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Mar 2, 2012 04:37 PM

Tenoch - Medford square

Had a great meal at Tenoch, the new taqueria tonight. I got a carnitas torta which was busting at the seams and was a great balance of not dry meat, heavy handed amounts of queso fresco and chipotle mayo. My DC had a burrito with a mix of chicken and carnitas (she couldn't decide so they offered both). She said the carnitas would keep her coming back. We split chips and above-average pico.

The owner or manager chatted us up and was excited for the turnout so soon after opening. He said they were trying to be known for their tortas since most places around here are more burrito oriented.

Go check it out! The people are nice, food is great and prices are reasonable.

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  1. Enjoyed takeout on Saturday night. We ordered enchiladas - one steak with mole and the other carnitas with salsa verde. The mole was the star with hints of cinnamon and other spices giving it a subtle smoky sweetness. Each order had 2 enchiladas, rice, beans, and pico de gallo. My only complaint was the thin texture of the corn tortillas, which sort of dissolved in the sauce. We also ordered the house salad with housemade dressing. The dressing was a little sweet for my taste until I ate the pickled jalapeno garnish, which balanced it out. I was pleasantly surprised that the greens were all romaine, very fresh, and the tomato was good for this time of year. The place was busy and the staff was extremely friendly and a bit apologetic about the wait, which wasn't necessary because I waited only about 8 minutes.

    I'll definitely becomea regular and look forward to trying the torta and horchata next time.

    1. I'll second the carnitas torta. I had the tacos on a previous visit, and they were tasty.. but the torta? Mmm.. good sandwich. Not too big, but filling. That may be my go to order at this place..

      1. oh boy oh boy! we'll try to go tomorrow. THANKS much!

        1. marc, we went today so thanx again for this post! It was busy in there, I'm happy to report. Two owner/brothers; I spoke with A........ the one with the mustache. What a nice guy. Just brought his family up from Mexico to join his brother. Wife works there; brother in law is the Cielito Lindo (in Beverly) owner who used to be at Tango.All from Veracruz. . He plans to slowly expand the menu to include some regional specialties and says he wants the food to be authentic, "like your mother or aunt's." Fish tacos soon. He says to check their twitter/facebook pages for new menu items.

          I tasted the sauces and we ordered 2 tortas. Maybe it's just me but i never like the mole poblano anywhere in boston. it's always too sweet and too cinnamony (like this one.) But the salsa chile verde was excellent and picante. Best of all, the 2 Carnitas Tortas were terrific; one was the regular one and one was the special Campachenas(?) It had chorizo in addition to:
          very good carnitas (with flavor and not fatty), black bean puree, avocado, chipotle mayo, queso oaxacan, and pickled red onions(these were light and made such a flavor contribution to this torta.)Spicy, just spicy enough. All on a soft bun and pressed to melt the cheese. I have to say, one of the best sandwiches I've had. (But definitely wouldn't travel well because of all the juices of the carnitas.) At this stage, i would not recommend my usual go-to for Mexican tortas- carne asada. It sits in a steam table, little pieces of beef swimming in juices; not what you want from what is supposed to be char grilled beef. But maybe the carne asada will change as they settle in. If not ,I'll be wicked happy with the Carnitas delux model. They were out of their pork adobado torta when we got there; I bet that's really good.
          Eating there is easy and parking is usually easy on that street. This is the second storefront on the left as you enter Riverside from Medford Square, 1 block before Ebisuya Market and across the street.

          We're psyched. They've only just opened, so lots to work out, but no need to wait for that carnitas torta to improve; it's already great! So hustle yourselves over there for a muy sabrosa torta. And don't forget to have your happy stomach thank marc for being such a good CH!

          6 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef


            That sounds like an awesome meal. Will definitely get the chile verde soon and my wife will be happy to try a fish taco when they get em.

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              I was in there today for lunch.. pretty crowded. I was being repetitive and got the carnitas torta, which was delicious. They seemed to be selling a good many of them. One other customer got the red posole, which was a special for the day, and it looked good. Customer base was pretty diverse - I heard probably as much Spanish as English spoken while I waited in line..

              1. re: grant.cook

                Another carnitas torta fan here. No sign of posole yesterday (Sat.). Nice addition to the neighborhood.

                1. re: Aromatherapy

                  We probably passed each other.... it was my lunch.. and yes, the carnitas torta again..

              2. re: opinionatedchef

                As one opinionated chef to another, I so agree that mole poblano does not have to be sweet!!! The fact is every cook in Mexico makes mole differently, and by no means is sugar always prominent. I'm guessing people here assume because it contains chocolate, it also has to be sweetened. NOT SO -- it's the touch of bitterness that's essential. A little sweetness can add complexity, but imo, too much ruins it.

                I'm happy that this gem of mexican cuisine has caught on, but it seems something always gets lost in translation. This is especially true in places like the Boston area, where we lack a critical mass of mexican immigrants to keep the food real.

                1. re: denisb

                  That last sentence- very excellent point. Although I actually am not compulsive about "authentically traditional". If a chef takes a few liberties, i don't get upset,but pleeeese let them make it delicious!

              3. They're posting occasional specials on their Facebook page. Apparently the tamales sell out early.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Aromatherapy

                  good that you mentioned that. they did tell us that they hoped to have a DAILY special. just sayin'. And whenever we've called about the daily special in mid-late aftnoon, it's been sold out.