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Feb 12, 2014 01:39 PM

Tenoch Mexican in the North report

Stopped by the new Tenoch location in the North End (on Lewis street, around the corner from Billy Tse's) and was pretty pleased with the food. I got a Surtido pork taco (chicharron, cuerito, maciza - I don't know what those last two things are, but they were tasty!), carne asada taco (tasty, with salsa verde, onion and cilantro - reminded me of Romano's in Roslindale Square) and a pork tamale in mole sauce (the chocolate kind) that was outstanding. The pork tamale was soft and tender and soo good on a cold winters day. Pretty excited to try one of the tortas next!

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  1. Cuerito and maciza are two parts of pork shoulder used in the typical carnitas: skin and lean meat, respectively. Because it's one of the least fatty parts of the shoulder, maciza tends to be cook crisp and a bit dry. At very traditional carnitas stands, you specify terms like that to indicate how you like your shoulder meat: fatty, rind-y, lean/crispy, etc. Surtido means assortment, as including the chicharron (rind with some belly or rib meat), you have three kinds of pork in the taco. I don't think I've ever seen those terms in a Boston-area taqueria; that's exciting!

    4 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Aha! That description perfectly describes the meat involved....I wonder if you can specify the grade.... As a pure skin taco appeals to me in a (god I miss Cafe Latino) sick sort of way

      1. re: devilham

        What was the wait like? How about the seating situation?

        1. re: johndory

          First day open (this Monday) wait was undoable, so I skipped it (I am to understand they had register troubles, which backed things up), yesterday's line was small when I went in to collect menus, and today it was small but steady, seems they're comfortable with the space. Room is smallish but nice, hard wood with about 6 or so 4 top tables and bar seating along two walls, probably seats 35, give or take. That help?

          1. re: devilham

            Yes, thanks very much for the info. I see a taco lunch in my future.

    2. Just tried this tonight - thumbs up! I'm excited to have this as a more T-friendly option than the one in Medford.

      We shared a torta (carnitas and chorizo - I forget the spanish name for this), an order of chicken enchiladas with mole sauce, and a pork mole tamal. The torta was fantastic, just as good as in Medford, and better than any others I've had since Tacos Lupita in Porter Square changed names and went downhill. Nice mixture of flavors from the shoulder meat and sausage.

      The enchiladas were very tasty although we had actually ordered them with green sauce rather than mole, but they were pretty busy and it seemed silly to have them redo a whole plate. I chose the chicken to match with the green sauce - it was a little overwhelmed by the flavor of the mole but perfectly fine. Good rice and black beans alongside.

      The tamal was good, and a little different from ones I've had - it was steamed in a banana leaf (rather than a corn husk) and the masa was *very* tender and had a bit of sweetness in the mix. Very comforting on a cold night; I might try it with green or red sauce next time to balance out the sweetness. The mole itself was a bit sweeter than I expected (but I am no expert in mole) but was velvety smooth and rich.

      It's a nice little space - not fancy but modern-looking and comfortable. I think there are just 22 seats, but they were already doing a lot of takeout. The owner was at the register and was incredibly friendly and gracious. I got the impression that the kitchen was still working its way into shape (not surprising on their 3rd day open) - the owner said he was getting used to not being right next to the line as he is in Medford - but overall everything was really solid. I look forward to working my way through the menu, especially all the different tacos and tortas.

      1. Fantastic! I'm really excited for them. I will probably still frequent the Medford location, due to proximity to home and work, but I'm thrilled they are up and running at the second location. Alvaro and his brother are great people, truly dedicated to a quality product. More power to them!

        3 Replies
        1. re: UnclePH

          yes, they are lovely people and their food is great and they are passionately dedicated to it. We live closer to the North End location but parking is an issue there. I guess going early is the best strategy (I'm a bit disabled so going by T is problematic).

          Is it the same menu? Do they have beer and sangria in the North End?

          1. re: Madrid

            Same menu, not sure on beer as I work near there so can only do non-alcoholic lunches :(...but beer would be amazing with that food?

            1. re: devilham

              I didn't see any beer or wine when I was there; don't know if they're planning to try for a license or not.

        2. I recently had the Torta Campechana...chorizo and carnitas. Really a great sandwich.

          I'll definitely be back.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 9lives

            I think that torta campechana is the first thing alot of people try. And boy, you'd be hard pressed to find a more heavy hitter sandwich in boston, eh?! whew! rich and filling! They sell alot of those in their Medford Sq. store.