Hangover Helper: Pambaso Sandwich at Moctezuma in Philadelphia

Hangover Helper

Just what the doctor ordered.

[Photographs: Hawk Krall]

I'm pretty blessed to live in a Philly neighborhood where a new taqueria or Mexican grocery store with couple of tables in the back seems to appear out of thin air every few days, all well suited to treating hangovers: dirt cheap, unpretentious, and close enough to my house that I can walk there still smelling like whiskey and beer.

The food isn't always fantastic, but for me, it's a much better option for sweating out a case of Budweiser than waiting in line for an hour for butternut squash eggs benedict at a crowded, mediocre brunch restaurant. And every so often you come across a perfect hangover dish like this jam-packed Pambaso sandwich.

Philly is an ok Torta town; pretty much every neighborhood Mexican spot makes a decent rendition but they are all sort of the same. I've never had anything here that even came close to the Torta De Salchicha I had a while back from Puebla Mini Mart in Brooklyn, or the insane things from Tortas Neza that James Boo wrote about the other day. So I was excited to see something different on the menu of Moctezuma, a full-on sit down restaurant on the south side of Philadelphia's 9th Street Market.

Moctezuma's Pambaso consists of an almost hubcap-sized soft white Mexican roll dunked in red chili sauce and stuffed with crumbled chorizo, home-fry-esque fried potatoes (crisp on the outside and soft in the middle), along with the standard Mexican garnish mess of shredded lettuce, crumbled white cheese, and some sort of bean product.

The individual components are almost impossible to identify, everything melding together into a delicious, slightly spicy substance that's exactly what makes this sandwich the most perfect hangover food ever—if it wasn't so hard to pick up without leaving a trail of chorizo and chili sauce down your arms.


1108 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA (map) 215-218-4008; moctezumarestaurant.com

Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.