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Al Fresco Lunch at The Haute Enchilada Cafe in Moss Landing


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Al Fresco Lunch at The Haute Enchilada Cafe in Moss Landing

Melanie Wong | Apr 22, 2012 01:43 AM

Last week our friend Dyane joined Mom and me for lunch at The Haute Enchilada Café in Moss Landing, a first visit for each of us. On this bright and sunny day, we decided to take a table outside on the patio.

The complimentary chips and salsa were quite good and it was hard to not fill up on them. The thick homemade corn tortilla chips were freshly fried and while modest in heat, the roasted salsa had a lot of flavors going on.

The Guacamole, $5.95, was the one clunker of this meal. Out of balance with too much lime, underripe avocadoes, and cottony tomatoes, it is made to order.

For Mom, the Grilled tilapia taco, $5.95. I asked for it to be just done and not overcooked, and it came out exactly right for her. Nice char markings and succulent flesh, she said it was very fresh and she liked the salsa. She added the guacamole too, probably better as an accompaniment to fish with all that citrus.

Dyane ordered the Tamal Trio, $12.95. The plate featured three petite tamales: artichoke/cheese, chicken/mole, and pork/chile verde with black bean and corn salad. Light and fluffy masa of freshly steamed tamales, the artichoke one was somewhat bland but earns points as a good use of local ingredients. The poblano-style mole was slightly sweet, mild in heat, and not complicated. This mole sang harmony rather than being the soloist.

I went vegetarian with the Chile Relleno Trotskey (sic), $16.95. One of two chile relleno preps on the menu, this one is a battered and deep-fried pasilla chile stuffed with organic zucchini, jack and cheddar cheese, then smothered with dark mole and squiggles of crema. The batter was a very thin layer, not the fluffy eggy type. But this overstuffed portion was huge enough as is. I especially loved the bed of black bean and corn salad. The mild mole weaved through and pulled together the many elements. At meal’s end, only the stem of the chile pepper remained on my plate.

Prices are on the high side for this area but certainly fair for the colorful art-filled setting, local sustainable ingredients, cooking flair, and solid execution. We were all happy with our meal.

Travels with Romney was filming this clip while we were there.

The Haute Enchilada Cafe
7902 Moss Landing Rd
Moss Landing, CA

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