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El Molcajete and Platte Valley Creamery

May 7, 2010

El Molcajete (1013 East Overland), claims post number five in my tour de Mexican restaurants.

I think El Molcajete may have a little identity confusion.

Do they want a traditional Mexican/Aztec vibe?

Front of restaurant

Or are they going for a more edgy, one-shoed-naked-lady feel?

Sign in parking lot

When I entered the seen-better-days building El Molcajete is housed in, I had a weird, immediate flashback to my grandmother’s house. The olfactory-emotional memory is a powerful thing. Ancient cigarette smoke, grease, and cleaning chemicals. Just like grandma’s kitchen.

On the opposite side of the restaurant from where I sat, a portly gringo in a baseball cap dined alone, several tables away from a family with two young kids. The man overheard the family asking menu questions of each other, and the man took it upon himself to provide a loud, detailed explanation of nearly everything on the menu. The menu’s pretty extensive, and the man loves the food. His impromptu lesson took awhile.

The service was friendly, though the food was a little slow to arrive, due to a large takeout order placed just as we were sitting down.

A friend loves their chilaquiles. I got a chile relleno and a tamale a la carte. Husband got a chile relleno dinner. We shared an order of chips (not my favorite) and an order of fried jalapenos.

The chile relleno had good breading and good cheese, but just as at La Joya, it was on the soggy side. The tamale has no sauce, but it had lime juice soaked into it. I don’t know if that was an accident or not, but it was very tasty.

The fried jalapenos were just that: jalapenos that had been fried. No cheese, no breading, but plenty of capsaicin.

Thank goodness there’s a happy resolution to the too-much-capsaicin problem.

Directly next to El Molcajete is the Platte Valley Creamery.

Uh . . . or is it the Platte Valley Dairy? Maybe “dairy” just fit better on the sign.

No matter. Platte Valley Dairy/Creamery is an authentic old-fashioned place, staffed at the time of my visit by a sole, authentic, old-fashioned man with an oblique sense of humor.

There are oodles of sweet treats to be had. I chose a scoop of “champagne-flavored” ice cream, which tasted more like a SweetTART than champagne, but was nummy nonetheless.

Lovely combo for a warm evening: Mexican meal at El Molcajete, cooled off by Platte Valley ice cream.

El Molcajete Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 8:55 am

    Have eaten here with friends and by myself…

  2. Sherrie permalink
    May 10, 2010 9:14 pm

    We just had Blue Sky Creamery ice cream at the farmer’s market…they are from Ames. OMG YUMMY vanilla! Jack had something that tasted like fruit loops that he insisted was the best EVER!

  3. Michele Arnold permalink
    May 11, 2010 8:57 pm

    Coming from San Antonio, I claim the palate and the Texican “right” to judge all ‘Mexican’ food by the gold standard: Tex-Mex. 🙂 I’d agree that El Molcajete leaves something to be desired in the chile relleno. In my humble opinion, the chiles rellenos north of the Sabine River all, well, suck (cue Bowling For Soup “Come Back to Texas”). Omelettey is, contrary to local opinion, NOT the consistency of choice for a palatable chile relleno. I’m surprised you didn’t make a comment on the bathroom– it deserves a blog entry all its own.

    I will say these things in defense of El Molcajete, however:
    (1) there is NEVER (NUNCA!) a role for the lemon in good Mexican food. El Molcajete recognizes the lime for what God intended.
    (2) The corn tortilla reigns king. If it is wrapped in a flour tortilla, the appropriate label is “burrito”, not “enchilada”.
    (3) God bless the queso Mexicano! Cheddar belongs in a potato, not a taco.
    (4) Tomatillo salsa done right!
    (5) Tres leches. ‘Nuf said.

    Tengo una alma Latina. 🙂

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink
      May 12, 2010 6:47 am

      Oh my. I didn’t see the bathroom . . .

    • January 17, 2011 10:41 pm

      Agreed on the chile rellenos anywhere local…I’ve stopped trying. New Mexico, however, lives up to it’s name…every chile relleno I had in and around Albuquerque and Santa Fe was perfect.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    May 21, 2010 9:49 pm

    Hey Katie…actually you used to be able to get milk, etc. at the dairy/creamery when my grandma and my mom were both girls. To most of us now, it’s just a good place to get ice cream.

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