Co-owners and sisters Esmerelda and Maricela helped their parents, Guillermina and Leo Martines, open El Tule in 2007. Their mom Guillermina is their biggest hero, and they fully credit her with the restaurant idea. Esmeralda explained that before they came to America, she used to clean houses and babysit. Her dad had the idea to open a restaurant, "because cooking was our mom’s passion" and she wanted to own her own business. They seized the opportunity when it came to them, even though they didn’t know how to do anything besides cook, ìnot even how work the cash register!î, Maricela exclaimed.The past nine years have been a challenge, but an amazing experience. El Tule is a very homey restaurant that was recently remodeled. Maricela explained that they wanted to make it feel like you are actually sitting outside the famous ¡rbol del Tule. The tree, between 2,000 and 3,000 years old, is located in Santa Maria El Tule in Oaxaca State. The beautiful mural and lighting in the restaurant makes you feel like you are in Oaxaca, enjoying the treeís beauty while eating traditional Oaxacan food. El Tule makes their food taste as authentic as possible. Everything at El Tule is homemade fresh – the corn tortillas are made in-house when you order them and the meat is grilled specifically for your entree. Everyone at El Tule treats you as if they were serving a family member because thatís exactly how they would want to be treated. Esmerelda and Maricela cannot overemphasize how appreciative they are of their customers and employees. El Tuleís ëMoleí is famous for its intriguing taste. Passed down from their Great Great Grandmother, who was the town’s official Mole maker, this recipe contains many different ingredients including several types of chilies, fried bananas, chocolate, almonds, and cinnamon. The different flavors make this family recipe deliciously unique. Their ëTlayudaí is very popular, the sisters described it as a big Oaxcan pizza. A really thin corn tortilla is topped with black bean spread, lettuce, quesillo cheese, tomato, avocado and three kinds of meats, Cesina, Tasajo, and Chorizo, all traditional to Oaxaca. After being piled high with fresh ingredients, it is grilled to perfection. El Tule offers traditional Mexican beers, as well as traditional drinks from Oaxaca that you won’t find in other Mexican restaurants. Their ëHorchata con Tunaí is very popular; horchata infused with the prickly pear fruit from Oaxaca and topped with nuts and cantaloupe. When visiting El Tule, you have to try the ëChapulinesí. Said to contain three times the protein of meat, people are usually scared of these whole grasshoppers because of the appearance, but once they try them they love the flavor – salty and spicy with a hint of citrus. Maricela thinks it is amazing how she sees people of so many different nationalities and ages try them and love them. Head to El Tule to have a taste of authentic food from Oaxaca right in San Jose.
5440 Thornwood Dr
San Jose, CA 95123