El Molino Central
Tamales, tamales, and more tamales. This is the story at El Molino Central, arguably Sonoma County’s most authentic Mexican restaurant. Sure, the tiny eatery on Highway 12 in Boyes Hot Springs has a full menu that features a variety of dishes, but the handmade tamales are the reason for the line around the block. While tamales specials pop up every now and again, there are two kinds on the menu at all times: vegetarian tamales with potatoes, cheese, greens, and cream sauce; and Rufina’s pork tamales, which are made with Niman Ranch pork and served with pickled vegetable relish. Both options will change the way you think of corn. Indoor seating is limited, but over the years management has responded to the crowds by building an open-air dining area in the back of the restaurant. Still, you need to go early to get a good spot (and be aware of the seating situation if it’s raining). Another must-order: At breakfast, the Chilaquiles Merida
, made with scrambled eggs, stewed beef, habanero salsa, and refried beans. This is the kind of day-starter you’ll remember long after you’ve eaten it.