BiteClub, Cheap Eats, Mexican/Latin, Santa Rosa

Secret Spot for Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Tortilla restaurant is all about, well, homemade tortillas. The Masters of Masa, it's a mix-and-match mashup of tortillas bases, meats and veggies.

Pupusas and curtido at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.
Pupusas and curtido at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.

 

Pupusas and curtido at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.
Pupusas and curtido at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.

There’s no real mystery as to what Homemade Tortilla restaurant does best. This tiny Roseland taqueria, far off the beaten path, is a Master of Masa*, hand-making fresh corn tortillas, gorditas, huaraches, sopes and pupusas daily. Let’s just say after two trips, grocery store tortillas are dead to me.

 

Sopes with carnitas at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.
Sopes with carnitas at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa, CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.

Mexican Food 101: If, like me, you’re not as well-versed in Mexican cuisine as any self-respecting Californian should be, here’s the fork-1-1: Masa is a kissing cousin to cornmeal, mixed with water and fried. Like any dough, it can be shaped and cooked in a thousand ways. Most folks don’t bother making them from scratch anymore, but once you’ve tasted the real deal (like a warm, perfectly cooked baguette), you don’t go back. Gorditas, sopes and the like are simply different masa delivery devices.

Now that you’ve got that chewy, light base, Homemade Tortilla piles on the goodiescarnitas, al pastor, asada, lettuce, queso, nopales, salsa verde — and you’ve got a mix and match extravaganza.

Gordita at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa ,CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.
Gordita at Homemade Tortilla in Santa Rosa ,CA. Photo: Heather Irwin.

Best bets: The Huarache (named after a sandal because the base looks like a footprint) can be topped with meat, then gets lettuce, salsa verde and sour cream ($6.95) has the texture of pizza dough, but with much more flavor, and is a full meal. Sopes are English muffin-sized discs of fried masa ($2.95 each) can be topped with queso and the other above fixings. A favorite: Gorditas stuffed with al pastor ($4.95), which are crispy and decadent. And if you’re craving a torta (sandwich), the Pambazo is a four-napkin feast with chile-sauced soaked and fried bread filled with chorizo and potatoes (papas con chorizo, $6.95). Don’t miss a side of curtido, a fermented Salvadoran slaw similar to sauerkraut.

Horchata (cinnamon rice milk) washes it all down like a champ, though I’m still pretty partial to a tart-sweet Jarritos Tamarindo (tamarind soda) to really keep my tastebuds buzzing.

Homemade Tortilla makes it easy on non-Spanish speakers with pictures on the video menu board and friendly English-speaking staff who will guide you through (and not make fun of you when you ask what flavor the Horchata is today) in a bright, clean environment. Not to mention that Fru-ta has a Michoacan ice cream store right next door for your post-tortilla desserting.

Let’s keep this spot our little secret, though. We don’t want just anyone hoarding our homemade tortillas.

Homemade Tortilla 2770 Stony Point Ave., Santa Rosa, (707) 521-9977. Open daily from 9a.m. to 9p.m.

*So, Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo is, without a doubt, one of the most knowledgable humans on the planet when it comes to authentic Mexican cooking. He was kind enough to make the distinction between mixing up Masa Harina with water (think of it kind of like using Bisquick for pancakes) versus the very old way of soaking and grinding the corn, then hand pressing them, as they do at El Molino Central in Sonoma. Sando wrote a great blog on making them from hand here.

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Comments

9 thoughts on “Secret Spot for Homemade Tortillas

  1. This is the best in Sonoma County. The negative comments above seem to come from people who would be better pleased by Taco Hell. The food reflects one thing: respect. Buen provecho.

  2. Terrible. Waited way to long. 25mins for chips we had to ask for? And the salsa was terrible. Wasn’t very busy even for a lunch time. Walked in around 12:30 and food wasn’t served until 1:18! Really? And it was greasy to boot. We threw most of it out. Not again. I have asked others if they have tried this new spot and all those that have experienced the same thing. Won’t be back for sure. To many exceptional Mexican restaurants and taqueria’s in the same area that also make homemade tortillas and have great service and food. Try if you’d like but you’ve been warned with an unbiased review and not related to any of the owners.

  3. After waiting an hour plus for dinner was it worth it?
    No! Was not expecting the Taco Bell style of reaturant either.
    They could not handle the dinner traffic. Ordered the gordita and it was so oily it left reside in my mouth.
    They never even got our whole order to the table.
    Skip this place!

  4. You just blew my spot up… Thanks…

    I’ve had the whole menu, I understand that some items lack a little flavor BUT the Torpedo burrito for $7 is huge and delicious everytime. You cant eat somewhere once and think you know whats up.

  5. This is a wonderful place for great food the tortillas are amazing. The carnitas and al pastor are favorites. Hureche are really big and quite filling. Love this place. Nothing has worked in this space so Please visit.
    One note on service/ambiance, this is homemade, very good food….but you get the impression by decor that calling it a taqueria vs restaurant it will be “fast” food. Not the case, each item is prepared to an exacting standard and that takes time. This is a new little place with service/ but it is very slow. If you are looking for take out :call ahead. They take care and time with every plate, be patient/ it’s worth it!

  6. Oh boy, you weren’t kidding that the food is fresh and awesome. But, they were very surprised to be so busy tonight so I think they can thank you for that!

  7. I went there today for lunch and was quite disappointed. I had the Huarache. The corn tortilla had little if any taste. And the chicken, tiny bits about an 1/8 of an inch, dried out, and sprinkled over the top.

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