Fiesta Tepa-Sahuayo & Gizdich Ranch, Watsonville report w/ pics
We planned a road trip out to Watsonville just to eat at Fiesta Tepa-Sahuayo & visit w/ friends.
We all met up at 1pm and it took a while to check out the menu & order. The male waiter/owner mentioned the more authentic Oaxacan dishes to our group of Caucasians/Asians. We had to wait a long time for the food, but you get chips & salsa to tie you over.
2 orders of guac.- really fresh & yummy.
Pipianes $13.50-green, red moles cooked w/ pumpkin seeds in each different peppers & Mex. herbs as epazote, aguacato leave, hoja sauce w/ either shrimp or chicken..we got it w/ shrimp. Everyone liked it.
chiles nogada $14.50-roasted poblanos stuffed w/ mixture of ground turkey, seeds, dried fruit w/ almond sauce. I liked it.
saffron shrimps in tepa $13 - everyone liked it.
rose petal cooked shrimps in tepa $13 -featured in the movie Like Water for Chocolate. Awesome.
Squash blossom quesadillas - I thought all the quesadillas were ok, though a little bit too thick & chewy.
white enchiladas $10 for 3. Huitlache & squash blossom. Awesome.
Also we got 6 beers: Negro Modelo (guys liked it) & Corona.
I got a pitcher of the fruit drink Guanabana. It's yummy, don't know what the fruit really taste like so can't compare.
They take credit cards. One unisex bathroom hidden in the back of the restaurant. Cool jukebox near the front.
Since we had lunch at Fiesta Tepa Sahuayo & friend lives in Watsonville, he suggested we check out Gizdich Ranch. It's really close to the friend's place so we got some pies here.
It's a good size ranch where they sell apples, apple juice & other fruit juices, but the main reason to come here are they pies! They have U-pick fruit but only when in season, Not in winter.
Apple-Huge crust - didn't try but looked fine. Apple isn't my fav.
Very Berry -yummy. Even got it still warm.
Recommended. Open daily 9-5 361 days a yr. Closed: New Yrs Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Xmas.
Juice Pressing-fresh pressed every Sat.
April-Apple Blossom Time
May 1-July 31-Berry Season
Apples-late Aug-Jan 1
Aug-Dec 31-Apple Season
Oct-Apple Butter Festival & Pumpkin Patch
Nov & Dec - Holiday Pies
Lots of gourmet stores like Whole Foods & Cosentino sell them in the Bay Area.
15 1st St, Watsonville, CA
55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA
Thanks for your report and photos, hhc. I'm glad you enjoyed Fiesta Tepa Sahuayo given some recent negative reviews and my own personal up and down experiences w/ them. The saffron shrimp dish looked tasty. The white enchiladas is also new to me.
I'm convinced that they have changed the way they make their quesadillas since they look different; I recall them using a handmade corn tortilla instead of the flour ones that are in your pic. They also used to be fried till nice and crispy, yet they have been "blonder" the last couple of times that I've been. A shame...
We recently returned from an outstanding trip to Mexico (Mexico City, Oaxaca City & Puebla City--report forthcoming in the next couple of weeks) so it was very fun and eye-opening to sample food there and compare to local places like FTS. Chiles en Nogada originated in Puebla so we tried the dish there and it tasted pretty different (and better IMO) than FTS's version. The latter being more muddy and not as fresh or vibrant in flavor.
The Pueblan version was stuffed w/ pork chunks (not too much), dried fruit, and small almonds and was swathed in a lovely, pale walnut sauce that was lightly chilled. The poblano pepper had been dipped in a light batter similar to a chile relleno. I was surprised that the sauce was cold but I later read in one of our books that it's supposed to be served that way. It was garnished w/ pomegranate seeds and cilantro. A wonderful balance of savory and sweet, this was one of my favorite edibles on our trip which sadly means that I probably can't return to FTS's version again...
I've driven by the road to Gizdich many times but have never bothered to turn down it. Thanks for the encouragement!
Photo of chiles en nogada from Puebla: