I wanted to take my mom somewhere special for Mothers Day, because, well, she’s the best, and of course loves to eat like I do, especially Mexican food; in fact, she actually cooked professionally at a Mexican restaurant in California, so she knows her stuff. It seemed only logical to kill two birds with one stone: treat my mom to a delicious Mexican feast AND get some new blog material in the meantime. Enter Momocho.
Momocho is in the Ohio City neighborhood, west of downtown Cleveland, and has gotten a lot of attention since being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. (Momocho is none of those things, so I don’t really get it, but any hugely positive attention to CLE chefs and restaurants is a great thing, so diner it is!) Actually, Momocho is a sophisticated (without being pretentious) upscale authentic Mexican restaurant, with a unique and relaxed vibe, well designed interior, and awesome menu of ‘mod mex’ cuisine.
I’m no avocado lover but I will taste guacamole from time to time. My mom is an all out guac-aholic, so we ordered the guacamole sampler after hearing great things about all the unique flavor combinations the chef has conjured up. We chose the smoked trout and bacon, the bleu cheese, garlic confit, and chili verde, and the pickled corn, crab, and chipotle. I would have opted for the sweeter varieties, like the apple, mango and thai basil, but again, it was mom’s day. I got my sweet tooth from my dad.
All were unique and delicious in their own right, but for me the standout was the bleu cheese variety; it offered a perfect contrast to the rich avocados, then the chili verde added a healthy zing.
For entrees, we opted for an appetizer and taquitos, since we had already chowed on the guacamole and homemade chips. My mom chose the poblano chili relleno and I couldn’t pass up the machaca taquitos. First, the relleno:
This is exactly why I love to eat out with my mom. I definitely wouldn’t have picked this off the menu, but it turned out to be killer.
I had to get a close-up so you can begin to appreciate all the ooey gooey smoked gouda, roasted vegetables, and the wonderful smokey “chiltomato souce”. Absolutely unbelievable, and with all that egg and cheese, it was practically a meal in itself, despite being categorized as an appetizer.
Next to arrive was the Machaca, a coffee braised beef served with a sprinkle of cotija cheese, homemade tomatillo verde, guacamole (as if we needed any more) and fresh warm corn tortillas.
What carnivore doesn’t appreciate braised beef, and in coffee?!…so much to love here. This beef was so flavorful, rich, juicy, and tender. Both of us loved it, and there was so much left over that my mom took it home and fed my dad two tacos with it. Absolutely outstanding with just a little bit of heat and endless flavor combinations. Take a look at the second half of the vid from Triple D to see just how much preparation goes into this dish, it’s incredible.
Momocho absolutely hit a home run for me by pleasing my mom on Mothers Day. It was a positively delightful lunch – we are already planning a trip back for the sequel.