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Gallegos Mexican Food - wonderful pork mole

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I've never eaten mole in Mexico, but do try it when it's on the menu locally. I just had a very, very, very good pork mole plate from Gallegos. OK, I guess it was great.

The mole is described as being handmade from 7 spices and it was very earthy, a little chocolatey, a little spicy, a little bitter, a little sweet. This thick sauce was the color of a matte hoisin sauce and was thick, almost pasty, but not gritty. It covered a mound of sweet, tender, slightly fatty pork (like carnitas, but not crisped). Beans were slightly salty, rice a little dry, but they were the perfect bland foil to the mole. All that plus a small green salad and a bag of chips with salsa for under $8.

With Mexican food, I usually like the salsa best and tend to drown my food in my favorite salsa. This mole sauce was so good, I never even cracked the salsa. For me Gallegos has now crossed over the line from a go-there-if-in-the-neighborhood place to a make-a-special-trip-place. Unfortunately, they close during the week at 6 and Sat at 3, so it takes a special trip unless you go right after work (assuming you're lucky enough not to work until 7:30).

I really like the vibe of the place: Spanish spoken here, housed in a shack sandwiched (tacoed) between a discount liquor store and Tito's Machine Shop. They've been their eight years just waiting to be discovered. I had more time to study the menu and they have breakfasts including chilaquiles (fried tortilla strips in a mild sauce) for under $4, 3 prawn dishes, beef birria, crispy tacos and all the other usual suspects. On the Saturdays, they have pozole and menudo.

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  1. Where?

    1 Reply
    1. re: srr

      Berkeley on San Pablo near Bancroft, a few blocks south of University.

    2. Very cool sleuthing ... and with a name like chocolatetartguy you should know chocolate.

      Will definately check this out next time I'm in that area. I love a good mole. As much as I love Coco500, I've not ordered the cocomoles yet for fear it wouldn't measure up and I'd have to diss a place I love. Thanks for the reference. The last time I had a great mole was in Encinitas near-ish San Diego.

      Previous Gallegos post
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      5 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        I'd be really curious to hear what you and others think of the mole. It just seemed miles ahead of what I've had at Cancun, Cactus, Picante. I don't believe I have ever had mole in the Mission or on E14th. I really like dense, complex, integrated sauces and this one certainly fit the bill. It was the consistency of mud.

        1. re: chocolatetartguy

          Now you are makin it irresistable to me. Is it available every day?

          1. re: rworange

            Yes, everyday. There are only the few specials noted by you previously.

        2. re: rworange

          You've got to tell me where in encintas, rworange....mole is my weakness.

          1. re: kare_raisu

            Thank Dios, I recorded it on the correct board. Note the date because things might have changed since then, but Especial del Norte, but you have to order the Chicken Mole Poblano and not the regular mole which is pretty tasteless ... that is the white-meat gringos version. I was going through the soup menu and one day noticed the Latinos ordering this dish. It was rich and chocolately and great. Hope it remains so

            Brief report from a few years ago on Calif board
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        3. Sounds like I know where I'm getting my lunch tomorrow! I have been less-than-impressed with most mole I've ever eaten, to the point of wondering if I just don't like it much - but still think it is because most of it isn't very good.

          1. The mole at Cactus is a red mole, quite a different thing and in my opinion not as tasty. The mole burittos at Picante have pineapple in them. Rather odd. I will try this place, too. Thanks

            1. I'm excited about trying that mole, but I'm curious about "Glencora"....were you named after the Trollope character? I have a friend named Pamina, after the character in The Magic Flute.

              Thinking of Lady Glencora wolfing down mole makes me laugh.

              1 Reply
              1. re: oakjoan

                Yes, it is quite an image. I've also had a pet hermit crab named after Lady Glencora. I'm not sure what it signifies...

              2. Well, I am satiated, so now I post. I stopped there late afternoon, knowing I was going to "reheat" but this sort of food reheats well.

                The sides: Rice - dry (which I like) and not much flavor, at least in comparison with the rest of the food. It was fine rice.

                Beans: Brown, smashed, with a bit of cheese. I liked the consistency.

                Tortillas: Wrapped in foil, 2 hours later, a lost cause.

                Salsa: Used on the beans and chips, passable.

                Chips: They were fine, nothing special.

                Mole: It was really good. A generous portion of mole that was pretty much spot-on to the OP. Worthy of the French red I had with it.

                Extras: I had to try a taco al pastor just to taste... I had that "fresh." It was ok, nothing I'd want to order again.

                Summary: I wonder if they sell the mole by the container w/o the sides. It could be a great centerpiece to my own sides. The "mole lover" in the house will be home in about an hour to eat the other meal which is waiting ... awaiting the verdict.