Eating my way through Mexico in Santa Ana: Part Tres - Becoming a Chilango
El Rincon Chilango has to be the most colorful restaurant I have ever seen. You cannot miss it driving down 17th St. Stripes and every color in the rainbow.
But what stopped me dead in my tracks was a sign advertising "Tlacoyos." This has been the first time I have ever seen these on a menu. I had first read about them in A Kennedy book - I forget which. Apparently it is a speciality of Mexico City and condsider a Antojito Chilango
It is a long oval shaped masa snack that is cooked with a filling inside and a salsa is poured ovver with some salty cheese and cilantro and minced onion.
I had never had flor de calabaza or squash blossom before (next time Im trying the haba) so I ordered that.
There is a indoor seating area on one half sife of the restaurant with table service. Every table was filled with families eating together on Sunday -eyes affixed on TV Azteca playing up above.
After a bit of a wait, sipping on my horchata the plate arrived. Its a pretty unique dish. The masa was made from Maseca but it was crisp and warm. The salsa verde was one of the best I have had - extremely bright and flavorful, interspersed with salty queso fresco. The flor was likely from a can - just ok.
This may be one of the only Mexico City style restaurants in the area and has some unique dishes I plan to work my way through, esp. tacos de canasta and the borrego the guy next to me had.
I hit Rincon Chilango today... great job scoping out KR... & thanks. When I looked at the menu I almost shed a tear... they have a quite a variety of so many Antojitos that are hard to find....
> Mexico City Style Griddled Quesadillas (handmade from corn masa)
> Tacos de Canasta (Steamed "Basket" Tacos... folded corn tortilla, slightly filled then bundled up so they steam with each others heat & hopefully become like dumplings)
> Sincronizadas (Two Tortilla Quesadillas with Ham)
> Pork Feet Tostadas
> Tortas... Very Big Tortas
> Pressed Chicharron
> Queso Fresco
> Beef Tinga
> Squash Blossoms
> Al Pastor
> Shredded Chicken in thin red sauce
> Fried Egg
> Roast Pork
> Head Cheese
They also have licuados & agua frescas with the following flavors:
Juices... Orange, Carrot, Beet, Celery
Other interesting things include Esquites (stir fried corn kernels with onion & epazote, stinky cheese & piquin pepper flakes)... sauteed Nopales.
Oh yeah... all this represents about half the menu items.
For my rating... I will provide two...
1) Compared to other D.F. Style Places in California
2) Compared to Mexico City
Boiled Tomatillo, Arbol & Chopped Onion Salsa
>>> California.... Outstanding... probably best version I've had
>>> Mexico City... Outstanding
>>> California.... Average (doesn't rise above other versions)
>>> Mexico City... Substantially Sub Par
Shredded Chicken Canasta Taco with Mole Verde
>>> California.... Outstanding
>>> Mexico City.... Solid
Whole Beans, Pungently Seasoned Canasta Taco
>>> California.... Very Good
>>> Mexico City... Solid
Nopales A La Plancha
>>> California... Very Good
>>> Mexico City.... a little bit disappointing
Mamey & Coconut Licuado
>>> California... Very Good
>>> Mexico City... a little bit below average
Great Report and I enjoyed seeing the dichotomy of where each dish stands in CA & DF.
Regarding the Tacos de Canasta:
-Did they come 3 to an order and are they soused with a salsa much like tacos mineros? (Three styles?: Canasta, sudado, minero?)
- What kind of beans did they use and what do you suspect they seasoned them with?
-Were the Nopales left whole?
> Tacos de Canasta were sold individual for a buck... they had 5 different kinds, and not sauced.
> Beans were plain old Pintos.... seasoning was roasted garlic, sauteed onion, I believe epazote... and good quality rendered lard.
> Nopales were in long slices... if I go back this week, I would probably order the Nopales again... ask for a side of Mole Rojo (just sauce), Chicken Tinga, an agua based licuado and some handmade tortillas.