Molcajete in Oakland - any hound reports?
EastBayExpress had a good article on Molcajete in Oakland, this place needs more press it seems, I've not heard much about it:
chancla-slipper-shaped tortilla $6.5
molotes tinga - 3 masa turnovers $6.5
cochinita pibil - pork stew wrapped inside banana leaf $12.5
enmoladas - chicken enchiladas in mole poblano
Any hound reports?
1734 Webster St, Oakland
reservations accepted; credit cards too
These are the hours from their Facebook page:
Tue-Thu: 11:00-3:00, 5:30-9:30
Fri: 11:00-3:00, 5:30-10:00
the fried fish in the tacos was light, airy, fresh and not salty but that was about 1 1/2 years ago in its early days. Relying on Luke Tsai's very positive review in the East Bay Express, they have items I don't remember seeing on the menu and have matured significantly since I was there.
went today for "corn snacks" with Ch-ers grayelf and escargot3 and partner, and we split a good variety of dishes: Chancla, veggie empanadas, Molotes de tinga, chilaquiles in tomatillo sauce, and fish tacos.
the molotes and empanadas appeared to be the same vessel - little pouches of fried masa, SO much better than regular empanadas, in my opinion, which i always find too dry. the chicken tinga (green sauce) was very flavorful, very tender, and was our favorite of the two. the veggie empanadas (red sauce) were nice and cheesy though, and also very good. we ordered the carne asada on the aside for the chancla (sort of like a huarache but smaller) as one of us is a veg. the meat was a bit underseasoned but salsa helped; however, there were a few grisly bits, and though i like chewy meat, there were pieces that were just too hard. and the chancla itself really was small - all the portions are smallish, which is fine if you're sharing a lot of them, as we did. the chilaquiles were great - crunchy yet tender tortillas, egg cooked perfectly (despite what the pic looks like), with a good bowl of pureed black beans on the side. the fish tacos were very small and we let them sit a bit too long so they were cold when we got to them. but it seemed like they had been fried in advance as they were not as crispy as we would have liked, tho the fish was very fresh. (fuzzy pic of these. we were doing a food crawl, and had fish tacos later on at Cholita Linda - that's all we had there - and they were much crunchier, and the perfect size, but i found the breading a bit too thick. and as escargot3 has mentioned elsewhere re Cholita Linda - no hot sauce in sight! and we'd forgotten to bring our own.)
the quality of the food at Molcajete was mostly very high - everything tasted fresh, with distinct, unmuddled flavors. i'd like it even more if they served beer. grayelf was pleased with her agua de jamaica - not too sweet.
all in all, maybe not a destination place, but if i were in the area and craving very good Mexican, i'd go back.
re: Melanie Wong
The restaurant in RWC that specializes is called Margarita's, and here's what they say about Molcajete . It is super tasty, especially those onions, and the "pre-grilled" taste like MW said. i think we got "combination".
From their menu:
Traditional dish from southern mexico that is cooked with nopal, homemade salsa, small mexican cebollitas and a slice of panela cheese served in a steaming hot stone molcajete bowl. Rice and beans served on the side
Chicken breast $13.95
Carne Asada $13.95
Chicken, steak and shrimp
Molcajete as a dish seems to be virtually any combination of stuff mixed up and served in a hot molcajete. It's kind of a composed casserole. One place I went in Guadalajara had a dozen kinds including vegetarian and pescatarian. The one at Molcajete contains "Chicken, Steak, Chorizo, Shrimp, grilled nopales (cactus), grilled onios, pico de gallo and cheese."
I had the molcajete a couple of weeks ago and thought it was delicious. It was huge. Next time I'll just get some guacamole/chips and split it with my wife. It gets better every layer you go down. Grilled meats, shrimp and onions on top, then a layer of nopales, cheese, beans, and rice at the bottom. Rice got carmelized like dol sot bibimbap. I would order again in a heartbeat....as long as i had someone to help me eat it.
Loved their tortas too!