558 Cranbrook Road, Cranbrook Shopping Center, Cockeysville, (410) 628-1164
Northern Baltimore County is finally feeling the Latino (food) love with the opening of Don Panchito's. Reflecting the tastes of Cockeysville's increasing Hispanic population, Don Panchito's serves up muy autentico fare like chuleta guisada ($11.95)--toothsome pork stew chock-full of peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and aromatic spices. Don Panchito's also offers the best chicken tamale ($2) I've ever had--tender masa custard quivering under the fork to yield up a bounty of delicately seasoned chicken and carrots. The various cheese, bean, pork, and loroco pupusas ($2) all come with traditional shredded cabbage on the side, but I swear Don Panchito's is seasoning its with Old Bay. It sort of works, but other culinary cultural mash-ups are not so great--avoid the tacos de barbacoa ($8.95); they're filled with lamb, yes, but weirdly it's gyro lamb. There are also gyros on the menu. Above all go for the fresh tortillas, handmade in house, and the transcendently wonderful licuados--fresh fruit smoothies, Latino style, complete with teeny umbrellas. The cantaloupe licuado is fantastic.