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Jugueria La Tropical: Oaxacan in Salinas

Melanie Wong | May 24, 200911:27 PM

Salinas has another Oaxacan kitchen. Opened last year, Jugueria La Tropical is located in the strip mall behind Chase Bank in the Alisal district. The window signs promise “100% Oaxaqueña”. A simple set-up, you order and pay at the counter, then the food is brought to your table.

Facade
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

As expected from the name, La Tropical offers a full line up of jugos (juices), licuados, agues frescas, and fruit cocteles. So far I've had a "vampiro" (beet, orange, celery), sandia (watermelon), and a chilacoyota agua fresca, all good.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

Oaxacan-style tortas are another specialty here. I’ve tried the cecina torta, $4.50, plus a buck for the quesillo cheese. Pressed on a telera roll, garnished with mayo, lettuce, tomato, avocado, grilled onion, pureed black beans, the semi-dried pork was delicious, especially with real quesillo.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

The menu also features enchiladas made with green or red mole. On the weekends, menudo and tamales made with mole wrapped in banana leaves are available. A few Sundays ago, I had a chance to try the chicken in mole negro tamal.
Wrapped securely with aluminum foil as well, the tamal had quite a lot of masa on the outside of the banana leaf wrapper.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

Once unwrapped completely, this was pretty hefty with a good amount of chicken filling and heavy masa slick with lardy flavor and moistness. The complex mole had medium chili heat, enough that I needed to order a cold drink. The bitter chocolate came through mostly in the finish, balanced by fruity notes and a touch of sweetness but not too much.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

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Jugueria La Tropical
822 E Alisal St, Salinas, CA

Jugeria La Tropical
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