Paletas...The New "It" Dessert?
OK, let's be clear. I live in Portland, Oregon. I come home to Los Angeles about three times a year. I don't know food in LA as well as I used to when I was in my twenties.
So, on this Christmas visit, I left my little guy with the parental units. My hipster sister dragged me and my husband to Stanton. Where's Stanton? I'm not sure, but I think it's close to Knott's Berry Farm. The important thing to know about Stanton is that it may well be the home of the next great dessert. I'm not talking salted caramels or budinos, my friends.
I'm talking PALETAS, also know as Mexican Popsicles.
I live in a town (PDX) that covets bacon and foie gras desserts. Meh. A Tamarind con Chile paleta, however, rocked my world. Neveria la Flor de Mexico is an adorable little paleta and ice cream shop located in a non-descript strip mall in Stanton. Good news is that it is located next door to Gomen, a well liked ramen shop. You can get your ramen fix in and then head for ice cream and paletas afterwards.
The owner, Benny Garcia, hails from a family of Michoacan based paleta makers. The stuff he makes is Creative. Authentic. Seasonal. Fresh. And, most importantly, Delicious. Every bite of homemade ice cream is rich, creamy and packed with flavor. The guavana is ridiculous. If I was a bigger fan of ice cream generally, I'd be going on and on about it. Instead, I'll spend my last paragraph on paletas - the next big thing.
I tried the Cucumber con Chile first. Mindblowing. Then, my sister says that Tamarind con Chile is better. Possible? Yes. It's popsicle crack filled with the salty sweetness of the tamarind and punches of chile. I bought five on the spot. Then, my sister asked if I wanted to try her Pico de Gallo. It tasted like a frozen bright, spicy and salty fruit gazpacho - it is by far the best thing I've eaten all year (and I've eaten at every ridiculous hipster foodie joint in PDX). I realize I love the chile versions of the paletas. But, I did try my husband's and sister's flavors too - they went for the milky and fruity versions. The Coconut, Pineapple, Kiwi, Soursop, Strawberry and Cantaloupe all tasted as they should, like farm fresh fruit on a lovely summer day. They were amazing, even though admittedly, I am addicted to Chile Paletas.
Please go. Visit Benny. Enjoy 3-4 paletas with 3-4 friends. You won't regret it, especially since you'll be eating these next summer at some silly hipster restaurant for $8 bucks a pop (no pun intended).
Neveria la Flor de Mexico: 7151 Katella Ave., Stanton, CA (714) 761-2813.
Thanks for this review. I haven't been to this place, but I enjoy the paletas from La Tradicional Michoacana at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood, so will definitely have to try it.
BTW, while looking up Neveria la Flor de Mexico, I came across an interesting-looking paleteria that's 30 miles south of Portland: http://paisanito.tk/
Paletas are definitely the undiscovered hip dessert of the near future.
There's also an excellent nevería called Delicias de México on the corner of Harbor and Trask in Garden Grove, next to El Pico de Gallo Grill (home of the best albóndigas in OC) and directly in the path of the entrance to the 22 freeway.