Sunday, July 5, 2009
Manny's El Tepeyac Cafe
812 N Evergreen Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033
One of the few historical culinary icons of Los Angeles and is infamous for its massive portions, Manny's El Tepeyac has stood tall for over 50 years. Named after both the owner, Manny Rojas and a hill located near Mexico City that is the site where Saint Juan Diego is said to have met the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531. Given the modest number of Mexican virgins, it seems appropriate to name a restaurant in her honor. A few of the dishes are named after the local Hollenbeck police precinct that have frequented the restaurant over the years.
$0 Habanero Salsa, Chipotle Salsa (7)
Both good quality salsas, the habanero had a bigger kick than the chipotle. I preferred the smokiness of the latter and when dipped, it added a welcomed spice to the guacamole.
$5.00 1/4 Guacamole with Chips (6)
OK quality guacamole accented with onion, tomatoes, lemon juice and I believe avocado. The chips were home made and heavy, could have been fresher and more salted. Order a smaller portion than you think you need.
$7.35 Chicken Enchilada, Cheese Enchilada (6)
This dish was basically two average enchiladas suffocated in shredded cheddar cheese and red enchilada sauce. The stewed chicken is chopped and wrapped in a flour tortilla. I felt a need to dip the chicken in the velvety blend of sauce and cheese to tenderize the meat.
$8.50 Okie de Machaca Burrito (7)
A shredded beef, egg, rice, beans, guacamole, bell peppers, tomato, sauteed onions burrito topped with the same red sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. Better than I expected, the flavors and ingredients melded together very well. The highlight was the combination of the cheese and red sauce. Again, I would have prefer a more tender meat.
We couldn't even eat through the guacamole, let alone the enchiladas or the burrito and there were enough leftovers to feed the back of an immigrating pick-up truck. The quality of the food surprised me and it was discernible that El Tepeyac does not survive on reputation and calories alone.