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Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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TIL that the delicious "white sauce" at the Mexican restaurants I grew up with is actually a local Hampton Roads oddity. I felt the need to share that fact with people here who travel to BGW from out of the area and may be looking for something new to try.

Also, this is quality local journalism. Well worth a read.

 
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Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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Yeah, I have family members send me that article or one like it about once a year... The funny thing is it's really just miracle whip mixed with seasonings and milk though Plaza Azteca's OG sauce from their Waffle House 2nd restaurant days (VB location that's since been demolished and relocated into a newer strip mall) also used the juice from pickled jalapenos.

Even more interesting is that while it's totally some American made item, there's been some indications that some Mexican people have been known to take jugs of it down to family in Mexico... Where they've then started to make it down there. Which begs the question is if it's really Mexican or not when they make it?
 
Mar 17, 2020
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TIL that the delicious "white sauce" at the Mexican restaurants I grew up with is actually a local Hampton Roads oddity. I felt the need to share that fact with people here who travel to BGW from out of the area and may be looking for something new to try.

Also, this is quality local journalism. Well worth a read.

After listening to a comparison of Duke's and Miracle Whip on Better Call Saul this past Monday, and then seeing Virginia natives Vince Gilligan and Rhea Seehorn talking about Duke's on Talking Saul after the episode, I find it surprising that the recipe shown in the article calls for Miracle Whip. Probably explains why I don't particularly care for the white sauce as is - I find it too sweet.

 

ControlsEE

I probably should be working...
Oct 2, 2018
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Am I missremebering this stuff, or is it just queso blanco? Keep in mind, "white sauce" in the midwest usually means ranch...
 

Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
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Am I missremebering this stuff, or is it just queso blanco? Keep in mind, "white sauce" in the midwest usually means ranch...
Funny thing, that's the response I got from people when I went to college and wanted some. Nobody knew what it was and mistook it for basically anything but what it is.
Queso Blanco is a white cheese sauce, this is more of a Mexican spiced ranch/herbed mayo based dressing.
No mayo at all in any good preparation - miracle whip base. From one of the family members who started Plaza Azteca:

My going theory is while El Toro originated it from a house salad dressing preparation, and several former staff members opened up their own places in Hampton Roads carrying it, Plaza Azteca was responsible for most of its spread either via conquest into new markets or by their former staffers pulling the uno reverse card and bringing it to their new cooking gigs.

Found out about this when I mentioned craving the dip to my roommate who’s from Alabama, and therefore never heard of it. It’s crazy, I thought white sauce was everywhere!
If I remember correctly, you had mentioned going to school in the Richmond area. If you can get to it, my vote is Pepe's on Midlothian Turnpike (not any of the derivatives such as Don Pepe's or Mr. Pepe's also in the area) for best white sauce with Amigo's at Staples Mill and Broad Street a close second. But pretty much most regular Mexican joints have it nowadays.

Only place in Hampton Roads I can recommend is Mi Casita in Virginia Beach though I'm sure it's not the best place... Just the only one I've been to in awhile.

I don't think you can find it north of Fredericksburg except maybe Plaza Azteca locations, though I'm happy to be proven wrong.
 
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Jan 28, 2010
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This article was written a few years ago. This is the third time the Pilot has posted and promoted it. They must be out of good story ideas, or people to write them.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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I have never heard of this.

Speaking of things most don’t know:
Did you know there’s different types of lobster rolls?
 
Jan 30, 2022
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I have never heard of this.

Speaking of things most don’t know:
Did you know there’s different types of lobster rolls?
the ones that are just butter and lobster (Maine, i think) are much better than the ones with the mayo-based coating.
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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I knew there were two ways of ordering, but interesting that I never had a problem getting either version in Maine a few years back - guessing I was in a touristy enough area or the cooks were secretly laughing behind my back if I ordered the mayo version?
 
Oct 20, 2019
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This isn’t official, but it’s damn near close. And the Mayo can be any kind, I just prefer the reduced fat stuff

If you don’t let it set in the fridge overnight, you’ll wind up just tasting straight mayonnaise.
 

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Jonesta6

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How does it get the sweet tang with mayo of any kind?

Please watch the video I posted earlier, the person making it uses Miracle Whip because that's what the Plaza Azteca recipe is based on.

This is the hill I'm dying on, for whatever purpose that serves ....
 
Oct 20, 2019
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I find Hellmans and especially Dukes to be tangy enough to satisfy me. Personally, I’ve never liked Miracle Whip or the Kraft cheeses. I’ve always found them to be inferior products compared to their alternatives; why use the knock-off when I can have the real deal. It’s just never in my pantry for me to consider using in the recipe.

But damnit your insistence means next time I make it I’ll have the give miracle whip another try! Maybe I’ve just been a stickler all these years haha 🤷🏽‍♂️
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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To be fair, restaurant white sauce will almost always beat homemade, but do yourself a favor and find a way to do a blind taste test with your current method vs restaurant.
 
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