Some time in the last year I was quizzing a young Michoacana working at a Pastry Shop in the local Roseland barrio about Michoacan restaurants specialities... and she threw out the Enchiladas at El Michoacano. In my misguided arrogance - and upon seeing her blank stare when I asked about Churipo, Atole de Grano, Caldo Michi & Trout in Macadamia Sauce - I concluded that she didn't know much about her home state's cuisine and I wasn't about to waste my sleuthing on Enchiladas!
Well today's cereal didn't cut it... and I was craving something Mexican for almuerzo so I decided to gave El Michiocano a try... after reviewing the menu, I felt stupid for not realizing that when she said Enchiladas... she was referring to Enchiladas Placeras like you find in Morelia and other towns... duh!
Complimentary Chips, Salsa & Creamy Beans
> Chips were good... I hate being served Chips, but can never seem to pass them up... but I still refuse to acknowledge my "selling out"
> The Salsas... a sharp Verde with Arbol Chile Flecks, and a Red with Tomatillos, Guajillo & Arbol Chile Flecks are the best I've had in Northern California in their respective styles. Fresh, spicy, addictive... to the point.
> Beans... creamy, savory... subtle but flavorful... not Pintos, not Mayocoba, not Flor de Mayo... I am not sure what they were but they were a fresh harvest & prepared today... best I've had in Northern California. Scratch that... the only restaurant beans I can remember ever having in Northern California that were worth the calories.
Enchiladas con Huilota
> 4 Tortillas quick fried in mild dried chile sauce to a nutty Al Dente texture (much like my favorite style of Chilaquiles)... simply folded over Cotija cheese... sitting on a bed of two fresh Romaine leaves wilting on one end & crunchy on the other... then the Enchiladas were garnished with Shredded Cabbage, lightly pickled, crunchy very fresh tasting Jalapenos, Carrots & impregnated with Mexican Oregano... and the sublime addition of rich Crema & Pickled Pork Skins (yes you read that correctly) and more salty, slightly nutty Cotija... on the side was a whole Quail fried carnitas style... the thighs & breasts about the texture of Duck Confit... the rest so crispy you can eat just about all the bones... in addition rustic, potatoe cubes also fried in the Enchilada Sauce tinted Oil.
Disclaimer... these are a notch below what you will get in Morelia from vendors that do nothing but... but my god, sometimes I get caught up in sleuthing for the more Refined dishes and I forget the multi layered orgasmic genius found in some of the Antojitos. ($13)
> Papaya, Manila Mangos, Pineapple & Watermelon at their peak ripeness with a squeeze of Lime & sprinkling of salt... very refreshing. ($3.50)
There are a lot of pedestrian items on the menu... but enough specialties to warrant some future specialties... including Molcajetes, Bacon Wrapped Shirmp with Quail and Fish Enchiladas among others.