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09.28.11

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Phaedra

Popping Up

By Gabe Meline


The business license posted says La Mixteca, but otherwise, you'd never know what to call this Roseland pop-up that for the last several months has been setting up shop after the sun goes down on Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa. But names are irrelevant: the place is great. Tucked beneath a tent and a string of lights in an unused lot near an auto shop, the family in charge cooks up homestyle Mexican dishes—tacos, sopes, enchiladas—all in the cramped confines of an outdoor kitchen.

After ordering, visitors open a sliding glass door to a shed-like room painted a vibrant green; three long, communal tables are filled with families, farmworkers and neighborhood residents, all eating together. On offer is tomatillo sauce, red salsa, onions and cilantro, laid out in bowls upon the tables; drinks are in a self-service fridge. And though the atmosphere is no-frills and casual (after one pays, a seven-year-old daughter makes change), the food is excellent.

The posole is a special treat (above), with soaked maize, chiles and a chunk of carne served in a flavorful soup; cabbage is optional, and the large bowl comes in well under $10. The chile relleno is stuffed liberally with cheese that's notably spicier than most, and served with beans and rice. On a recent night, the place even had fried chicken available.

Amid the chatter of the dining room, the several cars parked diagonally in the driveway and the throng of people gathered to wait for pickup, La Mixteca is looking to be one of Roseland's best pop-ups worth checking out—while it lasts. 1905 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa.


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