Hollister Mexican - Progresso Tamale
After a long day at the Pinnacles and Chalone Peaks, I stopped by Progresso Tamale Parlor in Hollister on the way back to the Bay Area. I stopped by only because it gets mention as being a local institution and bypassed many other taquerias and trucks.
The food was a terrible disappointment. The beef tamale was large and had some complexity in the seasoning, but lacked any chile heat. My chile relleno had a crisp batter shell, but the pepper didn't have much flavor (could have been a bell pepper) and the sauce was bland. I'm not a chile-head and actually favor subtle flavors but this meal came off as merely filler.
I should have known something was up when the salsa that came with the starter tortilla chips was canned tomato sauce with some mild chopped up chiles. Yes, it's off season, but what about a dried chile salsa?
So for the next time I'm in this area, which restaurant should I stop by? And I noticed the bakery (Nopal?) on 3rd St next to Progresso that also billed fresh corn tortillas. Any good?
Wow, interesting posts. A friend and I were in Hollister on Sunday and had a terrific meal at Progresso's. I don't mind that kind of salsa so much, especially when the chips are prepared on site - almost souffle like. We shared a chile verde tamale, quite good with the masa tender and delicious. My friend had the chicken pozole, nice kick to it and very fresh and I had the shredded beef enchilada. The service was wonderful and the restaurant itself is quite charming and has a long family history. Next door is a mexican bakery and for only $2.60 we walked out with a nice bag full of delicious goodies.
Hollister itself is quite charming. There is mention of a large cookware store there elsewhere on this site. I'd love to go back and explore.