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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.


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.


“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.”


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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