pioneros" directly translates to "pioneers." These beans were loaded with slices of trompo (pork), a hefty amount of chopped carne asada, and melted white cheese. They were a welcomed improvement on the complimentary frijoles charros and would have certainly filled the stomach of a pioneer out in the wild country as the cheese was dense and the meat plentiful.
I ordered the plato regio which came with two flour tortilla tacos brimming with delicious slices of red pork (trompo) and chopped carne asada. There was a very light layer of sliced white cheese underneath and sliced avocado too. Topped with the signature salsa verde in a bottle and a quick squeeze of lime juice and I was beyond satisfied.
There were also two smaller tacos on my plate. Doubled corn tortillas topped with chopped carne asada and plenty of grilled onions. These were also perfectly paired with lime juice and salsa verde.
Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito sits right off Telephone Road, less than a mile from the I-45 S exit. If you're ever in the neighborhood and in need of a taco fix or a filling bowl of beans, then give Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito a try.
$6.75: 1 regio plate (2 big tacos, 2 little tacos)
$3.75: 1 bowl of frijoles pioneros
My grandma always says, "If you got beans, then you got a meal."
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments!