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REVIEW w/ pics: One Dish Quickie at El Tepeyac

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There's just something I love about fried eggs, especially when it's fried to the point that the white edges are browned and yet the yolk still retains some of its liquid gold. Sometimes a fried egg sandwich on lightly buttered toasted bread is all I need for a satisfying meal. Why all the egg talk? When it comes to dining out, I always seem to drawn to dishes that feature fried eggs, whether it's fried quail eggs on scallops or fried eggs on pizza.

So when I was out with friends to dinner at El Tepeyac, a restaurant icon in East LA, I had a hard time deciding what to order. Finally, something finally caught my attention and made my palate say "Ole!" Do you know what that was? Well, it certainly wasn't taquitos.

My one dish quickie at El Tepeyac were the Beef Enchiladas topped with Fried Eggs. When I finally got my order, I looked down and then I immediately looked around to see who'd be willing to share this dish with me. It was huge, but so were a lot of the other dishes ordered by my companions. I was definitely on my own.

Fork in hand, I cut into egg and enchilada and was happy to see the yolk gushing out. My first bite was delicioso. Granted, your doctor probably wouldn't recommend a steady diet of melted cheese, beef and eggs, but for that moment, I didn't care.

Now is this the best enchilada I ever had, even with the fried egg? Probably Not. Would I go out of my way to return to El Tepeyac just for this dish? Not really. But for that moment, it was tasty, filling and hit the spot. Of course, whenever I go to into a Mexican restaurant in the future, I just might have to see if the chef would be willing to take a special request - fried egg on enchilada, anyone?

To see pics, go to:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/la_addic...

El Tepeyac
812 N Evergreen Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 267-8668

Thanks,
Abby
http://pleasurepalate.blogspot.com/

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  1. Prices at ET have gone up significantly in the last few months. Burritos like their Okie and Hollenbeck are now about $9.95 and my favorite Manuel Special Burrito is about $18 now.

    7 Replies
    1. re: monku

      The daughter who runs it is gouging the prices, I do not wish them bad, but in a recession and all they are nuts! Ever since the daughter took over, it has been out of control greed, I will not go any more. To bad a place with such great local history does not care anymore, money money money! Some of East LA's best, shame on you!

      1. re: Burger Boy

        I noticed the difference the last time that I was there as well. It just wasn't the same vibe besides the price increases.

        1. re: Burger Boy

          Greed? Like Billions of dollars in profits by the oil companies? If you've ever run a restaurant, you would know that the profits are minimal or non-existant. The stress is unbelievable. You're dealing with a perishable product, and one of the most unpredictable labor pools in the market. The food prices (gouged due to mass-market corporate consolidation of food commodities as well as the oil crisis) have led to a serious situation where the price of canola oil has tripled over the past two years, as well as flour and corn. No one is getting rich off of selling burritos, get serious. You should, in all seriousness, meet a restaurant owner and learn about the issues they face. If you find cheap food out there, know that it is only temporary and a false representation of true market values. I was a chef for 13 years in many dfrnt. restaurants and bakeries and now I work for one of the world's largest produce manufacturers and distributors. The pinch has only begun. Look at how expensive food is in other countries, as well as fuel. We are only beginning to correct a false economic situation where we have been getting off cheap for these essentials compared to the rest of the world. I'm going to go to this El Tepayac, and I'll gladly hand over the money. It probably won't even keep their bills covered.

        2. re: monku

          that was my reaction -- i mean those prices are more than most mexican restaurants where you get service from waitstaff! i don't really care for this place (i think it lacks flavor overall and can't stand the huge portion size) -- but these prices are seriously rediculous.

          1. re: dtud

            I love their machaca, but i think it is time to search out new beginnings, sad to say. At least one East LA institution has not changed and loves it people, LOS LOBOS, for La Raza, just another band from East LA!!! Por Vida!

            1. re: Burger Boy

              I went there at other people's recommendations and it was ok. Big and rather bland. I didn't care for the service or vibe either.

              1. re: Jolly

                it is like watching an implostion!

        3. Thanks, Abby (as always). El Tepeyac serves Mexican "comfort food" by my way of thinking. No, it's not going to replace Babita. But it services an important food niche and will always hold a special place in my heart (but my Cardiac surgeon may be able to take care of it one day).

          As to all of the discussion about the prices. Has anyone seen what food prices have been doing lately? Should ET lose money so we can all live in the past? And the size of most of what they serve can easily serve at least two people (and Manuel's can probably feed 4), so just take that price and divide by 2.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Servorg

            Servog, I hear you, but the food prices at ET have been doing this for 3 years. Go to Babit, Lupes, Al & Beas or McDonalds. No ones prices have gone up 50%! I love ET, but greed is greed. One of my favorite places is 26 Beach. I think their basic burger, with salad or fries,vhas gone from $10 to $12 in the last 3 or 4 years, same deal, family owned, same food cost increases. Oh wait, we are talking about rice, beans, cheese and realtively cheap cuts of meat, I know none of these items has gone up that much, avocados have not been more this year than last. El Tepeyac sure seems greed driven to me. right now I am enjoying great food at Lupe's and Al & Beas and El Gran Burrito, whos prices went up a year ago for a huge burrito from $2.50 to $3.00, hummmmmm makes me think and I know ET ownes the property, so there ain't no rent increase. Ciao all See you at Lupes getting some good green chile burritos and hard tacos (old school).

            1. re: Burger Boy

              Have ET wholesale food costs gone up 50% over the past year? Maybe in some cases they have. But they also have to pay for all the same costs you and I do to live here in LA. And, if you factor in the size of their burrito's, along with the cost of those burrito's, they still serve a fairly priced and delicious product. I strongly doubt that "greed" is driving their price increases.

              1. re: Servorg

                Come on, why havent they raised the prices at Ciros across the street 50% or a million other places and food cost is only a small part of cost. I am sure rent and property taxes did not go up, they own the property. I am sure workers comp has not gone up that much, unless they had a lot of claims, do you really think everyone who works there is on the payroll? Is it still cash only or do they do CC/Debit cards? Cash business! Look at Tito's tacos, they have not raised their prices that much and they do a Cash Only business, come on, open your eyes. I still love their Machacha and portions, but be real, greed has kicked in now the The Man has passed the business to the kids.

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  Still a good value, even with their new pricing, whatever the reasons for those increases.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I dissagree, but oh well. You are paying sit-down restaurnt prices at a very casual cafe. I will still go once a year for my machaca unless i find better, that is not to much of a drive. I used to go 6-8 times a year, no problem. I alway recommeded them for good homestyle food at a good price, I can not do that anymore, sad to say. We could debate this for days, but why, we are both right! Have a beautiful day. Caio

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      You probably answered your own question about why the prices increased when you noted that Manny's daughter took over. When you try to make a living and, at the same time make payments to "buy" the business you've taken over (and pay the help and all the other associated costs of running a business - which have all gone UP) you undoubtedly need to raise prices.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Well the thing is, have the prices affected their revenues? I haven't gone there in ages because it is just too crowded. But if people still keep going, and they still keep making profits then their prices must not be too high. Just like with the discussion on Nasty Lady Jane, even though they treat customers like dirt, customers keep returning. So I think both are looking for that magic fulcrum point where the prices balance the business (in ET's case) and the nastiness balances the business (in Jane's case) - the "tipping point" so to speak.

                  2. re: Burger Boy

                    Tito's must be printing money. One day I was talking to the owner or manager...he said they pay their people more than minimum wage + overtime and medical benefits.

              2. re: Servorg

                Manuel's Special can easily feed 4. We split it 3 ways and its plenty of food with leftovers....so its seems reasonable. I remember when it was $9.95.

                Eat outside on the patio and save on the tip or give a buck or two to the cook and he gets heavy handed with the meat. When I was there a week ago I thought about the family of 6 with 4 grown boys eating next to us figuring they must have laid out $75 for a casual lunch, then seeing them leave in a Chevy Suburban.