As Texans are prone to do, I sometimes crave an authentic elote. I don’t mean some corn dish that pairs well with a craft cocktail. I’m talking hot corn in a Styrofoam cup loaded with butter, mayo, chili powder, hot sauce and Cotija cheese. Dallas offers many outlets to satisfy this need, but what about Plano? It was time to find out.
My friend John Obregon agreed to help on this quest. He’s a long-time local who knows a few things about Mexican cooking. He’s also adept at helping gringos like me speak intelligently about it.
Our first stop was El Super Elote at the Southeast corner of K Avenue and Parker Road. As the name indicates, elote is the star here. It’s served in the iconic white cup with the requisite cheese. The rest of the ingredients are left up to the diner. An assortment of spices, seasoning and sauces are all available to add as toppings. Overall it was delicious; however, the corn was soft and mushy. Perhaps it had been sitting in the water too long. Bottom line? This place will satisfy your cravings, but I don’t expect Guy Fieri to show up anytime soon.
1120 E Parker Rd. #210, Plano, TX 75074El Super Elote >
We next decided to go about 200 feet across the parking lot to TC Shaved Ice. It’s a drive-up place that mostly specializes in sweet treats. Online reviews had good things to say, but we were skeptical. I guess sometimes the masses know what they are talking about. The fully loaded elote was presented perfectly. I dare say it was more super than “The Super Corn” across the way. The ingredients were expertly blended to provide that taste we were craving. And yet, the corn itself was still a little off. I’m no expert in preventing soggy corn, but I really hoped that some place nearby was.
1126 E Parker Rd., Plano, TX 75074TC Shaved Ice >
That place would be La Abejita Ice Cream on 18th Street, just east of US Hwy 75. I’ll just say it – this was hands-down the best. It gives those Dallas spots a run for their money. The Cotija was perfect. The authentic sauces were the good stuff, concealed in generic red bottles just waiting to be discovered. Happiness was achieved. We should have stopped here, at perfection, but alas, we were on a mission.
711 18th St., Plano, TX 75074La Abejita Ice Cream >
Unfortunately, you can’t expect good elote everywhere, no matter what online reviewers say. One of our stops, which shall remain nameless, offered a less-than-satisfactory version of corn in a cup. We tasted what can only be explained as sugar or Miracle Whip. (They still make that?)
An evening of elote overload deserves to be washed down with something cold and refreshing. In other words, it was time to hit up Hub Streat’s beer garden at M Avenue and 14th Street in Downtown Plano. Despite the fact that I could feel my insides expanding, I could not resist the temptation of ordering the Elote Dip with tortilla chips off the menu. And you know what? It was good, really good. I would be happy to eat this as an appetizer or at a party or even on my couch. There is nothing wrong with it at all. However, when you get that true elote craving, there is no substitute for the real thing. It’s hard to put into words what that means, but you’ll know it when you taste it.
1212 14th St., Plano, TX 75074Hub Streat >