Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tulcingo del Valle

I went to Tulcingo del valle, a homey little Mexican restaurant in Hell's Kitchen on 10th ave between 46th and 47th, the other day. The place has a deli-like, home-cooked, and family-run atmosphere. You order your food at the counter, and one of the workers delivers it to one of the very few tables located in the front of the store. A refrigerator section full of drinks has third-world favorites like Maaza (a mango juice drink) and the place also carries cookies and the like that are mainly sold in Mexico.

I ordered a Chile Relleno, and I first got chips and salsa. The chips were thin, tough, and crispy: not the giant, almost fluffy restaurant-style chips you see at a lot of places, but honest-to-goodness corn tortillas boiled alive in oil. And angry about it. But tasty.

The salsa was thin and a touch spicy. I personally prefer a chunkier salsa, but this was nice and authentic, no doubt.

The chille relleno itself was a giant couple of chiles fried in a batter. The batter was tender from the sauces that was poured on, and the whole thing was spicy and tasted a little of egg in the batter. Inside the chile was of course a cheese mixture, part melted, part powdered. The rice and beans accompanying were tasty but nothing special. The relleno was clearly the star of the meal.

This is a tasty, down-to-eart Mexican restaurant. It is reasonably cheap -- I paid $11 for my chile relleno plate, and, while not particularly healthy, will certainly fill you up. Indeed, I think with moderation the plate could serve two. I like Tulcingo, and intend to return.

Stars: 4/5

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