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A Burger a Day in May: Frito Pie From Cart Cafe

Arguably not a burger at all, but then who gets in an argument about a walking taco?

This taco was made for walking. Photograph by Melissa Romero.

Welcome to Hangover Hamburger Friday: the Memorial Day weekend edition. Throughout May we’ve given you booze-soaking burgers in the form of triple-decker street meat, a poutine mashup, and a peanut butter bomb, but today we have something more portable for your Friday flight: the Frito Pie.

We like to think of it as a deconstructed burger, but if that makes your head explode, simply refer to it as a “walking taco” and know that it contains everything your sluggish body needs to get you through hours of beach-bound traffic: ground beef, cheese, fried, salty bits, and a distracting twinge of shame. You’ll pick up this meal-in-a-bag at the corner of 19th and L streets, Northwest, where Yeshu Woldemicael mans the stationary Cart Cafe responsible for bringing Frito pie to downtown DC. Not too long ago, a (possibly hungover) Texan regular asked if she could re-create his state’s iconic treat. Now, for a mere $2, anyone can partake. Woldemicael splits open a bag of classic Fritos corn chips, loads it with meaty beef chili, faux cheese, and sautéed onions, and gives it a little shake to mix the ingredients. The result is something one imagines loving—but not remembering—after crawling out of a bar, but it’s still pretty good in the harsh light of day. Any of the cart’s chips are fair game, so if you’re feeling brave, opt for the honey-barbecue “flavor twists” for a Lone Star State double-whammy.

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  • Christina

    18 and L, not 19 and L!

  • Christina

    I'm standing at the corners of 19 and L... I see no stationary cart cafe! Help?

  • Catbirdcan

    Texas? No. Try New Mexico! Frito Pies were in vented in Santa Fe, specifically.

  • 22jillabentley22

    Frito pies were born in Texas?? NOT. They were born on the Santa Fe Plaza many decades ago. You could get one cheap at the Woolworth's there. And they had real New Mexico red chile, and they still do, as a matter of fact. Visit Santa Fe and have a real Frito pie!

  • Nora

    I'm sorry but that's not a real Frito pie....come to New Mexico :)

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