7 a.m., May 24
Cuatro Milpas: Four Cornfields, Three Sisters
“Yes, we’re still here,” says Margarita. She’s at her cash register, pecking away while her sisters Sofia and Dora take orders and scoop up ladlesful of frijoles and Spanish rice, and stuff lard-fried tortillas with pork and chicken. Ah, the smells. All’s well with the world.
The Tres Hermanas: Margarita, Sofia, Doria, descendants of Petra and Natividad Estudillo, who started this as a tortilla factory in the 1930s
This is Las Cuatro Milpas (1857 Logan Avenue, Barrio Logan. 619-234-4460), so well-known it’s a cliché. Yet it hasn’t changed a jot. Décor, food, prices and atmosphere, they're all intact.
Always the line outside. It's a small price to pay
The tres hermanas are serving rice and beans, the traditional campesino staple, as they ever did. And yes, we’re back in manteca land. Lard.
The taco shells are deep fried in it and man, does that make a difference to the taste.
Guess that’s how come the lines are always long.
Regulars: Darlene, Jessica, Maya, with Margarita
Plus the prices are so great. I pay $3.25 for my rice, beans and chorizo bowl, $1.50 for my scrumptious crispy pork taco.
My chorizo bowl and pork taco lunch
I sit down in my favorite part: facing the huge glowering ancient kitchen, with big pots roiling on stoves and girls squishing tortilla dough in ancient hand-powered presses.
Minerva hauls down the press to make...
...enough doughballs to hand-flap three dozen tortillas
Everybody talks to everybody, because they’re having an adventure, kinda into history.
There are lots of genuine Mexican eateries around, but none I know that live it and breathe it like the Four Cornfields.
Think I’ll go ask Margarita for a to-go bowl of this beautiful mush.
More like this:
- Long Line, Short Menu at Las Cuatro Milpas — Jan. 14, 2013
- Cuatro Milpas: Love the smell of lard-fried tacos in the morning — Sept. 26, 2012
- The Crazy Credits, Crawls, and Cautionary Warnings Quiz — Sept. 30, 2011
- Comic-Con Days 1 - 4 Photo Funnies — July 25, 2011
- Cinepolis: the Bar & Menu — July 21, 2011