Winter migration patterns usually bring the north to the south, but this winter in Medford, a taste from south of the border reigns. A Mexican pop-up is now in residence at Tamper (340 Boston Ave.), putting out plates full of authentic flavors and ingredients.
Tlacuani is Mexico City-based restaurant that is making a push to expand into the U.S. Its American pop-up at Tamper, also called Tlacuani, features a flagship dish of the same name, according to Mauricio Korbman, one of the restaurant's owners who is overseeing the work with Tamper in Medford.
The dish takes its name from the Aztec word for "cook," and consists of two pieces of masa (ground corn dough) stuffed with assorted ingredients. Options for fillings include vegetables, chorizo, beans, chicken, and more.
Once stacked, the tlacuani is cooked on a griddle and and topped with an oaxaca cheese crust. Customers can also top the dish with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and lettuce, and the dish comes with a bean soup.
The masa is made locally in Needham with the same process the ancient Aztecs used. Tlacuani dishes are served with their own salsas, and chapulines (otherwise known as crickets) are offered "for the very adventurous," Korbman said.
The pop-up is designed to help get an idea of what flavors the American palate prefers, Korbman said, paving the way for a stand-alone Tlacuani. The pop-up will be in residence at Tamper for a few months, Monday through Friday from 5-9 p.m.