The first time I visited Enchiladas Olé (901 N. Sylvania Ave.), a semi-new Tex-Mex place on the East Side, my server came on a little strong — and by strong I mean he practically tried to convince my guest and me to upgrade our lunch experience with leather upholstery and an extended warranty. And he wouldn’t leave us alone either. It was kind of like having a giant Labrador constantly trying to jump up on your lap. The food was OK, but not that great.
Then I started hearing a lot of good things about the place, including from Fort Worth Weekly’s own Jimmy Fowler. I returned last week to give the café another shot.
A guest — the same fella I took on my previous outing — and I showed up to the strip mall eatery around noon. The tiny dining room was packed, but we were able to get a table. The shyster server was there, though he was much calmer than on my first visit. In fact he was pleasant. Maybe he took his meds — or stopped taking his meds. This time the service was fast and friendly.
The food had also improved by leaps and bounds. I like a kitchen that isn’t afraid of spice, and the queso appetizer ($4) was loaded with black pepper and jalapeños plus a bit of beef brisket and was topped with shredded cheddar cheese. The dish seemed soupy at first, but it thickened up as the cheddar melted. The complimentary salsa was chunky and full of garlic, cilantro, and jalapeño flavor.
The restaurant is known for its enchilada sauce (sold at Central Market), and it’s easy to understand why. The “original” enchilada was like a warm cloud in my mouth. The rolled corn tortilla was filled with velvety cheddar and topped with a brownish-red ancho chile sauce that made my mouth water. Again, the kitchen was liberal with the pepper to great effect. The veggie enchilada was stuffed with fresh squash, zucchini, and poblano peppers and topped with the classic sauce. The veggies were good, but honestly, you could put that sauce on cardboard and it would become instantly delicious.
Both the enmolada and sour cream enchiladas were on the sweet side, particularly the former, filled with smoked chicken breast and topped with the chef’s signature mole sauce. It was almost candy-bar sweet. The unique sour cream enchilada was also filled with chicken and spiced with turmeric and yellow curry. All of the enchiladas are available in combinations of two ($6.99) or three ($7.99) and are served with rice and beans.
Speaking of first impressions, a friend and I recently stopped by Trevino’s Comida Mexicana (1812 Montgomery St.), a brand-spanking-new Tex-Mex eatery on Montgomery Street, with a beautiful view of the Cultural District. The original location is in Rockwall, a place not known (by me at least) for its Tex-Mex excellence.
The dining room is tree-house tiny, but bright and clean. A glass-half-full person would say it was nearly packed on my recent visit, but that just means people were at five or six tables.
The food was spot on. The kitchen isn’t re-creating the wheel, choosing instead to rely on fresh ingredients and traditional spices to carry the flavor. The El Lago ($6.75) plate, with one beef taco, one sour cream chicken taco, one chalupa, and a guacamole “salad” (read: a bit of guac) was filling, tasty, and reasonably priced — which could pretty much describe the whole lunch menu. I’m a fan.
The service was pleasant and fast, and our waitress didn’t even try to upgrade us to the 16-inch alloy wheels. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
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