Real Azteca (Bx) Expanding
Well, they've done plenty to contribute to the expansion of my midsection, so it seems fitting that they themselves should expand. They took over the lease of the business next door, and are busy renovating the space. They've got the floor tiled, the walls painted a sunny yellow, and are installing chair rails and wainscoting -- commonplace as that may sound, if you're familiar with this neighborhood, you know that's a look you just don't see every day. A visually appealing restaurant - fancy that! Current plans are to have 12 tables in the new space. I'm curious to see how the kitchen, such as it is, weathers such a major expansion. I'll report back when they open.
I went in today to get a simple quesadilla de carnitas -- their carnitas are more or less just shredded pork, unctuous & delicious, the tortillas for the quesadillas are pressed to order. A little of their home made salsa verde and you're good to go. However I was diverted from my plan by the presence today of chiles rellenos. I was powerless to resist. (This is why I had to start brown-bagging it -- so often I'd go in for something small, like a chicken taco, and come out with one of the specials of the day -- costillas en salsa verde, albondigas, mole, pipian, whatever, along with rice, beans, tortillas.)
The chile was real good -- like the best of this place's cooking, very home-made tasting. (I say that having recently enjoyed a 2-week home stay in Puebla, in the home of an awesome cook.) Nice, light, red-tomato-based sauce, slightly spicy, a Poblano with a little kick to it, coated comme il faut in that beaten-egg/flour mixture before frying (capeado I believe is the correct term for the technique). I should point out (again) that the people who run this place are from MIchoacan, not Puebla, in case I'm giving the impression that this is pure Puebla-style cooking. I don't have the expertise to explain what the differences would be, but I imagine that there must be certain standards, like these chiles, that cooks from a wide swath of Mexico can do a bang-up job on. Anyway, these folks do.
Oh, by the way, one of the owners/cooks from R.A. opened a place recently in New Rochelle, Margarita's. Haven't tried it yet.
1013 E 163rd St, Bronx, NY 10459