Mole, complicated in both production and flavor, is one of Mexico's traditional sauces, so traditional, in fact, its name translates to sauce in English. Mole is also one of my favorite delicacies. It's a delicacy because its making is reserved for large family gatherings and celebrations in the home. While myriad Mexican restaurants offer some type of mole dish, popularly over enchiladas in Texas, Torchy's Tacos recognizes mole's unique quality (every family's recipe is different). Each November, the Texas gourmet-taco chain releases its rendition of the classic mole with turkey dish as its taco of the month.
Last year was the first time I tried it. Ever since, I've been waiting for November 2010. Here we are! And there I went on a busy Saturday afternoon. The soft corn tortillas hold up well against the twin strips of crispy, deep-fried turkey nestled with a slice of avocado for buttery texture, all held together by a smear of dark red mole with earthy and spicy hints that bring to mind the holiday season's theme of tradition, not mention gifts. To be presented with mole is a damn fine gift. At it's most basic, something like 16 ingredients, mole is still complex, requiring a team effort. Mole is worth giving thanks for, especially when it's wrapped in a tortilla with turkey, avocado, yellow rice, queso fresco and cilantro.
Compared with your clan's Thanksgiving meal, however, Torchy's November tacos are light. If you do brave the long lines at Torchy's -- which you should obviously do -- order a duo of turkey mole tacos or one accompanied by a vegetarian taco. Do not under, any circumstances, request it along with the barbacoa taco. The latter's rich beef overpowers the slowly emergent flavors of the former.
Skip Torchy's excellent queso for a jaunt to the cater-corner Whole Foods for one of their cake balls -- oft touted as the new cupcake -- namely, the pumpkin cake ball.
The sweet confection, covered in white fondant and approximately the size of a small walnut, will crack open under the soft pressure of teeth to reveal a treat with the consistency of pumpkin bread but without the pesky nuts and raisins. At two bucks, the Lilliputian balls should also be ordered in multiples, at the very least to extend the enjoyment of the desserts.
Now that I think about it, purchasing more than one turkey mole taco to extend the pleasure of the limited-time special isn't a bad idea, not just because they're delicate fare, but because you get a fulfilling sense of schadenfreude from watching those customers in line after you scan Torchy's dining room for the rare available table. Suckers.
Torchy's Tacos 5921 Forest Lane 972-720-9200
Whole Foods Market 11700 Preston Road 214-361-8887