Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hecho en Mexico

Obviously, living in Texas, we have a lot of Mexican (and Tex-Mex) restaurants to choose from. I met a friend for lunch at Hecho en Mexico (located at William Cannon and Escarpment) last week, and while the food was very fresh, I don't know that there was anything that really distinguishes it from other interior Mexican spots, but this was my only experience there.

Arriving at high noon on a weekday, the place was three-quarters full. But employees were also sparse; during our whole meal, I only saw two servers working the whole floor. Both were very friendly, but at times, service lagged (like refilling water glasses, at our request). Neither of them came off as harried or hassled, but I can't imagine that having only having two wait staff is the norm during lunch rush.

My friend and I split the Taquitos al Pastor from the appetizers menu. Al pastor features pork that's been typically marinated in pineapple juice, herbs and spices, roasted, and then chopped or shaved, so it should be a nice savory and sweet balance. This appeared to be shredded pork (like from the cocinita pibil?) that was mixed with a bit of red chile sauce, and had pieces of pineapple added when served. They were good, though a bit greasy, but to me, not a true al pastor. The red chiles were the same flavor of those in the salsa brought with the complimentary tortilla chips.
I couldn't decide on what I wanted to eat. I asked what the soup of the day was, and when the waiter said "pureed pumpkin with broccoli" I made a face! Neither are favorites, but he did say I could substitute the Caldo Tlalpeno on the Burro Corrido (soup and burrito) luncheon plate; for $5, it's a total deal. The soup was a mild tomato and vegetable based broth, with chicken and notes of the aforementioned red chile in it. More or less like a tortilla soup, but without the tortilla strips. The burrito was quite large, and was well-stuffed with chicken, rice, black beans, and lettuce. The sauce on top though was the same one-note red chile flavor.
Inside the burrito: 
My friend had the chicken spinach salad (pictured in the back), which was also very fresh, and the presentation was nice, but the creamy dressing was cloyingly sweet. It almost tasted like and had the consistency of a poppy seed dressing, but without the poppy seeds.  Had it been me, I would have asked for another dressing, but she persevered.  She had eaten here previously, and felt that her previous meal was good, but also not memorable. And to me, the only spice I tasted in any of the dishes was from roasted red chile peppers, which are pretty much a one-note flavor. Repeated over and over.

So based on that feedback, I'll let you draw your own conclusions. They do have a full bar, and do tequila dinners at the end of every month. That might be something worth checking out!