Since opening in May of 2009, Tortilleria San Roman in Philadelphia’s Italian Market, has been churning out amazing, fresh corn tortillas. A dough made of corn flour and water is put into a long squeaky conveyor belt that cuts and cooks the dough into tortillas and it seems like the machine runs all day long. A pack of 15 fresh tortillas costs $1.50 and a pack of 30 costs $2.25, so this is the best bargain in the Italian Market. These are the best tortillas I have ever eaten. Tortilleria San Roman is a tiny storefront that also sells salsa, tortilla chips, hot sause, Tajin seasoning and tlacoyo, the last of which is what grabbed our interest.
Tlacoyo are an oval shaped hand pie made by folding a tortilla around a filling and pinching it closed and then baking or frying the pie. Traditional fillings are cheese, fava beans, cooked ground beans, and chicharron. They are very reminiscent of pupusa, pasty and calzone.
The Dumplings: Tortilleria San Roman makes it’s Tlacoyo with its corn tortillas and refried pinto beans and sells them six to a package for $4.50. I asked the cashier how to prepare them and he said to simply microwave them and put some salsa on top. The filling was not the most flavorful refried beans I have tried and I felt that the beans needed more seasoning. I should have listened to the cashier and picked up some salsa to put on top of them, but I made a quick dressing from Mayo, hot sauce and vinegar which livened up the dish. But two Tlacoyo made a mildly savory and filling lunch and I think they would be excellent with some of the house salsa. Tortilleria San Roman’s Tlacoyo are vegan.
The Location: Tortilleria San Roman is located in Philadelphia’s Italian Market on the North-East corner of Carpenter Street and Ninth Street.