I’m on a mission to make home-made tamales! And one of my biggest challenges has been finding fresh, traditional ingredients. Problem solved!–I’ve discovered Los Reyes Tienda Mexicana!
If you read my “Mex auténtica” post, you know that I recently took a class in Mexican cooking from chef Suzanne Hunter. Suzanne steered us toward a couple of resources for authentic ingredients, including the Los Reyes store, so I headed off to Bothell to check it out. What a find! Not only did I get the fresh masa, corn husks, and banana leaves I needed for my tamales, I also scored some Mexican brown sugar (called “piloncillo” for its cone shape) and Mexican cinnamon (canela). And (if I’d had sense enough to bring my list of ingredients) I’m betting that, among the store’s extensive collection, I would have found all the chiles and other ingredients called for in our mole negro recipe. Did I mention the wall of Mexican salsas and hot sauces? It was like being back in Oaxaca again!
Owner Mario Reyes helped me pull all this stuff together–banana leaves from the chest freezer, masa from the cold case–all the while chatting with me. He tells me that the shop has been around for twelve years!–I wish I’d found it sooner. He also put up gracefully with my fractured Spanish, and even encouraged me to come out there to practice on him. (He’ll be sorry; I’m going to take him up on it.)
Mario tells me that his daughter is working on the store’s new website. But for now, you can find the store here: http://bothell.komonews.com/business-directory/food-dining/647594/los-reyes-mexican-store. And go see Mario! The city is working on the street right in front of the shop; he has put a sign out there close to the roadway, but it’s kind of over-powered by the road equipment. So keep an eye out for the driveway–you can turn in and park right in front.
Los Reyes Tienda Mexicana (Los Reyes Mexican Store), (425) 415-0922, 17208 Bothell Way NE, Bothell, WA.