Dear Foodies,

Mi Mexico lindo y querido (my beloved Mexico)! This hidden treasure is on the top of my list when it comes to authentic Mexican food. I thank my dear friend Ariel King (a Mexicana at heart) for highly recommending this eatery. La Estacion’s mission is to create a warm and family-oriented atmosphere and serve homemade Mexican food, as well as the best pan dulce (Mexican pastries and breakfast breads) to its patrons. Since their opening last August, they have quickly become a local favorite.

After church one Sunday, we decided to invite our close friends Mari and Cecilio Rodriguez and their children to this place because we know how they like to venture out to new restaurants and, better yet, if it’s true Mexican cuisine.

This restaurant is nestled in an older neighborhood in Mission and is absolutely a hidden gem. The glass cases are filled with freshly baked pan dulce (they also make a wide selection of American/French delights) that are baked daily. You can eat there or take home. The place is bright and is decorated with paintings from Mexico.

Our friendly waitress gave us the menu to look over, and of coarse I had to order the specialty of the house. The Café Lechero, for those of you familiar with Mexico City in the ‘50s, will bring back memories of the famous Café’s Chinos — old timey diner’s mostly run by Chinese immigrants that would serve coffee with hot milk, our version of a Latte ($2.99).

The owners of La Estacion are from Veracruz so they wanted to bring the taste of the coffee from a landmark called “La Parroquia” to the Valley. El Café de la Parroquia is the most famous café/restaurant on the port that serves the finest coffee. The people here are serious about their coffee, for they cater not only to Veracruzano’s, but to a host of foreign sailors from all over the world. The traditional way to serve consists of pouring a small amount of excellent coffee extract into a glass and then pouring the steamy hot milk from way up high like a waterfall into the glass. The end result is a beautiful coffee with lots of white foam on the top. Ahh, not your average cup of joe.

To start, I also had a cart filled with sweet bread rolled my way. I know my friend Mari was trying to be good that day so her husband ordered a fresh fruit platter. It reminded me of my mother because she always starts breakfast with a platter of seasonal fruit every morning when I visit her in Mexico. It was beautifully presented with papaya, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries and more. The children loved it! It is severed with delicious vanilla yogurt (Mari said it was the best she ever had). I had some fruit but then came my sinful moment. I bit into what I would consider the best tasting “Concha” — it is a pastry/bread that resembles a shell topped with a sugary crust. I dipped it into my coffee and let the bread melt in my mouth. Que RICO!

The menu offers a wide range of options such as barbacoa, sopes, molletes, pozole, tortas de carnitas (pulled pork sandwich) enchiladas poblanas (mole) or suizas, and even homemade arroz con leche (rice pudding).

My husband ordered the Royal breakfast ($4.49) which is your traditional American breakfast with: eggs, hash browns, pancakes and sausage. I wanted the real McCoy! I read “Chilaquiles Toluquenos” ($5.99) and was seduced by the photo in the menu and then conquered with love by the delicious plate which consisted of the following: chilaquiles (crispy corn tortilla pieces with shredded chicken), chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage), salsa roja (red homemade salsa but you can ask for green, if you prefer), one over easy egg, Monterrey jack cheese, sliced onions, crema-Mexican sour cream (closer to crème fraiche than regular sour cream), refried beans and a side of tortillas. I ate every bite that came in this large bowl and had no regrets!

They are called Toluquenios because Toluca makes excellent green & red chorizo. I was transported back to my childhood in Mexico when we would spend our summers, just eating meal after incredible meal with our relatives. This dish is the perfect marriage between huevos rancheros and Chilaquiles.

We have a saying in Mexico, “Barriga llena Corazon contento,” which translates to “A full belly makes for a happy heart.”

I know I shall pay for this at my Zumba class at Susie’s!

The meal ended, but the “Sobre mesa” went on for a while, as we adults sipped and enjoyed our coffee watching our kids pick out their candy, laughing and playing, all without a care in the world. No one rushed us out as we savored a wonderful Sunday afternoon at La Estacion, listening to Pedro Infante crooning in the background. Ahh, que rico. $

Buen provecho,

Madame Gourmand

La Estacion Bakery, 800 E. First Street (corner of Mayberry and First), behind Spikes Ford in Mission. 956-519-8335 *closed on Tuesdays