Sylvia's is a husband and wife storefront with a few tables. Plastered across the front window are signs announcing menudo, pozole, tortas, caldos and so forth. It was the signs that drew me in.
I've been eating lunch there weekly for about a month. The food is the very highest quality home cooking, and the reason to make a special trip while the getting is good.
At lunch, I'm stuck on the plate of four tacos which feature hand made tortillas, good quality--not throwaway--mexican rice, topped with your choice of meats--al pastor, barbacoa, lengua, asada etc. And I'm stuck too on the al pastor: thin strips of pork seasoned with chiles then pan grilled to order.
When I was coming down with cold, I tried the caldo de res (beef soup). Intensely flavored clear beef broth heavy with boiled beef and vegetables. Despite the strong beef essence, it was on the whole kind of bland. Since I get great caldo de pollo and caldo des camarones (shrimp soup with the shells) down the street at Costa Del Sol, I haven't ordered the caldo de res again. And for the same reason I have still to try Sylvia's caldo de pollo.
Roberto, the engaging and multilingual owner from Michoacan who has worked stints in the Atlanta catering world, has been bugging me to try the flan napolitano and the tres leches cake. So last week I broke down and brought some flan home to my wife. She took one taste and gasped in awe. The flan is smooth, creamy, eggy--almost creme brulee like. We cannot get enough.
Yesterday, with my wife in tow, I was determined to expand my horizons. We split some tacos barbacoa--which were meaty and good although made with beef not lamb. We also split an order of cheese enchiladas con mole. Before I ordered, I asked Roberto if it was a real mole, or from a Dona Maria bottle. Real, he asserted, in the style of Puebla.
And the mole is the reason to run, not walk, to Sylvia's Pastry. The cheese enchiladas con mole were an orgasm: hand made tortillas rolled around fresh cheese, topped with a thin crema and topped with more handmade cheese and sauced with the best mole I've had since living in central Mexico. Also on the plate were some more of that good rice, and charros (not frijoles, although its your choice). Charros are red beans cooked with bacon and they were superb.
Stop reading and start driving:
Sylvia's Pastry & Mexican Food
6065 S Norcross Tucker Rd NW, Norcross, GA
Phone: (770) 496-4550
Atlanta is a big town, so here are some directions:
From downtown Atlanta: I-85 north, exit Jimmy Carter. Right on Jimmy Carter about three traffic lights to intersection of South Norcross Tucker. Right on South Norcross Tucker, go about 3/4 mile, on the right. If you come to the Publix you went way to far--turn around and try again. About 5-6 minutes off the interstate.