March 28, 2023

Mole Poblano - (Moe' Lay Poe Blah' Noe) - Fonda Santa Rosa on Beechnut is a Houston Treasure

Journalist, Alice Levitt, has written an excellent article for Eater on where to find excellent mole in Houston. She lists several regional styles here in this link to the article:

Alice Levitt Writes About Mole in Houston - Where to Find It

It's always dangerous to come out with a "best in" assessment. But, I will stick my neck out here and say that the house made mole Poblano at the Fonda Santa Rosa on Beechnut is the best I have had in Houston. It is a little on the sweet and the chocolate portion of the mole Poblano spectrum. But this mole would pass muster even in Puebla, in my opinion.

My Fri, Friend Michael Shum, a fellow Mexicanophile first asked me about this place several years back. Regrettably, I never had the opportunity to check it out until now. And. It. Is. Wonderful.

Chef owner, David Reyes's family is from the state of Puebla, though he grew up in CDMX. He is passionate about his food and you will see him moving effortlessly between the front of the room and back of the room, overseeing the preparation and presentation (as can you as it is an open kitchen) but also having time to meet and socialize with the patrons, including me, seen here in my Lucha Libre mask.

In addition to the superb mole enchiladas (technically, tortillas enmoladas, though here in Texas, just about everything is called an enchilada) we tried the tilapia in a mango sauce and also the "molcajete" which was a potpourri of chorizon, nopales (cactus), grilled meats and onions. Delicious!

Here are some photos of ours and others dishes as they came out of the kitchen. This place is a treasure.

Friend Michael Shum writes: "I love Mexican food, not the Tex-Mex variety as much, but authentic Mexican food that’s cooked from the heart, and presented by Mexicans who are proud of their rich and wonderful heritage. Nothing beats being in Mexico and enjoying this colorful cuisine in the actual environment, but oh man, coming to Fonda Santa Rosa is a treat as close to the real thing as possible.
Mole Poblano on Enchiladas, Molcajetes Mixto, and Filete de Mojarra al Mango, even the side of Guacamole are foods that comfort the body and soothe the soul. Each and every dish is “balanced” in the words of owner and chef David Reyes, who has a tremendous background growing up in CDMX with parents from Puebla. If your tastebuds can only respond to heavy seasoning, saltiness, and spiciness, this place might not be for you. If you can detect little nuances and special care that put into making complex food, and you can respect other culture’s special characteristics, then you will have a grand experience. Dining with Jay Francis and Hirotoshi Mugen is always a pleasure, because they both have tremendous sensibility and appreciation for a wide spectrum of culinary varieties.
Have a full experience and get the Aguas Frescas and Cafe de Olla, also,  to accompany a delicious authentic Mexican cuisine. Tex-Mex is also offered, but I doubt I’ll even get to that part of the menu, before exhausting all the fantastic option on the Mexican Specialities section. "

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