Regalito Rosticeria

By Alissa Merksamer

A sleepy weekend stroll lands you at the corner of Valencia and Eighteenth looking onto a grey wall with enormous yellow letters that spell out “Regalito Rosticeria.” Within minutes, you’re sitting on a tangerine chair, sipping a matching glass of fresh guayaba (guava) juice. For brunch or lunch, Chef Thomas Peña’s pan-Mexican menu provides the summer vacation you wish you could take, alighting in Oaxaca, Mexico City, and the Yucatan. Many ingredients are local, and the meats, whether roasted in banana leaves for cochinita pibil or cloaked in sultry mole, are antibiotic- and hormone-free. Missionites, you’re not in a taqueria anymore.

For the table: citrusy guacamole, chunky with tomato and onion, and an accompanying stack of warm tostadas for snapping and scooping. Stir in a bit of complimentary habanero salsa if you like fire. Crunchy taquitos encase crisped pulled chicken under a shower of queso fresco, swirls of crema, and refreshing pico de gallo. In the papas con chorizo, house-made crumbled sausage blots an appropriate amount of orange grease onto quarters of cushiony potatoes. The Oaxacan mole negro weeps cinnamon and clove, chile and chocolate onto a hidden mound of shredded chicken. Cut the intensity with a squeeze of lime before spooning a mahogany mouthful onto a corn tortilla, house-made and agreeably gritty.

... on the side

sweet seats
Head to the sunny back patio where one long communal table hedges a small garden. You’ll stay cozy under the overhead heating lamp and newly added waterproof awning, which will block wind and sun.

on the stereo
Latin Grammy winner Aida Cuevas croons mariachi tunes.

eye for design
Colorful Mexican folk art paintings by Julian Faulkner, which Chef Peña donated from his personal collection, hang on the lime and banana walls.



dinner: Mon–Sat 5 PM–10 PM; Sun 5 PM–9 PM
brunch: Sat–Sun 11AM–3 PM
lunch: Fri 12 noon–5 PM; Sat–Sun 11AM–5 PM

price range

$6 (cup of sopa de tortilla) to $17 (fish tacos)