After a long day at the Pinnacles and Chalone Peaks, I stopped by Progresso Tamale Parlor in Hollister on the way back to the Bay Area. I stopped by only because it gets mention as being a local institution and bypassed many other taquerias and trucks.
The food was a terrible disappointment. The beef tamale was large and had some complexity in the seasoning, but lacked any chile heat. My chile relleno had a crisp batter shell, but the pepper didn't have much flavor (could have been a bell pepper) and the sauce was bland. I'm not a chile-head and actually favor subtle flavors but this meal came off as merely filler.
I should have known something was up when the salsa that came with the starter tortilla chips was canned tomato sauce with some mild chopped up chiles. Yes, it's off season, but what about a dried chile salsa?
So for the next time I'm in this area, which restaurant should I stop by? And I noticed the bakery (Nopal?) on 3rd St next to Progresso that also billed fresh corn tortillas. Any good?