Chicken Tingas

Every so often, we’ll run a daily special of chicken tingas tostadas.  Like so many of our dishes, there is history behind them that has roots that extend deep into the Mexican culture.  Chicken tingas is no different.  The tomato and chile sauce based recipe originated in the Puebla area, which is especially famous for its cuisine.  Taking into account that true Mexican food “is considered one of the most distinguished in the world due to the complexity of their preparation, distinctive flavors and ancient traditions”*, this is high praise indeed.  Like so many of the dishes Mario prepares, his version has a more organic, humble beginning as he learned about the tingas preparation from his mother.  It has all the kudos and culture that is distinctive to the region, with a touch of love from the Cercedo family kitchen.

Now you know a little more about the wonderfulness of Mexican food in general, and more specifically, Mario’s culinary inspiration!

*http://hispanickitchen.com

Mobile Food Menu Issues – Corrected!

I recently received a message from a confused customer about the Food Menu link on her mobile device.  I had been aware of this in a peripheral sort of way on my own phone, but since I was having other problems with it, I didn’t think this was an issue.  Obviously, I was wrong!  Apparently, anyone trying to get food info on the go was looking at a screen like this:

How helpful that must have been for you!  I apologize for this oversight.  Now, you should get this screen:

Wow – a real food menu!

You will need to scroll a little, but there it will be.

With this correction there will be a small change in how you get around the mobile site.  Instead of  seeing a Menu tab like this:

You will see a Navigation bar, like this:

Click on that and you’ll be set for mobile cruising!

Thank you so much, Bridget, for bringing this to my attention!  It’s details like this that we business owners sometimes overlook in our busy schedule that can make a big impression, and we want it to be right…or as right as we can get it.  So, on that note, we’ll leave until our next blog entry!

The Process

I made this video in response to a fairly common question. There are those of you who would appreciate a little more advance notification on our specials, and others who would like a set daily lunch special.  I keep getting asked for sneak previews, and I always have to respond with, “The only one who knows is Mario.”  I’ve always felt it was rather off-putting, but it is the truth!  The video was taken at a moment’s notice, and it shows. Mario is very camera shy, and he wasn’t going to set aside a time to be filmed, so this a catch as catch can!  Hope this explains his method.

 

A Question and an Answer

Several customers have recently asked me if we plan to expand.  It’s great that our cafe is doing so well, and our reviews are overwhelmingly positive.  From an outsider’s perspective, I understand that it would seem to be our next step.  Mario and I have decided to not expand, that we’ll keep our operation local, because there’s only one of him and one of me.  We want to keep the service at a specific level and the food cooked only one way – my way and Mario’s way.  We wouldn’t be able to do that with multiple venues, no matter how well trained the staff; experienced cooks have their own style, and great cashiers and up front people have their own way of handling people.  Besides, we’re happy where we are with the employees we have – why expand?

A New Addition

The owners of Cafe Luna would like to introduce a new addition to their family, Mael.  A healthy baby boy born in the wee hours of December 28th.  Isn’t he cute?!

The cafe will be open for breakfast and lunch for the rest of the week, no dinner service.  That will resume next week, starting January 3rd.  Happy New Year, everyone!

Welcome little Mael!

Mario holding Mael

Thanksgiving Potatoes Au Gratin

potatoesIf you’re looking for a last minute idea to jazz up your potatoes this year, we’ve got you covered.  This is our family traditional potato dish, and we thought we’d share it with you.  Easier than you think it would be, it makes a delicious addition to any dinner!

Potatoes Au Gratin

4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

1 onion, sliced into rings

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a buttered 2 quart casserole, layer the potatoes, onions and cheese, while evenly placing small pats of butter in the layers. Reserve a little cheese for topping.  In a medium bowl, stir the milk, flour, salt and pepper until smooth, and pour over the potato mixture.

Put into the oven and bake until potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes.  Let cool for around 10 minutes and enjoy!

 

Halloween!

I want to thank everyone for coming to our Halloween party despite the rain and rampaging illness!  We had a great time and got to see everyone all dressed up.  And the contest winner for $100 food credit was Office Stephen Barker – or should I say Lt. Dangle?  Congratulations and better luck next time to everyone else.  We’re plotting something fun again, you can count on it!

“Street” Style Tacos

street style tacos with carnitas 2

Street style tacos with carnitas as the meat option

I’ve had many customers ask about the “Street Style” tacos and what it means.  There’s a little bit of history behind this popular treat, and as with so many American ethnic favorites, it’s theorized it started out as a working man’s lunch.  Silver miners working in Mexico in the 18th century called the charges used to excavate the ore, “tacos”.  After a period of time, this name carried over to their portable meals; easy to carry, tasty to eat, filling and nutritious.

The taco has gone through many transformations since its humble beginnings and continues to change, such as tacos arabes introduced in Mexico City with the arrival of Lebanese migrants back in the 50s, which was changed a little more by the second generation to become tacos al pastor.  (Click on link and read the article!)   Here in mainstream America, the “street” style has enjoyed great popularity amongst Mexican food devotees and casual restaurant patrons alike.  But where did it come from?  Mario tells me that the street vendors in Mexico can not have any dairy on their food because the heat spoils the cheese and makes people sick; so, in order for the vendors to offer their hungry customers a favorite, they simply omitted the cheese.  Clever, huh?  And now you know.