Of all the world’s cuisines, Mexican food is near and dear to my heart because most of it is corn-based and gluten-free friendly. From tacos and guacamole to tamales and horchata, I love the diversity and bold flavors of Mexican delicacies.
On the recommendation of coworkers at my internship site this summer, I decided to dedicate my Sunday to exploring Eastern Market, a wonderful menagerie of produce stands, artists selling their wares, and food vendors.
I went mainly for the produce and art, but along the way stumbled into Manos de Maiz, a pop up vendor offering an 100% gluten-free menu featuring maizope. This delicacy features a thick corn tortilla layered with seasonal toppings. I have never encountered this type of food before, so was excited to try it out.
Manos de Maiz’s menu not only is super gluten-free friendly, but also has options for vegetarians and vegans. All of the ingredients are locally sourced, and the menu changes seasonally to reflect fresh flavors.
I decided to go for a single chicken maizope, and added in avocado, salsa, and microgreens on top. The portioning was perfect for breakfast, and the maizope tortilla was piled high with tender and spicy mole chicken. The avocado added creaminess while the salsa added sharp, robust flavor that danced in synch with the chicken flavor. The maizope itself was thick and featured blue corn, which has a more complex flavor profile than white or yellow corn varieties, and is made from scratch before your eyes.
When ordering, I couldn’t pass up a chance to enjoy hibiscus tea. Manos de Maiz’s version is boldly refreshing, with a slight sweetness that accentuates the unmistakable hibiscus flavor. It was a nice compliment to the maizope, and a perfect summer beverage on a hot day.
Manos de Maíz was a terrific find, and I am shocked it wasn’t on my radar before. The food was excellent and the staff were super friendly, which will keep me coming back for more. I love it when my loves of locally-sourced food, small businesses, and Mexican food come together in a unbeatable trifecta.