Forget the Egg McMuffin and the Burger King’s Sausage, Egg and Cheese Croissant.
Mexico has its own breakfast sandwich in the form of the mollete, made from fresh bolillo rolls sliced lengthwise and topped with refried beans and melted cheese.
And while this open-faced hoagie may have originated in the north of Mexico, today it is a favorite on-the-run breakfast snack throughout the country.
The hardy mollete has its roots in Andalusia, where it was made from crusty loafs of bread and manchego cheese packed away in lunchboxes of farm hands and factory workers.
In the north of Mexico, it assimilated to incorporate refried black and pinto beans, giving it an extra kick of protein and flavor.
And, of course, to accommodate the Mexican palate, spicy jalapeños or salsa mexicana (a blend of chopped tomatoes, onions and green chilies) were added along the way.
“Molletes are a kind of Mexican comfort food,” explained Victor Santamaria, who handles the public relations for the newly opened Juan Molletes restaurant in Colonia Roma Norte during a press presentation.
“We all basically grew up with them and they are something that you can fix at home in a few minutes but that is warm and inviting for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
The new Juan Molletes restaurant, located at Sinaloa 164 and open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., offers a variety of both traditional and innovative molletes.
Among the unusual offerings are a tomato and pesto mollete and a Yucatan-style cochinito pibil mollete topped with diced onions and strawberries.
Serious carnivores will want to check out the Todas Mías mollete, packed with fried steak, sausage and pork rinds and topped with chopped coriander, onions and guajillo sauce.
There is also a veggie four-cheese mollete, with a blend of cheddar, manchego, mozzarella and Oaxaca cheeses, and there is even a sweet strawberry and cream and a caramel-sauce mollete.
To spice up your sandwich, the restaurant has a selection of seven different made-in-house sauces that run the gamut from a mild pico de gallo to a fiery salsa macha made from chile de árbol and beer.
Juan Molletes also offers a limited selection of soups and salads, plus a choice of “aguas frescas” and juices.
The setting is very informal and you can have an entire meal with dessert for about 100 pesos.
Juan Molletes is located at Sinaloa 164 in Roma Norte (tel: 7312-0871)
It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and also delivers within the neighborhood.