La Galeria Mexican Cuisine & Creamery opened less than a month ago but is already creating a buzz around our region.
Laura Leal is the owner of the restaurant which is located in the strip mall on Williamson County Parkway.
La Galeria means "the gallery" in Spanish and Leal says she was inspired to decorate the space in Mexican art and pottery following her trips to the country.
Her goal is to eventually sell the art, as well as, traditional Mexican clothing.
Leal adds that she wanted her restaurant to offer authentic food to southern Illinois residents.
News 3’s Brooke Schlyer first sampled the chile relleno, which is a Poblano pepper stuffed with Mexican cheese.
The pepper is then dipped in batter and deep fried, and Leal tops hers with a tangy jalapeno and tomatillo sauce.
Brooke also got a taste of Leal’s charro beans or the equivalent of a Mexican bean soup.
Charro beans are pinto beans, hotdog franks, bacon, chorizo and onion with a tomato-base.
Brooke finished the meal off with a sope or a thick, round corn tortilla that is deep fried.
Leal topped the tortilla off with shredded chicken, avocado, lettuce and sour cream.
Sopes can be filled with different types of meat or beans for vegetarians.
I walked into La Galleria not liking chile relleno, but left LOVING Laura’s recipe. Past chile rellenos that I’ve tried have been too greasy or "eggy" from the batter. This chile relleno wad deep fried to perfection and, days later, I still can’t stop thinking about that green sauce. It was tangy and I would describe it as more flavorful than spicy. If you don’t like spicy order the sauce on the side to at least try it. If you’ve never tried a sope, I would also give them a try. I’ve missed them since moving away from San Diego and Laura’s hit the spot.
Next week, A Taste of the Region will highlight La Galeria’s creamery.