4109 Summer Avenue
phone number not found
I noticed La Michoacana on one of our many drives down Summer Avenue a few weeks ago. It's in the same strip as El Palmar (near Graham). Since it's set back from the road a bit I just assumed it was a Mexican restaurant. In fact, I thought Caminos de Michoacan had opened a second location.
Then a friend of mine emailed me and said she heard that it was a paleteria, which is a popsicle store. My regular readers know that I am a serious fan of paletas, so this news totally excited me. In fact I found the news too good to be true and prepared myself for a let down. I assumed they would be mass produced rather than made in house, but I decided to get the monkeys (Satchel, 8, and Jiro, 6) and check it out just to be sure.
Much to our delight--and surprise--we walked in to find hundreds of house made paletas in every flavor imaginable!
They are actually made at the store's second location on Winchester, but they are definitely made in Memphis and shipped over in batches. La Michoacana also features homemade ice cream, agua frescas, and a few other things. The girl seemed to really want to sell us on the ice cream, but we had popsicles on the brain! There was no listing of flavors, so we had to rely on her memory and ability to translate the flavors into English. Here are a few that she remembered: Oreo, rice, cocoa, prune, tamarind, strawberry, kiwi, grape, guava, and cantaloupe.
Jiro wanted the cocoa and Satchel requested rice.
I kept looking at the popsicles and finally found what I had been searching for--pineapple chili. Score!
I paid up ($1.95 each) and we went to sit at a booth and enjoy our dinner. (We agreed to have vegetables for dessert.) My pineapple chili wasn't as elegant as the one I had at the Meltdown in New Orleans, but it was good enough--just a bit on the chunky side.
Jiro gave me a bite of his and it was quite tasty.
However, we all agreed that Satchel's was the best. (I think the flavor is technically arroz con leche which is a type of rice pudding.)
As you can see here, Satchel soon felt like we were taking advantage of his generosity. "You took a bite this big!" he croaked at Jiro.
Since it was 7:30pm on a coldish Thursday night, there weren't very many customers. The girl came over to wipe off the tables behind us and chatted with us a bit. She said they had been open about a month and that they definitely had some pretty busy days. Since the bulk of the customers were hispanic, she was curious to know how we'd heard of it.
After we chatted for awhile, Satchel asked if he could have some elote. The menu board advertised it as corn on the cob, but when he got his it was in a cup. It didn't matter, we are fans of the corn mixed with cream, lime, cheese, and chili pepper anyway it is served.
Since we were making another transaction, Jiro and I decided we should probably try another popsicle. This time he went with the Oreo.
I continued to quiz the girl about the flavors and was thrilled when she said, "Coffee." Sold!
The coffee was really, really good. Again, not as fancy as the popsicles at the Meltdown or Las Paletas in Nashville, but perfectly delicious.
"I want to work here," Satchel announced. "I could wipe tables and sweep the floor."
"Why do you want to work here?" I asked.
"To make money," he said (with a "DUH!" tone of voice).
"I want to make popsicles here," Jiro added.
"Why?" I asked.
"So I can eat them!" he announced excitedly.
Satchel was taking his time enjoying his corn and refused to give me and Jiro more than just a bite. Jiro asked extra nice if he could have one too. So, I went up and made our third transaction in fifteen minutes. The girl laughed and said, "Next time you come, you can pay when you leave."
As Jiro worked on his corn there was much talk of having a birthday party there--the monkeys highest compliment.
I think that once the temperatures start to creep up there's going to be a line down the sidewalk here like you see at Jerry's. (There's plenty of seating inside, a water fountain, and restrooms--so it's three up on Jerry's there. Oh, and air conditioning--that's four!)
Check it out and tell me if you find a good flavor we missed. I'm also curious to hear how the ice cream tastes. The girl kept saying it was made with cheese.
In addition to elote, they also sell nachos and chicharrones preparados, which were described as pork rinds with cabbage, cheese, avocado, and salsa.