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I’ve had authentic Mexican food before. And this was authentic. But I’ve never had anything like this. Our next dining destination takes us to the mountains, via Golden Gate Parkway.

When one thinks of Mexican food, often it all gets lumped together. But just like the United States, Mexican cuisine is regional. And when one visits Taqueria La Sierra, it’s not hard to figure what region we are discussing.

We kicked things off with a pork tamale. Now typically, you might not expect your tamale to be covered in sauce; and if it is – you’d probably expect green sauce for chicken or pork and red sauce for beef. Well, this rather sizable pork tamale comes covered in red sauce – Guajillo to be exact – and melted cheese. Was it the best tamale I’ve ever had, no. But vive la difference!

For my entrée, I ordered the empanada platter; something you don’t always see on the menu at a Mexican restaurant. Latin, yes. Mexican, not so much. But just wait until you hear what the empanadas were filled with …

The first was filled with flor de calabaza or a pumpkin flower and melted cheese. The second was filled with huitlacoche, aka corn mushroom, aka Mexican truffle, a fungus that grows on organic corn. The empanada also had melted cheese in the mix.

For certain this dish is not for everyone. But for the adventurous, it is delectable. Also, while you might avoid meat with this entree, this is by far not a “healthy” choice. They’re still empanadas.

My partner in dine picked the chicken platillo de milanesa, one of my favorites. Milanesa is meat pounded flat, then breaded and fried. What made this dish more interesting than most was the light breading.  

Both entrees came with rice and beans. And complimentary chips and salsa were provided.

In addition to amazing food, the atmosphere harkens back to yesteryear. We witnessed three strangers meet at the bar, strike up a conversation and grab a table. Oddly, it was multigenerational men. No one was being passive aggressive or rude with the wait staff. It was packed with friendly smiles and a good time was had by all. And yes, there were well-behaved children in the room. I felt like we had traveled back in time to a more civil society.

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

  • Taqueria La Sierra
  • 5555 Golden Gate Pkwy, Naples
  • 239-353-4420

 

      

 

 

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