Friday, June 8, 2012

Los Molcajetes in Bryan

I now have two favorite Mexican restaurants in B/CS.  I've already written on Polly's Cocina in College Station.  And recently I tried Los Molcajetes in Bryan.

I'll keep this pict small because it ended up blury.

Located at the corner of Villa Maria and Texas Ave in Bryan, you'll only find this restaurant if you first look for the Hastings at the Tejas Center. The restaurant is to the right of Hastings, all the way on the corner. It's very hard to find otherwise. 

The decor is unmistakably Mexican but also no-fuss. The restaurant looks empty only because we were there near closing.

After you place your order they'll bring you chips and salsa.  I highly recommend the salsa verde (the green one). The salsa roja (the red one) was just alright.

The menu is extensive.  Their signature dishes are, as their name states, molcajetes.  A molcajete is the dish it's served in: the bottom portion of a mortar and pestle, without the pestle.  I know it's restaurant review heresy, but we actually didn't try one of these on this visit.  And the reason is simple: mole. Mole (pronounced mole-ay) is a traditional Mexican sauce that includes many, many ingredients, including chocolate, and can take days to prepare.  Good mole is hard to find.  I learned at an office party beforehand that the mole here is very good.  Another thing that's hard to find is good traditional Mexican red sauce. So with that in mind we placed our orders.

We ordered the following: a small caldo (because I was coming down with The Sick at the time), chicken enchiladas with mole, chicken and beef enchiladas with red sauce, chicken mole, and rice and beans.  As you'll see in a second, this ended up being several meals.

This is a SMALL caldo.

Caldo is a traditional Mexican soup. In fact the word caldo means soup in Spanish. Most restaurants only serve it on weekends, and Los Molcajetes is no exception.  The one pictured here is a traditional beef caldo and in this case they used barbacoa in the soup.  If you're not used to the texture of barbacoa that might be odd, but I find it tender, moist, flaky and delicous. And I loved all the veggies served with it. The rice was a great way to soak up the broth after eating all the big stuff. 

Then my chicken enchiladas con mole came. The caldo was so filling I took this entire thing home. It was delcious reheated for lunch and dinner the next day. The enchiladas are made with in-house made corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are available on request. And, no, refried beans don't photograph well at all, do they?  Good thing they taste a lot better than they look.

The Lovely Spouse ordered the chicken mole and said it was quite exceptional.  The chicken was not simmered in the mole, as he'd have prefered, but it was still moist and delicous. I didn't photograph his side order of enchiladas with red sauce because they looked exactly like the enchiladas above. With red sauce.  He said the red sauce was also exceptional.

For completeness The Lovely Spouse ordered dessert. These are fried tortillas served with peaches, honey and ice cream. They tasted good but I just couldn't eat many because I was so full from the caldo.

Will we be back?  Very likely. I'm told their margaritas are also quite good.  We didn't get them on this trip because I was coming down with something and certainly not drinking alcohol.  They also serve horchata and tamarindo, as well as Mexican coke products. I also want to try some of their other dishes, including the ones served in molcajetes.  The prices were quite good (Mexican food is rarely expensive in B/CS) and the service was good.  It's nice family-owned eatery.  And the owner is absolutely lovely.

UPDATE (August 2014): Los Molcajetes in Bryan has closed.  I has a sad because they were nice people and had good food. I never got to try their molcajetes but their posole and fideo were quite good. 

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