Tortilleria Perches

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Kelly ‘discovered’ Tortilleria Perches last week which set us up for our trip today for lunch.  Tortilleria Perches is located in the Elfindale Shopping Center on Sunshine near Kansas Expressway.  It has been at this location for a few years, but is tucked away in a corner of the center and not visible from the street.

The name “Tortilleria” I believe refers to the tortilla factory that is setup behind the counter.  The factory is actually a tortilla making machine – a really old one – with lots of grease covered gears and various bits of machinery attached to it.  It has a “Made in Mexico” plaque on it.  It wasn’t running at lunch time and according to the staff it is used only in the morning as it is loud when operating.  I may return some morning just to watch it work.

The menu at Tortilleria is on a large hanging board when you enter the restaurant.  The menu is also not your typical 500 item affair – but rather simple with choices of taco, burrito, tamale, or tostada either a la carte or as a ‘plate’ with beans and rice.  Each selection can be had with your choice of meat which includes beef tips, ground beef (carne molida), mixed meats (discada), shredded beef (barbacoa), pulled pork (carnitas), beef tongue (lengua) or beef cheek (cachete).  Today there were also two specials – a chicken soup and something made with Chicharones (what we call pork rinds).

My selection today was the burrito plate ($6) with the barbacoa which comes with rice and beans.  Others in the group had tamales and the chicken soup special and Steve and Danny both ordered a single taco with the lengua.

I also ordered the guacamole dip ($3), chips & salsa ($1.50 – no it is not free here) and cheese dip ($3) as starters.  The chips are obviously made here – while I think they are corn tortillas – they are more like fried flour tortillas in texture and taste.  I liked them.  The red salsa was very average – thin and tomato based with no heat.  The guacamole was really more of a pico de gallo with large chunks of avocado it in – I wouldn’t call it a dip.  It was also under seasoned (needed salt) and would have benefited from the avocado being more smushed.  Also some chopped jalapeño peppers would be a good addition.  The cheese dip was the big disappointment though – it was just some melted Velveeta cheese with some stuff tossed in it.

My burrito was large and really full of the shredded beef.  The beef had some onions incorporated and it was wrapped with a large tortilla.  I liked my burrito – but could only eat about 2/3 of it and gave the rest to Steve as he still looked hungry after finishing his tamales.  The rice was good – perhaps one of the better ones in town and the beans tasted good.  The beans also are very thin – almost a soup with no actual beans left intact from the cooking & preparation process.  The burrito plate also came with a small cup of the green salsa.  The green salsa made up for the lackluster red salsa – it had a really good flavor and was quite spicy – it made a great addition to the burrito.  The tortilla encapsulating the beef was also very good – with a nice texture and flavor.

I didn’t try the tamales or the soup, so I’ll leave it to the others to describe those selections (but a small preview would include the terms “small” for the tamales and “large” for the soup).

I did try a piece of beef tongue from Steve’s taco.  It kind of tasted like beef but had a strange flavor that I didn’t particularly care for.  I probably won’t have beef tongue again.

At Tortilleria Perches, you order at the counter and they bring your meal to your table.  Drinks are self serve.  Our meals came out quickly. 

The dining room is sectioned off into 3 parts – with smallish tables.  With our group of 5 – we retreated into the section of the restaurant that houses the ‘store’ since it had a large table.  The store has a small selection of Mexican products including cactus strips, mango paste and laundry soap. There isn’t much in the way of décor.  There was a pretty good crowd for lunch on this day.

Overall I think the menu at Tortilleria Perches is more authentic than what you typically find in Springfield.  It is simple Mexican food and I appreciate that.  No fried chimichangas, nothing is covered with sour cream or piles of lettuce.  Everything had that home made look and taste to it.  That said, the attempts at ‘standard’ fare in the way of dips didn’t work for me.  I will be coming back to try the pulled pork and the tamales and of course to see the tortilla machine in action.

1601 W Sunshine St – (417) 864-8195

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