My favorite restaurants have always been dirty. Dirty mexican food. Dirty chinese food. Dirty hamburger joints. I know there is a risk of dying every time I eat at these places. But for under $10, I'm willing to take that gamble. I have finally found my dirty mexican food restaurant.
Granted, El Asadero is probably the least dirty of all of my dirty favorites. But the tables were a bit sticky, and place has obviously seen its share of customers. So, it will fit into this category quite nicely.
On Sunday, a friend and I headed over to El Asadero on North Main and found the place almost completely empty. This worried me, but anonymous poster told me to take the chance. So we did.
The first thing that I noticed, was when you walk in from their "parking lot" you take a step down. There's no notice. Why would there be? If you go enough, you'll learn. Second, pictures on the walls of presidents. Sweet. I'm assuming they've all eaten there and if I eat there I'll eventually run into one of them. Finally, the thing that hooked me was that the booths were torn and worn in. Thats a hint to me that they've been used for a long time.
Needless to say I was excited. The chips and salsa came out, along with my canning jar o' tea. I don't really get that. You see the canning jars at those Texan themed restaurants where they try to over cowboy everything. I'm assuming they ran out of cups. I managed to look past a possible tug at the stockyards crowd and went for the salsa. Delicious. Its got a lot of heat and a great texture. They don't have the super thin chips that La Playa Maya had but these were really good. They were crispier and thicker, but they worked with the great salsa. For more on the salsa, see act 2, where it met my enchiladas.
I ordered the Green enchilada plate. It came with rice and beans, two chicken enchiladas, a chip with a dollop of guacamole and one with a dollop of sour cream. This is the type of mexican food I usually crave. All the chains around town have the mexican food with a twist. Where they overdo the cheese or sauce or spice just to differentiate themselves. This place just has good tex-mex food. The homemade tomatillo sauce on the enchiladas was mildly spicy. Perfect for those that really want to taste the sauce and the chicken and the tortilla. I did that with one enchilada. On the second, I added some of the hot sauce to kick it up a notch (BAM!! Applause from crowd [onlookers wonder why adding spice deserves applause]). I highly recommend this. But even without the salsa, it was still a great enchilada. The beans and rice also worked out great. It gave my stomach something to grab onto other than spicy hot sauce.
My friend ordered the swissas which comes with a special sauce and white cheese. If you've read my previous posts, you know my friends don't usually let me try their food. This was the case again. I need new food-sharing friends...that don't want any of my food. I need food-giving friends...but alas, don't we all?
He liked the food. We have decided that this will be the place that either kills us because of a heart attack or bankrupts us. Either way, I'm working my way to becoming a regular there.
On a side note, this friend, along with my fiance, always tease me about how I'll probably die at one of my favorite little restaurants that just happens to be on the wrong side of town. In law school, the place we ate was where a Mexican gang met (when not in jail...obviously). Well, the other day we drove by the little taqueria type restaurant on Vickery between Montgomery and Hulen. My first thought was, "is anybody hungry". Since we had just left eating lunch somewhere, we kept driving. Last week, in the Startlegram, there was an article about a hold up...at that restaurant. So I'm getting close. In all seriousness, nobody was hurt, thankfully, and I hope they don't have to experience that type of event again.
Back to no seriousness. El Asadero = Greatness. I do need to eat at the place that is just south of the restaurant, but I'm afraid I'll get stuck on this place. If you've got any other mexican places to check out, please let me know. But you'll have to sell it well.
Oh, and don't be afraid of the fact that it has a website. That doesn't make it bad. I promise. But the prices on the menu online have changed in the restaurant. So bring an extra buck.