Many of the Queens restaurants are getting ready to show off their cuisines as Taste of Queens is approaching. This year, the food fest will take place at the Hall of Science at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Chemistry of the senses will play a part as once again, the judges will choose whose appetizer, entrée or dessert will be the winners. De Mole, located in Woodside, is one of the participants. I was curious about some of the non-Tex-Mex.
Ramiro Mendez is the owner who having been a chef for many years decided to be an entrepreneur featuring some of the healthier side of Mexican cuisine. No lard and low on salt. Surprisingly, he would rather give you a sauce to spice up your food than assume you want it “caliente”.
The restaurant appears to be small with about a dozen tables. Ramiro pointed to the adjoining room which is used either for private parties or simply when the eatery gets crowded.
“Freshly made” is what probably has the crowds coming in. I popped in on a weekday at about 3pm and thought I would be the only customer. At first there was one other table as I watched a mother feed guacamole to her infant son. That already signaled that it would not be spicy (I don’t care for spicy food). The guacamole comes with corn chips resting in a small paper bag (absorbs the oil). I was given a small portion of a tomato sauce with jalapeno pepper. It wasn’t too bad combining the two but “biting” just dipping into. My waitress, Guillermina, was totally able to describe everything I ate.
Quite interesting drinks as they are also freshly made. Lemonade, limeade, water with hibiscus and one with tamarind…all sweet and refreshing. Wine and beer available but nix on having a margarita or such.
Ceviche de Varecruz, as close as I can get to sushi. Maki Maki poached in fresh lime juice with chopped onions, tomato, jalapeno, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and olive oil. Yes, it had a kick but anyone who is used to “hot” food will not even notice. I loved the crunchy "cup" that it was served in.
Just for the heck of it, I tried a few "Tex-Mex" like a chicken taco. There are two sauces. A spicy red sauce and a green sauce. I went for the green but…otherwise it was quite good.
I also went for a tamale in a corn husk - Verdes Con Pollo. Okay, I like their Tex-Mex as well.
Tortas are hard roll sandwiches. Pierna is braised pork leg. The sandwich is served with red refried beans, avocado, onion, cheese, mayo, tomato, lettuce and a homemade pickled jalapeno. Actually it was all in the sandwich.
When it comes to grilled skirt steak, they have perfected it. It had a slight smoky flavor and required little pressure on the jaw. The platter comes with rice, beans and 2 corn tortillas, coasted with mole poblano (mole sauce) and queso blanco (white cheese). Opt for the Enchiladas de Pollo Con Mole Poblano (Chicken enchilada) that is rolled in a corn tortilla or one that has “beef brisket stew”.
Hole Mole, I had to check out the desserts! Orange flan: not overly sweet caramel sauce and a excellent creamy consistency. I did try the Tres Leches cake. Kind of a sponge cake with condensed and evaporated milk with bananas and real whipped cream atop (the third leche). Enjoyed the flan, more.
I’m not sure what Ramiro will present at the Taste of Queens. I’m certain it will be “tasty”.