Enchiladas y Mas weekend lunch

Enchiladas y MasHere’s where to find traditional Austin “Spanish” rice, with plenty of cumin and plenty of color. It was tough to decide what to order. The Constant Faithful Dining Companion went with the enchiladas rancheras, a very close relative to the offering at the old Casita Jorge’s on Elmont at Pleasant Valley, across from the Aquarius. I barely resisted ordering the carne guisada; if I had, it would have been in memory of those at the old Jorge’s. So I went with chicken enchiladas in green sauce with rice and beans, and pico de gallo on the side.

We used to eat at Enchiladas y Mas when it was on the IH-35 frontage road, near campus, but the Anderson Lane location has seemed a long way away. When we found a line out the door at the Frisco Shop, we moved on. Enchiladas y Mas is always busy at lunchtime on weekdays, it seems, when we’re occasionally in the neighborhood. Today, the place was full, with people waiting right after we took what seemed to be the last seats for a while, but service was quick. I saw many breakfast plates going by, and many orders of fajitas for two.

The diners were of all ages and included many young children. The conversations were lively, perhaps in some cases assisted by beverages stronger than tea. Margaritas were frozen, on the rocks, and straight up. Although premade in quantity, they are strong and it’s easy to tell by sight and by taste that fresh lime juice in the proper quantities is among the ingredients. The menu declares: “To ensure the safety of our patrons, our alcoholic beverages will be limited to 3 with a meal and 1 without a meal.” This is for good reason.

The members of the staff were efficient in a crowded space. We saw one of the owners greeting those he knew. If appearances mean anything, this is one of the happiest workplaces in town. I only wish that Enchiladas y Mas were closer todowntown, but it’s wonderful to see its success in its current location.

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