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Jan 31, 2008 07:08 PM

Some Agua Fresca with my Vegtable, and Blood in my Sausage... Monte Alban update

I don't know if the search function is broken... but I am shocked to not find any posts for Monte Alban's botana platter or the Moronga.

What is a botana platter? Its typically a style of small town cantina eating.. in which you are served a platter with a number of different ingredients, a stack of tortillas & a salsa... and you entertain yourself by coming up with as many Taco permutations as possible will you sip that bottle of Tequila, Mezcal, Moonshine or whatever the regional drink of choice may be.

At Monte Alban you are served (and btw don't fool yourself into thinking it can be polished by one person alone).. some very large pieces, of very aromatic, porky chicharron; plain poached Nopales in strips, large slices of very decent Quesillo, black bean paste, an impeccably roasted Chile de Agua, Avocado slices... oh yeah and three thick slices of steamed Moronga (blood sausage).... along with your pile of handmade tortillas (not as thin or delectable as other days).

The nopales were just okay (certainly from a jar), the chicharron was a bit stale (not surprising), the beans were great.. as was the Chile, avocado & quesillo. But the Moronga... wowsers... I've only had it a few times... and the last time was prior to my Chowhound days... it his this earthy, delicate appeal & pleasant texture that oddly reminds me of Squid / Octopus ink dishes.

Hint... for those who might be put off by the visual... you might try making it into a Molito... could be great as a sauce for a good steak, or some "Enchiladas".

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  1. O yeah I had the Chilacoyote Squash agua fresca... I liked it better than my first version 1 year ago... the best part is eating all the stringy flesh that remains at the bottom of the glass... so refreshing & satisfying a dessert... and yes they did remember to include a scoope of Lime sorbet on the top.

    1. Great Mind's think a like: I went to Panaderia Ortiz y restaurante Oaxaqueno for Comida Corrida on my way up to Temecula for lunch after school!

      Your description of a botana plate is damn sexy. So many interesting contrasts in texture and flavor - smooth beans, crisp chicharron, steamed earthty blood sausage, creamy/ rich avocado, lactic quesillo, spicy roasted chile, and citrusy nopales.Then you go to work with the tortillas - how cool is that?!

      The blood sausage enchiladas idea - I will steal it! - youll hear back from me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kare_raisu

        I look forward to hearing how the experiment went.

      2. Thanks for the update. I actually tried Monte Alban for the first time last Saturday night and almost tried the botana platter but couldn't rally enough of my fellow diners. Definitely a must try for next time. I got the volcan molcajete, which while awesome, was far too rich for one person. I also shared the huitlacoche empanada with a friend and it was great. We tried to go back the next morning for breakfast but they stop serving at 11am.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mollyomormon

          I had that volcan molcajete last time I was there, and it was awesome. I agree that it's far too rich for one person, but there I was, and the pal I was there with would have none of it. My life passed before my eyes, and I heard trumpets (or bells?), but somehow I managed, and then it was gone. That stone dish isn't as deep as it looks, thankfully.

          But what a great dish. I need to go back and work through the menu some more.

          1. re: CulverJack

            I couldn't get anyone to share the molcajete either! I did my best, but after all the chips and the empanada, there was just no way. Much respect for powering through!

        2. I missed the boat the several times I've been there.... sounds like something to try out very very soon.

          1. I went there yesterday for lunch, their chips are really hard! I'll try that Moronga next time, i was just hankering for some Mole Negro yesterday.

            Can you usually order the Moronga by itself?? I usually eat lunch alone and like their cheap specials (6.99).