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Posole - SFBA Dish of the Month April 2014

Posole / pozole is the April 2014 Dish of the Month!

The goal of Dish of the Month is to collectively try as many versions of posole as we can in the Bay Area. To keep things lively, focus on places where you have not eaten posole before and report back. Bring pictures!

Some things people might want to know: Is the broth red, green, or clear? What accompaniments are there, and is posole available daily or just on weekends? How's the quality/type of the hominy? If you're knowledgeable about regional variations, please chime in.

Recent posole thread for SF Bay Area:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9307...

Some background threads:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/358061
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2947...

Voting thread:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/970299

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  1. Patricia Unterman nominates Cosecha's posole verde as "a dish so compelling, so complete, so craveable, they lodge in your taste memory. You judge the success of all other dishes by them, no matter the ethnicity." http://untermanonfood.com/cosecha/

    Been meaning to check out Cosecha...

    4 Replies
    1. re: BernalKC

      Re Cosecha's posole: Patricia Unterman speaks my mind!

      1. re: BernalKC

        Cosecha's pozole verde is easily the best soup in downtown Oakland, but I wouldn't go that far. Maybe it's my preference for pozole rojo, and pork with lots of neck bones etc.

        No tostada, but it does come with their great, toothsome tortillas.

        Diana Kennedy's recipe, with the eyes reserved for extra-special guests, remains my gold standard.

        I attempted to go to Taco Grill today and discovered they're closed Sundays.

        1. re: Pius Avocado III

          FYI - if a bit late for DOtM, Cosecha has pozole every day EXCEPT for Wednesday.

        2. re: BernalKC

          Cochesa's posole verde is wonderful -- great layering of flavor. The $8 serving is huge.

        3. Not in SF, but in Boyes Hot Springs near Sonoma -

          El Molino Central has it on new spring menu, available daily -

          Pozole Verde with a Tostada • $12.50
          Green Pozole with pork and traditional garnish and avocado
          Served with crispy tostada

          It's excellent with lots of pork and big posole.

          The chile relleno was tasty too, though you didn't ask.

          http://www.elmolinocentral.com/menu.html

          3 Replies
          1. re: Columba

            the posole verde was available in their take out cooler by the quart last weekend. included an abbreviated garnish in a separate container (no avocado, nor tostada). concur, it's top notch, really smooth. chile relleno also available in the take out fridge, a regular item there and one of my favorites, along with their excellent chicken mole tamales in banana leaf.

            1. re: moto

              So, I thought I should try El Molino's Pozole again, now that the challenge is on. The broth was the most amazing part - smooth, green, deeply spicy. I asked what was in it - tomatoes, cilantro & lettuce. Sometimes they add radish greens too.

              Big chunks of pork, large pozole, avocado chunks, radish slices and diced white onion with a side of fried corn tortilla.

              The portion was at least a quart.

              Delicious!

            2. re: Columba

              Ohhh... I just changed the wording of the original post and title---The DOTM covers the whole of the Bay Area, not just SF. Thanks for the tip! (And the EMC tip too!)

            3. Another, not in the City, but one of the best red versions I've had in a long time was a few weeks back at Casa de Mole & Ruffina's Kitchen at 434 Center in Healdsburg.

              Their dark mole had great depth of flavor also, and received the Lady PB seal of approval.

              4 Replies
              1. re: PolarBear

                Tks PB for the heads up on Rafina's in Casa del Mole in Healdsburg. You're very right about just how good the pozole/posole is. Deep dark red, slightly thick, very rich. Nice chewy posole, lots of tender, not stringy pork. Much richer & flavorful than any other version I've had before. A huge serving as you said. Husband had the Birria de Cabrito. Fabulous depth of flavor. Fall-off-the -bone tender meat served with house made tortillas. probably never would have found this place if you hadn't posted about it...

                 
                 
                1. re: RWCFoodie

                  For future search purposes, the name is Casa del Mole and Rufina’s Kitchen in Healdsburg.
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8841...

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Just looked at the website where it's spelled "Rafina's"...

                    1. re: RWCFoodie

                      Yes, one page on the website says Rafino's and another says Rafina's as well as Rufina's.

                      Here's the menu board with the Rufina's spelling,
                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie...

                      and this page on the website says Rufina's,
                      http://casadelmole.com/2013/01/02/cas...

                      so I guess we've now covered every possible spelling.

              2. Monday night I made stopped at La Fondita in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County) for a bowl of pozole and an agua fresca. I didn't see it on the menu, but it's the kind of thing that this place does well so I asked for it. This is a red style. Typically, one would be asked if you want the pata or not. Not here, my portion had pig's feet in it without making a request. The other pieces of pork seemed like they were cut from the shoulder and the ribs.
                https://www.flickr.com/photos/melanie...

                The broth was already spiked with dried oregano, whole leaves. On the side, radishes, onion, cabbage, dried chile pods, and lemon. Oddly, rather than tortillas hechas a mano, this came with a couple of housemade tostadas. Maybe I was too late and the tortilla maker was gone?

                My dinner with beverage, tax and tip came to $13.

                 
                2 Replies
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Is the tostada unusual? When I've had posole at Cancun in Berkeley and Gallardo's in SF they serve it with one or two that I crackle into the soup. I assumed its like serving fish crackers with chowder - just a normal thing.

                  1. re: BernalKC

                    You're right, tostada is not unusual. I'm just accustomed to getting fresh handmade tortillas with soups and stews at La Fondita.
                    http://m.mainstreethub.com/lafondita#...

                2. I had the posole from Cosecha yesterday for lunch, and I have to agree with Patricia Unterman! It was so,so good. Balanced flavors, wonderful broth, I will be getting this on a regular basis from now on. I would never had tried it if not for dish of the month!

                  1. El Espigo de Oro in the Mission has a red posole served with tortilla chips, cilantro, minced onions, pickled onions and habeneros, and cabbage.

                    On a Saturday afternoon, I watched them pull my order out of the fridge to reheat it. Either from the initial cooking or the reheat, the bone-in pork was dry and the purple-colored hominy was too soft. The broth had a light, meaty flavor.

                    Their housemade tortilla chips were top notch. They were unsalted and a good accompaniment.

                     
                     
                    1. I picked up posole from Taqueria Campos on Foothill Blvd in Oakland this weekend. Despite calling themselves a taqueria they really specialize in soups--the birria and menudo blanco I've gotten here have been really great.
                      The red posole had a mildly flavored broth, with large chunks of pork shoulder. The hominy retained some bite at the germ end, but was cooked so that most kernels were split at the other end. Served with limes, onions, cabbage, and radishes and two tacos dorados filled with pork, carrot, and potato. They are making fresh tortillas for each order here.

                       
                       
                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ...tm...

                        Nice, and a real lime! Love the idea of tacos dorados with pozole.

                        1. re: ...tm...

                          This afternoon (Wednesday) I took 3 buses to Taqueria Campos for lunch only to find out that they are closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a schedule change I didn't see on any of the posted reviews.

                          For those who are interested, the AC Transit Line #40 Foothill Blvd. runs every ten minutes and has a stop about a 1/2 block away.

                          Taqueria Campos
                          3659 Foothill Blvd.
                          Oakland, CA 94601
                          510-261-4260

                          closed on Tues., Wed., and Thurs.

                        2. No one has mentioned pozole blanco (white posole) yet, so here's a photo from a friend's dinner party a couple months ago. I was not aware that there would be a prize for the guest with the prettiest presentation of help-yourself toppings. I did not win, but my consolation prize was not bad at all.

                           
                           
                           
                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Is pozole blanco available anywhere in the East Bay? I've never seen it and want to try it.

                              1. My first visit to Los Girasoles since it relocated here from Cloverdale. It was good to see the familiar smiling faces of the real mom and pop behind the counter.

                                But perhaps I did myself no favors by sliding in here just before the 7pm closing time on a Sunday. The salsa bar had already been packed up, though I was provided with some salsa casera, spicy carrots, and creamy frijoles to accompany my chips and pozole rojo. Alas, only tortilla chips, no tostadas nor the excellent handmade tortillas that I had anticipated.

                                The basic flavors were good, but textures suffered. The chunks of pork shoulder were dried out. The pigs feet were not cooked enough to come off the bone. Garnishes looked wilted.

                                I'll go back because I've liked their food so much in the past. But I probably won't be ordering posole. Guava agua fresca was excellent.

                                Los Girasoles
                                1195 W College Ave
                                Santa Rosa, CA 95401
                                (707) 544-8280

                                 
                                 
                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  Dang, I was hoping to stop by at Los Girasoles in Cloverdale for a late breakfast on my way to Lakeport tomorrow. Any other suggestions for a good mexican breakfast off of 101 between Windsor & Hopland? I will have the trailer in tow :)

                                  1. re: Civil Bear

                                    A family member took over the Cloverdale venue. It's called Abbie's Taqueria now and the food seems the same to me. Here's my report,
                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9606...

                                2. I've had the posole at Otaez a couple of time (Alameda and Oakland). I can't rank it or describe it in detail but it's red, tasty and from their daily specials menu. Like most things on the daily specials, it's of better quality than the combos and seems pretty traditional. I'd order it again. Here's a photo borrowed from the web.

                                   
                                  1. On a visit to The Sequoias-San Francisco at lunch time, the aroma of guajillo chiles wafted from the assisted living center's dining room. Soup of the day was posole rojo. It smelled wonderful to me, and I perked up my ears to hear the comments. All over the board, with some residents liking it and others complaining it was "too spicy".

                                    I had a taste of it from a patient's lunch tray, but the version for the pureed diet, blended to a uniform, rather starchy texture. The flavor of the red chiles was there, but without heat, good pork intensity, and enough interest that I made a swing back on departure to try to buy a bowl for myself. But missed my chance, it had sold out already by that time.

                                    The Sequoias - San Francisco
                                    http://www.ncphs.org/ccrc/sequoias-sa...

                                     
                                    1. I had dinner at Bocanova recently, and they currently have a duck and shrimp posole verde on the menu. The broth was thin but had well-developed flavor and a bit of heat, with tender shreds of duck meat and chewy, nicely corny hominy. It was garnished with avocado slices and a pile of frizzled leeks. It was certainly tasty, but at $16 for an appetizer portion, I don't know if I'd go for it vs. another choice there if DOTM hadn't kept posole on my mind.

                                      1. Whole Foods in Los Altos had a butternut squash posole as part of their hot soup selection. Unfortunately It's meh.

                                        1. I do need to get to Oakland to check out Cosecha's posole. But in the meantime, my go-to posole is at Gallardo's. Not sure if I've had if 4-5 times, but each time it is outstanding. Rich, flavorful broth, plump hominy, ample portions of sinewy, marbled, flavorful pork. Today's had an unusual proportion of boney bits that invited all manner of chewing, sucking, and slurping to get every last bit. The sides were red chile flakes, oregano (the right kind), diced onion, lime, chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded cabbage, tostada's and diced radishes... everything you might want. Compelling? Complete? Craveable? The words used to describe Cosecha's also applies to Gallardo's.

                                          Oh, and the horchata, vampiro, and pena agua fresca were excellent. Loving this place more and more...