As I mentioned in a posting in November, usually when I'm in the wonderful Mexican neighborhood on Marshall St. in Norristown, my hands are too full and greasy to hold a paper and pencil. Today I ate lunch elswhere, ( a mistake.) then stopped in on Marshall St. for a supply of fresh tortillas, and took a few notes. So now I can actually tell you the names of some of these places.
My favorite place - the restaurant and bakery - is called El Puerto Jarocho. The folks here are the nicest in the world! Last time I had a pleasant chat with the cook, the only one who really speaks English. It's at 516 W. Marshall St. I like to go on weekends for the soups, but you can get the best tamales you've ever had, by far, anytime. Some with corn husks, some in plaintain leaves. Some with mole, with chicken or pork. Though they may not have all four types every time:
Tamales Jarocho en hoja de platano, salsa roja de puerco.
Tamales oxaquenos-en hoja de platano, mole y pollo
Tamales de roja de maiz, con jalapeno y queso
Tamales de mole de maiz, mole y puerco
How do you say "yum" in Spanish?
Brought home tacos de lengua and cabeza for dinner. Also recommend you drink some champurrado while you're at it.
The uptairs mini-mall a few doors down is called La Plazita. Here there's a new restaurant with a chef from Coyotte Crossing.
Across the street at 513 is Paraiso, the little place with a chalkboard menu in the window. No English here, just authentic spicy food.
Next door is a more decorated place with a sign saying "El Rincon de Mexico", with tacos and enchilladas and such. Next door is a little store with the same sign. I believe the restaurant has another name, if I remember correctly, taqueria something perhaps, it's on the menu, but not out front.
One block East, there's a new, larger place called Tequila Sunrise. Poked my head in and looked at the menu. It's the only one of the places I know of here that has fish tacos, so I suspect they're from elsewhere in Mexico, perhaps the Baja.
(And I still like the little corner place nearby on West Main St, with spicy soups, and tasty real tacos - cow's head, brains and tripe, among others!)
I usually like to experiment and load up with a variety of dishes from each of these places. Each has it's own flavor. Keeps me well fed for a week!
And last but certainly not least, several doors down on the side street that separates these places - no street sign, but I believe it's Chain Street - you'll see a sign for the place on the side of the corner building - is the tiny little store that makes tortillas and sells them by the pound, cheap and hot off the conveyor belt. Not to be missed. Extremely nice people. The women don't speak much English, but not a problem. I ask for the hot ones, not the ones already bagged, and just keep waving to put more and more on the scale.
On one visit they had hand cut chunks of fresh cheese, the somewhat crumbly stuff, I believe Cojita. It was delicioso! On the next couple of visits, I was told by the nice young man that he had picked it up in New York, and was having trouble getting it now. Today it was back, and I'm a happy man!
Once again, I feel like I've been on vacation to a village in Mexico. If you haven't been, give it a try, and send me a postcard.