In Costa Rica, they're known as tacos Ticos: shredded beef or chicken wrapped tightly into a corn tortilla that solidifies into a cylindrical tube, topped with mayonnaise and ketchup and a vibrant lime-drenched cabbage slaw. Likewise, in Guatemala, such tacos are stuffed with a combination of potato and meat, served under a veil of spicy salsa
These are not flautas, a dish often made using flour tortillas that are much larger than their taquito brethren. Instead, what you'll most often get is a handmade corn tortilla wrapped around a simple meat filling that's fried into a tiny, hard taco. What goes inside often varies from restaurant to restaurant (as well as country to country) but often include shredded meat like beef, pork, or chicken.
Don't forget the garnishes, typically a blanket of ingredients — everything from lettuce or cabbage, to Mexican crema, or sour cream. Still more pile on crumbled queso fresco, and a medley of diced tomatoes and onion, guacamole, and green or red salsa.
Across Latin America, the fried taco is the ultimate fasts food special, available from mobile stands as taquitos or — as they're called at Dona Raquel — tacos dorados. Consider them the fries of Central America — a deep-fried dish most often served later in the day.
At Taqueria Dona Raquel in Pompano Beach, the tacos dorados is served as a platter of five deep fried tacos — the restaurant's handmade masa tortillas stuffed with a choice of shredded marinated chicken, Mexican sausage, or strips of juicy carne asada. They arrive hidden beneath a thick layer of crisp shredded lettuce, crumbled queso blanco, sliced avocado, chopped tomato, and a sweet Mexican-style crema (plus a side of refried beans and rice).
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.