Restaurants & Bars

El Alteno Watsonville- quick report

Nathan P. | Aug 16, 200401:52 AM

I wanted to try this place since Nick posted on his visit [BROKEN LINK REMOVED] and then susancinsf added additional positive comments [BROKEN LINK REMOVED]

I tried the Pozole w/ Mariscos which advertised as posole w/ snapper, rock shrimp and calamari. A bit of bait and switch was going on as the seafood in my bowl consisted of a few clams, 4 or 5 mussels, 6-8 medium count shrimp, a large portion of snapper and was topped with a couple of king crab legs. I would not have minded a bit of calamari but overall it felt like a preety decent upgrade. More importantly, all of the seafood seemed fresh and nothing got overcooked while sitting in the broth until the last few bites. The pozole was good and seemd a bit less pasty than some of the versions I have had. The broth was fairly mild in spicing but had a nice sea flavor. I'm sure we have all been dissapointed in a caldo that had broth that felt like hot water with a bit of chile powder and a chicken bone thrown in it; this was not the case here.
On the side I was provided with chopped onion, cabbage, limes, a couple of toasted chile de arbols ( a nice touch as the roasting adds both good flavor and makes them easier to crumble into soup), and fresh tortillas.

I also managed to grab a bite of a couple of enchiladas: the verde cangrejo, and chicken red mole. The fillings were nice on both (the crab being the seriously shredded variety) but I thought both sauces, while good, could have been more complex.

I still prefer Tepa Sahuayo which has a more interesting menu and bolder flavors, but the quality of the food at Alteno certainly makes it worth more visits to sample the menu. I would desribe Alteno as being more polished both in its cooking and decor while Tepa is a more home-style restauant.

El Alteno
323 Main St.


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