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Oct 5, 2008 12:18 PM

Sonoma: Tortilleria Jalisco – Perfect porky pozole pleasure

The pozole that Tortilleria Jalisco serves on Saturday afternoon is the best I’ve had in the U.S … and better than many places in Mexico. It is what pozole is all about.

A huge pot … huge … bubbles away on the stove and the pozole is scooped out with a big wooden ladle.

This is not the usual skimpy canned hominy. It is from-scratch, almost the size of a small marble and the bowl is generously filled. It has that perfect chew that marks good hominy. The broth is flavorful and rich but not overwhelming.

A large, thick, chop-sized piece of tender pork is in the bowl. They will ask if you want some pig’s foot as well … perhaps they just ask gringos like me. My answer was yes please. I happily gnawed on all the pig foot goodness with a bonus that one bone had marrow in it.

There are the usual accompaniments such as shredded lettuce, chopped onions, slices of radish and half a lime. Add all to bowl, squirt with lime and a shot of hot sauce … you have one of the best dishes in wine country if not the entire Bay Area.

Four very nice crispy tostadas come with it. All this goodness for $7 … and that was the small bowl.

My recommendation if you go is to eat it there. Or like some of the Mexican families who stopped by, bring a pot. The gringos in the Mercedes who stopped by for takeout got it in the Styrofoam containers which I’m guessing would be leaky.

However eat there on one of the picnic tables under the shade of an umbrella while watching the cars cruise by on West Napa St. Enjoy the pozole in its ceramic flowered bowl just out of the pot.

I got there early and picked up a potato taco dorado to keep me going for another hour (pozole was ready about 3 pm). This crispy taco was very nice and comes topped with shredded lettuce and is drizzled with crema. It was more than worth the $1.25.

Finally brought home some of the corn tortillas. They are perhaps my second favorite in the Bay Area. La Borenquina remains the corn tortilla champ for me though. These are a proud second, a different more delicate type that are nice eaten with soup.

Tortilleria Jalisco does hold the Bay Area record as the best flour tortilla. My S/O and I really enjoyed the batch I bought last week. I actually drove to Sonoma this week to try the pozole. It could not have been a nicer day … drinking in the glorious autumn day while eating the perfect pozole.

Once again, thanks kare_raisu, for bringing this place to the attention of Chowhounds. I haven’t been so happy with a bowl of pozole since the first time I tried it in Mexico City at a place known for pozole. Tortilleria Jalisco was ever bit the equal of that place.

Last week’s post

Sonoma - Tejuinos at Tortilleria Jalisco

Tortilleria Jalisco
897 W Napa St, Sonoma, CA 95476

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  1. So happy you are continuing to post. Hope your eyes are adjusting okay!

    6 Replies
    1. re: sydthekyd

      I forgot to ask in the OP,has anyone tried the torta de lomo here?

      That's about all I do now is post and answer for the most part threads I've participated in previously. I've saved off some links I'd like to read in the future. I have a half hour window at this point to read/post before eye burn. I'm foolishly hopeful that by the end of the week ... two weeks after installation ... this will be fixed. Of course, another swell feature like lists might be added instead.

      Oh my. I've just noticed when editing a place I visited last night, when in edit mode, the type scales to larger. Can fixing this on the boards be far behind? I guess I'll amuse myself with Places until the end of the week.

      1. re: rworange

        I tried the Torta de Lomo the other week, and also bought 15 for my harvest crew last week. It is more like an American sandwich with a Mexican twist than the tortas I am used to at other taquerias. No beans, but plenty of mayo and mustard, pickled jalapeno slices (better quality than I usually see -- housemade???). But what made the sandwich was the lomo, which was very mild, well cooked, but not dry. It seemed to me to be "muy cocida casera" with an American twist. My crew (mostly from MIchoacan) seemed to enjoy them as a break from the usual burritos I buy them for lunch. As per everything at T. Jalisco, it was a great value -- good quality, a little too cheap.

        The other day I tried the tostada de lomo, which was a little less interesting. A slice of pork loin on a tostada just didn't ring my chimes. If I want something like the tostada, I would stick with one of their delicious tacos dorados, the papa is my favorite. BTW, if you ask, they will give you the pickled jalapenos or some salsa Valentina to spice up the tacos dorados.

        Since I live in Glen Ellen, these are the best tortillas I have access to. I agree that the corn are not quite as wonderful and the flour, but I eat 100 corn tortillas for every 1 flour, and I am not complaining. All other purchased tortillas in this area are a distant second.

        1. re: dkenworthy

          Regarding Tostadas... out of curiousity have you tried the Tostadas de Pierna at Cactus Taqueria?

          With regards to what makes a Torta Mexican or Not... one of the most traditional style of Tortas in Mexico is the Pepito... typically a 1/2 inch thick Ribeye, Hanger or Chuck steak grilled over charcoal... served in a Baguette with Mayo, Tomatoes & Jalapenos. In fact, you may be surprised that its more common in Mexico for people to make homemade Mayo, Mustard & Ketchup than I believe it is common here in the States.

          But I agree there is a style of Sandwich that is fairly unique to Mexico that probably makes that THE most Mexican... even if many of Mexico's Tortas are not that different to what you would found around the States or Western Europe.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            Yes, I eat at El Cactus pretty regularly, and like the tostada de pierna very much, especially if I ask them for salsa roja rather than their rather pedestrian pico de gallo (it is made with pickled jalapenos, which is less interesting to me than fresh serrano). I also like their tinga (shredded chicken) much better than any place else in town. I often have it in enchiladas, though, rather than on the tostada.

            1. re: dkenworthy

              Would you know the address/location? Google wasn't much help, came up with a location in Oakland. TIA

              1. re: PolarBear

                Here's the places link

                El Cactus
                40 Calle del Monte, Sonoma, CA 95476

    2. Wow! Jeez, that pozole sounds spectacular! Next time I am up in town - you are forcing me to hit this place up. I haven't had a bowl of Pozole since the whole pighead version I got at a friends home in Guadalajara in June and I think I will wait for Tortilleria Jalisco for my next hankering!

      I miss your posts rworange - you are a great part of what chowhound is for me.

      1. Have you tried the pozole at Tacos Baja Ensenada in Santa Barbara? I do think it's a bit overrated for many things (and really, how seriously should we take a rec by Julia Child for Mexican food?), but their pozole is amazing. Just wondering how this might compare. I believe Jalisco state is the home of pozole, which explains why it would be good!

        2 Replies
          1. re: Cicely

            In modern times, the state of Guerrero claims pozole as their local cuisine.