They went out of their way to be sure I had a memorable meal at La Huasteca. I was having such a great time eating my pork chops with mole mancha manteles (appropriately named “tablecloth stainer”) that manager Irma Vera brought me samples of the other moles available on the menu. Clockwise from the upper left:
Mole de los dioses (mole of the gods) is made from the highly prized delicacy huitlacoche. Only because I knew what it was, a fungus that grows on the corn plant, I was able to identify flavors of both mushrooms and corn, but the taste is absolutely unique and wonderful.
Mole de tamarindo, which they serve with duck, had layer upon layer of flavor that transformed from sweet to chile to smoky hot… Beautiful.
Mole poblano, possibly the most famous mole, can be a bit sweet for my taste in some places, but this one tasted like smooth chocolaty smoke, with a hot, spicy finish. A welcome variation.
Red pipián and green pipián. I think the world is divided 50/50 on the subject, but I think the red sauce better suits the toasty flavor of the pumpkin seeds. Both were beautifully executed.
Meanwhile, the mole mancha manteles that was on my plate, and not in this picture, surprised me with a vague resemblance to some of the very best barbecue sauces in Kansas City. Rich and spicy, with a reddish brown color, it outdid anything from the midwest in complexity and layers of flavor, while not overpowering the pork chops. It did, however, have the same satisfying comfort that we find in the best barbecue.
Here’s the website: http://lahuasteca.com/