On the first sign of chill in October, I stopped by Sr. Valdez's Hot Dogs estilo Mexicali cart (Market Street @ Ivy Street) in Salinas for a champurrado. The milk chocolate-flavored corn drink is my favorite version in town. Then I spied the packs of cinnamon-sugar'd buñuelos on the shelf. Eight to a pack, wrapped up in cellophane, for $4. Sra. Valdez makes them and they're great. Very thin, delicate, rich, just the right amount of sweetness.
I've been giving them away this week. Most have never seen a buñuelo nor a pizzelle (Italian version of rosettes) and are sol on these treats. And for two of the Mexican-Americans who received them, the response has been even more stellar. Especially when I explain that they're from my favorite hot dog cart in Salinas . . . they exclaimed, "That's why they're so good!"