Owners Oscar & Anna have brought to town the most authentic and delicious tamales, quesadillas and beverages from Central Mexico and Oaxaca state. Indeed, Anna describes the menu as "food from Mexico's heartland and capital city, Mexico D.F.", indicating its tie to the "Distrito Federal", similar to the D.C. for Washington in the USA. I spotted this new, unpretentious restaurant on the north side of Alessandro, west a block or so from Frederick St.
Once inside, all are made to feel welcome and like family at D.F. Service is quick and someone will help translate and explain the menu items if necessary. English menus are still at the printers, Oscar says. At present no debit or credit cards are accepted (cash only) however Anna promises that will be remedied in the near future. I did not spy a restroom on premises. Prices are very reasonable. The regional decor and indoor furnishings are interesting.
I must recommend the authentic, mouth-watering Oaxacan-style corn meal tamales steamed in chocolate-colored banana leaves. They are more mellow, moist and subtle and than those in corn husks. Garnish them either with green 'verde' salsa or the excellent red sauce, however the green es muy picante (spicy hot) and select either pork, beef or chicken fillings. You might want your water or drink handy before you try the green!
Wash down your lunch or dinner with warm Atole Champurrado, a spiced chocolate & coconut milk or gruel served in a traditional ceramic vessel, or try one of the many cold drinks offered. Feeling adventurous, I tried the Huitlacoche quesadilla, featuring the "coche" fungus or tiny mushrooms that are cultivated to grow inside selected corn ears, Oaxaca-style. Anna said the ingredients were more expensive than meat. The dish is unfamiliar to most Americans but is representative of southern Mexican food. On weekends, Oscar and his pals offer barbecued sheep with all the trimmings.
Bottom line: This is Moreno Valley's first real tamale shop and brings the true cuisine of way, way South of the Border to the city. It looks to be the most celebrated new restaurant in Mo Vall as hungry folks from the Air Base, tamale lovers of all ethnicities and hard working families converge on what The Monk (that's me) says is the city's "culinary discovery of 2012". You should try it.
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