A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 28, 2008

“Taquitos” are rolled tacos. A taquito is a tortilla (corn or flour) with a filling (usually chicken or beef) that is deep-fried. Taquitos often have cheese, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, and other toppings and ingredients.
Taquitos are identical to flautas and flaquitos, although some claim that there are differences. “Taquito” is cited in English since at least 1929, with most of the early citations from the state of California (where the word might have been coined).
Wikipedia: Taquito
A taquito (from the Spanish diminutive of taco) is often considered a Mexican dish consisting of a small rolled-up tortilla and some sort of filling, usually beef or chicken. They are also called Rolled Tacos and are more recognized that way in Northern Mexico and Southern California.
There are many varieties of taquitos in different regions. Taquitos most often contain beef or chicken, and sometimes include cheese, pork, potato, or vegetables. They are generally thin and tend to be about six inches long.
Taquitos are very popular as a frozen food. They are also sold by 7-Eleven and QuikTrip convenience stores in a variety of flavors, as well as established restaurants such as Chico’s Tacos. Taco Bell began to sell steak and chicken taquitos in 2006.
Crispy fried taquitos sold in Mexico are often called tacos dorados (“fried tacos”) or flautas (“flutes”). Flautas are cooked using corn or flour tortillas. These may be covered by cabbage, cream, guacamole, green chile sauce and crumbled Mexican cheese such as queso fresco. Chorizo (sausage), or machacado (dried beef), etc.
taquitos.net: Serious about snacks.
The Taquitos Page
By Jeremy Selwyn
Chief Snacks Officer
There are few foods more delicious than taquitos. In fact, they’re so delicious that we named this entire web site after them. Here are some of the different kinds of taquitos that I’ve eaten.
Wise Geek
What are Flautas?
The base of a flauta is a tortilla, which can be small or burrito sized, depending on the inclination of the cook. Fresh tortillas are preferable, since they are more flexible and flavorful. Some people distinguish between flautas and taquitos, a similar dish, claiming that flautas are made from flour tortillas and taquitos are made from corn tortillas. However, the terms are often used interchangeably, and some people believe that taquito is a term coined in California, rather than a true Mexican Spanish word.
About.com: Mexican Food
Q. Is it a Flauta or a Taquito?
From Chelsie Kenyon,
A. Flautas and Taquitos are very similar and the terms are used interchangable depending on what your location is.
The Tortilla Difference
Most of the time Flautas, which mean “flutes,” usually refer to a flour tortilla that is rolled up around a filling and deep fried. A Taquito is a corn tortilla rolled in a similar fashion with a filling of beef, chicken or cheese and fried until crisp. Sometimes the Flautas are rolled to be narrower on one side then the other to create a long, narrow cone shape. But the main difference is that usually Flautas are flour torillas, and Taquitos are made of corn tortillas. However, you can also find Taquitos made from flour tortillas and Flautas made from corn. 
El Indio (San Diego, CA)
El Indio was founded at the corner of India and Grape as a Tortilla Factory in August of 1940, by Ralph Pesqueira Sr. Fresh corn tortillas were made by hand. During WWII, customers from Consolidated, (Convair) and other nearby factories soon began asking for ready to eat lunch items. Ralph Sr. responded by making the “Taquito”, a word he coined meaning “Little Taco”.
Cielito Lindo: The famous Taquitos with Guacamole
Aurora worked on several recipes and finally developed her own style of home-made taquitos with guacamole sauce. Upon perfecting her unique recipe, she and Natalia rushed to get final approval from Mrs. Sterling for Cielito Lindo and the rest is history.
For almost 70 years, Cielito Lindo has been selling “Grama” Aurora Guerrero’s taquitos with guacamole sauce, which have delighted generations of local customers as well as visitors to Olvera Street from all parts of the world. Over the years this Los Angeles tradition has remained unchanged and is still a perfect combination of simple and wholesome ingredients.
1 dozen tortillas
1 lb. beef ground meat
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove
Boil water, salt, pepper, onion, chopped garlic clove, and ground beef at low setting. Until water is absorbed. Mix while cooking. Heat tortillas until pliable.
Fill with meat. Roll well. Use toothpicks or white thread to hold tacos. Remove toothpicks and thread after tacos have cooled. Pour oil and heat. Fry tacos until golden brown, but keep them soft. Serve with guacamole, tomatoes, sour cream, etc. or tomato sauce.
Ramona’s Spanish Mexican Cookery:
The first complete and authentic Spanish-Mexican cook book in English

Edited by Pauline Wiley-Kleemann
Los Angeles, CA: West Coast Publishing Co.
Pg. 86:
Taquitos a la Mexicana
1 doz. small tortillas
1/2 cup mixed onions
1/2 cup minced avocadoes
1 cup mashed, fried Mexican beans
1/2 cup green or red tomato puree
1 tblsp. minced coriander
6 split pickled chiles
Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix all ingredients except tortillas and chiles, divide in 12 equal parts, fill tortillas, add chiles, roll, fasten with toothpick and serve.
Your Mexican Kitchen:
A Compilation of Mexican Recipes Practicable in the United States
by Natalie V. Scott
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Pg. 12:
18 tortillas, hot
10 chile mulato
7 chile ancho
3 chile pasilla
1 cup of milk
1 fresh cheese
2 onions, very finely minced
1 alligator pear, cut in very thin slices
Toast the chiles and wrap them in a cloth to make it easy to skin them. Skin them, vein, seed, and stem.
Grind them up thoroughly in a mortar, adding the milk to them.
Then fry them, adding the fresh cheese and the salt. Dip the tortillas in this sauce, sprinkle them with a little more cheese and finely minced onion, then roll them in cylinder form.
Arrange them on a platter, sprinkling them finely with minced onion and cheese, and decorating them with slices of onion and alligator pear.
23 September 1938, Fresno (CA) Bee, “Mexican Slate Sunday Festival,” pg. 8B, col. 4:
Admission tickets will be good for purchases at booths where chicken, enchiladas, tamales, tostadas, menudo and taquitos and candies will be offered for sale.
5 December 1939, Fresno (CA) Bee, pg. 5B, col. 2 ad:
Specializes in
such as Taquitos, Enchiladas, etc.
18 May 1953, Modesto (CA) Bee, pg. 2, col. 1 ad:
TAQUITOS…15c each
(Corn tortilla with meat filling, rolled and fried crisp with hot sauce over the top)
11 February 1963, Pasadena (CA) Independent, pg. 8, col. 3 ad:
23 June 1963, Long Beach (CA) Independent-Press-Telegram, food section, pg. 22, col. 4:
TAQUITO—Little taco made a hors d’oeuvre.
26 January 1967, Los Angeles (CA) Times, part 5, pg. D2:
Tacos, taquitos and burritos are among the Mexican favorites of Southern Californians which add interest to dining out excursions and can be duplicated at home.
17 October 1975, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section D, pg. 10 ad:
Pepe Gonzales
Tostados, Taquitos and Strawberry Margaritas
(“A Taste of Dallas”—ed.)
L.A. Food Crazy
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Walking the Walk—Taquito Talk
Juanita Cafe, a few doors up, has people buying stuff besides taquitos, but taquitos are still the top item on their menu. As they should be. The differences between Cielito Lindo’s and the fried rolls of goodness here are subtle, but noticeable. The machaca is a little more adventurously seasoned, and simultaneously fluffier and more substantial. The fried tortilla fights back a little, but isn’t as downright leathery as the one down the road. And the sauce, the all-important sauce, is a scoche tangier, slightly thicker, with a little more of a kick. And a fiery salsa rojo similar to CL’s is available for you heat-seekers.
I’m here to tell you that Juanita’s makes the best taquito on Olvera Street.
Then there’s Rodolfo’s, the last taquitoria at the top of the street. And here, humble reader, I’ve let you down. I miscalculated my taquito intake on the way up the street, and was just plain too full to sample their deep-fried tubes of glory.
San Diego (CA) CityBeat (July 27, 2005)
The taquito (not the ‘rolled taco’ ) turns 65
By David Moye
This is a big year for little tacos-the taquito is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and so is the restaurant that created it: El Indio.
The eatery opened in August of 1940, on the corner of Grape and India streets as a tortilla factory catering to San Diego’s Mexican restaurants and Latino residents.
However, owner Ralph Pesqueira Sr., soon decided to make some extra dinero selling ready-to-eat foods for the workers at the nearby factories, including a rolled corn tortilla filled with shredded roast beef that he called a taquito-or “little taco.”
Pesqueira’s son, Ralph Jr., says his grandmother actually created the dish and modeled it on an existing item called the flauta, which is similar to the taquito, except with a flour tortilla instead of corn.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Monday, January 28, 2008 • Permalink

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