Tu y Yo: Mexican Grandma-Food in Somerville

If you’re looking for burritos, nachos grande or pomegranate margaritas, this is not the place for you. Tu y Yo is a family-style Mexican fonda located in the heart of Somerville, outside David Square, serving up exclusively grandma-style Mexican home-cooking such as stuffed poblano peppers, mole and flan. Each dish was visually striking, packed with flavor and hospitality and left my hungry companions and me completely satisfied. Recommend with enthusiasm.

Chile Relleno de Camarón

This dish was not only palate-pleasing but also visually striking. The deep red of the bell pepper sauce, the fresh white goat cheese peeping out from inside of the poblano pepper and even the dark green herb garnish sprinkled over the dish caught my attention in the same way a singular painting would at an art gallery. The pepper was crisp and fresh and was complemented beautifully by both the sauce on the outside and the sharp goat cheese on the interior. The only thing I didn’t really care for was the chunks of shrimp in the filling. I didn’t think they went very well with the dish and I felt that their crunchy texture took too much away from the main ingredient, the poblano pepper.

Empanadas de Plátano Macho con Queso

These chubby little empanadas were quite a mouthful. I’m not sure if there was ground plantain in the dough or whether it was actually in the filling (or both), but the natural sweetness of the platano shined through beautifully and mixed with the gooey cheese filling. I thought the dough was a little bit greasy which made it a bit too moist with the already wet filling. However, the parmesan sprinkled on top was a nice touch.

Mole Colorado Tlaxcalteca

I only had a bite of this dish but from what my taste buds could tell the red mole sauce had a great depth of flavor. Nutty chocolatey tones were mixed in with the flavors of both sweet and hot chilis, stirring up a delightful little storm in my mouth. The chicken under the mole seemed a bit dry (maybe it was just my mouthful), but then again this sauce could make anything delicious.

Camarón con Pulpo

Shrimp and octopus sautéed in a garlic mojillo sauce with slices of pasilla peppers. Slightly gummy, but delicious!

Bisteces en salsa “Borracha”

I thought this dish was pretty average. The chunks of sirloin were flavorful but a bit overcooked and the beer/pepper sauce didn’t really carry the taste of either of those ingredients. The cactus strips were a bit overcooked as well and they seemed more like overly tender sauteed green peppers than their much cooler, crunchier cactus cousin. I received a generous portion of rice and frijoles on the side of my meal and in my opinion the flavor of the beans outshone that of my main entree.

Avocado Cheesecake

As expected of any green non-mint dessert, this dish was a little strange. The texture reminded me of stiff, gelatinous pre-packaged pudding and exhibited none of the crumbly, creamy nature of cheesecake. The taste of the avocado was incredibly faint, overpowered by much too much cinnamon in both the filling and the crust. Although the plating was nice, the choice of crumbled pistachios as garnish, probably motivated by the simplistic thought “well they’re green too…” was a bit odd as the nut had nothing in common with the rest of the ingredients. Perhaps some kind of citrus glaze would have brought the cheese and the avocado together a bit more, but in actuality this dish just made no sense.

Flan a la Doris

The texture of this flan was a bit strange, as it reminded me more of sponge-cake than the soft melt-in-your mouth custard I was eagerly anticipating. It was a bit dry and rubbery as opposed to velvety smooth. The cinnamon cream sauce it was sitting in was, however delicious. Very spicy, sweet and frothy, like melted cinnamon ice cream.

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