With a tag line that reads: “Real Food By a Real Mom”, you can bet I will be there as soon as possible! Pueblo moms are the best cooks in all of Mexico, and this sounded exactly like a place where a mom had taken some old favorite recetas and decided to share them with the world. I read about La Tapatía in a Facebook group for Mexicans living in Boston. The reviews were very good so I decided to check them out.
A couple of days after reading the reviews, I jumped in the car with my son, and we drove the 30 minutes from Newton to Marlborough. The drive was very pleasant, with little traffic, even though it was Saturday at around 8PM. We arrived at the ample parking lot, stopped the car, and proceeded to the entrance of La Tapatía.
The word Tapatía refers to a woman born in the city of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco in Mexico. One theory states that the word probably derived from the náhuatl tapatiotl meaning “it’s worth three”. It appears that in the Guadalajara area, people used to buy tortillas in “tapatíos” – meaning in groups of 3s – and the word started to get associated with the inhabitants of the area.
Entering La Tapatía transports you to “somewhere” in Mexico, it does not have a distinct look of any region in Mexico, but you immediately get your eyes bombarded by orange/rustic colors, tejas (rounded ceramic roof tiles), bricks, cazuelas, piñatas, and other typical Mexican staples. A nice touch is the Mexican sombreros atop each of the coat racks by the tables. Some familiar sights and smells started to invade my senses…good.
We are seated at our booth and then receive our menus, I open the menu, start reading and…WOW! This does not read like most every other Mexican restaurant menu out there I read Tacos, Sopes, Gorditas, Huaraches (!), Enmoladas, Chilaquiles, Molcajete, and then….no, really? Pozole! YES! I start to get anxious because it all reads so authentic, so promising, so like home, so….Mexico!. I don’t want to be disappointed by the preparation or the flavors! I tell my son what I am feeling and he just looks at me, not quite understanding my apprehension, after all, he was born in the US; he did not grow up with all these dishes and wonderful flavors. He does not know the constant disappointment of entering into a “Mexican” restaurant in the US and finding only chimichangas and burritos. Oh the nightmare!
I pray to the aztec gods that this time it will be different, that La Tapatía will deliver! After reviewing the whole menu, I wanted to order everything! But we settle for pastor, chorizo and beef steak tacos, chicken huarache and a chicken Sope. I can’t wait for the food to arrive!
Finally after hours and hours of waiting (of course it was only 15 mins or so) we get our food. It looks…Mexican! The Huarache looks almost exactly as a Huarache would look served in a restaurant in the middle of Mexico City, the tacos look amazing. The Sope looks a bit strange but will see how it all tastes. My son digs into the tacos and I can see his face smiling…”very good dad”, YES! I go for the Huarache and it is heaven! I close my eyes and feel I am back home, amazing! Next, the sope, I must say this was not my favorite dish. The sope seemed to be “wet”, like if it had been showered in some red sauce. This made it a bit soggy and not very tasteful. But the rest was fantastic. All during dinner I was texting with my girlfriend in Mexico, letting her know what I had found and sending her pictures. She also seemed surprised at the authentic look of the dishes and my description of the flavors. I really wanted to try the Pozole, but it was just too much food already…darn! But then my girlfriend had a brilliant idea “why don’t you order one to go and eat it tomorrow?” Oh yea! Excellent idea…”un pozole para llevar for favor“.
The meal was delicious and I was very happy. We had dessert which consisted of Pastel de Tres Leches and Crepas de Cajeta….YUMMM!!!! What a wonderful Mexican meal. We paid the check and drove back to Newton. Put the Pozole in the fridge and waited for the next day to have it for lunch. Well, it was worth the wait! Pozole is not easy to make and give it the perfect flavor…but this was a hit! The hominy was perfectly cooked and the spicy flavors were wonderful.
Name: La Tapatía
Website: La Tapatía