“We think it’s not the right time to bring back our staff,” Stacey Hernandez said. “We don’t want them to get sick. … And the same with our customers: We don’t want them to feel like they are not safe.”
Rosa Hernandez Lopez moved to the U.S. from Santiago Juxtlahuaca, Mexico, in the early ’90s. After living in Idaho and Wyoming, the family owned a couple of Mexican restaurants in Tennessee, but felt that Atlanta would be more receptive to Oaxacan fare.
Indeed, it has been. I gave the restaurant a highly favorable review in November, 2018. In May of last year, it made Atlanta magazine's Best 75 list.
A tamale plate at La Mixteca in Suwanee includes wonderful Mexican rice and refried beans. Shown here are the red chicken and green chicken tamales. CONTRIBUTED BY WENDELL BROCK
La Mixteca currently serves the bulk of its regular menu, including tacos, tlayudas, quesadillas, nachos and tortas. One big change: Tamales must be ordered 24 hours in advance. That’s because they are labor-intensive: They have to be stuffed and shaped by hand, wrapped in corn husks and steamed. Once out of the steamer, they tend to dry out. “We don’t want them to sit there and not sell,” Stacey explained. This includes the tamale plates, bowls, sandwiches and packages of six or a dozen.
When the restaurant opens again for dine-in service, it will be with expanded hours, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays-Sundays. A hot bar will be offered at breakfast and lunch.
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LA MIXTECA TAMALE HOUSE
Menu: full menu of Mexican and Oaxacan specialties, including breakfast all day; no house-made aguas frescas or hot drinks at this timeWhat's new: taco and tamale packages with Mexican rice and refried beans. A half-dozen taco packages come with choice of one meat (chicken, steak, chorizo, al pastor) for $14.99; a dozen tacos with choice of two meats are $30. Tamale packages are $24.99 for a half-dozen, $49.99 for a dozen. All tamale orders require 24 hours notice.
Alcohol: beer available with takeout orders
What I ordered: A two-tamale plate, with green chicken and red chicken tamales ($9.99); a tamale bowl, with one green pork tamale, all the way ($9.99). Three tacos on corn tortillas: asada, chorizo and carnitas ($2.50 each). The food was still warm after a 30-minute drive home. Tamales were quite large, and every bit as delicious as I remembered; tacos were even better than before. I was particularly crazy about the asada taco. The refried beans and garlicky Mexican rice with the tamale plate were exceptional. I had forgotten that the tamale bowl includes toppings of tiny french fries and a fried egg. Still absolutely delightful. Leftover tamales reheat well in a steamer basket.
Service options: takeout, with curbside option; restaurant prefers you order and pay over the phone, though walk-ups are accepted; delivery available via DoorDash.
Safety protocols: staff required to wear masks and gloves (one person preps, one person cooks, one person makes tamales); frequent sanitizing; professional deep-cleaning once a week; social distancing maintained inside with red-tape markers; no more than six people inside at a time
Address, phone: 1185 Old Peachtree Road NW, Suwanee. 678-878-3483
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.
Read the AJC Fall Dining Guide: The Noodle Edition
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