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Oct 18, 2008 09:47 AM

El Oaxaqueno- Specialty Oaxacan food store, san jose

After reading a post referencing vaguely El Oaxaqueno, and since I like to cook Oaxacan food, I decided to check it out. It's just a small room at the front of a woman's home, but it's literally PACKED with spices, chiles, chocolate, mole paste, and much more. She carries tlayudas, totopos, chiles costenos and pasilla oaxaquenos, chocolate oaxqueno (mayordomo and juquilita), mole negro and rojo paste, REAL QUESILLO, tasajo, cecina, instant tejate mix (I didn't even know that existed), oregano oaxqeuno, sal de gusano, asiento, mezcal, chapulines, dried shrimp, whole dried hoja santa, and much, much more. She also had a selection of oaxacan crafts such as clay ollas for chocolate and coffee, molinillos, cazuelas, hats, and sandals. This store is amazing and has almost everything that you need for any oaxacan dish. It's a small store owned by a nice lady, and I only saw one other customer, so I think that this store needs your help. There are a lot of great products here to be discovered, so anyone who has the slightest interest in regional mexican food should rush over there and check it out. Oh, and she also carries pan de yema (from oaxaca), pan de panela (really good), and pan amarillo. It's located in a residential area, and has a large colorful sign advertising some of its products.

El Oaxaqueno
300 E. William St.,
San Jose, ca

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  1. Thanks for the great tip and details! I'll check it out next time I'm in the area eating Viet food. Do you know the general hours open?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover

      I'm not really sure, but I went at around 2:00 on a saturday and it was open. Just to be safe, I would go between 11:00 to about 5:00-ish, and I would also avoid Sunday, because small stores like this are sometimes closed. You won't be disappointed if you're into this kind of food.

      1. re: kirinraj

        Thanks, we visited Mexico (DF, Oaxaca, Puebla) earlier this year, and it would be nice to have a Oaxacan specialty place for when I break out my Oaxacan cookbook. I was particularly interested in your mention of quesillo, totopo, chocolate, mezcal, hoja santa. I had the most amazing sandwich (cemita) in Puebla w/ quesillo that I will never forget. Photos of cemita in Puebla and Mayordomo chocolate shop in Oaxaca below. I tried tlayuda but never really got into them. Thanks again for checking this place out!

        1. re: Carb Lover

          Below is a photo of tlayuda in Oaxaca w/ "the works" toppings:

          1. re: Carb Lover

            That looks good...I've havent been to Oaxaca yet but these pictures make me want to go that much more.

    2. I just called and you definitely need to call before you go because they don't have a consistent schedule. It's because they leave to go buy merchandise some weeks and some days they are there and some not. They are open this Saturday from 10am - 8pm. I am going to drive down to check it out based on your report.

      1. I forgot to mention--they advertise carrying oaxacan chorizo, but when I went it wasn't there. I'm eager to try it. The pan de panela is much better than the pan de yema, and it has a nice, brown sugar-whole wheatey flavor...great with cafe con leche or chocolate

        4 Replies
        1. re: kirinraj

          I wondered if "panela" was a typo (for canela) ... what is this?

          1. re: Cicely

            Panela is a type of Mexican cheese, but ti could still be a typo.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              It could also mean Honeycomb or Piloncillo Cone (different regionalisms).

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                Yeah, it was panela. The bread is a dark brownish color inside and definitely tastesl like brown sugar. In my experience, piloncillo is in cone form, and panela is more like a flat tablet.