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“This is mole Poblano, meaning, from the state of Puebla, where mole was born,” says Alfredo.

He’s just handed me a plate of chicken mole. Maybe the best I’ve tasted in a lo-ong time. The brown stuff is oozing like chocolate lava all over the chicken breast, which comes with lots of shrimp cakes in their own guisado — stew — along with frijoles and golden rice. All for $7.50.

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To wash it down: a bottle of Señorial sangria ($2).

This is happening at a new discovery for me, Ma Eugenia’s Kitchen (2455 Imperial Avenue, 619-236-0187). It used to be Chentin’s, till a few months ago, when Alfredo and his mom Maria Eugenia bought it.

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“My mom and I always dreamed of this,” Alfredo says. “We first came to America in 1991. I got to know the cook here. A few months ago, he told me the owners had decided to sell…I made an offer with all our savings, and now here we are.”

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Alfredo with wife Debra

The standouts so far: this excellent mole, the huge selection of way-traditional stews steaming away every day, and the made-on-the-spot Aztec-style steaming hot corn tortillas fresh from the stovetop.

These tortillas! I swear: You'll never buy 'em in Von's again.

More in upcoming Tin Fork.

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