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La Mixteca/Napa... how do I love thee!

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After reading the posts on La Mixteca written so eloquently by both Eat_Nopal and kare raisu et al, when we had to take a quick ride up to the North end of the Napa Valley to pick up some vino at Vincent Arroyo, I managed to convince DH to take a slight detour (not such an easy thing to do) to La Mixteca for lunch (don't you love my run-on sentences!)

Here's a link to recent threads:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434183
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/464642

All I can say to EN and recently relocated kr is THANK YOU!!! I've not had food from this part of Mexico and now I'm spoiled. When I read your posts about the suadero taco, the duro with cueritos, and the pork ribs (can't remember the rest of it...) I wanted to try them so badly but just couldn't justify taking the ride - what was I thinking! This is a little place but the food is just so yummy. At this point I think that driving up to Napa is totally reasonable just to enjoy these tasty delights.

Armed with my CH printouts, I ordered just 2 of the tacos with suadero (had never heard of this before) and one of the duro ensalada with cueritos, etc. Actually I'm glad that I had the printouts because the duro isn't on the regular menu from what I could see. When I asked about it the young woman taking my order pointed to a sign posted on the wall as you turn to the right from the counter - I believe that it said "Chicharones, avocado, crema...." but I don't recall anything about duro or cueritos - anyway, the dishes were nicely plated and just tasted soooo good... EN: You had me so drooling with your description of this dish! We also had the Chileajo de puerco - also very, very tasty. I totally agree about the red "mole" sauce on this dish, in fact I want to try to duplicate it myself...

My one concern is that this is a little place and with school on vacation that week, it was empty except for us. I hope they do well enough to stay in business and that they keep these items on the menu! Chowhounds who love Mexican food, do your part to keep this little treasure going...

I also ordered the pepino agua fresca which at first tasted too sweet but turned out to be just the right thing to go along with our food. I was pleasantly surprised when my order taker came out with a pitcher and refilled my glass - something I've never had happen before!

I'm so looking forward to being able to visit some weekend for the "specials". Next time we're in Napa...

I know that pix have been posted of the duro before but I just had to add it again...

La Mixteca
2580 Jefferson St,
Napa, CA 94558
Cuisine: Mexican - Oaxacan, Antojitos, Mexican, taqueria

 
 
 
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  1. Thanks for keeping this place in Chow radar. Looking forward to future reports on those specials.

    -----
    La Mixteca
    2580 Jefferson St, Napa, CA 94558

    1. Wow...your post made me smile and so happy! EN recently visited me down in San Diego and we couldnt stop mentioning the chileajo from Mixteca. You make me so jealous RWCFoodie! :) Fantastic post...

      13 Replies
      1. re: kare_raisu

        kr: thanks! Many, many thanks again to you for your posts; they are food poetry to me. I wish I'd had the chance to meet you before you left for San Diego.... Any chance that you'll be back up here? I'd love to go with you guys to La Mixteca and/or some of the other places you and EN wrote about and try more of the menu!

        1. re: RWCFoodie

          If you are ever in Santa Rosa let me know... I can give you the "tour" of our local Mexican market stalwart (Lola's)... and check out places like Antojitos La Texanita.

          You can join the North Bay Chow Group on Yahoo to contact the hounds up here (as I think Chowhound is getting quite annoying about sharing contact info).

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            EN: Thanks for telling me about the North Bay Chow Group on Yahoo - I'm chagrined to admit that I didn't know you guys had a Chow group up there - I will join it tonight! It's a bit of a trip for us (from Menlo Park) but hopefully I'll be able to join in on some of your gatherings... Would like to explore La Texanita, etc. Love your posts; I totally appreciate the education I'm getting from you on Mexican food....

            I wish we had some places down here like La Mixteca (if there are any, I don't remember reading about them); I want the dishes we had there. There are a gazillion Mexican/Central American places in my part of the peninsula but they all seem to do the same old things.

            1. re: RWCFoodie

              "they all seem to do the same old things."
              I think you could say that about any part of the Bay Area. It just takes going out and searching for the good stuff to find the needle in the haystack and not waiting for someone else to write about it. Guess I just refuse to believe that the fertile ground of "Little Michoacan" of Redwood City doesn't have anything to offer.
              http://www.sanfran.com/archives/view_...

              Has anyone tried Frida Cocina Mejicana in RWC?
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/375579

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Melanie said exactly what I was thinking reading your post. Take a close look at menus. It is easy to be blinded by the usual tacos, burritos, tortas, etc.

                But about 95% of the time there's that oddball item that is out of the ordinary. Also scope out the tables and see if anything looks different and delicious or if eating there pay attention to see if people are ordering off menu and then ask what that is. Look for whiteboards. Weekends are particular good times to go sleuthing since some dishes only show up then.

                If you look at some of the La Mixteca reports, from my understanding the usual stuff is kind of 'eh'. It is the out of the ordinary that makes this place shine. Anyone going in and ordering the usual burrito would probably write the place off as only ok.

                Anyway here's a link to a few more groups.One is in the Silicon Valley.
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46916...

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Thanks Melanie - I hadn't seen Scott's write up. I'll have to check these places out again. Last time I visited La Casita Chilanga I don't believe they had suadero on the menu...but it has been quite a while since that visit. You're right of course, I painted things with too broad a brush - It's just that I've never noticed anything out of the ordinary on most menus; just the same old, same old! I'll have to be more diligent in my search...

                  1. re: RWCFoodie

                    Have you tried Frida Cocina Mejicana? However, the Guatamalan might be the thing to try here.
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/375579

                    1. re: rworange

                      Have driven by it a more times than I can think of, but haven't investigated.... I'll post when and if I get around to it.

                      1. re: RWCFoodie

                        Thanks. I don't get down to Redwood City too often these days, but I'm really interested,.

            2. re: RWCFoodie

              Man you make me blush! EN is my best friend and I have some family still in Santa Rosa so the chance is quite good RWCFoodie! Thank you for kind words.

              1. re: kare_raisu

                kr - That's so cool - I sense that a Chow Gathering will definitely happen when you're up for a visit! I look forward to seeing an evite!

            3. re: kare_raisu

              I said it after my first visit a few months ago and have tried most of the menu, and the Mixteca chileajo is still the best dish you'll find at any Mexican restaurant in Napa. Not too long ago, they had a daily special for a few days of camarones a la diabla, and that was amazing too, with their own twist on it. Never disappoints.

              1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

                I loved that the food seemed to have been prepared with love, the way you'd do it for your family.... That chileajo was as delicious as everyone has said and I agree, if I thought I could have gotten away with it, I would have licked the plate too!

            4. Thanks - Glad you thought so! I'll let you know the next time we head that way...

              1. I just want to do my best to keep this place on the radar screen. My husband and I stopped in (based on great reviews here) on our way back from mom's day at Berryessa. We had a huge brunch, so weren't up to eating much. My husband had the chileajo, which, as everyone has already reported was fabulous. The only improvement I could suggest would be to serve it with arroz blanco instead of the standard "Mexican" style rice here. I only had room for a couple of tacos, so had the Suadero. I was convinced that the counter person had "gringoized" my order, since I was sure she delivered carnitas (pork), then I read the thread more carefully and realized that everyone has commented on who "pork-like" the Suadero looks. Doesn't matter, it was delicious! We also tried different aguas frescas, he had the limon, I had the sandia (only because I love this flavor, even though it is too early for watermelon). Both were great.

                We were there at 6:00 on Sunday, and were the only ones there until a family of 5 came in around 6:30. Scary to think that this place may die due to lack of biz, so we need to do our best to keep the buzz up.

                4 Replies
                1. re: dkenworthy

                  Interesting to read your thoughts on the suadero - we were there on the first Friday in May right around lunch time - I have been holding off on posting because it just wasn't as great as it was on that first visit....

                  The table salsa that is served with the complimentary chips is still outstanding - the chips don't taste fried in-house - they're those extra thin kind without salt.

                  I had to have the suadero again - ordered 2 of the tacos and also the duro with insalada de cueritos that we had back in January on our first visit.

                  I too thought that we maybe got carnitas rather than what I ordered - it was good but not anywhere nearly as luscious as what we'd had before (that didn't keep us from scarfing them down!).

                  The duro with cueritos wasn't as special either - not enough shredded cabbage, pork skin cut into much thicker strips or just left in large unmanageable hunks, not enough salsa... just not as good as it was the first time we had it.

                  I ordered 2 agua frescas: one watermelon and one strawberry (they were out of the pepino). Both were extremely sweet, almost to the point of being undrinkable...

                  It seemed that the woman doing cashier duty was also handling the kitchen. The young woman who was cashiering the last time we were there wasn't there.

                  So I just kind of wrote it off as that experience: sometimes when you have something the first time, it can be a let down subsequently...

                  Will have to try it again next time we are going thru Napa...

                  1. re: RWCFoodie

                    The mom (50ish, pudgy, friendly lady) is the culinary brains behind the operation... I imagine she takes some days off and the execution might not be as good. Mom & Pops often seem to have a hard time training their cooks & transitioning out of the kitchen, unfortunately.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      EN, thanks for the input - I was really hoping that maybe it was just an off day and not a downward trend... Our cashier/server was in fact a 50ish, pudgy friendly lady... We will be in that area again on 6/21 on our way to a winery event so I will try to make a pit-stop and will report back if we do.... Do you think that perhaps we are getting carnitas rather than the suadero? Thanks again for all your posts.

                      1. re: RWCFoodie

                        You know I just had suadero tacos at Delicias Elenitas (Santa Rosa) truck last night... just average btw... and they were very much like California style Carnitas.... meaning they were poached, shredded... frozen, reheated on the griddle... and the result is fairly similar and unimpressive.

                2. Any updates?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kare_raisu

                    I had the chicken mole there recently - generous pieces of bone-in chicken with a thick dark delicious mole sauce, rice, beans and fresh tortillas. I had a wonderful time eating that!! The restaurant was not very busy - the creator of the mole came out into the dining area toward the end of the meal so I had a chance to tell her myself how much I enjoyed it.

                    1. re: kare_raisu

                      It's as good as ever. I've been hooked on their el pastor tacos lately, a similar pork prep. as their chileajo but not exactly. Small chunks of pineapple mixed in as well. Their tamales on weekends continue to be the best in the area.

                    2. Alex "kare raisu" is back in the North Bay this weekend.
                      Please join Alex and me for an impromptu lunch at La Mixteca in Napa on Sunday, Oct 11.
                      We're meeting there at noon, and then will do some exploring in the afternoon.
                      You're welcome for all or part of a day of chowhounding.

                      Please drop me an email if you can come, and we'll save you a seat.
                      I haven't made a reservation, so space is subject to whatever the restaurant's constraints might be.
                      For more info, check the url below for several discussions about the spot.
                      This will be my first time there, a return for Alex.
                      Please bring cash.
                      Antojitos La Mixteca
                      http://www.chow.com/restaurants/6117/...
                      2580 Jefferson St, Napa, CA 94558
                      (707) 252-2057