Given that many of you may have chosen to skip the post where I obsess in great detail about the best Frito pie I have ever eaten, the title of this post may have been poorly worded. Nevertheless, I feel the need to share: Last weekend, in Salida, Colorado I had my first ever bad Frito Pie.
The view, however, was good from our room
Mama D's is exactly the kind of place that one would expect to get a good Frito pie in any Southern Colorado town: a small hot-dog and hamburger stand. The problem is, Salida isn't really a Southern Colorado town and this place actually touted a Chicago-style menu, which may have otherwise tempted me, but after I saw the Frito Pie on the menu, I knew it was time to test my Frito Pie theory.
Without further delay, here is a picture of the worst Frito Pie I have ever eaten:
No lettuce, no tomatoes, big unwieldy chunks of red onion (instead of little white ones) and barely enough chile to cover the top layer of Fritos. The chile was actually decent, and I can see it being OK on a juicy hot dog, but these people have no business making a Frito Pie like this. If your distaste for the Frito pie came from an experience like this, then I can fully understand your disinterest in my obsession.
Given that there is not a big Chicano population in or around Salida, it is no wonder that the only other Mexican-looking person in the place (besides my wife) had a confused look on his face, clearly avoiding eye-contact with the authorities by looking at his coffee cup:
This outdated and bigoted painting of those lurking somewhere South of Salida is likely a symbol of how much this place gets New Mexican food. To be fair they advertise Chicago-style food, and if they are really from Chicago, it would be perfectly understandable that they would not know a Frito pie from the chile-covered chips that they served me.
Downtown Salida, Colorado is full of good restaurants, and not too long from now I will be posting on a couple places where I had fantastic meals, including a divine Mexican-influenced dish that I can't wait to share. Stay tuned and happy Independence Day.