A fantastic dinner at Las Reynas restaurant

Today we have a guest post and photos by Scout. Enjoy!

You and your parents pull up to the big blue building. It looks more like a car-repair shop than a restaurant. But the large garage doors are open, an inviting glow coming from inside.

A huge canvas sign hangs over the humongous doorway. “Las Reynas,” it says. A hole-in-the-wall restaurant smothered in recommendations.

A man is standing out front, the owner. He beckons you forward with a smile. The five-dish menu is painted on big pieces of colored canvas and clipped to a plaster column. Enchiladas, flautas (stuffed, fried tortillas), pambazos, lonches (meat sandwiches on crispy bread), and pozole (soup made with hominy).

You have to decide quickly, he’s waiting. What are pambazos?!? You pick what you want (flautas) and mom gives him the order: Flautas, enchiladas, and a bowl of pozole.

Now you have a moment to look around. The inside is sparse. The space itself is large, but there are only a few tables and no decorations. The floor is bare concrete. It’s still early, so no other customers are there.

You pick the table closest to the open doors, sit down, and order a Sprite. While your parents sit, you get up to go watch your food being prepared.

A middle-aged woman in an apron is working in a small, open kitchen in the back corner. The woman is making the flautas. She smiles at you as she works. She makes the flautas by putting beef inside of a tortilla, rolling it up, and placing it in a frying pan full of sizzling oil. Next, she makes the enchiladas. She takes a tortilla and soaks it in chicken broth. Then, she wraps it around some roast chicken. She tops it with crema (light sour cream), sauce (tomatillos, avocados, garlic, etc., blended), lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and a bit of crumbly white cheese.

The owner is busy spooning toppings — salsa, chopped onions, sliced radishes, limes, cilantro, and oregano — onto a divided platter. He carries it to your table along with a small bowl of bright red sauce. The man informs you that it is “muy picante” (very spicy), though the sauce’s bright red color speaks for itself.

You head back to the table. The Sprite arrives, nice and frosty. The owner gestures to the light above your table, pointing out that it’s attracting mosquitoes. He helps you move the plastic table.

The food comes. First, the soup. The broth is rich and red, and goes well with the pork. The hominy kernels are a new experience. Each kernel is about as big as a marble, and tastes like a cross between corn and beans.

Next, you try the flautas. The brittle tortilla shell adds a nice crunch to the dish. The light cheese combines with the crema to make a sort of cheesy sour cream. The avocado has a buttery texture, and the lettuce and tomatoes give the dish a fresh flavor.

Last but not least, the enchiladas. The ingredients work together perfectly. The lettuce and tomato counteract the richness of the meat. The crema and the tiny bit of cheese add creaminess. The broth serves to combine all the flavors together, letting them mingle. Delicious.

Soon all the food is gone. You lean back and finish your soda. It’s time to go. The man gives you a present: a pen with a witch on top. That’s really nice. You thank him and head back to your car, where your dog is anxiously waiting for you. This is the best dinner you’ve had in a while. You’ll come back tomorrow night.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Living Outside of the Box November 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I love it, Scout! What a wonderful post…I felt like I was right there with you and your parents (I wish I WAS)!! I LOVE pozole…it is my favorite! Except I don’t like it with pork…I always look for the people who make it with CHICKEN! YUM!! Oh, and EVERYTHING in Mexico is better with some lime squeeze on top (pozole included)!!
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2 Linda Sousa November 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Wow looks fantastic! Great write up! I am jealous! I wish I was experiencing the world as you and your family are. Great Job!

Linda Sousa


3 Lyndajo Thomas November 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Wow! I didn’t even know I was hungry ’til I read your review of Las Reynas, RambleCrunch Guest Poster Scout. Now I am starving! ‘Wish I lived close enough to drop by right now and get in on some of that ‘muy picante’ business.
You are a very descriptive writer. I look forward to more of your posts in the future.
Please tell your Mom & Dad that they look very hermosa and guapo!


4 elaine November 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm

scout! awesome post! you’re a great writer & I loved this post. I felt like I was right there with you guys! miss you all 🙂



5 Rachael November 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

have been following your travels through Europe and now Mexico. I love foodie blog posts and yours was fantastic, great photos too.
Wish I were there

thanks for taking the time to share your experiences – we are here in cold rainy England!


6 Fite Inertia November 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Wow! I felt I could smell the ingredients being prepared and boy did it make me salivate! Mexican food is truly my favorite. What did you think of the hominy? I’m not a big fan, but your description of it was spot on.

Looking forward to more of your posts! I enjoyed the descriptive writing.
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7 stefan dreesen November 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Ok, i read this and got hungry for some mexican food, but probably can’t get as authentic as you guys are experiencing! Great story, love the pictures and food looks yummy…growl, growl (my stomach).
Really enjoying being able to follow your adventures, keep it up!!


8 Brian November 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Hola Scout!
Your post brings back many great memories for me, especially the Pozole! In Jalisco they make mainly the red Pozole, but it also comes green or white. Green Pozole is my favorite but it seems to be harder to find in restaurants. When I was in Acapulco, we would always have Pozole on Sundays. It seemed to be a tradition.
Regardless of which variety you have, they are all delicious!
By the way…it’s raining here in Burnaby!


9 Lynne H November 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Delicious and nutritious! I loved this comment, “She smiles at you as she works.” Reminded me that it’s great to be a kid, people look at you with the love they have for their own children or grandchildren. Really enjoyed reading this! Hope you will write more.


10 Cliff November 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I couldn’t prepare a can of spam. But reading that descriptive post not only got my mouth watering, I feel like I could try out for Iron Chef!

Sends some warm vibes up here. Noah’s Arc just pulled up and we’re loading the animals in right now with all this rain.


11 buddy and girl November 18, 2012 at 2:25 am

Great post, I’m hungry now! And great to see your Mom’s new haircut:-) Keep writing Scout!
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12 Kerri @ Travel Junkies November 18, 2012 at 9:26 am

Great post Scout. Made me miss the foods of mexico!
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13 Tom Medsger November 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Hello to the D’Antonis,

Loved this post about your meal. Pass the salsa. I always take lots of photos when I go to Mexico, some of them in restaurants, and your pictures added a lot. Thanks!

I just found out that our “free” weekend in Querétaro (when we won’t be teaching) will indeed be February 16 and 17, Saturday and Sunday. So I hope we can get together. Why not come over and stay at the hotel Saturday night? It’s not expensive and is a beautiful old building in the Centro Historico. Hotel Hidalgo, Tels: (442) 212 0081 and 3673 214 5000. Check them out online http://www.hotelhidalgo.com.mx

Happy Thanksgiving!


14 Kirsty November 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Fantastic post Scout! We all love mexican food here, but one day really want to try it ‘properly’.

I’ve never heard the term ‘hole in the wall restaurant’ – over here (UK) a ‘hole in the wall’ is an ATM where you get money out 🙂
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