Nieves Cinco de Mayo (Fruitvale), Oakland - off menu Jalisco drink Tejuino -anyone try it?
- hhc May 30, 2008 07:22 PM
Read in the SF Magazine that Nieves Cinco de Mayo in Fruitvale Marketplace serves an off the menu Jalisco drink called Tejuino and in the summer Tepache-fermented pineapple cooler. Any chowhounds try it?
Nieves Cinco de Mayo
3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601
Are you sure it was Nieves Cinco De Mayo and not Cinco de Mayo on International that John Birdsall reviewed where he mentioned the tejuino.
I don't remember seeing them at Nieves Cinco de Mayo, but it could be new. The pineapple cooler would be new too ... could it be the other Cinco that is mentioned in SF Magazine?
I had it in April when I took my students there for my ice cream class. It is a fermented corn based drink that is about the color of light brown sugar. It's got a bit of lime flavor as well. The base is like a thick, almost opaque syrup. It is blended with ice to prepare the drink. Definitely refreshing on a hot day, but also probably an acquired taste for most. The owner introduced it by asking if we wanted to try a "funny tasting" drink.
And yes, it was definitely the Nieves Cinco de Mayo in the Fruitvale Public Market.
Well, thanks for bringing this up because there was serindipity in it all.
On the way to the market I drove past a tejuino van ... not even a truck for dios sake ... a beat up van with a huge wooden half-barrel in back.
Let me give you my dive factor here ... when I went to a chowdown at Tu Lan, one person in the party said something like it was as bad a dive as everyone said ... I was thinking it wasn't bad in comparison to some of the joints I've been to.
So that the teijuino van gave me pause says something ... was I really going to drink as Eat_Nopal says a low-on-the-moonshine-meter cold drink out of a beat up old van?
Obviously I was ... though I had to think about it. I went shopping and driving back I knew I'd regret not at least stopping and looking.
The tejuino was magnificant ... no ... really, really magnificant ... sweet, sour, salty, tangy.
I still live.
I see a tejuino crawl in my future. The first I tried a few years ago didn't do much for me. If I hadn't read this post, I probably wouldn't have stopped.
Will write about the van in another post. The prep was something to behold.
Yeah, I tried it today and would agree with you on the aquired taste. I didn't like it as much as the version from the tejuino van in Richmond reported below. As Mari mentioned, it is more fermented than the other two versions I tried. It is now mentioned on the signboard so officially on the menu.
Couldn't remember what tempache was called and they didn't know anything about a fermented pineapple drink. However, driving around the corner, Esperanza which is where the Puerto Rican restaurant was located, was selling tempache in front of the restaurant. Didn't try it though.
Nieves Cinco de Mayo has the look of success about it. They have a lot more flavors and drinks. The sign said they had avocado ice cream and garlic ice cream but they were out. So I went with two scoop waffle cone combo of cinnamon and tecajote (Mexican hawthorn). $2.25
The cinnamon is wonderful. The hawthorn was fine, but wouldn't get it again. It is a little tangy. There were some hard, inedible seeds or something in it.
The waffle cone was excellent, thin yet sturdy enough to hold the ice cream. Ici should come down here and take notes.
I love this little ice cream shop. Not only is it near the top of my Bay Area list, but is actually the best Mexican ice cream I've had anywere ... Southern California or Mexico.
There's a little decorative ice cream cart outside with 'Nieve de Garrafa"
The bakery still isn't open but it looks like there was some progress being made.
Outside there was a very good Latin band with two bongo players.
Yes, I was there (on International Blvd.) last weekend to try the tejuino and it was very close to what you'd get in Mexico. The only thing I didn't like was that it was a little too fermented for my taste and that you couldn't see the lemon sorbet that they usually plop on top of tejuino. Otherwise, I thought it was very good. I don't like tepache so I didn't order that. We also got one of the tamarindo ices and it was excellent. I live in SF, but I would go back if I happen to be in the are to try more of their raspados.