Friday, August 5, 2011

I love tamales...most of the time

I've been in a class all week on the St. Andrews side of town, so I've been hitting the restaurants over there.  Wednesday, I tried to go to my fave Real Mexico, but I couldn't get a parking place.  I mean, I'm happy to see that business is booming for them but I gotta be able to get in!   Since I'd already gotten my head wrapped around Mexican, I headed over to Taqueria Jalisco instead.  

This is a small little place where Ava D's used to be.  I've been here several times with my mom.  She really likes their chicken/rice/avocado soup.  On this day, I decided to order from the specials menu.  One of them was tamales; one chicken, one pork and accompanied by rice & beans.  And, it was a great price;  $4.75.  Tamales are one Mexican food that I'd really love to learn to make myself.  They are a challenge.  It's not everyday that you find them on menus because even a lot of Mexican people don't even attempt them because they are time consuming.  But someone at Jalisco was up to the task.

Overall, I like this dish, but it wasn't perfect.  The first few bites of each tamale had me a bit worried.  The masa was soft and well cooked and had a very satisfying corn flavor, but the meat was extremely dry.  Extremely.  But, thankfully, as I moved further into the tamales, the meat became moist.  I guess just those first few bites at the end of the husk got a little over-steamed.  The chicken was my favorite.  It had a little kick to it, lime I think.  The pork was also good, but both meats could have used more seasoning.  The rice at Jalisco is nice because they put vegetables in it, so it's not just your average Mexican side dish of rice. And the refried beans were good; pretty much your standard refrieds.

If you ever dine alone you know that part of the fun is how the wait staff dote on you like you're some poor, pitiful soul with no friends.  The other fun part is the people watching.  For instance, what on Earth was up with this?  A white, disheveled woman pulls up in a pickup truck right outside.  Finishes up her smoke then stomps it out on the sidewalk.  She comes in and goes straight to the cashier counter.  She's interested in a pre-paid phone card to Mexico.  Now, I admit, I don't know much about these cards.  How are they specific to calling Mexico?  How do they work with the phone?  Do you have to call a number and then give them your pre-paid number to use these minutes?  I don't know.  I've always been curious, but not enough to actually ask anyone in the markets where these things are sold.  Anyhooo...this woman was pointing at various cards like she really knew what she was doing.  "No, not the blue one.  I need the yellow one and maybe one of those with the flag on it."  I found myself wondering who does she know in Mexico?  Why can't she just pick up the phone and call them?  Or, are scrawny white rednecks somehow incorporating these things into their meth lab business?  Ok, maybe that was uncalled for, but I cracked myself up.  Crack?  Ha!  No pun intended.  The funny thing is this:  two days have gone by and I'm still wondering about this woman and her Mexican phone habits.  Clearly, I need to find something else to think about.  :-)

Taqueria Jalisco Mexican on Urbanspoon

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