Ever been Nixtamalized???
If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you have to go and experience Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona, Queens. Once you have laid your lips on one of their tortillas made from nixtamalized corn – you aint never going back to eating “regular” tortillas again.
Fernando Ruiz and Shauna Page are the wonderful co-owners of this cheery “Tortilleria” where the tortillas taste like they were made in heaven! Yes – they really are that good! Shauna says that on an average day, they make about 200 pounds of tortillas and the numbers go significantly higher on weekends and in the summer months.
The key to their delicious tortillas is the “Masa” which is painstakingly produced fresh everyday and made from nixtamal ( treated corn). Shauna took us on a little tour of the inner workings on how they make their Masa – just as the Aztecs used to way back when…
At Tortilleria Nixtamal, they make the nixtamal by cooking special white corn kernels with calcium-hydroxide (limestone). This process activates nutrients in the corn which has all kinds of health benefits. This nixtamal is then ground into fresh masa, which is used to make their tortillas, tamales, corn chips and so on. They have a big, bright, green tortilla making machine on display right in their restaurant. That is where all the magic happens and where the softest, tenderest, most delicious tortillas are made.
Tortilleria Nixtamalis definitely a product of passion. Everyone here radiates such warmth and hospitality and the food is glorious. Every bite you take is fresh! fresh! fresh! That is why Tortilleria Nixtamal, is a cut above the rest.
Don’t wait…..go get nixtamalized now!
Here is some of what we ate:
CHILI RELLENO WITH TUNA
This bite-sized appetizer is a roasted jalapeno stuffed with albacore tuna. Simple yet delicious! It went perfectly with the tortillas.
GUACAMOLE WITH SALSA VERDE AND ROJA
They make a really fresh guacamole. I was very impressed and the salsa verde and roja were both really good too. I didn’t like their corn chips though – I found them too hard, thick and crunchy. I actually loved eating the guacamole with their soft tortillas.
We tried their Chipotle Tamales with Pork and Chicken. I thought their tamales were outstanding. You could taste the freshness of the ground masa in their tamales.
We tried their Fish Tacos which Shauna recommend and I think that this is their signature dish. It was beyond outstanding. The fish filling had the perfect crunch to it and was beautifully balanced by the softness of the taco that enveloped all that yumminess.
We also tried their Pork Tacos which were very good too. The combination of that superb tortilla and the fresh flavored filling – you just cant go wrong!
PANCHO’S CHICKEN ENCHILADAS IN MOLE
I am very finicky when it comes to eating Mole as it is my very favorite Mexican dish. There are very few places in New York, where I have actually found a good Mole. The Mole at TortilleriaNixtamalis made by Pancho, who is Ruiz’s uncle. He makes it once a week and it takes him about 5 hours to whip up a batch of his mystery Mole! I thought the Mole was very good. It was rich and had great depth of flavors to it. I really want to try the Mole Tamale the next time around!
MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEALFood: ☆☆☆ Ambiance:☆☆☆ Service:☆☆☆☆ Price:$ Overall experience: ☆☆☆☆ I recommend: Chile Relleno with Tuna, Guacamole, Tamales, Fish Tacos.