The Tlayuda? It’s the Next Big Thing

Our friend and James Beard-award winning chef, Joshua McFadden, is really excited about Mexico. He’s opening two restaurants in Portland (Mexican-themed La Neta, and the mezcal rooftop bar Tope) and he is traveling with Modern Adventure to Oaxaca in March. We sat down with Joshua for a chat about Oaxaca and Mexico. And about the Beatles.

What excites you most about Mexico?

It’s the place I want to go to the most right now. It’s like being transported to another place, the authenticity and the flavors and the vibes are just… unbelievable. Oaxaca especially is a gift. Just the light. And the colors. And obviously the food.

What’s your go-to food in Oaxaca?

The seven moles are just so incredibly special. Oaxaca is the gastronomic center of Mexico. It’s the land of seven moles! The tradition that comes from Oaxaca is just profound. It pushes in really amazing directions. It’s really diverse.

What do you look forward to learning most in Oaxaca?

Right now I’m obsessed with tlayudas. It’s really a Oaxaca thing: a gluten-free, way healthier sandwich. It’s incredible. The textures are kind of like a sandwich, or you can break it up like a nacho. I’m ecstatic about it. So on this trip I’m excited about trying to get in and try to discover that more. I just feel like that’s the future of Mexican food. So being able to get in and explore that more there and turning that into a thing is something I already anticipate doing.

Which Beatles would you most want to make a dinner for?

George Harrison! He’s the best Beatle. You’re kidding me, he wrote the best songs. Everyone loves John when you’re younger. No one really likes Paul. Then there’s poor Ringo. And then you realize George wrote the best songs. And as a person. I’m all in on George.

You have italian and mediterranean restaurants. Now you’re opening two mexican restaurants in Portland. Why?

We only do food that we love. Starting with the thing I love the most. And I love Italian food. I couldn’t live without pasta. So sticking with that same family vibe, shared seasons experience – Mexican food. We don’t want to do anything other than what we want to eat.

OK, bonus question. Big one. Is a hot dog a sandwich?

A hot dog is a hot dog.