We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Amazing”
Review of El Tejate

El Tejate
Ranked #164 of 346 Restaurants in Escondido
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed 23 November 2013 via mobile

The food was excellent and the service was great. The owner came to the table to make sure everything was good.

Thank Merle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (9)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

5 - 9 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2013

You can’t judge a book by its cover – nor even by its location. El Tejate in Escondido sits in a small strip mall in Escondido, with a very unassuming store front that emphasizes karaoke. There is nothing Mexican or Spanish about the entrance which was probably an insurance office sometime in the past. Ah, but once you are inside you realize there’s a little bit more to this place than you first thought and perhaps the words Gastronomie Oaxaqueno on the sign outside actually might mean something. The tables and chairs are an interesting blend of the Spanish colonial style common in the city of Oaxaca and a modern, somewhat sleeker style, Descriptively you wouldn’t expect that to work but it does and in fact it reflects the general style of this little gem.

Mexican food in So Cal tends to be much the same no matter where you eat, with the tostadas, burritos, tacos, and enchiladas really having a very similar flavor profile. You’re not going to find that here. What you will find is a wide range of mole sauces that include negro (with chocolate) red and yellow. Each has a unique, well balanced range of layered flavors none of which overwhelm and all of which linger on the palate.

I ordered a pork tamal in the mole negro sauce. A tamal is the singular form of tamales and the dinner is just one, very large, portion of one of my favorites done very differently. The filling is inside a really big, very thin corn tortilla which is wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf rather than the more common corn husk. The mole negro is dark, rich, complex and slightly sweet with interesting chili flavors that aren’t too hot. Easily 10 inches by 5 inches, the tamal is large enough that you don’t really need the sides, but I ordered it with rice and black beans topped with a creamy Oaxaqueno cheese. Absolutely delicious. The total? $6.50.

My wife had chicken enchiladas with a red mole that was smooth, with a superb range of spices. Often in Mexican food “spicy” is a euphemism for “hot” Not in this case. Like the mole negro the mole rojo satisfies with a great range of subtle yet distinctive flavors that include smoky and piquant.

While this is not one of the best meals I've ever had in a restaurant, it is one of the best meals I've had in a Mexican restaurant. This place is only about 10 minutes from us and there are several items on the menu that you just don’t see in the average Mexican restaurant. And with prices this reasonable (The total for our 2 entrees and 2 sodas with tax was $24) we plan on eating here often.

One tip. I’m impatient and get irritable if I have to wait for my food. I had read more than a few reviews that mentioned this place as being really busy and with a long wait. They have music and karaoke on Friday nights so we went in at 5:30 on a Thursday and the service was friendly and fast and dinners were served within ten minutes.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Kip W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2012

I have eaten here twice and both times were excellent. The Chile Rellano and pork Tamal were outstanding. The Tamal was prepared in a banana leaf
was the largest, most moist and flavorful tamale I have ever had. The authentic traditional dishes brought back great food memories from Oaxaca. The salsa roja was smokey and the salsa verde was nice and tart. Top this off with handmade tortillas and you have a winner. It is now my go to restaurant in the north county for flavor.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Dwight D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2010

It's easy not to see the restaurant as you drive by. It was recommended for it's great food and we are glad we found it. We just returned from our 3rd visit. Each time we try something new and have not been disappointed. They start with chips and salsa and the salsa is unique and tasty. It's hard to beat the chicken mole, There are 2 moles and each one is delicious. The tortillas are freshly made. Last time we tried the beef frijitas and they were out of this world! The beans and rice are wonderful too. Lucy, one of the owners, is warm and friendly and wants to make your visit happy and pleasurable. We have gone to other restaurants but found we cannot beat the food at this one!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank SanDiegoBarbara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2014
Google Translation

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Apatzin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed El Tejate also viewed

 

Been to El Tejate? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing