I know you've all been waiting patiently so here's the review to refresh your food lust.
Recently I mentioned a restaurant that may challenge Paco & John in the fancy-but-cheap Mexican food genre. You'll need to keep reading and then make a visit to confirm, but I think you'll agree with me: this place is fo' realz, yo.
Located on the north side of the traffic circle at 183/377, an old building that probably served chicken or something similar, then became a taqueria, has been transformed. It still looks like an old place that used to sell chicken or something similar and then became a taqueria, but its no longer that taqueria. Master Chef Carlos (I think that's his name) serves up high quality Mexican dishes with style and fantastic flavor. Plus its all affordable enough to treat your friends.
I'm going to give you loyal readers a hint - suggest this place to your friends for lunch, and assuming they're people you should be friends with, they will reward you with praise and giggles. And for the new crop of TCU students who've found this blog - you will attract whichever gender you're seeking by taking them to this place. Now, obviously y'all are emailing your friends telling them to plan on going today, but wait. There are only eight tables inside and since the Chef's son has gone back to school, service is catching up to the new short-shifting. If you plan on going, go early because there is almost always a crowd. You'll understand why after your meal.
Somehow, the Chef has made a menu which is broader and more ambitious than places twice its size. There are tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, rellenos, pasta dishes, tortas and even hamburgers. I have tried everything but the burrito bowls, quesadillas and pasta dishes. Here is my ranking in order of my desire to bathe in the food for life: enchiladas, burritos, hamburgers, rellenos, tacos, and tortas (the bread would be scratchy).
For most dishes, you can pick your meat, sauce and sides. Like many taquerias there are different preparations and types of meats, but unlike most taquerias, these are uniquely flavored meats and not just different cuts. They have a chipotle bbq chicken, carne asada, pork carnitas, honey chipotle shrimp, fuego roasted chicken and pixie flavored goat (still reading? good). The sauces are homemade and include New Mexico red chile, sour cream, green chile cream, jalapeno cream, poblano cream and chipotle cream. I'm giving you the detailed list because I know its going to make you hungry.
The sides include poblano rice, green rice, refried beans, charro beans, and black beans. But we'll get to that later.
My stand-by and favorite dish so far, is the enchilada plate with the fuego chicken and green chile cream. The chicken is roasted with peppers, then chopped and rolled up in a tortilla. Cover that with a deliciously light but flavorful green chile cream and you've basically tasted the food equivalent of [insert something more awesome than Steve McQueen fighting a liger]. I get it with the green rice which I believe is white rice mixed with a cilantro oil. I also generally go for black beans, but the refried are also terrific. No word yet on the charro beans.
Another stand out that has brought numerous people back to Salsa Fuego and even made Sarah Palin's cousin a repeat visitor, is the chipotle bbq chicken burrito. When you think chipotle bbq, if you think McDonalds, Wendy's, etc, you need to start reading this blog more. But you also need to order this item. Imagine a dish that actually comes through with the descriptive name. The chicken has an actual depth of chipotle flavor and bbq - its not just a sauce on the meat. And you can have it served a number of ways, but try it in the burrito with rice and beans. When you order this burrito, you'll be asked if you want it smothered. If you don't order it smothered, leave the restaurant and never eat in public again. You will have shamed me and most of your dining compadres. When the burrito is smothered, its placed on a plate of queso and topped with sauces so delicious you'll leave your spouse for one more taste. Only North Koreans and Iowans could dislike that.
Everything else I've had is terrific but instead of actually working at this blogging thing, I'm going to stop typing and recommend you go, now, to try the concoctions that have brought me back over a dozen times in the last month. I have not taken a person here who didn't love it. If I had, that person would be dead to me. I recommend you take the same approach.
Try out Salsa Fuego and let me know what you think. As an additional inducement, the restaurant is BYOB.
On a fun note - I've received numerous suggestions regarding your boredom with me and the possibility of a guest writer. Well, good news - Todd Palin has written a review of Salsa Fuego which will be posted in a few days.
Its located at 3520 Alta Mere, on the north side of the traffic circle.