I finally made it to this tamal-focused restaurant at 25th and Market yesterday. I bought two tamales - one bannana leaf wrapped pollo en mole and another which was chicken en salsa roja but with the special teplin herb also utilized as a flavoring agent in the masa.
This is a barebones hole-in-the-wall but a nice family-run operation. The name [Chiapeneco] had for a long time interested me as it is the adjective of those from Mexico's most southern state Chiapas. I had hoped for some food specific to Chiapas but due to the low Chiapeneco immigrant population this family [from Tuxtla Guitterez] makes the usual suspects on the weekends [birria de chivo, menudo, posole, & barbacoa] in addition to its varied tamal menu.
The tamales menu consists of three variation wrapped in bannana leaf [hoja de platano on the menu] and about 5-6 in corn husk / hoja de maiz.
Pollo en Mole
Puerco en roja
Pollo en roja
Dulce (think Nuez/Pasas and Pina)
The son - who mans the front speaks very good english but the other workers do not. The woman outside at the cart is especially friendly and knowledgable if you speak a little Spanish.
There is another cart outside the Ranch Fresco Market a little south on C. Chavez on the E/W running street just one street down from Las Quatro Milpas.
After some pleading with the nice young man w/re. to Chiapeneco comida he did say that if I am here on a weekend mama makes comida then I am more than welcome to partake.
He said that his favorite dish his mother makes is Lentejas con Platano (Lentils with Plantains) which sounds enticing enough to me.
I had the mole tamal last night for dinner - the masa was the cocido varient typical of the Oaxaquenos that I have had from Ortiz and in LA - much more firmer. Excellent corn flavor, perfect ratio of Manteca-masa. The mole which is indeed house made while very tasty slight sweetness, little if any heat [typical to Chiapas] - was just a little to much. I like a little sauce to cut the masa but this was a tad too much. Moist, nice amount of dark meat chicken which stood up to the sauce was enclosed
All in all - a really nice change from my Oaxaquenos overload.
Of the two I enjoyed the Chicken with Teplin herb the best. I absolutely loved the taste that this herb intermixed with the masa permeated the corn dough. Its hard to describe its subtle slight flavor, so I will refrain from doing so. Chicken and salsa was excellent, this time just enough sauce with the creamy masa.
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